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Processing: A Game of Serving Humanity Review


Quick Look: Processing: A Game of Serving Humanity



Designer: Seppy Yoon
Artists: Jody Henning, Graham Judd
Publisher: Fight in a Box
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 3-6
Ages: 13+
Playing Time: 30 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

Review:




Aliens have teamed up together and have conquered earth. As a survivor you have been told to figure out who gets "Processed", "Probed", or "Freed" as not all the aliens can agree on what happens to the remaining people. Oh yeah, and the aliens for whatever reason think cows are people as well.  Your goal is to have the most victory points by the end of the game by appealing to different alien agendas during each round of the game. 



Getting the Game:

The game comes in a nice small box that includes 21 agenda cards, 27 lot cards, 3 fate cards, 1 victory point track, 1 Mad CAO track, 6 player cards with 2 matching meeples and 2 tokens, and 78 voting tokens.

You want to score the most points on the victory point track, but also not have the highest number on the Mad CAO track. Whoever has the most points on the Mad CAO track will automatically lose and not be able to win the game even if they have the most victory points.



Playing the Game:

On your turn you will be placing your voting tokens on the lot cards trying take majority of what will happen to the hipsters or cows on that card. Whenever the vote spaces are filled, it will be moved to the fate card that has the majority. Each player will vote 6 times per round. Each turn, the "overseer" who starts the rounds will flip out a new lot card. If there is ever 6 lot cards placed out, at that moment, the top card will be tallied and placed on the winning fate card. Also, after a card is tallied, if there is ever less than 3 lot cards out, place a new card out. The game is made up of 3 rounds with 6 turns each.

When other players are placing their votes, you are encouraged to make alignments, deals, or ask others to send certain hipsters or cows to certain fate cards. You will have a hand of many agenda cards. Each card lists an alien and what they would like to have done to the certain survivors. Each card will list 2 different ways to score points, but also a way to score Mad CAO points (remember these are bad).


After placing 6 votes for each player in the voting phase, the scoring phase occurs. First you will tally the top lot cards until there are only 3 lot cards left.  Each player will then choose one of their agenda cards to use this round. Without anyone knowing the card, you will place it on your player card face down. Each player will then reveal their cards at the same time. Players will score victory points for each hipster or cow that is dedicated to the listed fate card that has a victory point icon next to it. Players will also score Mad CAO points for the hipster or cow that is located in the listed fate card shown on their agenda card. After scoring these points, those agenda cards are discarded. Whoever scored the most victory points will become the new overseer for the next round. All lot cards will then be discarded from all the fate cards and reset for the next round. For the second round each player will take 2 of each types of tokens to use. During the last round, players will take 1 of each type of token.

The game ends at the end of the third scoring phase. Whoever has the most Mad CAO points is processed and can not win the game. Then the player with the most points is the true winner of the game.


Artwork and Components:

The graphic design is done well, you know what all the symbols mean. In the game all the people are hipsters for whatever reason, and they have their own icons. There are several different icons for the hipsters and the cows, but they all mean the same. But the added variability gives the game a little more flavor to it. The art done on the agenda cards show a different type of alien with different art representing the different kind of alien. These are fun to look at and and also understand what their agenda is from looking at the graphic design and matching what their goals are. Do they want to probe humans? Do they want to process everything? Or do they just want to free everyone?


The cardboard tokens could have been thicker as they seem a little thin, but they do what they need to do. Each player gets a cow meeple to track their points on the Mad CAO track, and a hipster meeple
to track their points on the victory point track. The tracks use a thicker cardboard with a paper finish on both sides that fit perfectly in the box.


The Good:

The game does a great job having a sort of party game feel but still not fall all the way into that category because you feel like you still have some control of your fate. If the game is played right you will have negotiations all over the place, you are deducing what other players might be trying to accomplish themselves and you are trying to tweak your agenda cards to hopefully better match what other players are doing. If you are good at negotiating and have other match what you are trying to accomplish and get more points from your agenda card than they do on theirs, then that's more power to ya.

I like how even though you might be focusing on certain lots of cards, there will eventually be a time where a lot card will be sent to one of the fate cards, and you might not have had a chance to place a single vote on that card. You will need to manage what other players are doing, what they are voting, how your agenda cards line up against what they are doing, and possibly trying to mess up their plans as well.

When you learn the game is seems pretty straight forward on how things work, but when you start playing you will have some crazy things happen where cards will be placed back into the deck without getting assigned to a fate card, or times where you don't have any agenda cards to even closely match what others are doing. The worst thing that can happen to leading everyone on the Mad CAO track, because that's the best way to make sure you lose the game.

After a couple plays you will realize that an extra layer in the game is about token management as at the end of the game you will be using all of your tokens to vote, no matter what. Don't want to process anyone yet that's the only tokens you have left? Too bad. So managing these tokens is a big factor in the game, and you will want to make sure you can take advantage of the tokens you have at the end of the game with an agenda card you have saved for that purpose.

The game is a fast game and so, you don't feel that you are just doing the same thing over and over again. 3 rounds and you had a great time and then it ends.

The Bad:

The game is for 3-6 players. It's hard to find 3 players to play a game sometimes, and for that reason this game won't get out on the table as much as other games. But, the game does play up to 6 which is great because there aren't a lot of game that can play with 6 players. The theme seems kinda gruesome, as my wife looked at the box lid and saw the picture showing a hipster with lines depicting on what part of the body will make different cuts of meat.  But again this game is all out of fun and for some, this will be a fun theme to talk about while playing the game.

I'd say that the game at times needs for the players to push the negotiating and bluffing aspects of the game because the game itself doesn't force anyone to do any of that. If the game included certain negotiation rules or other ways to make sure players would do this, that would make the game shine brighter for everyone.

Final Thoughts:

Ultimately, the game isn't for everyone, and you definitely need a sense of humor to get into the game. Using your votes strategically is a big focus of the game, and deducing why or what other players might be doing, and this is fun to do.  Also arguing why you would want another player to probe or process a certain thing to help you with your agenda card will cause you to do better in the game, and others will end up trying to match their agenda cards with yours making it easier for you to get exactly what you want. Watch out though, because after the first 1 or 2 rounds, they will see what you're doing and if they are smart will try to stack points for you on the Mad CAO track.






Check out Processing: A Game of Serving Humanity on:

                  




Brody Sheard - Reviewer

Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up. He continues with 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.

See Brody's reviews HERE.
Processing: A Game of Serving Humanity Review Processing: A Game of Serving Humanity Review Reviewed by Brody on July 24, 2019 Rating: 5

1 comment

  1. Thanks so much for the review. It sounds like you had fun, but it might have been a little "out there" for some of your peeps. Is that fair?

    ReplyDelete

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