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#121

[lotsa smart stuff]

Well said. Just had to say that!

Also–has anyone tried the new Livingstone scenario that Ignacy put out last year? His blog about it makes it sound intriguing–but I’ve barely got through the stuff in the base set, much less the expansion material…

http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/31367/new-scenario-robinson-have-fun


#122

Haven’t even gotten round to the Voyage of the Bugle yet…

In fact, we’re still trying to beat the 2nd scenario “Cursed Island” or what-ever it is…

…it’s hard!

Ignacy is definitely one of my favourite designers… he’s one that I would buy a game with no prior info other than his name as the designer.


#123

I haven’t tried the Livingstone scenario yet, but it looks really cool, seems like there’s a “choose your own adventure” style storytelling to it… I need to give it a try!

But what I’m really excited to play is the Voyage of the Beagle expansion, which offers a campaign/legacy style game, where you play the scenarios sequentially and how well you do in one of them trickles down to the next one! I just hope it doesn’t result in a horrible Death Spiral, since I suck pretty hard at this game…!

(Since I’m a biologist and most people I play with are as well, the theme also definitely helps :slight_smile: )

Ignacy is definitely one of my favourite designers... he's one that I would buy a game with no prior info other than his name as the designer.

Ditto. Probably my favorite. I’ve liked all his games (and games he’s not designed but published through Portal Games) I’ve played so far - even The Witcher Adventure Game, which is getting some flack… I haven’t played Stronghold yet though!

Speaking of Death Spiral, and as to the topic of the thread, I don’t know if they formally reviewed it but given today’s expansion review, Space Cadets is one of the few games I found myself apologizing profusely to my group after it fell like a lead balloon the first time we played. That game has one of the most horrendous escalations I’ve seen, where the things you’re already super bad at doing just become harder and harder and you constantly feel like there’s nothing you can do about it as the game comes down at you like a merciless hammer. Which would be OK and result in some laughs in a short game, but not after you’ve invested close to 2 hours in just to find yourself being screwed more and more as you flounder waiting for the game to demolish you. It’s interesting that the designers realized this and tried to patch it in the expansion, but I think they did it so in a wrong way - offering “easy scenarios” instead of, for example, progression mechanisms where you are rewarded for achieving things in-game, that give the players a sense of positive development. Since the game has the Nemesis mechanism, I don’t think such a “leveling up” addition would break it. Anyway, horrible experience, never want to play that game again.


#124

You’re in for a treat then…Stronghold is one of his best IMO


#125

Robinson Crusoe is a difficult game for me to talk about, because I love it, yet everyone I play board games with hates it, and the one time we tried to play it, everyone lost interest because of how hopeless the situation was. My group just did not mesh well with it. And like @rmaia‌ said about Space Cadets, it’s one of the few games I’ve found myself apologizing for. It’s kind of hard to ask your friends to spend a couple hours on a desert island, knowing you’re all going to die there.


#126
Robinson Crusoe is a difficult game for me to talk about, because I love it, yet everyone I play board games with hates it, and the one time we tried to play it, everyone lost interest because of how hopeless the situation was. My group just did not mesh well with it. And like @rmaia‌ said about Space Cadets, it's one of the few games I've found myself apologizing for. It's kind of hard to ask your friends to spend a couple hours on a desert island, knowing you're all going to die there.

When I played it with friends, we got mauled by the gorilla as usual, and then froze to death in the first month of winter… This made them strangely determined to best it and demanded we play it again immediately.
It’s funny how the same experience on a different group can have a completely opposite outcome :S


#127

@rmaia Could you tell me a bit more about The Witcher Adventure Game? I’m curious about that one (plus it’s on sale at Board Game Warehouse).


#128
@rmaia Could you tell me a bit more about The Witcher Adventure Game? I'm curious about that one (plus it's on sale at Board Game Warehouse).

@Tika, that’s a hard one for me to talk about, because I like it, but I completely understand why people don’t. So I’ll try to be as objective as I can! :slight_smile:

I’d say The Witcher is kinda like competitive Eldritch Horror meets Talisman after removing most of its nonsensical randomness (“Euro Talisman” is how I’ve seen it referred to). Each player chooses one of four characters, which really do feel and play differently, and the game is a race to complete quests. To complete quests you need to walk around the board and collect investigation tokens, do investigative actions (where you draw a card from a deck and something good or something bad can happen to you), develop (“level up”) your character so that you can get better at killing stuff and have more control over the bad stuff that is thrown at you, and so on. Like in Eldritch Horror, in your turn you take 2 actions, after which something bad happens - you face a monster or a random event card. First player to complete 3 main quests triggers the endgame. Each quest also has two side-quests that earn you points for going a tad out of your way, as well as a collaborative side-quest (where another character can meet you at your location and spend some of his tokens so that both of you gain points).

