Preview – Into the Black

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Designer: James Campbell
Publisher: I Will Never Grow Up Gaming
Year: 2017
Minimum Pledge: $69 Canadian Dollars (approx. $50 USD)
Players: 1-4
Play Time: 60-120 minutes
Ages: 14+
Rules available online: Yes
BGG: Into the Black: A Game of Space Piracy

Into the Black: A Game of Space Piracy is a semi-cooperative dungeon crawler for 1-4 players set in the world of space piracy. Victory is premised on each player achieving an individual objective, while simultaneously working together with the group to accomplish a team primary mission.

Like the cold void of deep space, Into the Black is not very forgiving. The game is limited to 24 turns. If no player has accomplished her individual goal within the turn limit, the game is over and that player has lost the game. Additionally, if any player’s morale reaches zero, all players flee and the game is over. Also, one player may actually be a traitor with the goal of sabotaging the rest of the crew’s victory.

With random tile laying each game, players can expect a different experience every time they play. This not only makes each game unique, but also allows for some exciting gameplay as tiles are revealed midgame creating a fog-of-war effect. One game mechanic that contributes to the pirate atmosphere is the ability of players each round to attempt to steal initiative from the player set to take the first turn.

Combat is dice-based and fairly simple. Basic die mechanics creates a fun combat experience with little complicated math or multipart ability calculations. There are a few exceptions however, governed by loot carried by players or enemies encountered, such as bridge crews.

The game is estimated to take approximately 60-120 minutes per game. Yet, we found ourselves on the top-end of that scale, with a few games spilling over 2 hours. All-in-all this is a fun game with a creative setting. On the grand scale, it is moderately complex and requires a read through of the rules before sitting down to play. As far as dungeon crawlers go, it is fairly straightforward and any experienced player should have little difficulty picking up this game and getting started. There are a few preview videos available online, including a review of a preliminary version of the game and an interview with James Campbell, the creator. Look out for this game, Into the Black launches on Kickstarter August 31, 2017.

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Frank is an attorney and family man currently based out of Las Vegas. He’s a long time gaming enthusiast with a tabletop interest in most dungeon crawlers and map strategy games. If it has dice and minis, it probably has his attention.
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