Infernal Contraption

I had a chance to play the new Privateer Press game, Infernal Contraption, yesterday. It’s a standalone card game for 2-4 players, where you build machines, and then use them to attack other players.

It’s quite fast to play, and quick to learn, with only a couple of pages of well illustrated rules. It has some interesting mechanics, where each player has an even share of the deck to begin, that makes up their parts deck. Players draw a hand from this deck, and use the cards to create their machines. When a player is attacked by a machine, then damage is done to the player by forcing them to discard from their parts deck. When a player has no parts left, they are out.

There are various rules regarding which cards can connect to each other, and all cards must be connected to a power source to function. These restrictions provide much of the tactical play in the creation of a machine.

Each turn you can play one card to build up your machine, you can then discard a card to play another, allowing you to build a machine quickly. This is a potentially dangerous move, as you draw up to 7 cards at the end of a turn, so playing quickly can exhaust your parts pile, and put you out of the game.

When you have finished playing cards, you pick one opponent and attack them with your machine. Each card in your machine has an effect on your opponents, as well as forcing opponents to discard from their parts deck,  there are cards that let you add to your parts deck, make opponents discard from their hand, and other special effects.

I found the game quite fun to play, but I don’t know if it has enough depth to hold my interest for long. In the game I played it became obvious towards the end that the turn we were playing was the final turn, and that one player had the opportunity to decide who won, and was not in a position to win themselves. I think that this could be a common occurrence in games of Infernal Contraption.


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