Games

Gen7: A crossroads game – Board Game Review

It’s the last day of the month, which means 1 thing… I bring you another awesome game review, as part of the Asmodee Blogger Board Game Club! This month we have played and reviewed Gen7- A Crossroads Game.  Last month we reviewed House Of Danger, A Choose Your Own Adventure game. Be sure to check out my review, especially if you’re a fan of the old Choose Your Own Adventure books.

PLEASE NOTE: I must keep this game review rather vague, as I do not want to spoil any of the story lines within the game. It is also such a large game, that an in-depth review of each aspect of Gen7 would take years to write!

Gen7 – Overview

In Gen7 players take on the roles of officers aboard a space ship. Your ship is 142 years into a 210 year mission. Gen7 is a narrative game, and the game is not ultimately won or lost until the story’s conclusion.

The back of the box of Gen 7 reads-

Home is behind you. Home is ahead.

An international colony ship has left an exhausted Earth, headed for a distant planet in the Epsilon Eridani system. 13 generations will be born on this vessel before it reaches it’s destination. Each generation is a steward for the hopes and ideals of the human species. For 6 generations everything has gone as planned.

Lucky Number 7

Now, just as a new command team takes control of the ship, a terrible mystery emerges that will threaten the entire mission. The commanders of Gen7 are about to discover that everything is not as it seems, and the fate of the human species will hang on the choices they make.”

Standing At The Crossroads

Gen7 is a long awaited science fiction game from the creators of the popular game Dead Of Winter (another crossroads game). You are playing as a member of the 7th generation upon the ship heading to a distant planet, as Earth has been ruined. You will make choices, complete tasks and solve a huge mystery with your team of players. This narrative game will constantly challenge you through a series of tasks and storylines, in hope that you will succeed at your mission. Depending on the choices that you make, they will decide how your story will end. There are several different ways this game could end, much like a Choose Your Own Adventure game.

Within the game, players must work independently to earn the most Officer Stars (which are used to gain officer perks), but you must also work together to prevent the ship’s systems from failing.

As an officer aboard the ship, you will have certain jobs to do, as part of your job. Most of your year is spent in ‘hibernation’ experiencing virtual reality, until you are needed and re-awoken for you to go to work.

Each game of Gen7 is called an Episode. The game is played over 7 episodes, each episode taking around 60-90 minutes. Do not expect to open this board game and complete the whole game in one session, it is designed to be played over a few nights.

As well as being a narrative game, Gen7 is also a campaign game. New game elements will become introduced over the 7 episodes, and many of the elements will only end up being used within game play depending on players choices made throughout the game. Therefore some elements may never be introduced.

This game requires patience and determination. At the time of writing this review, we are yet to complete the whole storyline, and have only a few hour’s play experience.

Box Contents

Gen7 has to be one of the largest games that we own. It’s a hefty size game, that has a slightly larger than average sized box and it weighs a ton! The game contains lots of pieces; including cards, game sheets, dice, books and boards.

The first thing I noticed when opening the box was a thick spiralbound storybook. This book contains all of your ‘Shifts’ and the backbone of the story and challenges for each episode. As you work your way through each episode, you will have to make choices within the main storyline.

I was intrigued to find out what was hiding within 9 sealed envelopes! How exciting!

The artwork for the game is a visual delight. The artist has captured key moments throughout the game in a collection of beautiful pieces of artwork. The artwork really makes you want to find out what is going to happen throughout the game, and really gets the excitement building. Don’t expect every card to contain glorious artwork, as it is found sparingly throughout the game and the storybook. But I’m OK with that. It is a stunning game, even if there isn’t something pretty to look at on every game-piece or card.

Impressions from gameplay

If you a an easy-going board gamer (I’m suggesting that maybe you only tend to play well-known board games such as Monopoly, Carcassonne or Risk) then you may find Gen7 very intimidating. We are very experienced board gamer’s and we own (and play) over 100 board games. Yet we still found Gen7 daunting. Set-up took us over an hour, which included a brief readthrough of the rulebook. It seemed like heavy stuff. My husband joked that even with his imaginary PhD in Game Mechanics, this was still “heavy shit”.

It took a while for us to get to grips with the game – in part because the rule book isn’t as well written as other games. But once we had a rough idea of what was actually going on, it all seemed to slot into place relatively easily. Each player is assigned barracks to start the gameplay. This is effectively a character card, which lets you keep track of your resources, key information and your dice, which represent your team (crewmembers) and are drafted to different zones to complete different actions.

Episode 1 is very straight forward, just survive. Working around the table of players, we assigned our dice where was needed. A few critical issues aboard the ship immediately needed fixing. If these problems were not fixed right away, then they will lead to bigger problems later, so getting the round off to a good start is important.

The game is a lot to digest and absorb, which is why I recommend setting aside a few hours just to get used to the set-up of Gen7 and the rulebook. But once play has commenced and all players understand what is going on it’s great fun.

I’ll be honest, I was initially put off by the complexity of the game, but that was before I actually understood what was going on or how to play. It’s a wonderful campaign game, that I am sure will keep us entertained for a few weekends to come!

Over a few sessions of game play, tensions will start to run high as the story line and personal character development increases. You will find yourself being sucked into the drama of Gen7, and you’ll be praying for a great outcome. It put each of us within the space-opera (there are a couple of soap-opera-esque storylines!) and gripping each of us more and more with each passing moment, task and plot twist!

One final note; this game requires a very large game-space. We initially set the game up on our large coffee table within our large lounge, but we quickly discovered the the coffee table needed to be pushed to the side of the room, and we needed to relocate the whole game to the floor…. the whole lounge floor became a giant gamespace!

I quite often play games that are ideal for packing into suitcases to take on holiday. This is not one of those games.

Where To Buy

Gen7 is a Plaid Hat Games board game, and is available to buy from many specialist board game shops and online retailers. The game is distributed by Asmodee UK, and has an RRP of £89.99.

This is one of the most expensive games that I have personally come across, but I believe it is worth every penny. This game will bring hours (if not days) of fun, and is a hefty game. Due to the huge amount of components, the work that has gone into this game, the basis of it being a massive game and being playable many times over (before you have exhausted all options within the game) this is one game that is worth the high price tag. I can guarentee that once Gen7 finds it’s way onto your shelf, you won’t want to part with it.

 

*A copy of Gen7 was sent to me in exchange for this post and for our participation of the Asmodee Blogger Board Game Club

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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