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Game Preview: Skyward, or Reaching for the Heavens One Card at a Time

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Gen Con 2017 is only five weeks off, so I plan to start posting several individual game previews in this space for titles that will debut at that show or otherwise be more widely available than they are now. Some will be written, some on video — depends on whether we already recorded videos at recent cons and whether I have more to say or show!

I will still be posting game round-ups and updating BGG's Gen Con 2017 Preview during this time, so if you know of upcoming games that aren't listed on the preview — or are publishing games that aren't listed — please contact me with that info via the email address in the header above. I plan to start contacting designers and publishers the week of July 17 to arrange demo time in the BGG booth during Gen Con 2017. Lots to do before that show opens, including more preparations for the Hot Games Room!


Everyone is familiar with the concept of "I cut, you choose" in the real world, but few games have made use of this concept. Alan R. Moon and Aaron Weissblum's San Marco might be the best known example, with players splitting cards into piles as they fight for control of districts within Venice; the related Canal Grande card game ditches the game board, but retains the "I cut, you choose" mechanism. Jeffrey D. Allers' …aber bitte mit Sahne places the mechanism in its anticipated habitat as players split cakes and tarts onto different plates; as with San Marco, that game has similarly been reborn, with New York Slice now challenging you to slice pies of a different sort: pizza pies.

Brendan Evans' Skyward from Australian publisher Rule & Make, which will be distributed in North America by Passport Game Studios, takes "I cut, you choose" and makes that cutting and choosing the heart of the game. Each round, one player takes the role of the warden, then splits cards into as many piles as players (with the warden being added to one of the piles), then players choose cards and launch buildings into the stratosphere, trying to put together strong scoring combinations from whatever they manage to scrounge together during the game.

I've played thrice thanks to a review copy from Passport at Origins 2017, and in this video I show off several of the cards and share some of the challenges of the game.

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