Everything started an evening where me and my friends didn’t know to what to play. I just finished Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward some weeks earlier which literally overthrown what I knew in terms of experience through a video game and I had the desire to transmit the feels this game gave to me. I picked a simple card game, overwritten number on the cards and started to create simple rules to test prisoner’s dilemma potential in terms of fun: My friends spent two hours straight playing this little game without any immersion, no logical reason to ally or betray a partner and yet it worked well. It was decided, I would start to push it further.
3 years and hundreds of tests later my game reached its full potential, each session last 2 hours in average and players don’t see the time fly…
Ally or betray, what is your will?
The meteorite “Eldra” hit your world a short time ago and disintegrated entering the atmosphere, the result ? Thousands of fluorescent ores called “Eldralys”, have been scattered throughout the region. It is a huge source of energy and it is being the subject of research, exchanges, and collections. All its properties are not yet known. Myths and legends says the heart of the meteorite should contain a unique and mystical power. Your journey begins just after the fall. As a leader aspiring to govern the country, you will be ready for anything to find the heart before your competitors. Enter alliances, mutual aid, betrayal and blows, you will have to deal with the different actors in the city to be the most influential and find the heart before others.
Welcome to Aös, Capital of vices!
Aös, Capital of Cybercrime is a strategy game plunging players into a universe both dark and unconventional mixing cyberpunk and magic. From 4 to 10 players.
The game is composed of 2 phases:
The alliance phase, in which players ally or betray each other.
The event phase, in which players concerned as to deal with dilemmas.
The alliance phase:
Let’s say we have 8 players around the table.
The players are going to be paired randomly at the start of each round:
The players are going to choose to cooperate or to betray their alliance to gain Influence in the city. Once one or more players reach a certain level of influence, the event phase is triggered. They will play events turn by turn until a maximum of one event per player. Events are lore elements and most of the time lead to dilemma that impact other players around the table.
Once the event phase is over, a turn restart.
A turn is composed of the alliance phase and the event phase.
A round is composed of multiple turns, ending with one or more players reaching a certain level of influence simultaneously.
To win the game, a player needs to win 3 rounds.
At the start of a round, everything is reset. Winning a round doesn’t change anything in term of gameplay but the fact that a player is near to win his 3rd round change actually everything because the perception of the other players has changed towards him.
A player can be kick out of a round if his influence drops too low which could lead to this kind of scenario:
The unpaired player has other choices available during the alliance phase, everything else stays the same. Players re-enter in the game at the start of each round. There can be only one unpaired player at time, if there’s more that one, they make a new pair.
In rare cases, there’s only one player remaining at the end of the round, he wins it by default.
Obviously everything is a bit more complex than presented here but I skipped the details that wasn’t necessary to understand the global the operation of the game.
The main qualities of this game, in my humble opinion are its lore which is both dark and delirious and its strong mechanics. They are not so original because based on the prisoner’s dilemma, but its synchronicity has never been used in a board game yet.It has a strong aspect of role playing game but with a frame to play in it which is something not so usual, allowing player uninitiated to role playing game to start somewhere before furthering their experience with traditional role play game.
You can find below best-of I recently recorded: