Hall Games

aquasphere

Seeing as Stefan Feld (The Castles of Burgundy, Trajan, Bora Bora) is one of the biggest names in Eurogame design, it seems odd that one of his games requires a Kickstarter. The game’s publishers Hall Games and Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) have teamed up to create a Kickstarter campaign for Feld’s newest game about conducting underwater research, AquaSphere. Michael Mindes, the founder of TMG explained the decision to fund the game on Kickstarter:

“We have good expectations about how many we should print to make sure that we do not lose money. The problem is that with a game like Aquasphere from Stefan Feld we could drastically under print.

Without Kickstarter, TMG would print 2,000 copies. We have seen extremely popular euro games sell out that many copies as soon as they get in the warehouse.

Then if a game sells out as soon as it arrives, it is another 4 months to reorder and we still do not know how much to re-order! We could under print again and keep leaving gamers without an opportunity to get the game.”

Stefan Feld isn’t the only big name to work on AquaShere, the Kickstarter page boasts about the rest of the game’s all-star team. Game developer Ralph Bruhn has recently been recognized for his work on Rüdiger Dornger’s Kennerspiel winning game Istanbul, and the art is done by Dennis Lohausen who worked on the Spiel des Jahres winner Camel Up.

aquasphere board

The gameplay of AquaSphere involves programing robots, building a bigger lab, capturing octomeeples, using research cards, and collecting rare crystals. For more information about how the game plays check out the official rules.

The funding period ends Thursday July 31, and if you decide to buy the game, you have the option to also buy Rüdiger Dorn’s Il Vecchio and Stephan Feld’s Rialto. AquaSphere is expected to ship in December 2014.

 

Aquasphere board

A new Stefan Feld (Rialto, Trajan, Amerigo, & Bruges to name a few…) worker placement game is in the works called Aquasphere due out later this year, published by Pegasus Spiele and Hall Games.  At this time, there is not too much to report on the game other than the small segment below and a photo from their Facebook page.

 

News from the depths! The AquaSphere is a research facility stationed deep below the ocean’s surface, and your skilled team — consisting of an engineer, a scientist, reprogrammable bots and exploratory submarines — is trying to gather as much data as possible.

The game board in AquaSphere has two main areas: A research station comprised of six sectors in which your scientist conducts experiments and a headquarters where your engineer supervises preparation of the bots. During each of the four game rounds, you take several turns, and on each turn you either:

  • Use your engineer in the headquarters to program a bot; each round you can choose from three of the seven actions.
  • Have your scientist bring a bot to a sector to perform an action.

Through actions such as improving your lab, sending out submarines, collecting crystals, and examining octopuses, you expand the abilities of your team or gather knowledge points, which are necessary to win. Additional challenges result from the limited size of your lab, which is your personal stock; you can increase the size of your lab, which makes life easier, but this costs valuable time.

AquaSphere is a challenging game of strategy and tactics with different paths to victory that requires planning in advance as well as skillful use of short-term opportunities.