The things I do for my Boss. Last night, I got an emergency request to see if I could do a spotlight for a newly announced sequel to a game that I didn’t recognize; oh, and the game is out of the UK, too. Dave is lucky that I love a challenge (and don’t work on weekdays). [EDITORS NOTE: Yes. Yes, I am very lucky to have the staff I do. -dc]
Okay, so here we go. Deep Breath. Assembly is a Kickstarter-funded Solo/ 2 Player Co-op that was successfully launched in the summer of 2018. The Campaign was so successful, that they were able to produce an expansion, Glitches. Once they knew that the game was popular, the creators, Wren Games (aka Janice and Stu) decided to work hard on another Assembly expansion, Resequence & Override, as well as a sequel, Sensor Ghosts. Which they are trying to fund together, starting now. Exhale.
Clear as mud? All right, let’s try again. The original game goes something like this. You are on a space station, when there is a sudden outbreak of a virus. Lucky for you, you didn’t die. Unfortunately, the station’s computer wants to quarantine the station; but you have found a half-built space ship, and a factory that can respond to simple commands. So all you have to do is assemble the modules into a functioning ship, before the computer kills you. No pressure. The Glitches expansion adds another challenge, by adding random glitch cards to your deck of command cards.
This new campaign launches a new expansion for Assembly, Resequence and Override, as well as a completely new game: Sensor Ghosts. Resequence & Override does its best to make it even harder to escape the space station; it even has robots. In Sensor Ghosts, you are flying your newly built ship back to Earth, but your welcome isn’t as warm as you had hoped. You cannot return to Earth until you enter an asteroid field and retrieve a sample of the virus you just barely survived. To make things worse, the computer from Assembly has somehow hacked your navigation sensors, so you don’t know where you are going.
On to the campaign itself. This is a UK campaign with international shipping. The original Assembly campaign had limited “Canada friendly” status, depending on what you pledged. This time, there is no friendly Canadian flag icon; the shipping for USA/Canada is just lumped together. Speaking of shipping, none of the pledges levels include shipping rates.
The pledge prices are fairly reasonable, but the conversion into CAD does make a significant difference. The lowest pledge level Observer is £3 gives you a print and play version of Sensor Ghosts. The Survivor level (£14) is for people who already own Assembly, and want a physical copy of Resequence & Override and any associated stretch goals. The Pilot level, for £24, gives you the Sensor Ghosts game and its associated stretch goals. Next, for £37, is Pilot +Survivor, which gives you Sensor Ghosts and Resequence & Override. If you are like me, starting from scratch, you can pay £39 to get the Escape Catch Up: everything Assembly, the original game, Glitches, Resequence & Override, plus an extra print and play file of the Assembly base game. If you want it all, there is Escape Catch Up + Pilot. For £62, you get physical copies of all the games and expansions, plus print and play files for both base games. For Escape Catch Up pledge and above, you have the option to add £23 to get a high-quality neoprene playmat for either game. Finally, for the grand total of £102, you can go Deluxe, and get all the games, all the expansions, and both playmats.
Before the Sensor Ghosts Kickstarter went live, Dave had sent me a review/preview by Cards or Die. The article gave me a general idea of what to expect, but what really got my attention was the enthusiasm. The reviewer talked about how they were so addicted to a game that was trying to kill them. It didn’t even feel like a tabletop game, because the review talked about the malevolent computer from Assembly as if it was a real A.I. opponent. How could you not get excited about this?