It’s time to pick up your guitar, learn your way around the strings and become the most popular player of all time. Re-Chord is a set collection and area control game that uses real guitar picks and chords to from string beginners to full-fledged masters of their genre. Designed by Marshall Britt and Andrew Toth of Yanaguana Games, Re-Chord hits Kickstarter Wednesday, September 27th.
The goal of Re-Chord is to master your secret genre of music while also practicing and mastering different guitar chords. The game is played on 4 frets of a guitar neck and scoring takes place after each fret is filled. Once the 4th fret is filled the game ends and totals are calculated to determine who’s the best guitar player.
Setup begins by shuffling the deck of Chord cards and placing them down on the 5th fret of the guitar, the farthest from the headstock. All the picks are tossed into a bag, mixed up, and an amount determined by the number of players is placed on the board in a public pile. Players then draw 3 cards each from the Chord deck and are also given a genre card at random, each a different color. This is the color pick a player is trying to get a majority of on each fret to score major popularity points and must be kept secret from the other players.
A player’s turn consists of 1 of 3 actions:
- Take a pick from the bag, secretly looking at its color, and place it face down on an empty space. Optionally, an adjacent pick on the same fret may be removed from the board and placed back in the bag.
- Take a pick from the public pile, placing it on an empty space and may activate its Pick Power if they wish.
- Draw two Chord cards keeping at least one. The max amount of Chord Cards a player can hold is 3.
Each color pick has its own unique power that allows players to manipulate the game in varying ways. The PIck Powers are as follows:
- White: Take another pick and optionally activate its Pick Power
- Blue: Move any other pick to an empty space or swap any two other picks
- Grey: Flip a pick on the board face down. The flipped pick may be moved to an empty space on the board
- Purple: Flip a facedown pick face up. The Pick Power of the pick may be used
- Red: Remove any other pick from the board and place it back into the bag
- Wylde (rainbow): Wylde picks count as any color when scoring chords and may also replace any pick on the board
When all spaces on a fret are filled a scoring round takes place where the total amount of points for each color on each fret is calculated and placed on the proper fret on the score sheet. The number of the same color picks on the fret determine the number of points added. 1 pick is 1 point, 2 is worth 4, 3 is worth 11, 4 for 17 and 5 for 25. At this point, players’ colors are still kept secret.
Having a majority of your color isn’t the only way to score in Re-Chord. Chord Cards, each containing a pick pattern on them, can be scored at any point in the game when their pattern is met. An additional bonus of being able to draw another Chord Chord as a free action may be taken if a Chord Card is completed on your own turn. Bonus Re-Chord points are scored if the same type of chord is completed again (ex: A player scores an E chord then later in the game scores another.)
After the 4th fret is scored players reveal their colors and tally their totals.
For the full rules, click here.
Re-Chord, still being in prototype form, can’t really be judged on the quality of its components. The graphic design, however, has been completed, as has any artwork for the game. The neoprene mat used in the prototypes is also very similar to how the final mat will look and feel. Picks will be plastic, but for now, painted guitar picks are being used for game demos. So far everything is looking great. The board is both visually pleasing and functional. Chord Cards are easy to read and understand. The Genre Cards each contain different guitar art that relates to their genre.
Re-Chord is an excellent game with balanced and interesting gameplay choices on every player’s turn. The board is open enough to allow maneuvering but quickly begins to fill up forcing players to wisely use Pick Powers to try to complete their chords while still trying to get a majority of their color on each fret without other players catching on too quickly and foiling their plans. It’s a game of give-and-take, plans and backup plans.
Re-Chord plays great up and down its player count with the ability to scale with the different numbers of players while keeping the gameplay consistent and keeping the play time solidly in the 30-45 minute range. It’s a must-back game with a “just right” minimum-pledge of $39 to secure yourself a copy of the game when it funds. Add in another $9 to get a copy of Yanaguana’s excellent micro-game, Stir-Fry Eighteen.
Want to give the game a whirl? You can play on Tabletop Simulator to get a feel of how it plays before you back.
Re-Chord was played several times at various game conventions for the purpose of this preview
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.