“Unique” Games

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Hey folks, I’m here today to talk about a newer game type. Type is the word I could best think of to describe it. We’ve had Legacy type games where the games all start the same. Then the choices of the players change the game through game play. Each time playing can be completely different. Well, the other end of this is selling a game where each game is a unique from the get go. I’m talking about the “Unique” line from Fantasy Fight Games. Where each product sold is a unique experience and is a one of a kind with contents of the box.

First in the line is from game designer Richard Garfield. He’s the guy behind King of Tokyo. More importantly, he’s the guy behind one of my most played games. Magic the Gathering. I played this game for close to 20 years. In Magic the Gathering, it’s a collectible card game where each player casts spells, summons creatures, and try to be the last one standing. It’s typically a two player game, but has enough variants to keep the replay value up. Also new cards are printed each year to keep the combination of cards that make the deck endless. Well, Richard Garfield has made another card game. Instead of a collectible card game, this is a collectible deck game. KeyForge: Call of the Archons is a card game where each deck is unique. No two decks are the same. Each deck is made of 37 cards and is made up of three different houses. The deck will also come with a checklist of cards included. In the game, there are seven great houses that each play differently. Each deck has a unique name given to it and a unique backing to the cards. During your turn, you’ll name a house that you’ll be playing. You can only play cards of this house. Players are trying to gather AEmber and craft three Keys before their opponent. First one to gather three keys wins.

Photo pulled from Fantasy Flight Games website.

I like the idea behind this game. Buy a deck and you can’t add or change cards in it. That right there stops the theory of the more expensive cards make the deck great. In Magic the Gathering, it could cost a lot to make a good deck that had a high probability of winning. With KeyForge, one deck and you’re just as competitive as the other payer, depending on your strategic cunning. So no more spending $20+ on a single card to bring the competitiveness of your deck up to par with others. I like that each deck is unique and different. I’m not sure what computer program the use to make this possible, but this technology can bring board games to the next level.

The next game is Discover: Lands Unknown. This is a unique board game by Corey Konieczka. He’s worked on Eldritch Horror, Decent: Journey in the Dark, and Star Wars: Imperial Assault. Not a lot has come out about this game besides it’s 1-4 players, sounds like a co-op game that can turn player vs player, has a modular game board and variable player powers. What peeked my interest was that each game is different than the next one. Using the same technology, each game will have similar mechanics but different components and game play. In the game, you’re trying to survive the wilderness. One game can take place on a deserted island while the other might take place on a snow covered mountain. Characters will also be different for each game. Each game will have a different story line.

Pulled from Fantasy Flight Games website

This game is also coming from Fantasy Flight Games. As soon as I heard about this game, I was thinking about the potential of having a shelf full of the same game. Each one playing differently than the other. It’s funny to think, but instead of having a shared library of games, each friend can buy a copy and get something different. Now, it could also lead to different experience of game play. If you were hoping for some type of Lost setting, but ended up getting a Donner Party-esque game you could be disappointed. I like knowing and researching a game before buying. With this type, it’s hard to do that. Will the mysterious draw in players? Will it drive them away? How will reviews look? It’s not a Legacy game, so there shouldn’t be spoilers. For me, the mysterious has gotten the best of me. I want to try one when it comes out. Then, I want to find someone else who’s bought a copy and compare both the games.

So there it is. A new type of game from Fantasy Flight Games. I can’t wait to see these when they come out and see what this means for games down the line. The possibilities are endless. There could be expansions that are just the story line book if all the components are compatible. Maybe a map pack that changes the location. I think Fantasy Flight Games are on a path to the next big innovation to board games. I’m not sure what this will mean for the resale market of games as people might be looking for specific deck combinations or game theme. What are your thoughts on this type of game? Let me know in the comments.

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