A lot of people were disappointed with the game because, in my opinion, they expected more from it. And perhaps understandably so: It is designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek, published by Fantasy Flight, and based on a loved book & videogame IP. But at its heart it is a simple adventure game, one designed to be a gateway for fans of the videogame series and introduce them to board games. It feels a lot like MMO & sandbox videogames, where most of the game can be boiled down to really just “talk to the guy question mark over its head, who gives you a mission where you must go to X and do A, then go to Y and do B, then go to Z and do C”. That’s pretty much the feel you get out of The Witcher Adventure game game, as you’re trying to track down the resources and reach the quest goal faster and more efficiently than the other players. So because of that, gameplay can be a bit repetitive. And maybe not as Ameritrashy as one would expect.

So it’s easy to see why folks would be disappointed. In a way, it feels more like a pick-up-and-deliver Euro with an adventure twist than a legendary monster-bashing arrow-to-the-knee epic.

I like the game because I think it is a good adventure game for its weight, rules-wise and strategy-wise. There aren’t many of those. Most competitive (as opposed to one-vs-all or cooperative) adventure games are either a luckfest (Talisman) or super dense and long (Runebound, Mage Knight). But The Witcher can be played in 1.5-2 hours without being just beer-and-pretzels: you have to strategize the best sequence of actions that will give you what you need in the fewest steps, and with the least amount of randomness you can’t mitigate. The characters are different enough that you do have to play differently depending on who you’re playing with. It’s not revolutionary, and I think it only fills a very specific void that most gamers won’t really feel they have: if you are looking for a somewhat light, euro-leaning walk-around-the-board-completing-quests adventure game, then you might like it. :slight_smile:

If you’re on the fence, you can always try the digital implementation. It’s available on GOG.com and also for iOS. But really only use the digital versions to get an idea of the game, because it loses a lot in that format (it doesn’t have the cooperative elements for example, and only the simplest events are implemented). I got bored of the digital version but would still gladly play the board version.

hope that helps!


#129

@rmaia, I think you’ve talked me into Robinson Crusoe, and out of Space Cadets. Thanks!


#130

@rmaia Thanks for the detailed description! That actually sounds appealing to me. I’ve played and enjoyed Relic (aka Talisman in space) and I really like Eldritch Horror. And who hasn’t enjoyed being a medieval FedEx courier in a computer RPG? :stuck_out_tongue:

The play time is the only thing that makes me hesitate. Hmm, perhaps I’ll try the digital version (a video game based on a board game based on a video game!) to see how I like it.


#131

@Tika Let me know how you like the digital version! I bought it sometime before Christmas and I still haven’t had the energy to fire it up.


#132
Speaking of Death Spiral, and as to the topic of the thread, I don't know if they formally reviewed it but given today's expansion review, Space Cadets is one of the few games I found myself apologizing profusely to my group after it fell like a lead balloon the first time we played. That game has one of the most horrendous escalations I've seen, where the things you're already super bad at doing just become harder and harder and you constantly feel like there's nothing you can do about it as the game comes down at you like a merciless hammer. Which would be OK and result in some laughs in a short game, but not after you've invested close to 2 hours in just to find yourself being screwed more and more as you flounder waiting for the game to demolish you. It's interesting that the designers realized this and tried to patch it in the expansion, but I think they did it so in a wrong way - offering "easy scenarios" instead of, for example, progression mechanisms where you are rewarded for achieving things in-game, that give the players a sense of positive development. Since the game has the Nemesis mechanism, I don't think such a "leveling up" addition would break it. Anyway, horrible experience, never want to play that game again.

I think it’s very important to add that some people will be having fun and laughs that whole 2 hours win or lose! If you like Ghost Stories, for example, take this criticism of Space Cadets with a bucket of salt.

I disagree about progression mechanisms, too. Most of my favorite games don’t have progression mechanisms. See, well, Ghost Stories. Space Alert.

