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One Hit Wonder Kickstarter Preview

Quick Look: One Hit Wonder

Designer: Rob Taylor
Art Design: Heather Scott, Rob Taylor (multiple illustrators)
Publisher: Self-Published
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2–4
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 60 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

Some people are driven to go for the limelight (the universal dream). They are drawn to be performers, to be on stage, and they are willing to put forth the work required to make it. First you must climb through the ranks of the indie bands, playing the clubs and building a fan base.

One Hit Wonder is about making it to that level. You are the performer driven by ambition. You might play an instrument or be a singer. To make your dream come true, you need to write the songs, recruit and maintain a band, and get the gigs to get you seen.

We played One Hit Wonder with 4 players. The game was easy to learn, and we were soon into the play and theme of the game without any problems. Our very first game played easily and everyone had fun.

Each player takes on a character for the game. The characters have their own musical skill and a special ability. Every turn, the character being used along with the number of already recruited band mates determines how much inspiration you gain.

Inspiration is needed to take some of the actions available to a player. Each player can have up to 3 actions per turn. The basic function of the actions is to build a better band and play. You can also cause discord with other player's band mates. There are also cards that can be used to influence actions.

There is enough variety between the number characters, songs, band mates, and cards that you can easily play back-to-back games without having the same outcome. And even though everyone is striving for the same goal, the path to get there is varied.

Board setup was quick and explained well. It is just a matter of dividing up the different decks on the board and determining what characters everyone is playing. You decide who is going first and they collect inspiration to start the game.

Give some room around the board to display the songs and band mates each player has.

Collect inspiration (your resource), and take up to 3 actions, which may or may not need inspiration. Most of the strategy focuses on how you're building and managing your band. You still need to watch how others are building their band because there are actions that can make them not able to perform or not able to perform as easily. This came into our game as we neared the end. A play was used to slow me down and not be able to easily play the final venue. That one turn delay allowed another player to successfully perform and win the game.

Each venue has a required number of songs needed to be performed and at what skill level. This means you have to develop a strategy allowing your band to grow in the number of songs and their ability to play them.

Theme and Mechanics
The music theme for One Hit Wonder was well used. The descriptions on the cards were fun and added to the feel.

The main mechanic of One Hit Wonder is resource management—inspiration. Players use inspiration to create, recruit, practice, and manipulate the ego of the band members.

Every time your group performs, it needs to have a level of success to be able to move on to attempt the next venue. After playing, each band mate checks against their ego to see if they stay with or leave the band.

Artwork and Components
I played a promotional copy, so there might still be changes. But the game I played was well put together and looked good.

The art was fun and fit into the theme of the game. One Hit Wonder was designed by a teacher and the illustrations were done by their students. I like what they did.

The Good
  • Easy to learn
  • Could be played by younger players
  • Enough variability for back-to-back plays
Final Thoughts
One Hit Wonder was designed by Rob Taylor with work done by his students for the art. I always have a soft spot for these types of projects. Many times, however, they fall short of making a good game by making it about inclusion. One Hit Wonder played well and was fun. The work of inclusion of the students’ work is an enhancement.

Players Who Like
  • Music based games
  • Resource management
  • The game Chops

Check out One Hit Wonder on:


On KICKSTARTER now. Campaign ends June 12, 2019.

Daniel Yocom - Reviewer

Daniel Yocom does geeky things by night because his day job won’t let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He’s written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines along with stories, after extensive research. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join in the geeky fun at guildmastergaming@blogspot.com.

See Daniel's reviews HERE.
One Hit Wonder Kickstarter Preview One Hit Wonder Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by Guild Master Gaming on May 22, 2019 Rating: 5

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