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Subject: Prototype Demo Review rss

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Dan
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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Etienne Espreman was giving demos this past week in Chicago. He was recovering from a long flight, but was very energetic and took on the role of the alien player. His energy definitely had a positive impact on our experience.

I quite enjoyed the game. It is a great length for what it does and it does those things well.

The game puts one player in the alien role and the others in the explorer roles. Each non-alien player is trying to stay hidden while the alien player searches for those players. This makes the game one vs many where the collaborating players cannot discuss their strategy. It feels like several simultaneous 2 player games where each player must consider their collaborators choices and their own options when making decisions, but cannot discuss these options directly.

Each round, an explorer chooses a location from a small set and places a card face down to show which location they have selected. Afterwards, the alien player chooses one location to attack. If the alien player is correct, his victory track is advanced. If the alien player is incorrect, the explorer's get small bonuses. At the end of each round, the explorer victory track advances even if attacked. Whichever side reaches the end of their track first wins.

Since each location is associated with a single card in the explorer's hand and the alien can see which cards have already been played, there is a flow of tension as options contract and expand. Both the alien players and the explorers also have some other resources (will, one time use cards, etc) to influence their own risk. It's enough to keep things interesting without becoming overwhelming and making outcomes pure luck.

The game was long enough that some strategy was useful, but short enough that the double guessing did not become repetitive. In our game, the explorer's barely won, but the alien player may have just as easily won. This balance encourages both teams to play risky at some times and cautious at others. All in all, there was a good amount of choice based on the length of the game.

Lastly, the artwork on the cards is fantastic. The colorful science fiction art really brings the theme alive.

I have always liked the idea of many vs one chase games like Scotland Yard, Specter Ops, and Fury of Dracula, but rarely seen them succeed with my groups. I feel like this game streamlined these concepts well in a similar way that The Resistance streamlined Battlestar Gallactica.
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J. Reichler
United States
Champaign
Illinois
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Four of us got a demo and a chance to play at gencon 2016 and really enjoyed it. It's one of those games where you are trying to get inside the minds of the other player.

Simultaneous action selection made it fast (supports up to 7 players), and it was quite fun. Lots of laughing and blaming of other players after you see who got caught on each round. A very nice light one-vs-all game with both strategy and some fun table talk.
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Espreman Etienne
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Thanks Dan. It was a pleasure.
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