I don’t think death spirals are … well, death spirals sort of go hand-in-hand with difficulty curves. It’s all in how you perceive failure states. If it’s just dice rolling that gets worse the more low numbers you roll? That’s a death spiral. In a role-playing game where actions are more spread out, where you have more control over what your character tries to do, where you’re not stuck in meandering combat rounds … your character getting wounded or fatigued or otherwise debilitated makes things more interesting. More challenging and less likely to end in success, but more interesting, too. The idea that this sort of mechanic is inherently a design no-go zone as that article implies is frankly preposterous.

Afterall, what is a difficulty curve but a death-spiral that doesn’t even require you to fail at something before it starts screwing you over? The potential meaninglessness of this comes from the specific implementation rather than the inherent mechanic. At it’s most basic, sloped difficulty and consequential errors are robust game tropes that have been successfully implemented over and over. That a progression based game design can work instead of or even along side this does not negate the validity of this sort of design.

This same thing can happen in a game with progression based mechanics instead of regression based! Some people get very frustrated that a character turns out to be less viable than they would have hoped because they didn’t min-max well enough 10 levels back. Being the weak link in the otherwise successful party because you didn’t properly optimize your character isn’t fun, either! Progression isn’t a fix for the problem you’re describing here at all.


#133

One of my biggest problems with modern video gaming is the progression obsession. If I get more powerful when I’m playing well, I’m going to either get increasingly unstoppable or be faced with enemies that scale with me making progression moot. If the game changes, thought not explicitly for the more or less powerful, as I do well/badly at things? That’s fine. But the classic leveling mechanism is a tedious kludge. Advancement isn’t inherently bad, nor is progression. But leveling mechanics are an excellent example of why I’m leery of the concept of progression in games to begin with. When my mistakes are punished in a way I can learn to perceive as fair, the game encourages me to be more careful and take pride in my carefulness. When the game simply gets tougher as I go, I learn more advanced usages of the tools available to me. I get better at the game’s mechanics rather than being spoon-fed new mechanics that give me the hollow surface of power to mask a static (or more often eratic) level of required skill input.

Small tangent: for a nice example of advancement without progression, so to speak, look at Kemet. Pursuing victory doesn’t lead to advancement bonuses. Rather advancement as a pursuit can assist victory. This is an interesting take on progression and it suits the game very nicely.


#134
I think it's very important to add that some people will be having fun and laughs that whole 2 hours win or lose! If you like Ghost Stories, for example, take this criticism of Space Cadets with a bucket of salt.

I disagree about progression mechanisms, too. Most of my favorite games don’t have progression mechanisms. See, well, Ghost Stories. Space Alert.

[a bunch of other clever stuff]

I think Ghost Stories is one of the best co-ops I’ve ever played, and still hated Space Cadets. I think there’s a big difference between a ramping up difficulty and a death spiral: the removal of agency. When you have a death spiral, the very thing you need in order to succeed as difficulty increases is the thing that is removed from you, and there’s little or nothing you can do about it. Ghost Stories might be similar in that regard, but I’d argue that only on the surface. In games like Ghost Stories, the difficulty ramps up and you have options taken from you, but there’s always something you can do about it. You can plan and decide what you’re willing to sacrifice and what is absolutely vital to protect. The haunting system is brilliant exactly for that reason: you can see it coming, you can prepare, and you can act based on that information. Even the Wu-Feng card has a different colored back and is at a known distance from the end of the deck. In Pandemic, you know what the odds are after each epidemic of one of those cities outbreaking because those cards are shuffled to the top of the deck, and you plan for it. You know it. You can prepare for it. In Space Cadets, it’s literally the flip of a card. You don’t know what will hit you and how, you just know it will for sure be something that makes it even easier for the next card to hit you. And so on. Sure, there’s also the Nemesis track, but there’s nothing you can do about it when it reaches you and you have taken some damage. All you know is you’ll take more damage and be less equipped to do anything about it. In Ghost Stories or Pandemic the challenge is there for you to figure out how to beat; in Space Cadets it’s there to beat you up regardless of what you do.

I think in terms of design, the Nemesis is clearly supposed to be just a timing mechanism. But the game would be SO MUCH LESS FRUSTRATING if it just told you “if you can’t beat the mission in X turns, you lose” than with this damn thing creeping on you and beating you up until you’re done - one way or the other. It’s like that Sasquatch in Ski-Free. You know it’s getting you and there’s nothing you can do about it but watch it catch you and gobble you up. Now imagine that for half an hour.

