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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Kickstarter Review #2: Nightlancer

Hello all, today we take a look at a game currently on Kickstarter located here called Nightlancer. We would like to thank Adversity Games for sending us a prototype of their game for review. This is a competitive cyberpunk board game for 1 to 4 players. The game can be played solo, cooperatively between other players, or competitively against your opponent/s. Between a futuristic setting with a cyberpunk theme, I knew right off the bat that this is a game that I wanted to play. Follow us into a time of great tribulation and hardship to fight for hope and achieve great notoriety.

In the year 2099, the last century of Britain has seen massive technological advancement but also catastrophic world events such as nuclear wars, economic collapse, government control, and civil unrest taking it’s toll on the world. People are losing their sense of self and reality as they implant cybernetics and use exotic drugs to make themselves more than human. Those that change themselves too quickly become disassociated from reality and turn violent and dangerous, called the Techshocked. The Techshocked form into rampaging Shockpacks, and law enforcement becomes overwhelmed and focuses on the battles they can win. The people in the slums must use all of their energy on survival. The underdogs (referred to as Nightlancers) take on dangerous illicit work for whoever will pay so they can fight and in turn, buy themselves a better life. They must be careful, as pushing themselves too hard or sacrificing their ideals can force them into Techshock.

There's a number of components in this game!  This picture provides an example of most of the components in the game after the initial setup of the game has completed and begun.  During the game, each player takes on the role of a nightlancer, a character that is provided a specific type of skill set that assists them to achieve a better quality of life. As a nightlancer, you are wanting to achieve the big score, and leave your imprint in the world. However, this is no easy task. In order to succeed you must gain credits and to do this you must fulfill various types of missions, such as low and high profile missions. Both of these have risk, but the high profile missions are more dangerous in nature so the risk is significantly worse. On each of the players turns, there are a series of phases to complete, 1) The Prep Phase, 2) Streets Phase, 3) Mission Phase, and 4) The End Phase. You’ll begin your turn by drawing cards from the event deck and the low and high profile mission decks equal to the number of players, then draw the black market cards. Next, you check the Event card and if the Event applies to you, you take the challenge. You then roll the die and add it to your ability to beat it. You can play Contact cards to help. After this there is downtime where you can achieve health and resolve for the nightlancers. Next you can accept missions, join a mission, compete for a mission, or pass. This is the end of the prep phase and the players can discard mission cards that have not been claimed. On the streets phase, you can buy a black market card, fulfill agendas, take out a loan, buy prospects, or pass. In the missions phase, you attempt the mission through a series of steps: 1) Gear Up, 2) Stage 1, 2, and 3, and then payment. Each of these steps has a series of subsets within them requiring multiple challenges, and skill cards. The game ends if there are no cards remaining in the event deck. The winner is determined by the whoever achieved the most prospects throughout the game.

The character roles were thematically well fitted so their integration in the game worked well with a Cyberpunk theme. As mentioned above, the amount of components that come in the box is a lot, but it makes sense considering all of your options that you have throughout the game, and I only mentioned a few of them without going into further detail. This game has a lot of potential, and the primary mechanics and gameplay throughout integrates logical, and sequential steps to make it through each round with numerous options that can take you through different routes and also create problems for your opponents should they want to interfere with your plans. This game really creates an almost real world situation of competition between other freelancers which I both like and dislike. The game provides the option for you to work cooperatively together or against one another. It requires a unique integration of strategy and sometimes diplomacy. The game can be played in two hours which is a well rounded timeframe for a game like this.  The artwork on the player mats and the box art is thoroughly well done and was the first thing that jumped out at me when I opened it upon it's arrival to our home.  I hope this same artwork would be applied to the main board when producing the final draft of this game before it hits production.  I understand the prototype will not include this, but the artwork is just so good, it would be a shame to not see more of it integrated into the game for extra aesthetics.  The instructional booklet was well structured and explained.  Sometimes a little hard to follow, but very good for the most part. 

Taking a closer look at these components, I was quite shocked when I opened the box! This is high quality for a prototype! The development page on their website indicates that they have gone through more than several revisions for this prototype and it clearly shows! Honestly, some of these components are better than fully released games that we own from large scale professional production companies so Adversity Games are definitely well on their way with this game. They have also explained that they are not done with updates and that the graphics would still be upgraded and the overall quality of the game components significantly improved upon and I absolutely believe them after seeing what they have so far! I can’t say enough about this game, I really hope they are successful in releasing the game. If you love cyberpunk with some great depth, you should consider backing this game.

Again, their Kickstarter page is located here and to visit the main page of their website, click here  We wish Adversity Games the best of luck!

Nightlancer is a competitive tabletop game created by Joseph Norris.

Have any thoughts or questions?  Leave a comment below.

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