Android

Android is a new game from Fantasy Flight Games, makers of Twilight Imperium.

It’s a science fiction detective game, players take the roles of various investigative characters, and attempt to solve a murder by moving around the Earth and Moon, following up leads and placing evidence on the various suspects.

A game lasts for twelve turns (days) and each day a detective has a certain number of points (time) to spend on various actions. At the end of the game, the player who has accrued the most victory points wins.

You gain victory points by solving the murder (placing enough evidence to convict the suspect you believe is guilty), taking actions at various points of the board, uncovering a deeper conspiracy, or completing your own personal plots.

It’s a complex game, each player has their own character, with unique special rules. Rules change as the game progresses, so different actions are more or less valuable at different times. It is difficult to set up and start playing, but once the game begins and a few turns have been played it gets a lot easier. The game suggests somewhere between 2-4 hours to play, and our first game took nearly twice that.

The art work is good, and the rules are well laid out, with lots of examples. The playing pieces are all sturdy and well made, except for the strategy sheets (that give you hints on how to play your character), these are very flimsy.

As there are many ways to score points, and the ways to score change over the game, it can be hard to be sure who is winning at any given point. This is good as it means there is rarely a clear leader to pick up the hate from the other players.

Each detective has a deck of light cards, and a deck of dark. Light cards are played on you by you, to gain an advantage. Dark cards are played on you by other players, and hinder you. Each card costs a certyain number of points to play, but playing a dark card reduces the number of dark points you can use, until you play a light card, and vice-versa. This encourages you to play both light and dark cards, and playing dark cards on other players can drive a lot of interaction as the game progresses.

In all, a good game if you have a day to devote to it, or a long evening if all players know the rules, and don’t suffer too badly from analysis paralysis.

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