And in a way I totally agree with you regarding progression mechanisms. I don’t think they are usually necessary or desirable either. Space Cadets is an exception because of the Nemesis: all of a sudden you have a dramatic increase in difficulty, and not only does the game not prepare you to deal with it, at that point you’re even less capable of doing so because of any damage cards you’ve accumulated and will be accumulating as it tracks you down. It becomes a frustrating slow burn towards your inevitable demise - which, again, can go on for a good 30-40 minutes, with everyone knowing there’s nothing to be done, but going through the motions holding to a last strand of hope -, and to us that just wasn’t fun.

Sure, it might be personal preference, but I like games that have a good sense of escalation. Not necessarily progression, I like games that become harder too - Ghost Stories and Robinson Crusoe being perfect examples. But I like when games give me challenging choices and agency over what happens, so I know that when I lose, it was because I didn’t play as well as I should. I didn’t feel that way with Space Cadets. It felt more like one and a half hours of fumbling capped with 40 minutes of watching ourselves being beat down, nothing to be done about it. I’ve had loads of laughs and fun being crushed to bits in other co-ops, because it still feels like I’m playing the game. Not that there’s just stuff happening and there’s nothing I can do about it. Heck, I like Arkham/Eldritch Horror, and even those games give me a more satisfying sense of agency than Space Cadets did! :slight_smile:

But, obviously, YMMV. That’s just how I feel about it!


#135
I think it's very important to add that some people will be having fun and laughs that whole 2 hours win or lose! If you like Ghost Stories, for example, take this criticism of Space Cadets with a bucket of salt.

I disagree about progression mechanisms, too. Most of my favorite games don’t have progression mechanisms. See, well, Ghost Stories. Space Alert.

[a bunch of other clever stuff]

I think Ghost Stories is one of the best co-ops I’ve ever played, and still hated Space Cadets. I think there’s a big difference between a ramping up difficulty and a death spiral: the removal of agency. When you have a death spiral, the very thing you need in order to succeed as difficulty increases is the thing that is removed from you, and there’s little or nothing you can do about it. Ghost Stories might be similar in that regard, but I’d argue that only on the surface. In games like Ghost Stories, the difficulty ramps up and you have options taken from you, but there’s always something you can do about it. You can plan and decide what you’re willing to sacrifice and what is absolutely vital to protect. The haunting system is brilliant exactly for that reason: you can see it coming, you can prepare, and you can act based on that information

Unless you’re psychic, there’s nothing you can do about, say, shapeless evil. Realistically, you can lose a game of Ghost Stories way before you feel like you’re losing. The change, and what make Ghost Stories one of the most brilliantly designed games I own, is not in what you can literally do but what you feel like you can do. Even as the game is raking you over the coals you feel like you have a billion ways out if only you make the right decisions at the right time. I would argue that the ability to always come back form a fall in Ghost Stories is the thing that’s only on the surface. Like any highly tactical game with escalation mechanics, Ghost Stories is a game that can be lost absolutely and mercilessly long before such is apparent.

Remember that unlike in Ghost Stories, in Space Cadets you can physically and mentally overcome your obstacles by simply being damn good at the mini-game. In Ghost Stories you can be in tactically impossible situations. Other than the exorcism dice and the timing of each ghost’s appearance and the identity of Wu Feng (important things!) it is a deterministic game.

You can prepare for it. In Space Cadets, it's literally the flip of a card. You don't know what will hit you and how, you just know it will for sure be something that makes it even easier for the next card to hit you.

This is a really weird comparison. Why are we comparing Wu-Fung to routine enemy and damage cards? In Ghost Stories a normal old ghost can magically haunt a tile, kill you, take your power tokens, prevent you from using power tokens, take your dice … the implementation is very different obviously, but how is this conceptually different from Space Cadets where enemies are randomized and damage (if you take it) can randomly remove things you need to win?

In Ghost Stories, you can’t prepare for losing two of your dice and then being unable to use power tokens. This happened to me once. It’s survivable–severed heads are a one-dot ghost and there are exactly two die-stealing ghosts in the deck for precisely this reason. But you’re entirely at the mercy of a 2-in-6 or more likely you’re going to use the Sorceror–if we hadn’t already been low on chi I would have done that instead of rolling but I figured I had two dice so I should be able to handle a severed head …

And there’s the thing. Ghost Stories does exactly what you’re describing to you all the time. The only thing you could argue is “well, it’s your fault, you could have played better” and … well … so with Space Cadets!

And so on. Sure, there's also the Nemesis track, but there's nothing you can do about it when it reaches you and you have taken some damage.

