Are you ready? Are. You. READY? Then, for the thousands in attendance, and the millions watching at home. Let’s get ready to BOARDGAAAAAAAAAAAME!
Fired Up is a tactical arena game, where the players are NOT the fighters. Instead, the players are in the audience, screaming and cheering on their favourite fighters, trying to influence them to do entertaining things.
From the front rows of the arena, players will roll Influence Dice, and assign them to fighters in the hopes of those fighters will perform the actions on the Highlight Cards in each players hand. Players also have the opportunity to wager on certain randomly selected outcomes, for even more victory points. Once the influence dice are assigned and bets have been made, the fighters do battle. The game ends after four rounds or when only one fighter remains.
The campaign claims the game has a 60 minute playing time, and I have to trust that. The description I gave above simplifies the game immensely but having not played it that still seem long. At the same time, the difference between a two-player game and a five-player game usually creates a big variance in the time, so it’s probably more realistic than I’m thinking right now.
The art shown in the campaign is gorgeous and I love the colour pallet they’ve chosen to work around. The arena board itself somehow manages to be both brightly coloured as well as dark and gritty, all at the same time. The fighters are unique, but also incredibly evocative and familiar. The fighters in the Agility Expansion just scream for a very different paint job. (I see Yabai in yellow w/black and Keane in orange w/blue. Go look at them and tell me I’m not wrong.)
There are two pledge levels for each of the two Kickstarter versions of the game. £49 (GBP) get the equivalent to the retail version of the game with six fighters, and the Agility Expansion with another two. For £74 you can add another four fighters with the Monster Expansion, and a bunch of other upgraded goodies. Now, I said there are two levels for each of those right? Well, for £109 and £159 respectively, you’ll receive all your models beautifully painted by Ravenwolf Modeling Studio. The shipping prices are surprisingly reasonable. Proving yet again that shipping from the US to Canada is often worse than shipping from overseas.
To summarise, the concept puts a great spin on the arena game, the art and minis look terrific, and the gameplay looks solid. There’s only a few days left to back this one, so go take a look