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Subject: A couple plays Earth Reborn: a touching story... rss

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Jean-Charles Mourey
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It may seem as self-serving for a game publisher to mention a positive review about our game, but the post below is particularly unusual. The couple in this story went straight to the heart of everything we were trying to accomplish with Earth Reborn. When we read it, we were deeply touched by it and we can't help but share it with you.

Here is a link to the original post (in French):

The story happened at Essen.

For your convenience, below is an English translation.

On a side note, French website TricTrac has an extensive ongoing discussion about Earth Reborn. Here is an English "Google Translated" link to it if you're interested:

My girlfriend doesn't care much for (post-apocalyptic) themes, so she was a bit turned off by the game after playing 51th State, even though she was intrigued by the game mechanics.

She does not care much for "big games" either.

We tried the game anyway because I had spoken to her about it first, the game would be explained in French, and we could reserve a table.

After 9 minutes of rule explanation, during which she listened absent-mindedly while ogling the shiny games in the booth next door (hocus pocus, intrigue, timeline), the game could start, to her great surprise.

She was so skeptical of the outcome that she didn't even offer to switch places with me when she realized that she was sitting on the side with zombies and a guy with a circular saw attached to his arm, leaving me to care for the gorgeous female soldier and her love-stricken suitor.

To my great surprise, the person who explained the rules to us left us to fend for ourselves. I thought he would continue to explain more rules which I expected would be necessary to play the game. As it turned out, we already knew all the rules needed, and only had 2 questions mid-game, coming from the fact that our thinking was too disconnected from "reality" (for example: opening the door and moving all the way to the square where the bed is to see if someone is in it… but, obviously, you can see if someone is in the bed as soon as you open the door).

Strangely, the answer provided to our question by the game designer resulted in a radical turn of events in our game.

My objective was to bring my character to the prisoner to free her and help her escape. Up until that point, we had played the game just like we had many others: "I push my miniature 6 squares (2 movements of 3 squares each), yeah, great, now it's your turn. I must prevent you from going to point B so I put all my miniatures between you and point B, etc."

During the third turn (after about 4-5 minutes of play), when I thought we had reached the depth of the game, my girlfriend started acting strangely: she moved her miniatures out of the way, no longer blocking my path, so I thought she had lost interest in the game. In response to my puzzled look, she said defiantly: "I couldn't care less about your guy, I'm gonna go kill off the prisoner". She opened the cell door and started tearing sleeping beauty to pieces!

My girlfriend, with not a single violent fiber in her soul, and a fan of Igloo Pop, was tearing up a human being with a saw attached to a mutant zombie. And it was her idea!

Beyond the strategic considerations of this action (not such a crazy strategy by the way since the beautiful maiden barely escaped with her life at the end), this turn of play illustrates perfectly what happened during the 45 minutes that the game lasted. We experienced something quite different from what can be experienced in other games: we actually wrote a story.

Yes, it's a bit pompous to say that, and it's a claim often seen on the back of game boxes these days, games where you are usually spectators of a scenario played out in the universe of the game (the scenario can sometimes be quite good by the way… that is not my point). My point is that, in this case, we actually wrote a story independently of the scenario given in the game manual.

The game system is so rich and gives us so many different possibilities to meet our objective that we're practically forced to call upon our imagination to create a completely different adventure every time, rather than just "go through our action points" as in other games.

A new paradox emerges though: I played an incredibly rich game, with enormous possibilities… and yet, I only know 2 of the rules contained in the game so far: move and fight, all explained in 9 minutes.

I realize now that my post is very long. My original intention was just to express my opinion quickly, so I apologize for the lengthiness.

I'm unable to summarize my opinion. This game is very different from anything else we have encountered before, we enjoyed it enormously, it is very rich in the choices offered, provides many control points, and yet remains very accessible. I could say much more but I will refrain myself for fear of monopolizing the page.

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Tristan Brunet
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This review, and Chris's last designer's diary both stress what I really liked when I read the game's rules : its game mechanics all seem to be designed with a narrative perspective. Of course, some classic game mechanics can also be found in it (like the Command Points), but I was really struck by the narrative potential of the game, and how every part of it seemed to be designed with a narrative feel to it (for example, thanks to the IPS system, every tile of the game has its gameplay feeling : the armory makes it easy for you to find a weapon, you can spy other players when one of your unit is in the control room...). The search mechanic, the scramble radio mechanic... You can feel the narrative (and ludic!) possibilities of them all. Yet, they seem to be streamlined enough (ca't know for sure yet, though) to keep the game smooth, since a lot of those mechanics share a common basis (for example the spy points, used when spying, but they're also used when you're searching a room, if you're in enemy territory...).

So I'm quite happy to see that what I felt when reading the rules translates into the actual gaming experience. Can't wait !
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The Cheng Meister
Western Australia
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So MUST buy!

Thanks for your reviews!

Sigh, more money I now need to find whistle
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United States
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This board game has compelled me to stop being a lurker on BGG and finally register. I'm really excited to try out Earth Reborn since the design philosophy seems very refreshing and right in line with what I would desire out of a board game.

Thanks for sharing the story! I'm waiting with bated breath for this to release.
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