Very interesting new single-player board game..
Lead a party of (up to) 5 through a post-pandemic cityscape, and win by either a)leveling up your HQ to Lev. 5, b)surviving Winter, or c) completing the main quest chain… You lose when either a)your main character is killed off, or b) you fail to avert 5 Crises
One caveat (but it’s a big one):You better like rolling dice, because you’re going to be doing a lot of it. In fact, the entire game is moving from location to location and rolling one or more d8. Want to search a location? Roll d8. Facing off against a swarm of Plague Rats? Roll d8, buddy. Need to rest to help heal that broken leg (don’t ask)? Yeah, you’re gonna be rolling for that, too.
The only other element to the game is the occasional random event card that gets drawn. In fact, the game is so die-roll driven that until I got over the learning curve (and there is a pretty steep one - no manual and the tutorial isn’t a whole lot of help) and sussed out what was going on with some of my rolls, I thought it was entirely luck based and hated it.
Developers have cited Elder Signs:Omens as an inspiration, and it fits, so how you feel about that game will determine if this is for you. Like ES:O, while everything hinges on rolling the right combination of symbols, there are skills and tools you can acquire that allow you to “weight” the dice and change the odds of what will come up, as well as change one symbol to another or re-roll completely. Plus each recruitable party member comes with a unique d8 that’s added to every roll.
If any of this sounds interesting, it’s <$4 which should put it into the “why the hell not?” camp. It can be difficult to follow what’s happening with your rolls the first couple of games, but I pretty much have it down (I think) so ask away.
As a big sucker for Elder Signs (even the hate->love relationship cycle you mentionned fits with my own experience with that game), I have been intrigued by Nyheim, but the theme didn’t do much for me. How would you say the two differs, gameplay-wise?
The rewards that let you modify your dice come more frequently in Elder Signs. On the other hand, after every playthrough of Nyheim you earn XP depending on how well you did (think if it as a score). That XP can be spent to unlock variants to balance and difficulty, usually at a price (i.e. you can find food more easily but can search each location fewer times)
This didn’t hold up for me. It feels like a more superficial, weirdly balance, and awkwardly themed version of Tharsis’ “crisis vs dice” approach. But with a few imprecise buckets where you chuck extra resources in the hopes that it’ll build up enough for something to happen.
And I think this…
…is a horrible idea. Building up a reserve of points I can spend to make the game easier? Uhhh.
And it may very well not have legs, but for right now it’s holding my attention.
Played this a whole lot of times the past couple days (we’re having terrible weather here) and enjoyed it a lot. Very addictive! And the price is certainly right.
One little oddity – after a while, you realize that it is actually all about food. Apparently, in the post-pandemic world, you can deal with just about anything if your food stockpiles are sufficient. :)
I found it to be a bit less difficult than Tharsis, and somewhat more enticing to give it another try after a my death.
Tom - have you ever thought of broadcasting live your boardgaming sessions? I think it would be cool. You could play, then every once in a while go to laptop or tablet and check for questions to answer. Lighting and mic ups might be a challenge and a 2 camera setup would be nice. One always looking at the board and one further back to see the people and their “stuff”.