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The Faceless
$62.75

The Faceless… plus the 3D obstacles pack!!! And of course, all the Kickstarter stretch goal goodness is included too! 

Side note #1 – the actual box is sleeved in the Kickstarter exclusive black and white art… I included a pic in the product gallery.

Side note #2 – If you see this game for sale with the “Miniatures” pack included, please note that these minis are simply a second copy of the exact miniatures that are included with the base Kickstarter game 😇

A picture is worth 1,000 words

Hi everyone!  OK… I’m going to change things up a bit and start with an image from the actual Kickstarter campaign. To be completely honest, when I first saw the campaign, I thought, “A co-op game where magnetic interactions with a compass drives exploration?  I am ALL IN!”

Then I saw the graphic below and I hit “pledge” immediately.

More below 😅

SUCH a sweet concept! 🧁🎉

The idea of a group of kids facing exploring some sort of dark world/environment in order to save other children from some sort of evil presence has worked really  for Stephen King, The Goonies, Stranger Things… and the list goes on 😉

So, the theme of a group of kids going into the Duskworld wielding only a magical compass to save their lost friend just works for me.

In the game players take on the role of a group of three children (The Faceless) trying to save their lost friend, Ethan, from the evil Billygoat who inhabits the Duskworld. They explore the Duskworld revealing Ethan’s memories in an effort to deduce his whereabouts and save him. Reveal all eight memories and win the game!  But, beware… as with any good co-op, opportunities to lose are all around you. 😱

Ohhhhh yes… I am IN!

On top of the cool theme, the idea that gameplay is driven by your interpretation of magnet ßàcompass interactions appeals to a whole different facet of my mind. I’m a geek for sure… and the “science-y” aspect to this game definitely gets me fired up! I had that same feeling I got the first time I played Chronicles of Crime. Namely, “Ohhhhh… this is going to be FUN!” 🎁

Basic Game Flow

After setting up the game, players discuss their strategy and then take a series of turns; going around the table in clockwise order.

On a players turn, they take three actions: Walk, Rest, and Whisper. At the end of their turn an Event card is revealed (which triggers some sort of dangerous effect, of course) and then the next player takes their three actions. Got it.

Walk

Here you play a card from your hand and resolve its effects.

Many cards allow you to manipulate one of the magnetic figures; and doing so alters the orientation of the compass’s red needle. These manipulations are basically a combination of movement and rotation of the character.

There are a variety of different cards that delineate exactly what options are available to you… and obstacles on the board help make the decisions even trickier.

Yellow, green, and blue cards allow you to move a specific member of your team. Red cards require you to move the Billygoat character.

I should note that during this portion of the “move” action, the basic strategy involves getting the compass to point in the direction you believe the team should go. So, as you choose your child/Billygoat movement and rotation, you’ll be watching the compass in hopes that it ends up pointing in the direction you’d like to explore. I LOVE this!

According to the rules, “You can make all the trials and attempts you want” when moving the individual character based on your card play.

Once you’ve settled on the movement and rotation of the character indicated on your card, you now move “Team Faceless” a certain number of spaces in the direction of the red needle. The number of spaces is dictated on the card you play.

Darn that red compass needle! 🧭

When moving the entire team (following your care-free movement of the individual card-driven character), the rules change a bit. Instead of moving about in hopes of a certain compass direction, you are now beholden to its magnetic musings 🗜😅

As you move your team, you will lift a figure off of the board and set it down one space from its original location; heading in the direction indicated by the compass needle. When you do this, the compass needle will likely change direction.

Now when you go to move the next team member (or move that same teammate another space or two), you must follow the NEW compass heading! Ach!  It’s going to be hard to keep this team together and focused! 😂… 😳

So let’s say that you have finished moving and rotating the Billygoat character in an effort to get that darn compass needle pointing in the direction you wish to explore. It is now time to move the entire team in that direction, right?  (For this example let’s say that your card indicates the team will move 3 spaces)

You dutifully move the first team character one space in the direction of the red needle… but low and behold! The direction of the red needle changes because of this move. As a result, your next one-space move of that character follows this new heading!

Each time this happens, the next move for that character is now in the new compass needle direction! And so on and so on. So while you intended to move the team directly south, you may end up meandering all over the dang place! I am LOVING this!! 🥰

After you have successfully moved the team in the myriad red-needle directions (aka bumbled about haplessly), you execute the “rest” action.

But first… let’s talk about purple cards.

If you play a purple card, you move the entire team to any adjacent space and IGNORE the compass needle! You simply move the team the exact number of spaces indicated on the card; and you can choose any direction after each step. You wanted more control… the purple card gives you that ;-0

Rest

Draw back up to a hand of three cards. I won’t get into how the set-up of these decks works or the strategy involved in choosing which cards to take, but suffice it to say, there is a good bit of strategy to be had in choosing which cards will benefit your team in their quest!