Er … none of the stations become literally impossible when you have taken damage. I think we need some perspective on damage. You don’t take damage when you personally are bad at a station. You take damage when your team as a whole fails to get themselves into a position to take no damage and maybe that includes you screwing up … but it can’t be you alone screwing up. I think it’s further important to keep in mind that this is a game of less archetypal game skills. In addition to tactics, or if you have a good captain to the exclusion of tactics, you need to be able to perform a specific physical task that has some sort of not-explicitly-tactical cognitive element. If your captain isn’t good or if you feel like it you can embrace the tactical element of that cognitive task. In any case, this is not a game where simply making the right or wrong decision decides your fate. Space Cadets is a game not of doing the right thing but doing the thing right.

That said, I don’t understand how this quote above is a contrast. You have an almost-full Ghost Board. Shapeless Evil shows up. You now have until you run out of Chi, get triple huanted (if there are huanters present), or ten Ghosts–whichever comes first–to clear two Ghost spots at least once and continue clearing at least one Ghost space per turn AND wedge a Bhudda into one of said spaces AND have it stay there until you can get to the Temple of the Winds … and then you have to exorcise the bastard. This is possible in much the same way that literally blind-firing and absorbing two energy per turn on the weapons station is possible. But it’s really, really hard.

All you know is you'll take more damage and be less equipped to do anything about it. In Ghost Stories or Pandemic the challenge is there for you to figure out how to beat; in Space Cadets it's there to beat you up regardless of what you do.

If you’re good at the game, you can weather damage, do good triage on repairs, minimize damage in the first place, and work around your weaker links. Tractor beam kinda shitty but weapons officer is a friggin’ ace? Well, blow the crap out of your enemies to relieve pressure from Tractor.

I think in terms of design, the Nemesis is clearly supposed to be just a timing mechanism. But the game would be SO MUCH LESS FRUSTRATING if it just told you "if you can't beat the mission in X turns, you lose" than with this damn thing creeping on you and beating you up until you're done - one way or the other. It's like that Sasquatch in Ski-Free. You know it's getting you and there's nothing you can do about it but watch it catch you and gobble you up. Now imagine that for half an hour.

As with the sasquatch in Ski-Free … you CAN escape the Nemesis and further you have a chance to finish the game right up until the core-breach explodes your ship. Even hounded by the Nemesis, you can still nab the last crystal and jump out.

I’m still struggling to see how any of this is a contrast with Ghost Stories, too …


#136
And in a way I totally agree with you regarding progression mechanisms. I don't think they are usually necessary or desirable either. Space Cadets is an exception because of the Nemesis: all of a sudden you have a dramatic increase in difficulty, and not only does the game not prepare you to deal with it, at that point you're even less capable of doing so because of any damage cards you've accumulated and will be accumulating as it tracks you down. It becomes a frustrating slow burn towards your inevitable demise - which, again, can go on for a good 30-40 minutes, with everyone knowing there's nothing to be done, but going through the motions holding to a last strand of hope -, and to us that just wasn't fun.

… all of a suden Wu Feng appears … sorry, I’ll stop harping on about that now but I’m quite confused!

You realize that having so much damage your ship is non-functional comes from poor play, yes? Damage can be repaired. You should be able to hold out long enough despite difficulty to repair before you take yet more damage. This doesn’t put the game beyond even your specific criticisms in one form or another, but it does sound like you have an unreasonably large blind spot for the degree to which skill comes into play in Space Cadets. It is a very difficult game. It is a game where if you are losing horribly, that is mostly your fault albeit with a substantial dose of chance thrown in. But that description fits Ghost Stories nicely. Maybe Antoin Bauza can walk anyone through a Nightmare game perfectly every time, and maybe the Engelsteins can beat the more difficult missions in Space Cadets. For most players, these games are brutally difficult and can be lost LONG before you realize it or hit the Game Over screen.

What I find interesting is that you didn’t feel like you could make a comeback. In my playthroughs of Space Cadets we all felt like there was a hope right up until we exploded.

Anyway, have you considered stretching out the time limit for each station? 45 seconds maybe?

What I find particularly odd other than your resistance to my Ghost Stories example is the game-length comment coupled with your reaction to the easier missions. The problem is that the game is too difficult and you don’t have room to learn on your feet so when you play a full length game, it can feel disproportionately brutal in a way that can feel–accurate or not–beyond your ability to account for with skill and at the very least can feel unworthy of further trials.

