You may have thought, that board games with scenarios were for fantasy heroes or sci-fi battles only. You may have thought the hourglass can only breathe on your neck. You may have thought pirates were boring patrons, that were nowhere near funny. And no matter, if you believed only one or all of the three previous statements, A Tale of Pirates is a board game, that will change your mind.
We had a unique opportunity to look at this game and we will offer you our first impressions. Maybe you will like it like we do, because this game looks special. A Tale of Pirates is a game that takes place across multiple scenarios. There is a total ten chapters and each has its own real envelope, that hide its story from you before you decide to play it.
In each game, a cardboard ship with holes is waiting in the middle of the table. Its hull is where the players will place the hourglass to activate a variety of actions. The vessel itself lies on the sea, represented by a round board. And its round shape allowed the authors to surround adventurers with threats and interesting encounters from all the directions. Their neighborhood is then divided into six sectors.
But all players will work as one crew. Each member on ship is represents by one hourglass. Individual players therefore each have their own one. The player selects an action from list of available ones, puts his hourglass on apropriate space on ship, turns it and sand starts to pour. At that moment, he can not do the action yet, but he has to wait thirty seconds, before the sand runs out. Only then can he finally act and do stuff he wanted to do. But by now, the situation may have changed and he won’t have to. You never know. Then he takes the hourglass back and can use it again elsewhere on the ship.
During the voyage, players have a number of different actions, that can be done. They can climb the mast and look around, repair the ship (some places can get blocked by damage), load cannons or shoot at danger. There are various pitfalls for the player and they have to deal with all the cards in deck gradually. In order for the game not to be the same every time, lots of other elements (including sound effects) are brought to players thanks to a digital application, that is an integral part of the gameplay!
The game looks absolutely fabulous and the tension radiates from every turn. Players are constantly under stress, but at the same time they always have a chance to get some rest, when waiting for the sand to pass. That time can be used to consult with others. This co-operative experience is mainly about organization of work, because crew members have to cope with everything on board, everyone by himself. No alpha player syndrome. It’s a bit like Space Alert in piratey theme.
But scenarios are what promises truly extraordinary experience. Individual stories will add new elements of gameplay. The question stands on the replayability of the entire box and also the difficulty in different numbers. Because everything happens in real time, we certainly do not have to worry about excessive length. On the contrary, you will all be afraid that the time is going to be a little bit cruel and short to do everything.
Processing is luxurious on first sight. The beautiful cardboard ship is complemented by various elements that further enhance the whole experience. Sails can be raised and life-bearing hearts are hung over the edge of the deck. Everything is part of a really intense experience, that you can have at home in 14 days. Remember the name A Tale of Pirates!
But where do you actually get this game? If you want to be among the first to play it, then you have to go to Spiel 2017, which is held in Essen, Germany. However, we know that many of you are already coming and that’s why you will be more interested in another set of informations: Publishing house is Cranio Creations, which brings this novelty to the show. And you all can buy it on their stand 1-A118 at a favored price of 50 euros.