Quick Look: DOPAPOD – The Self-titled Album and “Building a Time Machine” Game
Designer: DOPAPOD & Luke Stratton
Year Published: May of 2022
This project is a first to me, and truly unique in many ways. It is nothing if not memorable. Though I have many years ahead of me to try new projects, I have a feeling this one in particular will stand out when I think of creative projects. This review is mainly focused on the game, which is what we were enlisted for, but I have to say, the progressive rock/funk/indie/alt/electronic sound I got off of this record was downright impressive. I’m reminded of the skill of Dream theatre in a more electronic/jazz/bluegrass vibe. Forgive the slashes, but it’s hard to pin these tracks on a specific genre. This day & age, it’s incredible to discover a unique sound – and that’s just what this is. The talent pressed into these vinyls would make many a musician jealous.
From the Publisher:
Boston quartet Dopapod—Eli Winderman [keys, vocals], Rob Compa [guitar, vocals], ChuckJones [bass], and Neal “Fro” Evans [drums]—present albums as experiences meant to be shared out of your speakers and on stage. Traversing time travel, palindromic labyrinths, and binary pairs in a greater cohesive mystery, Dopapod’s forthcoming self-titled album ties the conceptual ends of the group’s discography, while charting a path forward. The group’s hypnotic hybrid of funk, rock, jazz, bluegrass, and electronica has packed shows coast-to-coast, and earned acclaim from Rolling Stone, Guitar World, Glide Magazine, and more, while reeling in millions of streams online. Their immersive, expansive vision as a group continues to conjure alchemy nearly fifteen years into their journey.
Doubling down on the use of the vinyl album cover as a board game was a stroke of genius. I thoroughly love the idea of using this space to give fans something to use to reminisce and play out their favorite tracks and journey through the DOPAPOD experience. The album art, video design, and game are very colorful and engaging. It’s easy to get lost in thought staring at them in detail. The game components themselves are simple and are not in themselves noteworthy. The game is like an old school roll and move where you’d follow the directions after you land on each space. I do like the game but it’s mainly about enjoying the pairing with great talent and music. There are no real mechanics to the game, depth, or things of that nature but you will get to hear some wonderful music, see some striking abstract art, and enhance an overall good experience by putting on the album, getting a couple of meeples on the board, and rolling some dice.
Hands down how they wove the game into the album cover itself. Fantastic use of time and space. +1 for nature as well
I can’t say I’m truly a fan of this type of game, as sentimentally attached I may be from my childhood. But there isn’t much of a game to speak of when its just roll/move.
This album is worth a listen for the music itself and the game is just a nice little addition to go along with it. If you haven’t heard any of their music I recommend heading to your music streaming site and giving it a listen.
Areas they did well:
– fantastic talent and music
– use of space and album cover
– art style
– the “time machine” experience
– connecting with fans through this interaction
– super cool green vinyl
Areas they could have improved:
– the game overall was lacking
– more unique actions for spaces
– better rules and clarifications
– a more defined path so you knew the intended loop
– didn’t really need the miscellaneous items such as notepad, bag and pencil and a gamer wouldn’t need the meeples or dice but I can see why they would be included. I’d be content with the album and game inside saving the need for additional manufacturing, costs, and packaging.
DOPAPOD‘s self-titled album and accompanying “Building a Time Machine” board game will go down in history in my books as my most unique and vibrant project that I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. In my ever-growing experience as a play tester and reviewer, they have caught my attention and my ear. I’d recommend this to any music enthusiast.
I’ll see you next time, back here at The Game Table,
Here’s a link to their website if you’d like to find out more:
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Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”, is a construction project manager and electrician by trade who was the owner of a 6-time award winning electrical company. His passion for board games has led him from playing hundreds of original titles to creating a design and publishing company of his own, Convivial Games. As an up and coming collaborator on many projects, he is always eager to try new games and meet new people.
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