Recently I was given the opportunity to check out a new game. I received pdfs for the game along with the rules. This is my thoughts and opinions on the presented materials. Enjoy!
Battle of the Bands: World Tour Edition is a game designed by Dan Smith, published by Dan Smith Industries and Third World Games. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will become the stars of their own music group. The player that is able to reach for the stars and gain the predetermined amount of Superstar points will be declared the winner.
To begin, each player chooses a ME Band Member card and places it in front of them. The remaining ME cards are set aside and not used. The 2 decks of cards are separated and shuffled separately. Each player is then dealt 3 Red deck cards and 2 Blue deck cards. Play now begins.
On a player’s turn, they will draw until they have 6 cards in their hand. They may draw up to 2 Red deck cards and any amount of Blue deck cards. Once they have 6 cards, they can take 1 of 8 actions. Those actions are play a Band Member, play an Instrument, attempt to play a Reputation, play a contract, play a hit single, play a music biz, play a gig or discard cards. The first action is to play a Band Member card. A band can have as many as 4 members in it with the ME and Producer cards counting towards the 4 members. Each member has Hip Points that when used with any Instrument or Reputation cards in play, determine the strength of the band during a Gig. Some members are better with certain Instruments and some are better during Gigs. This will enhance the band’s strength.
The next action that can be chosen is to play an Instrument card. Only 1 Instrument can be played on a band member at any time. As I said earlier, these cards also have Hip Points that add to the band strength.
The next action is to attempt to play a Reputation card. These cards also have Hip Points. However these cards act a little different. First you must choose the band member and then state which version of the Reputation you wish to use. You then must roll less than or equal to the Hip Point value of the band member and their Instrument if they have one on them. If you are successful, you can add the Reputation to the band member thus strengthening or weakening the band.
The next action is to play a Contract card. When these cards are played, they allow certain Hit Singles to be played which may also give the player Superstar points.
Hit Singles cards have Superstar points on them. They are worth Hip Points when played during a Gig. Some of them require a Contract card or Signed Gig card in your group before they can be played.
Music Biz cards can be played on either your band or on an opponent’s band. These can be negative or positive depending on the card that is chosen.
Gig cards begin the Gig round when played. All players can participate in the Gig round. This is done by playing Monkey Wrench, Band Member or Instrument cards. The player that started the Gig chooses one of the Hit Single cards to play or may pass. Other players may then play cards or pass until all players have passed. Players that participate must roll a die. This is the audience’s reaction to their band’s set. The band adds the amount rolled to their final Hip Point value. The highest value wins the Gig. Afterwards, the cards that were played during the Gig are discarded and each player that participated draws 1 card from one of the two decks.
The last action that a player can do is to discard cards. The player is allowed to discard up to 3 cards. This allows them later to get rid of useless cards and draw more cards later. Once a player has finished with their action, the game then passes to the next player. The game ends when a player reaches the predetermined amount of Superstar points. That player is the winner.
The game comes with over 100 cards and 6 dice. Since I only saw a pdf of the cards, that is all that I can comment on. The design of the cards is really neat and the artwork is really cool. The Band Member and Instrument cards however, are the only ones with actual pictures. The rest simply have text on top of a standard design. Even so, they’re pretty cool. I rather like the different band members. I’m not certain on the thickness, style or durability of these cards, so I can’t really judge that. As it is, the components look good enough to check out further.
8 out of 10
The rules that I received were in the form of a 4 page pdf. Most of it was in plain black and white with only some blue text for examples. There were no pictures or anything of that nature. Basically, the rules get the job done but not very pretty. I’m sure that when the game comes out, the rules will be of a much higher quality and better design. I did like all of the examples of how to use the different cards. That was a nice touch. However, the rules themself didn’t seem as streamlined as I would have hoped. Still I was able to figure everything out well enough.
7 out of 10
Having not actually played the game, I can’t critique the actual gameplay. What I can give is my impressions of the game. First off it reminds me a bit of RockBand Manager. A lot of the game has that similar look and feel to it. I will say that this game’s art looks better though. To me, a lot of the concepts of the game look simple and easy enough for anyone to play. Nothing really appears to be too difficult. It looks to be a rather quick game and not something that will drag on for hours. The one main difference between this and RockBand is that this one has you playing cards that you drew whereas RockBand makes you pay to add the various cards to make up your band. That makes this look a lot easier in that aspect. I do like a good economic game though so I’m not going to say this is the best. I guess that’s something you will have to decide for yourself.
7 out of 10
Battle of the Bands: World Tour Edition is a light card game of musical mayhem. With an estimated game time of about 20 minutes, this appears to be a simple and fast game. The art is really nice and has a very comic book like feel. The concept of creating your own band is not a very overly used design. That makes this game fairly unique. The only other game that I’m aware of that feels like this is RockBand Manager. However the two games have enough differences about them that they should be able to coexist pretty well. Do I like this game? Hard to tell, as I’ve not played it. I can say that I’m intrigued by the idea of it and I really like the artwork and design of the cards. That said, this will be one that will require some game time and a finished product before I can recommend it or not. As it is, I’m interested.
7 out of 10
For more information about this game, please check out the games Facebook site.