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DavidNorris
October 21, 2021
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K2 Review - Digital Eyes

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Sprawlopolis Review

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It’s Weylan, Not Weyland - Alien: Fate of the Nostromo Review

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05 Aug 2021 11:55 #325238 by Michael Barnes
After being surprised and delighted by the image that greets...

At the table, 1-5 players can hear you scream.

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05 Aug 2021 13:34 #325240 by charlest
As I thought back when this game was announced, it sounds incredibly close to Camp Grizzly. I'm guessing that was a primary influence.
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05 Aug 2021 13:36 #325241 by ubarose
I played this with Josh and Al, who discuss it in the It Came From the Tabletop podcast that also was published today. YES! This game is so good it is getting double coverage here.

It was so good that after playing it once, we reset and played it again immediately. We'll be buying our own copy as soon as it is released. It plays so smoothly, and the rules are so intuitive, that I know it will get pulled out played often. As you say, Scott Rogers does so much and builds so much excitement and tension with so little.

Just fantastic.
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05 Aug 2021 13:36 #325242 by n815e
With all the pre-release complaining about this game, I went into this expecting negativity.

Glad it was a good experience for you!

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05 Aug 2021 13:43 #325243 by ubarose

charlest wrote: As I thought back when this game was announced, it sounds incredibly close to Camp Grizzly. I'm guessing that was a primary influence.


Yes, it does feel a bit like Camp Grizzly. I wouldn't be surprised if Camp Grizzly was a primary influence.

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05 Aug 2021 13:53 #325244 by hotseatgames
A surprisingly pleasant outcome! I must say this game didn't sound very appealing when I first heard of it. I'll have to find a Target. There are none in my city.

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05 Aug 2021 14:36 #325245 by Jackwraith
Ravensburger keeps getting it done right, I guess. My first reaction to this, as it is with all co-ops, was to sigh in frustration, as I'm just not a fan of that type of game. But the description sounds cool and one serious upside is that, as Iain was also talking about today, this is a widely available title that can be sitting on the shelf in your average big box store. It's not like Nemesis, where you had to be in on the Kickstarter or be willing to pay 3x the price on Ebay. It's just a walk in and buy it (or have Target ship it to you, Hotseat.)

As an undying fan of the first film (and Ridley Scott's early work; when do we get a thoughtful Blade Runner game?), I just might consider picking this up. Thanks for the thorough review.
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05 Aug 2021 14:58 #325246 by n815e
Inhuman Conditions looks like an interesting “Blade Runner” game.
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05 Aug 2021 15:21 #325247 by Shellhead
Hard pass for me, due to the lack of character elimination. I am big fan of board games with a horror theme, and Alien remains one of the all-time greatest horror movies, plus I love Camp Grizzly. So this game should be an auto-buy for me, but I utterly despise this feeble morale damage mechanic. This game is based directly on a movie where characters got killed (and worse), but the close theming is a complete failure because there is zero chance of actually emulating the story told in the movie. No, in this lame version, attacks by a vicious monster are merely discouraging, like rain on your wedding day. This weak sauce design is aimed at a generation of overly sensitive BGG forumites who wouldn't recognize real horror if it ate their faces. Also, while the traitor mechanic has been overused in the last decade, it would have been a better choice for this game than treating Ash like the Robber of Catan. I don't care about the minis, but I do like the visual design of the rest of the components.
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05 Aug 2021 16:55 - 05 Aug 2021 16:56 #325248 by Sagrilarus
While I think you (Shellhead) make sound arguments, I am just all secret-traitored out at this point. It's been closer to 20 years.

And yeah, the game could have used some good old fashioned elimination. But I don't see that as a showstopper. Putting other people's fate in your hands adds an element that I think is worthwhile. You can't just commit suicide to mess with the game in this one, and that's a reasonable element in a full co-op.

What would be a showstopper is that I have three or four unplayed games picked up over the last 18 months and I shouldn't buy this. But I have a Target gift card, and I'm only human.
Last edit: 05 Aug 2021 16:56 by Sagrilarus.
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05 Aug 2021 17:43 #325250 by ChristopherMD
Is this better than the RPG?

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05 Aug 2021 17:48 #325251 by Michael Barnes
I think you’d be surprised at how well this works and how much Alien is in the game, Shell, if you’d let go of some hardline dogma there. There’s nothing “weak” or “feeble” about it. It abstracts horrible deaths to make this game work doe it’s intended audience. The feeling of being hunted and characters being attacked while off in the bowels of the ship is 100% there. But, it is also not a simulation of the Alien film, nor is it intended to be. Parker lives...maybe.

I used to feel differently about player elimination but now I’m of the opinion that it is a very kind of gatekeepery, “git gud” mentality. Don’t care if the setting or subject matter suggests it as an assumed necessity. If the family sits down to play the game they bought at Target and one kid is eliminated in the first 10 minutes because THATS HOW IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE LOSER...that’s not fun for anyone but the kind of smug asshole that sits there and insists that the game continues even though participants have been cut out of it.

The design brief was for a co-op game with no elimination. This is 100% appropriate for the audience this game is directed at, and it makes the game accessible and fun for everyone. This is not a fault or some kind of weird pandering to forums. Ash works absolutely fine automated and representing a secondary threat, not someone working against the group.

I get your grievances and understand where you are coming from but at the same time there’s that aire or “why isn’t this game made for me” about them. If you want an Alien game with brutal, direct player elimination, viscerally specific horror; betrayal, and all that...the Alien RPG totally has you covered.
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05 Aug 2021 17:50 #325252 by Michael Barnes
Totally different audience, approach, and level of commitment. This is a 45-60 board game with easy rules, accessible and inexpensive. The RPG is much more intense, very RP-heavy, has characters working at cross purposes, and isn’t limited to the Nostromo. Both are great.
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05 Aug 2021 18:06 #325254 by Shellhead
I said "character elimination," not "player elimination." I mean, yeah, I think that the best horror board games have player elimination, but I realize that is too hardcore for soft, pampered modern board gamers. Character elimination would reduce the crew and force the player of the eliminated character to switch to playing a non-deceased character, and there could still be player elimination near the end of the game if the number of living characters drops below the number of players.

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05 Aug 2021 18:10 #325255 by Shellhead
Fundamentally, this is a mismatch of theme and mechanics, though it might have been more tolerable in a game that wasn't modeled so directly on the movie. If the characters aren't facing death or at least infestation at the hands of the xenomorph, it makes them seem more like ordinary racists. Perhaps they are worried that the property value of the Nostromo will decline now that it has been defiled by the unclean hands of an unfamiliar life form.
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