It sounds like what the game needs, then, is exactly what it gets–some shorter, easier scenarios that take less time and allow you to become familiar with the mechanics and the decisions one makes during the game without feeling like you’re inevitably going to die horribly. Some of them don’t have a nemesis.

You need something approachable to give you hope. For many players, I feel, Ghost Stories lacks this too! Where Ghost Stories works for some players (like me) is that the first third or so of the game is a cakewalk that rapidly deteriorates into chaos. Those first handful of turns in particular allow you to feel confident and in control and give you a feeling of what it’s like to be doing well. For someone who is optimistic and stubborn, if gives you a lot to hold onto right down to the very end as you get trapped in a resurrection cycle in the graveyard. It’s a matter of degree; I don’t think most players feel like Ghost Stories is fair or approachable on their first play. But Ghost Stories is also more absorbing–everyone is participating for the full game. In Space Cadets everyone gets routine breaks and indeed are told to only discuss tactics during the planning phase … this gives players more time to appreciate their doom among other things.


#137

Without stretching this discussion much longer, I feel like the main point we disagree in, the one you brought up in your first post, is if a death spiral is just another difficulty mechanism. I think you’re interpreting me not liking Space Cadets because I thought it was difficult - that’s not it. I love punishing cooperative games, like the one we were talking about before I brought Space Cadets up. I don’t like the escalation in Space Cadets, and I don’t like how the game implements failure punishment. You mentioned that I have “an unreasonably large blind spot for the degree to which skill comes into play in Space Cadets”, but my point is the exact opposite: the game requires extreme skill, and towards the endgame, it doubles-down on the challenge. Oh, you’re struggling to complete this puzzle? Well, now you have to do it with half the pieces. And one hand. Blindfolded. Hopping in one leg. (sorry, I don’t remember exactly the cards, I traded my copy away :)). In Ghost Stories, I always feel the game is mine to lose - and I lose often -, but every damage card in Space Cadets just felt like “come on, just kill us already.”

That, coupled with how repetitive the mini-games can be, killed it for me. Maybe it is the same as other games that I like, maybe my brain is weird like that. But I get a much greater satisfaction from having my ass handed to me by those other games mentioned. :slight_smile:


#138

The repetition makes more sense to me. It’s a game with a lot of issues. But …

I just don’t get how one would not say that Ghost Stories. With all of the horrible things the ghosts can do and all of the limitations that hauntings and full ghost boards put on you as a player … how is that not doubling down on the challenge?

What I don’t understand is not you thinking Space Cadets is worse than Ghost Stories nor you thinking Space Cadets implements these things poorly. That I get even if I disagree on degree.

What I quite simply don’t understand is your double standard. It seems transparent to me but you seem not to see it as a double standard at all. I wasn’t so much arguing that death spirals are the same as escalation mechanics, but that it’s easy to conflate the two and somewhat a matter of perspective.


#139

¯\(ツ)/¯ Maybe it is a double standard, I dunno? All I can say is that I like one but the other was one of my worst gaming experiences. :slight_smile: Maybe it’s the combination of the death spiral + the repetition + the length?

I don’t disagree that Ghost Stories has a difficulty escalation, but it progresses in a way that, to me, makes more sense and is less frustrating. Yes, your options get more limited as the game progresses, but most of the time you have the choice of what you are willing to let go and what you absolutely have to avoid at all costs. You have agency. Or at least, the feeling of agency. Most of the time, you can see it coming. You can prepare. You can prioritize. When a badass ghost card is flipped and severely handicaps you, you can immediately start planning on how to get rid of it. Maybe you can’t even do that and lost the game without realizing, but the puzzle is laid there for you to figure out. Maybe it’s the physical nature of Space Cadet’s mini-games, where if you’re already struggling to deal with its challenge given your limited skill and then you get a card that further handicaps you, there’s no amount of thinking or training (within the confines of a that play) that can lead you to overcome that challenge. I dunno. And pretty much all 6 players complained about the same thing, and 3 of those had played and enjoyed Ghost Stories… To me it really doesn’t feel like the same thing. I don’t see it as a double standard because while they have in common “the game escalates and is punishing”, the tempo and mode of how they do it is dramatically different. To me, at least.


#140

Which is why I’m confused by your statement about the easier, shorter scenarios as a smoother less punishing introduction to the game being a bad solution to this problem. That sounds like one of the most obvious steps in the right direction. Maybe it’s not sufficient and maybe it doesn’t rescue the game either for you or even more objectively, as it were, but it’s weird that you would say it’s not even a part of the solution the game needs.