Zoospionage: Matterhorn Playtest Nov 7

Playtest

Saturday evening was perhaps one of the last in-house playtests of the drafting game Zoospionage: Matterhorn before we expand play-testing. Zoospionage is a 30-45 minute family game in which you draft animal robot spies to break into an evil mega-corp. Each player gets two approach cards to navigate and then all share the centre compound cards.

Working

  • The balance of money and power, the two resources, was really good. The player who was out in front (and ended up winning the game) chose to wait one round before entering the centre to gain enough resources. And yet no one player was completely stymied by lack of resources. This was one of the biggest issues in our last playtest.
  • There were some great puns throughout the night, even though groans predictably accompanied them: when a player's Intelligence agent was take out- "that's ruff" (Intelligence is a dog); when a player chose the least expensive agent possible- "it's cheep" (Surveillance is a bird)
  • It seems almost ready!

Needs Work

  • The game took just a little bit longer than I expected with most players having played at least one earlier version. I want to keep it to a 30-45 minute game.
  • There is one aspect of the rules that is a little unintuitive. Not sure yet whether there is a way to make it more intuitive with the icons, but once you know (or read the rules) it's a pretty simple matter.
  • We decided that one of the agents- the Infiltrator- ought to have a special ability to add in one more element of interaction between players. Now working on what that should be. The current interactive aspects are the card drafting each round ("NO!! I needed that one"), the fact that the Saboteur hurts players to the left and right, and choosing one of the four locations in the centre once players are there.
  • Next steps towards publishing include the rulebook and some graphic adjustments to the cards

Reviewers to Check Out Pt. 1

Over the last week We’ve been in contact with a number of board game reviewers about Festival! These are phenomenal content producers in their own right. While we can’t possibly highlight them all, here are a few worth checking out.

 

Purple Phoenix Games are putting out a ton of great reviews in print and seem to have a particular emphasis, though certainly not exclusive, on gateway games. Check out their impressive list of reviews here.

Love 2 Hate is Lance and Sam and they have a fascinating premise for their Youtube Review Channel: trying to turn non-gamers into gamers. As such, the emphasis is on gateway and family games. I count four children in the background, so that alone makes me a bit of a fan. Check it out!

Next time, I’ll highlight a couple more of these great content creators.