By Garland Noel
It’s the week after Gen Con, the largest annual consumer electronic, sci-fi, fantasy, adventure and hobby game convention in North America, and I am hyped. With all the deserving new projects that were presented it’s hard to pick a favorite, but the one thing I think deserves some recognition is the first game test we did that day. Chaosmos.
Designed by Joey Vigour and marketed by Sam Vest, this kickstarter project was a joy to play. Playing is a whirlwind of bluffs, tricks, and sleight of hand, always trying to shield your intent. Although it was my first play-through I quickly found out the hard way that even though I could use brute force, a good opponent could use my headlong rush to divert attention from the game at hand. Out of the hour-long introduction we had, one thing rang truer than everything else in our play test: trust no one. It’s like go-fish, poker, and chess with a side of deceit and back stabbing.
The idea behind Chaosmos is this — the universe is ending, so pick one of multiple aliens, find the ovoid , and remake the universe in your own twisted image. Have the ovoid at the end of the game and the victory is yours. Each alien has it’s own special abilities, weaknesses, and tactics, making the game even harder to predict, like a shell game on steroids. As the first turn ended I discovered quickly that every turn counts, each ticking down the game clock. At the end of a two-hour session I was surprised by how quickly time had passed and especially surprised by who won. In the end the player no one thought was a threat revealed the ovoid had been in her hand since turn one.
Keeping in mind that it was a play test, gamers should look forward to highly detailed miniatures, a huge item count, and an amazing game to infuriate their friends. This will be a hit with anyone who enjoys gaming and even some who don’t.
After the con was over and everyone had left, I still want to play again. From the cool stylized miniatures to the compelling drama this game hit a homerun with my game group and I can’t wait for the Nov. 15 kickoff. Pretty good for an 8 a.m. play testing.