Now on Kickstarter and Spieleschmiede: Samara by Cwali

June 1, 2015 - 6:38pm

Samara by Cwali is worker placement game with a very cool time track mechanism. It’s designed by Corné van Moorsel and filled with fun illustrations by Philip Kustov. In Samara you will place your workers to build buildings, improve skills, build strength to become better workers, and getting new workers.
Travel back through history to a small settlement, named Samara (it's a Russian megacity nowadays), where you lead your builders. At the start they can only build a sandcastle, cave or huts. For more complex buildings, they must invest time in skills, strength or getting new workers. Special projects, such as the Bridge, Barracks or School, give you advantages or hurt all your rivals. In the end you want to have the most prestigious buildings. Will you be the best foreman of SAMARA?
The board is in three pieces, the main board where buildings, tools, training, etc. are placed and two separate time track pieces with 6 months each on them. The time tracks will be placed at the bottom of the main board and will slide along during the game representing time passing. Each turn players will place their workers on the months currently in the same column of the tile (representing buildings, training, etc) they want to take. This way each action will take a certain period of time. Additionally each row of tiles cost a certain number of workers so each tile has a cost in workers and time. At the end of the round the time track boards slide down and any workers that are on slots that don’t match up to the board become available for placement again. This is a novel approach to represent time passing in a game and it looks like it will give players the feeling that time is passing.

Samara plays 2 -5 in about 40 minutes and is currently running on Kickstarter and Spieleschmiede (a German crowdfunding site) simultaneously. Funds from both sites will apply to stretch goals. This game has some unique mechanisms with the time track and that alone has me intrigued. Add in the artwork, the fact that it is easy to learn/teach, making it family friendly, but looks like it would be hard to master and my finger is hovering over the back button. If the game sounds like it would be one you are interested in you should head over to Kickstarter here or Spieleschmiede here and check it out.