In the future interactive reality TV has involved everyone weather you like it or not. Between one and eight citizens are plucked off the street and dropped into the Gadget Grid. You will fight to your death and only one of the abducted citizens will return home to great fame and rewards. You must keep your head about you and be resourceful in the up-coming game Gadget Grid by Spacemole Games (live on Kickstarter until August 11th).
Gadget Grid takes place on a 10x10 grid numbered 0-99. This is the playing board where all of the action will take place. Setup of the board will vary depending on player count. Setup will have you place 22 cards on the board that are a mix of players, environments, Zombots(non player standees), Gadgets and portal cards. To place the cards on the board roll the two 10 sided dice and use the two numbers to create the two locations on the board. For example when you roll a 5 and a 2 you will place a card on 25 and one on 52. In the case of doubles place both cards on the same space. After all 22 cards are on the board swap the zombots and player cards for their standees.
The game turn is split into 2 parts the Living turn and the Zomboid turn. If you still have any of the 3 life gizmos left on your standee then you get to take a living turn. The first part of the living turn uses the same mechanism that setup uses. You roll 2 dice and place two cards in the respective places on the board. The second of the four parts of the living turn is the Action Phase. This phase has you playing widget cards cards, purchasing Premium DLC cards or adding 2 more cards to the board. The third part is to move. Living players can move up to three spaces and can move diagonally. Finally the best part for last the Attack Phase.
Let's take a step back to talk about the cards that are getting placed on the board before we get to the Zomboid turn. When you draw two cards to place on the board and you draw and there is an environment card in the space already then you may place the new card in an adjacent square. The environment cards are all referenced on the board's edge and remain in play. The strategy of the game is a lot in the placement of cards on the board. There is a lot of fun in setting traps for the zombots and the living players.
The strategy of the game is a lot in the placement of cards on the board.
In addition to the environment cards there are Equipment cards, Widget cards and Attack cards that you can pick up off the grid. Equipment cards are played next to your character sheet these activate at the very beginning of your turn. Widget cards are used during the action phase and attack cards are used at the end of the turn. There some interesting moves when you combine the abilities of cards. All attacks deal one damage but keep in mind each player only has 3 life gizmos so it wont take much to knock out a player.
So you have died... or have you?
So you have died on the grid well all is not lost you will be revived by the grid. As this is not an exact science you will not come back as you were. You are now a Zomboid. All your gadget cards are laid down in front of you and your equipment cards are now inert. Good news though you are now immune to attacks and your premium DLC cards still work! On your turn you will still place 2 cards on the board at the beginning. Then you may place more cards on the board or buy a Premium DLC card. Then its movement time you can still move 3 squares but due to the reviving process you are no longer as agile as you once were so only orthogonal movement is allowed. You do not have an attack phase any longer so the only way to take down the other players is to move into their space and then you may take one of their life gizmos and place it on your standee. You are now living again congratulations!
The Premium DLC cards add some cool abilities to your character. They are a little on the costly side making them a good hard choice to make in the game, "Do I trade in these cards that I can use this turn to get an on going ability?". The game comes with a good instruction manual that at the end of it has a lot of examples of edge cases and a section with important and useful terms. These both come in handy when you are learning the game and make the teaching time shorter. The manual is also chalked full of fun humor that adds to the flavor of the game.
The unique placement mechanism leads to some interesting decisions made during a game of Gadget Grid. The fun theme, replay-ability of the game, and the low price point makes Gadget Grid a fun addition to your collection. Check out the Kickstarter that is running until August 11th and enter the Gadget Grid.
Year Published: 2022
Recommended Ages: 8+
Time to Play: 30-45 minutes