Whisper

During this action you can either swap one card in any player’s hand with another card from a different player OR choose a card from your hand (or another player’s) and give it to another player. Yes, that ”other player” can be you 😉

Hand size is always limited to 3 total cards, so unless an event disrupted someone’s hand, you may end up doing a good bit of swapping 🙂  That is, you can’t give a card to someone who already has 3 cards… but you can swap one for one to stay at 3 total…

Ah, the Memories…

Ultimately the goal of this game is to collect all of the memory tokens present on the board. As you navigate toward the different memory tokens (through careful magnet driven game play), you will collect the tokens as you pass them by. Once collected, each memory token has a special power that can be used once during the game. Generally these replicate card powers or affect the threats display in some way.

Another use for memory tokens is to avoid being trapped in one of the Billygoat’s obstacles!  Each unused memory token allows one space of movement. Remember… if you get stuck in an obstacle it is GAME OVER!  So, having a few unused memory tokens floating around isn’t a bad idea… just sayin’

At the end of each turn (after performing an action and possible using a memory special effect); you reveal the next card of the Event deck. This new card is added to the Threats display. There are five possible threats and the color of the card you revealed drives which threat triggers…. What’s more, the effects are compounded as the game proceeds.

For example, when you pull a Purple card from the events deck, the Team gives in to panic!! For every purple card in the Threats Display you will move the team one space in the direction of the compass’ needle. Depending on your position and the number of purple cards on display, this could walk the team right into an obstacle… and their untimely demise at the hands of the BIllygoat!

The threat is REAL!

Well, that pretty much sums up the bulk of gameplay.  There are a few additional tiny rules here and there… but that should give you a solid feel for the game!

Two quick final notes before my send-off statement:

  • Players may discuss their basic strategy before they start their turn, but once they begin that first action they are on their own! It is HARD not to try and help… but you must fight that urge to suggest alternatives and instead let the active player run you right into that obstacle! Haha… No, no, no… I’m sure the active player will always make the right call. Right?

I don’t know about you all, but for my game group this means there is going to be a LOT of nail-biting tension as we sit helplessly watching our fellow gamers take their turns. Yeah… it is going to be tough not to interfere!  Hahaha..

  • During the team movement phase, there’s no moving a teammate and then deciding that you don’t like the new compass direction and starting over. We are talking super-strict chess rules here… so much so that it isn’t even as simple as “once you remove your hand from your piece that’s your move!” In this game, as soon as you start moving a piece you are committed. Wahhhhhh!!!

Magnets + compass = movement-driven coop puzzle with fun theme and cool table presence

I really love this game.

This is shocking… I know… haha.

If you’ve visited the shop more than once or twice you realize that I really only carry games that I want in my personal library. So, I tend to love all the games I have on the shelves!

With that caveat out of the way, this game is great fun!! I really like games that have a puzzle-y vibe… and yet I am not a fan of the abstract. I’m also a fan of immersive themes and anything component-wise that helps me get into the theme. This game hits all the wickets for me!

And, to be honest, the science aspect of the magnet/compass interaction and how the designers linked that to meaningful gameplay has the science geek in me levitating off the floor!! We’re talking full on maglev (magnetic levitation) here folks… the Japanese bullet trains have nothing on me!

Bullet Train -> 🚅

Me -> 🛸

 

Ages: 14+
Players: 2 – 4
Play Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Designers:
Artists:
Publisher: Alter Ego Games
SKU: Alter Ego Games 001
MSRP:
Running at $80-99 on eBay from
multiple sellers at the time of this
listing (JUL 2019).
Our Price: $62.75
Link to BGG: The Faceless

 

5 in stock


SKU Alter Ego Games 001 Category Tags ,


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Description

The FacelessThe Faceless plus the 3D Obstacles pack plus all the Kickstarter Stretch Goals…. WIN!! 🎉

Ethan is missing. All that is left is a small piece of paper and an old compass that vibrates with strange energy.

By reading his diary, Ethan’s best friends — the “Elm Street clan” — start uncovering the creepy mystery: a fearsome creature that has kidnapped children for centuries to feed off their memories who has now taken its next victim. But by striking out into the Duskworld, the creature’s den, the kids will have a chance to retrieve Ethan’s memories and bring him back into the real world.

The Faceless is a full cooperative experience with a never-seen-before mechanism:

You indirectly move a compass by moving and rotating the double-sided miniatures on the game board. By playing cards from your hand, you can rotate and move these miniatures and, since they have all a magnet inside, you change the magnetic field they generate, thus influencing the direction of the compass needle.

After playing a card, the compass moves in the direction indicated by its needle, but after every movement, the direction of the needle can potentially change, forcing you to move in new directions. Learning to control and predict these movements is vital to success in the Duskworld!

Collect all the memory fragments that are scattered in the game board to save Ethan and win the game! But watch out for Billygoat, an evil creature that’s haunting you and that will try to entrap you in the Duskworld forever.

Are you ready to descend?

description from the publisher

Additional information
Weight 7.6 lbs
Dimensions 15 × 15 × 6 in
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