VR Distribution - Tabletop time at PAX AUS

VR Distribution - Tabletop time at PAX AUS


Although our focus at Hooked Gamers is PC gaming, there are members of the team that do dabble in other gaming pastimes. PAX AUS features a whole area dedicated to tabletop gaming, and so we thought we’d do some dabbling ourselves to see what all the fuss was about.
With thanks to VR Distribution, we had the chance to check out a couple of upcoming tabletop games, one a Trading Card Game and one that is a co-operative game that has players solving puzzles.


Prior to meeting with developer Matthew Dunstan, Perspectives sounded Initially like it was a take on the classic boardgame Cluedo (or Clue, depending on where you're from), the game that has players moving through a mansion and solving who killed the victim before anyone else. But after sitting down with Matthew the two games are quite different, although there are some similarities.
VR Distribution - Tabletop time at PAX AUS

Unlike Cluedo, Perspectives is a game that has teams of players solving a case rather than trying to solve it before anyone else. And in Perspectives, the solution is not always who murdered the subject. The case (broken up into Acts) could be determining who murdered a government official or where a piece of evidence is hidden. Although it is a detective style game, it is more about communication.

The game includes three case files, each with four acts. For each act, there are twelve clues that are evenly distributed amongst the 2-6 players. In our playthrough, we had 3 players, and so each of us had four clues. Players will then work together to solve the case at hand using the key information that they possess. However, each player must not show his or her cards to the other players.

Instead, communication is the key, as players will need to discuss various aspects of their cards in order to deduce the clues contained within. In our first example, one of the clues contained fingerprints from various rooms, whilst someone else had employee records with each person’s fingerprints on file. Discussing the fingerprint patterns allowed us to work out which one matched the fingerprints at the scene of the crime.
VR Distribution - Tabletop time at PAX AUS

Each act itself has several prompts (sort of like secondary goals) that will help players to provide a solution to the act. Working through these prompt questions helps to solve the main query posed by the case file. In a way, Perspectives plays out somewhat like an escape room, as players need to work together in order to flesh out the solution.

We definitely enjoyed our time with Perspectives and are looking forward to playing the game once it hits shelves shortly.

Star Wars Unlimited TCG

What's better than a standard trading card game? A trading card game that is officially licensed by one of the biggest movie phenomena of all time – Star Wars.

Star Wars Unlimited is an intergalactic take on the standard trading card game and has similarities to games such as Magic: The Gathering – with the main selling point being that it features Star Wars characters and locations.

In the game, players each have a base and a leader. In the case of the demo version we played, the two opposing leaders were Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Each of these leaders are double sided cards. One side has them in a passive mode, with special action abilities, whilst the second side functions once their Epic Action is used and they are deployed to the battlefield. The aim of Star Wars Unlimited is to destroy your opponent's base (30 points)

VR Distribution - Tabletop time at PAX AUS

At the start of the game, players draw six cards, and then players will place two of those cards in their resource area at the start of the game (and in each regroup phase will have the option to add one additional resource). The resources are similar to lands or mana in Magic: The Gathering, and any card can be used as a resource. However, once they are used as resources, they cannot be played as Unit cards on the battlefield.

After placing their cards into the resource area, players then take turns until they have no further actions to complete. Each turn has players completing a single action and this could include playing a card, attacking a unit, or activating an ability. As with Magic: The Gathering, some of these actions will require resources to play, such as playing a card.

The units have a resource cost displayed in the top left corner of the card. And they each have two stats – their attacking power and their hit-points (or defensive strength). They also have a small notation depicting which of the two battlefields that they can occupy – Ground or Space. These two distinct areas give an added strategy to Star Wars Unlimited, as players will often be fighting within the two areas. Of course, players cannot battle across different areas.

Cards are three different types – Units (similar to creatures in Magic: The Gathering, Events (similar to Instants in Magic: The Gathering) and Upgrades (similar to artifacts in Magic: The Gathering, as these attach to a unit to increase the stats of the attached unit). As mentioned earlier, each player has access to a leader Unit as well, and this leader card has two playable options…either an action, or (once the pre-requisite has been performed) deployment onto the battlefield via the Epic Action. This Epic Action can only be used once.

One major difference from Magic: The Gathering is the combat system. When attacking defenders lose defense each time they are attacked, and this isn’t replenished each turn. Also, as mentioned players can only attack in their combat zone (Ground or Space), and if there are no defenders in that zone, the Base takes the damage. As mentioned, this two-zone combat area adds another dimension to the strategy.

Star Wars Unlimited does have some cool features and mechanics, and I can’t wait to test out the game further as it nears release in 2024.

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