Resonym, a women-led publishing group, has just launched a new Kickstarter for their new game, VISITOR in Blackwood Grove. Set in 1983 an alien VISITOR and kid must outsmart Agents in an asymmetrical game of rule guessing.
When the VISITOR came crashing down on earth it put up a force field. Certain items can pass through, while others can’t. It’s up to the kid to figure out the secret and help the VISITOR escape before the agents do and take the VISITOR to a lab and dissect it.
It’s the VISITOR and kid against up to 3 agents in a race to see who can crack the barrier first. If the kid can figure out the pass rule first, the kid and VISITOR win. The agents are out for themselves, each looking to score their own victory.
The game is quick, taking no more than 10 minutes to play. Each role, VISITOR, kid, and agent, has their own set of rules to play. The VISITOR sets the pass rule and can classify cards as able to pass through the barrier or not. Trust between the VISITOR and kid, explained in a bit, determines whether or not the VISITOR can classify a card for all player, or secretly to the kid.
The kid can predict up to 3 cards, one at a time, which cards will pass through the barrier. If they predict wrong, their turn is over. Predict all 3 cards correctly and trust between the kid and VISITOR goes up. The kid can also prove the pass rule if trust is 2 or above. Prove the rule and win. If the kid fails to prove the rule their turn ends.
Agents can test a single card against the barrier and have the VISITOR let them know if the card passes or not. Agents can also try and prove the rule to try and win the game.
One of the best mechanics of the game is trying to prove the rule. The VISITOR doesn’t speak our language. When trying to prove the rule the kid or agent draws 4 cards and lays them out in front of the barrier. The VISITOR then puts up a shield and places tokens down that indicate how the cards are classified. The guessing player makes their guess and the VISITOR reveals their tokens. If both sets match then the guessing player wins. Guess wrong and play continues. If an agent guesses wrong then the trust track is increased by 2.
VISITOR in Blackwood Grove is an excellent game that manages to combine a depth of play with elements that really drive home the 1980’s kid/alien against The Man theme. The asymmetrical play keeps things fresh as the kid and VISITOR do their best to beat the methodical agents. The game’s short play time also makes it easy to setup and play multiple times trying out different roles. Each role plays very differently and suits different styles of play.
Resonym has a great track record with their games, and VISITOR doesn’t disappoint. You can also snag the game with aa $17 pledge which is a fantastic deal.
A prototype version of VISITOR in Blackwood Grove was provided free for review by Resonym