As the use of AI in real life is gaining a lot of momentum Luddite by Madeleine Adams, Joseph N Adams hits a little close to home. In Luddite the new roll and write game from Cogito ergo Meeple (Solar 175) players will be hacking the Neural Networks to gain access to the NEDs. Whats a NED? Well its a dog like robot that can preform complex tasks that humans have been preforming. They are taking the place of large swaths of the workforce and now there are some people fighting back.
Luddite takes place in the Solar 175 universe and is much more than a roll and write game. Luddite is a graphic novel that has a roll and write game in each chapter. The game evolves as the story evolves. New rules and mechanics are introduced as you make your way through the story and each chapter has you working on more complex puzzles as you work you way through the Neural Network.
The first chapter of the novel puts the player directly in the action and gives the player a feel for what is happening in the world around them. I found the graphic novel (I only got the first chapter) to be very well done with an engaging story. I really enjoyed the roll and rite game that was perfectly themed with the graphic novel. The game was complex enough to make it feel like I was "hacking" into the system. I am an IT engineer by trade so hacking without the computer seemed odd at first but after I got over that it was really interesting.
The game evolves as the story evolves.
Luddite starts out with a sheet that's divided into 2 parts the NED and everything else. The NED is where players are moving through the network getting to the locations to deploy their code. On the other side of the sheet there 4 places to preform actions. The Clock, The Hack, The Switches, and Roll Bonuses. Additionally there is a small reference section and a place to track resources and add up your score. The symbols and flow of the sections made learning the game easy.
To play the game 3 dice are rolled and each player will use one of them to mark off squares on the clock equal to the die roll. The other two die can be used for other actions. Players can mark off spaces in the Hack, turn switches on and off, move through the NED and mark off roll bonuses. When a player fills in the row of the Hack they will be able to score damage against the NED if they navigate to the corresponding space on the NED.
There is a lot of planning and strategy that goes in to making it through the NED and it all relies on the roll of the dice.
Players will navigate through the NED by moving through spaces on the board players will have to have sequences of switches in the correct on or off pattern for each square. The Boolean operators are on each square that a player has to navigate. Spaces with die faces on them will need a matching die roll to unlock that space. There is a lot of planning and strategy that goes in to making it through the NED and it all relies on the roll of the dice. Players will race the clock to complete navigating the NED and deal as much damage as possible.
Luddite is a story driven roll and write game that draws from the Solar 175 universe. Luddite has depth of strategy and ease of play all while delivering a rich story and theme. Players will manage resources and time while trying to navigate the NED to deal damage to the Neural Network. Luddite will be live on Kickstarter on July 11th so hit notify on launch and get ready to launch into Luddite by Cogito ergo Meeple.
Year Published: 2023
Recommended Ages: 16+
Time to Play: 20-40 minutes
A copy of Luddite was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for review purposes by Cogito ergo Meeple.