Once I smell a prey, I do not move or even breathe. Predators are sheltering In the shadows and they’re hungry. But patience is a quality, we are very well known for. Hunt simply cannot be successful without it, because hunted creatures are usually faster and often ever smarter. It is therefore necessary to wait for the right moment. And if you’ve made a mental image of spoils with four legs to catch, then you need to rethink your idea. We are the hunted!
Welcome to the strange inhospitable planet, where you will not be alone! And this reality is emphasized by name of new board game Not Alone, which was prepared for us by Geek Attitude Game company. Author of this news is Ghislain Masson, illustrations were prepared by Sebastien Caiveau and it was all published in 2017. All this in distribution of Esdevium Games.
Players got first jinxed by orange eyes on the lid of a small box. But it is not long, before they get their thoughts together, open box and spread small board with elongated scale. This is place, where tokens of rescue and assimilation are placed and each of them reduces chances of victory of one side. Players are now divided into two groups – one will take on the role of monster, while all others will become hunted. Each player in the role of ordinary men will have three cubes of will and a set of five cards with numbered locations possible to visit.
In the middle of the table immediately below the board, players place ten location cards in two rows by five. Next to the beach is starting spot for orange indicator, which indicates position of party. This is also space to keep set of survival cards. Whoever is playing monster, he gets a set of cards and some tokens.
At the beginning of each round is chance for a group of hunted to hide better. Each player secretly chooses one location from his hand. This is place, where he would like to hide. They can negotiate among their group, but they do not reveal chosen card to anyone yet. At this point, players can also for price of one point of will pick up some of the cards already played back into their hand. The aim is to always have a choice, so monster could not predict, where player is going to hide.
Then monster goes hunting. Player, who has it under his control, chooses one location and places his tokens with an alien face on it. In the later stages, as a result of movement on scale, more tokens will get available for him. But in the meantime, heroes can explore and use new locations. In addition, monster player can at this moment also play a hunt card and thus can access second token. Ability of the card is activated only in the event, that he succeeds in catching some human.
Participants now simultaneously reveal their chosen location and one by one evaluate, what that particular shelter means for them. If player managed to evade monster, he can at that moment use special ability of the location. But instead, he can also take one already played location card back into his hand. On the contrary, if the hunted in the same place as hunter, human immediately loses one will token. In addition, assimilation token moves on its route one square forward to unhappy ending.
Later in the game, other tokens will force players to throw away cards from their hand. In the event, that someone loses his third (and final) will token, it results in further shift of assimilation marker forward. Then, fortunately, hero gets his cubes back and can continue in the game.
At the end of the round, player in the role of monsters draws back hunt cards up to maximum of three. Reward for humans and their surviving of that round is a shift of rescue token one step forward. Longingly awaited help is again a little bit closer. Party, which has reached its goal (assimilation or salvation) on common scale first, can celebrate a victory.
Not Alone is a luxury asymmetric experience. This fact should be highlighted right at the beginning of the evaluation, because it is the most important lesson, that you need to know. And actually, we could tell you, that its even needless to read further. If you like confrontational game with hidden movement and deduction, then this is really great thing to play.
Creature does not play by far with luck, when its trying to find heroes. Player in its control is trying to deduce future location from their already discarded cards and is trying to evaluate, where that player could feel safe. Both roles are also balanced and it depends on players, how well is he able to exploit its possibilities.
Already them of the ongoing hunt for initially unsuspecting humans and creature coming out of the worst nightmares is promise of big experience. And match is succeeding in really respected way. The atmosphere is very good, especially in a greater number of players. But it is not so good, when it exceeds five participants, because overall hunt gets slower and is not as dynamic anymore. Conversely, however, it is surprisingly entertaining game for two, because talking among all humans is only element to disappear. The creature has its work a lot harder.
Players in the role of the human victims can advise each other and plan their next steps together. Their mission is to get saved as a team and therefore escape for as long as possible. Each discovery by monster is a step toward assimilation. But ultimately, success depends not so much on the hunted as on capabilities of monsters, that can reveal right location simply by luck or deduction.
The game takes some forty-five minutes to complete and these are charged with voltage. All turns are pretty similar, but everything is successfully spiced up by hunt cards and of course by using special abilities of locations. Players must use to it to their gain and thereby gain an important advantage and hope to survive.
Equally crucial, however, is manipulation with cards. Each location used remains on the table and it is not so easy to get it back into hand. And the more of them is there on the table, the better the monster can determine, where player attempts to go next.
Not Alone is a game, that tests your ability to read minds. Players are divided into two groups, that will work against each other. While they are working together only lightly, the more they enjoy their adventure across a seemingly deserted planet. Not Alone is great entertainment, that deserves your attention.
Not Alone is an experience from beginning to end. One of the players will be the hunter, while others are hiding in front of him on all sorts of places on the planet. Both sides have a number of options in their arsenal, which affect their chances and aim to completely different things - people are trying to escape, while the planet (and thus monster) wants to assimilate them. Game is exciting whole time through, is not long and offers interesting reading of thoughts of others. Just numbers are not all perfect, because higher amount of rivals already shows. Overall, Not Alone deserves nothing but praise for the truly luxurious and dramatic design.