I’d like to bring your attention to a kickstarter for Apparatus. It’s a game being proposed by Toy Vault and is riding the Steampunk craze. The theme of the game revolves around the disappearance of an inventor of various contraptions and apparatus. As a fan of the genre and associated areas of interest, I am not one to simply push forward any item on the subject due to the variety of approaches to the subject matter.
From the kickstarter blurb:
World-renowned genius (and eccentric) inventor Klaus von Essen, a personal acquaintance to Queen Victoria herself, has completed his latest creation: the “Apparatus.” The world wants to know what it does. His peers want to know how it works. His wife wants to know what it did with him.
In Rob Bartel’s ‘Apparatus’, it’s up to you to travel the world and assemble teams of the finest and most notorious minds available, while racing against rival factions. With the powers of science, your Professors of Unconventional Natural Knowledge will retrieve von Essen’s Research Notes, and compete to construct multiple smaller Contraptions in order to raise the necessary capital to unravel the mystery behind the professor’s greatest experiment. Can you succeed before rival factions beat you to the prize? Can you solve the mystery of the “Apparatus”?
What is particularly enticing about this kickstarter is that is includes a proposal for a limited edition expansion, that you can get for offering $50 for the kickstarter. That’s a pretty nice incentive, as $50 could buy you an entire game in most circles. So this is something I strongly urge you to check out.
Insidious Plans expansion:
This is a mini expansion that will be between ten and twelve cards. These will be secret goals. At the beginning of each game, each player will draw one which will modify his objectives.
A summary description of play:
The gameplay is described as occurring across two distinct phases of action. The first being a bidding phase for various researchers that are organised into various rows. It’s a dutch style bidding in that once you’ve won a successful bid you cannot bid in subsequent bids.
In the second phase, the players use the teams of Researchers to complete the development of various contraptions and claim related prizes. There seems to be certain synergies amongst various teams that can be used to work more advantageously on certain types of contraptions, but can nevertheless default back to brute intelligence (which I assume is the sum numerical value of those cards).
These research teams are subsequently supported by a periphery of notes and other pieces and documentation.
You can check out the rules on their website, and here.