Conspire by Cherry Picked Games

Greetings All,

Today we get to bring you a quick review for a deceptively fun game called Conspire.

conspire_wordmark

Conspire

4-12 Players

30-60 Minutes

Cherry Picked GamesCherry Picked Games

In Conspire all players create a or act out a situation from any time and place they choose, in this world you’ll be dealing with conspiracies and debating on different topics, essentially trying to sell your beliefs or complete your hidden objectives. Everyone creates characters with hidden objectives and those characters shuffled and passed out to players. You can choose to tell people what your objectives are, however, it is much more fun to keep them hidden. This game can end after you accomplish whatever you were going for or you can keep it going. You can literally play this in “chapters” of your story or you can completely start fresh and I think that is a vert cool concept. The replayability here is just insane.  I’m including a hyper link so that you can see this fun little 3 minute video of game play instruction from Alexander Jerbek (Cherry Picked Games), I found it very helpful and very entertaining.

This is a storytelling game that is so relaxed, we literally sat in the living room instead of around the table. There are so many topics I thought about using, I didn’t even want to make up my own story… do you have any Idea how many fun debate topics and conspiracy theories you can pick up from pop culture? things you’re reading or watching right now. I personally wanted to do this set in the Gravity Falls universe or The Time War from Doctor Who and if I’m being honest, it’s going to happen eventually. It’s too fun to pass up. Instead we ended up going with Mutants as our topic, please check out my husbands take below. 🙂

Imagine that you’re a regular, standard, mundane, innocuous, run-of-the-mill human.  Now imagine, that you exist in the USA.  Alright, now…imagine that you are all of those previous things, except that you exist in the Marvel Comics Universe.  One equipped with superheroes, super villains, space aliens, demigods, and all manner of general calamity.  Now, imagine that medical science has evolved to the point where humans can isolate every wrinkle of the human genome, and alter it whilst in utero…and that frightful humans in political office are seeking to utilize this technology to end one of the largest domestic scourges their great nation has ever seen: “MUTANTS.”  As private U.S. citizens in this reality, you’re tasked with voting for an upcoming bill that would allow mutation to be classified as an unwanted birth defect that can be permanently removed during pregnancy.  Do you believe that mutants should be permanently removed from existence via medical excision, or do you believe mutants are a natural byproduct of a human birth and should be protected?

The Husband’s Quick Take –
This was a lovely RPG experience!  There’s a certain elegance and simplicity to it that is just so appealing to anyone, regardless of their opinions on tabletop gaming.  This game could honestly be practiced in debate clubs across the country, to excellent effect.  It favors an almost contrarian outlook, so long as you have the charisma to back it up.  The added wrinkles this game provides when matched with people you’re extra familiar with can be very interesting, and certainly can provide a very engaging, very social experience.  I very much so recommend this game to anyone…so long as they don’t require their tabletop experiences to come with an actual board and pieces.
I hope you enjoyed this quick review, I promise there will be more frequent topics after Tabletop has ended. 🙂 Until next time… Live by the Board.
-Livingbytheboard

Catalyst – Cherry Picked Games

Greetings All,

Today I get to talk about a game from Cherry Picked Games, a company that I actually have three games on my review list… so you will be hearing quite a bit about them over the next few posts. At first I thought I’d do one giant post for all three games, but I feel more comfortable doing three mini posts. Enjoy!

catalyst

Catalyst

4-6 Players (GM Needed)

1+ Hours

Cherry Picked Games

This is a post I’ve been dragging my feet on and oddly enough it’s not because of the games quality. This is an RPG and although I enjoy RPG’s, I am just awful at expressing my thoughts on RPG’s. Here it goes folks.

Catalyst is an RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world in which demons have taken over the earth. Ever since the demon uprising humans have manifested magical abilities. With the persons specific powers they also have vitae and vigor. Vitae in a sense is a person’s health points and helps you to heal wounds and such. Vigor on the other hand is a person’s ability to push themselves past their normal physical abilities. Both of these have limits that are based on the traits of the character you’re playing such as willpower, strength, and fortitude.

Even though the character traits are similar to other games such as D&D, the characters themselves have so many more creation possibilities. Instead of placing these characters in classes (mage, bard, etc) and races (human, elf, etc.) you simply make up a back story for your character and what ability they manifested. I think that this is wonderful, there’s a never-ending pool of possibilities with this and that’s a great feeling for both the creative mind and replayability. There are example characters in the book and to start I chose one of them. Her name is Gianna Marchetti, a woman with a rough past whom became a fantastic pizza chef. Her ability is transmutation and she uses it turn her pizzeria tools into weapons and armor. She can be seen holding her pizza spatula which I think is great and adds a bit of humor to the whole thing. Her story tells of a past of drug abuse and this piece of her comes out after the proverbial “hell breaks loose”, she begins using what knowledge she has to create medicine for the survivors. How neat is that? The creators of this book took something so negative and gave it a helpful positive twist, I love it.

I played another story where I created a character that is an artist that has suffered from depression and anxiety her whole life, when her powers manifested she found that she had a type of telepathy – the ability to project images in people minds. The more upset she feels the more physical her projections become. Her projections can go from destroying the minds of these demons when she is calm to physically harming and chasing the demons when she is feeling manic. It was great fun to play around with.

The thing that really sets this game apart from others I’ve played is the combat. The combat is done with action cards chosen by each player privately and in turn flipped over simultaneously. The actions have an order that is followed. The reason I like this is because once you chose your action, that’s it. It is set in stone and you have to find a way to make it work for you. You also need to be able to read to group well in hopes that you do not chose to attack a demon and get stuck fighting alone while they ran away (yes that happened to me… jerks). This mechanic takes a great deal of pressure off of me, as this is a part of RPG’s I find to be hard. I have anxiety in real life and it gives me RPG stage fright. This is an RPG that I would highly suggest someone new to the genre playing because it eases you into the combat/action situation.

The book is a hefty 270 pages long, but all of it is needed and helpful. The  142 cards are nice and thick. My largest complaint is the box that this all came in. It reminds me of one of those old school VHS card board boxes. It’s thin and was damaged almost instantly. Other than that, I genuinely enjoyed this game.

Cherry Picked Games created two apps for this game on Android. One for the player and one for the GM. Both of them work really well and do not feel like an unnecessary extra like some of the other board game companion apps are. These are really worth getting and help keep track of your information. On th player app you can create your character and use battle mode instead of using the physical cards. The GM app also lets you create opponents and keep track with the battle mode. There are multiple campaigns for sale on the website. Lastly, Catalyst has a wiki page and it’s nifty… so check that out too. 🙂

I want to thank Cherry Picked Games for letting take this game for a spin. I hope I did well with this review. In the future I may put up some posts with actual playthroughs of the game, I just didn’t want to overwhelm anyone right away. 🙂 Thank you everyone for reading! Until next time… live by the board.

-livingbytheboard