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Human Interface: Nakamura Tower» Forums » Reviews

Subject: What is HINT? rss

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Manu
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I wanted to share a few words to give prospective buyers a sense of what kind of game Human Interface Nakamura Tower (HINT) is, given that it's not exactly a conventional boardgame, which is one of its greatest appeals.

HINT is, to the best of my knowledge, one of the rare games that has tried to bring to life hard-core cyberpunk action to the boardgaming table (not counting RPGs who have already done that in spades).

Augments and Hacking (and not just terminals, but the actual network used by the opposing team) exist in the game as a fully developed set of mechanics. You can disrupt the other player's characters by injecting worms and viruses, you can take control of terminals to give yourself tactical advantage in combat, etc. The hacking is almost a mini-game unto itself.

Augments form the backbone of your special skills. The more augments you install (surgically implant ^^) the more you risk loosing control of your body and becoming an AI drone.

HINT is also somewhat unique in that it uses a few tabletop miniature game mechanics (Infinity players will smell a bit of ARO in the air) to the point where the game itself comes with metal miniatures that need assembly(*).

HINT is really meant to be played through the campaign included in the box (14 missions + 2 stand-alone) as there is some light character progression between missions (mostly equipment), and there is a cool narrative that ties all the missions together.

If all this sounds cool, well, yeah, that's what suckled me in.

But above all, HINT is a bittersweet moment when you realise that it fails to achieve the dream of that perfectly executed cyberpunk game.

Because, a big word of warning: the rulebook is an absolute mess at the moment. There already is a 7 page FAQ from the devs that has clarified some of the bigger issues, so there is a glimmer of hope that one day we may see a rulebook that can both teach the game and serve as a reference, neither of which is achieved in its current form.

HINT feels like a love letter to the cyberpunk genre and, perhaps in the heads of the developers, the mechanics purr like a cat. But to us poor sods who only have the rulebook to go by, it's deflating as hell to not be able to experience the game from the get-go.

Is the game any good? I seriously can't tell yet...not until I have worked out how to play it smoothly, or failed at trying.

Still, there is so much potential to this game that it's worth fighting for. That's what I intend to do. This is as close as I'll get to a kind of game I've always wanted to play .

(*) be ready to proxy them if you're not a minis hobbyist.. they take quite a bit of work, and the sculpts are of very uneven quality.
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Gomeril Gnak
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What is the game play like? Sorting out badly written rules is doable. Bad rules are a different kettle of fish.
 
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Manu
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Have yet to complete one game... so far it's been constant rules flipping. Am writing my own rules reference then will attempt another play.

Also sorry for double posting on General forum but the BGG admins had turned down my review (apparently irrelevant and spam) than swiftly changed their minds. I am confused.
 
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Krzysztof RabidBlackDog
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I've played one scenario. The rules aren't bad. The rulebook is. It's not redacted well and there are too many things left unclear or unsaid.
 
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Loig Roumois
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correct. I've played the first couple of scenarios and it's a lot of fun, if your group is ok with "winging it" sometimes when the rules are not clear. The rules are not ready/clear enough to work on a competition level, but they are ok enough to play amongst friends who just want to have a good time! (and we had!!!)
 
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