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Dreamcatcher Kickstarter Preview



Quick Look:

Info:
Designer: Arian van Gend, Ron Schuijt (II), Mark van Straten
Artists: Ron Schuijt (II)
Publisher: The Carbon Initiative
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 2-6
Ages: 8+
Playing Time: 20-40 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of Dreamcatcher. I was sent a prototype version of the game. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.

When falling asleep, some things you can't control.  Dreams and nightmares flood the world and will make you face the most terrorizing events you could ever think of.  Thankfully, you have a dream catcher.   Using you dream power, you can trap these events and be come the victor.  But watch out as other players or maybe even you will try to cheat destiny, or face your fears changing the event that you once knew.



Review:


Rules and Setup:
The rulebook has all the information to play the game, but could use some more organization in terms of when to explain certain aspects. The rulebook also states some rules twice, and it would be suffice to state the rule once. Setup is also a little confusing in the rulebook; it could be explained much easier and in a more simplified way. During setup, you shuffle both the Nightmare deck and the Dream deck. You flip over a number of Nightmare cards, one less than the number of players. Each player will collect their playing cards, which consist of 12 Dream Power cards, the two Choice cards, and the Player Power card. The Player Power card is placed face-up in front of each player, and the other cards will remain in each player’s hand. 


Play begins with the first player playing their cards on a single Nightmare card. One of these cards will be one of the Choice cards: "face your fears" or "cheat destiny." Then, the player will choose any number of Dream cards to determine their power. Remember that when you run out of Dream cards, you will not be able to play in the round anymore. The next player does the same, either on the same Nightmare card or a different one. After every player has played their cards, the nightmares will be resolved. The cards are all flipped over. You will then compare all Choice cards. If everyone who played cards on that nightmare played "face your fears," then the player with the highest dream power gets the Nightmare card, and all others will get to draw a Dream card. If there was a mix of "face your fear" and "cheat destiny" cards, the player will the highest cheat destiny power wins the nightmare, and all others who played "face your fears" will draw a Dream card. If there are only "cheat destiny" cards, the player with the lowest power discards a Dream Power card at random. Dream cards will be worth a point at the end of the game or can be added to increase dream power according to the number stated on the card.



Theme and Mechanics:

You will face waves of nightmares in an attempt to prevent them from terrorizing the mortal world. You will spend dream power from your dream catcher to trap chosen nightmares and be crowned the victor. The theme wasn’t explained in the rules as much as it should, but when I thought about it, the theme works very well with the game.

The mechanics include variable player powers which can be used once for each player sometime during the game, but the majority of the game is trick taking with some deduction. You are ultimately deciding what card to play and with what power to either outpower your opponents or steal the nightmare from underneath them. This gets a little fun, as there is a risk/reward system going on, and if you risk it, you can sometimes win big.  



Artwork and Components:

The game is all cards. I received a prototype version, and I really didn’t see any problem with the cards, but would expect that the game will have all normal industry standards for quality. The art is clean and simple. I really like the art, I just think there needs to be more variety of it.  



The Good:
Very easy to learn and play, yet it makes you stop and think each time you play. Just like any good trick-taking game, you will be paying attention to all all other players and what cards they have played.

The Bad:
There is only about four different types of nightmares and dreams; there should be more variety of art and types. The game combines some mechanics, but doesn't introduce anything new or amazing.


Final Thoughts:
I wish they would have had more ideas for their dreams and nightmares, with more variety of points on each card, as well. The game is pretty solid, and adds a little more deduction to the game than most other trick-taking games. This is more of a card game geared towards gamers, as I would probably confuse my grandma or in-laws with the rules on this.

Players Who Like:
Players who enjoy trick-taking games or card games would enjoy this game. Those who enjoy Wizard, Hearts, or Spades would probably also enjoy this game.

Comments from The Carbon Initiative after the review:
The rulebook is still in working progress and it will become more clear with some iterations before the backer would receive the game.  I was able to figure out all of gameplay minus one little misunderstanding.  The Carbon Initiative is also going to add variety to artwork for nightmares and dreams through stretch goals.  They used the most common dreams and nightmares that people have, and thought it added a psychological tidbit to the game and helps with the atmosphere.


I am giving Dreamcatcher a 7 out of 10 super meeples.

7
10

Check out Dreamcatcher on:

  

Dreamcatcher is on KICKSTARTER between now and November 22, 2017.

About the Author:
Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up. He continues his love of games by teaching his family, local gaming guild, and friends about new and exciting games. Brody believes that board gaming keeps your mind healthy while also having fun interacting with others.
Dreamcatcher Kickstarter Preview Dreamcatcher Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by Brody Sheard on October 24, 2017 Rating: 5

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