Pitchstorm (Awards Season)

When the Rat Hole launched we began the monthly tradition of looking at different expansions for Skybound Games’ runaway hit party game, Superfight. But since Skybound Games has a ton of more great party games (and games in general) we bring you Skybound Saturday. This month we look at the NC-17 expansion deck for Pitchstorm, and as the name suggests the content may not be suitable for all audiences.
 If you’ve never played Pitchstorm before, you may want to start with our review of the Core Game.

It’s the start of Awards Season… sort of. Many large events are cancelling through September. Some have moved online in some form or another, with others simply postponing until next year. As I write this, we don’t know what the big film and music awards are going to look like. Many gaming awards like the ENnies are in limbo, waiting to see what their respective host-events decide to do. Some, like the prestigious Mark Time Awards, will be presented via podcast. Others, like the Design and Game Awards here in Alberta, are going ahead with live-streamed awards ceremonies. I know I’ll be all dressed up fancy to watch that presentation on April 30, and as many others as I can, sharing the pictures wherever I can. Take advantage of this apocalypse and join me in taking in these awards shows that you otherwise might not be able to attend. Who knows, you may find something new and exciting!

What does any of this have to do with games? Well, today we are looking into Pitchstorm’s Awards Season expansion. The previous expansions we’ve looked at (Superhero, NC-17, and Creature Feature) have all been what I like to refer to as “semi-standalone” in that they can be played without the core game, but only in a very limited way. Awards Season brings in a whole new way to earn points in your game but is not playable on its own.

The new rules are simple. At the start of the game, three Award cards are drawn and put on the table for everyone to see. After each player has had a chance to be the Executive, everyone votes for the winner of each award from the pitches that were produced (the winner of each round). If a player wasn’t able to win a round, they can choose one of their unselected pitches to “crowdfund” and produce themselves. Crowdfunded projects are eligible for Awards, but do not otherwise score points. (I think we’ve all seen some unknown or commercially unsuccessful film come from nowhere to win a major award.) A player who wins an Award gets an extra point, but winning multiple awards increases the bonus exponentially. Meaning: two awards would be 2 points each, and all three awards would earn 3 points each. On the one hand, if someone can rake in 9 points for all three Awards they are sure to win even with a crowdfunded pitch. On the other hand, if they can convince their opponents that they deserve all three they probably deserve to win.

Some of the Awards are fairly typical, with the likes of BEST ORIGINAL SCORE and TEEN CHOICE AWARDS. Others are …less… typical, like BEST USE OF CHEESE IN A FILM and CAT’S CHOICE AWARDS. Still more should be real things. I want to see BEST USE OF MORGAN FREEMAN VOICE OVER at the Oscars and MOST LIKELY TO HAVE A SING-ALONG CULT FOLLOWING trumps “best picture” for me any day.

Obviously, the Awards on the table will probably influence the player’s pitches. There could be some stiff competition if MOST PATRIOTIC came up with MOST NAZIS PUNCHED IN A FILM. But toss THE KIM JONG-UN CHOICE AWARD into the mix and things get weird. There are 100 cards in the deck, and only three used at a time, so there is a TON of replayability with this expansion. Because it’s separate from the main cards, you can add this for any game regardless of what other expansions might be used. I’m somewhat curious to see if Skybound starts to include a few new Awards in future expansions, the way they do with Locations and Scenarios in Superfight. I’m also not sure I’d want to see that versus a second Awards Season expansion down the road. Like I said earlier, there’s already plenty of opportunities with this deck alone.

You can find more about Pitchstorm online at pitchstorm.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/Pitchstorm.

You can find Skybound Games online at www.skybound.com/games or on Facebook at facebook.com/SkyboundGames.