If a designer publishes a game and you’ve never heard of it, does it exist? Better question: If a designer publishes a game and you’re not around to play it, is it still good? Well, someone was there to review it and it was poor apparently. This “clone” had my interest piqued at first glance. Why concentric circles? Why 3 rings? Why varying paths between rings? I was blown away … maybe that’s too strong a words. I was surprised to see this in my Tumblr feed. I was going to do an update on a post (for another game) and read through some of my previous game dev posts when I decided to refresh the page. Scrolled through, dropped a few likes, and THEN … duh duh duuuuuuhhh. Jumping out at me with its orbit-like appearance was, what I can only guess is, a game that basically one I’m developing right now. Not just closely resembling, mind you. It’s a friken clone of AXIA!!!!
Resemblance is uncanny
“That’s AXIA!” I told myself out loud at work. Then I realized where I was and looked around. Phew. No one staring. I looked closer at the structure and placement of things and instantly had to reference my original post about the evolution of AXIA. I just wanted to share what I’ve thought about different ideas from different people not differing that much. Especially when you’re working with a visibly specific type of board design. Now circular boards aren’t anything new, but how they are used is pretty specific.
Now, based on who’s game was developed first either of us can say the other is a “clone”. Fine! I don’t mind being a Sammy-come 2nd. This post is from a Japanese game review site called Boardgame Memo (Tumblr) that I’ve followed for over a year now. Some that interest me I tend to translate and read up on it. This was no exception. I HAD to read it. Here is the original posts and here is Google’s best attempt at translating the review.
“And the two of holding hands
Cooperation game in which two people who began to bad relationship regain the relationship.
While controlling the emotions, we continue to achieve the goal.
A look at the summary I I thought or “Dikushitto” specific association game of the system to the emotional element is not.
Using six of the public hand of each other, it will move the piece to the color of the mass of the goal.
Is moving emotional balance of players for each mobile, this is going to be limited action can not hand replenishment and not in the center.
So, with no attempt of ingenuity to playing, I felt I think we account for a large part of the game of win or lose the card luck.
Since the theme is changed, … be enjoyed if the theme-oriented person”
So yeah. That made a lot more sense now that it’s in shattered English 😛 But recently I found out the English information of this game on BGG. Here is the English grammatical version.
…and then we held hands
…and then we held hands. is a co-operative game about finding balance. To win, the two players must complete objectives and reach the center of the board.
The players take turns trying to fulfill the current common emotional objective by discarding emotion cards to move from node to node. They must do this without verbal communication, empathizing and always considering each other’s situation when making a move.
A player can use their own cards or their partner’s, but if their move causes their partner to be unable to move, the players lose and the game ends. While moving from node to node, their balance shifts, and they are not able to refill their hand.
The players win by meeting in the center while in a balanced state and within one turn of each other – something quite difficult, and therefore very rewarding when achieved.
Both players cooperate to achieve a goal, without verbal communication, to build a successful relationship. The cards you have relate to objectives that are positive or negative in a relationship and you play that card or matching a similar “emotion card” with your teammate. If you draw a card with a red band, you must move to the nearest red dot with matching icon. And for each card played you do that, eventually both players meeting in the center, in perfect harmony for the win. Very interesting co-op game.
Axia – The clone wars
It’s pretty obvious, the visual similarities are between the two games. I wish I could see more game play or read the rules about ATWHH (and then we held hands). I could compare how close the mechanics between the two games are. From what I’ve read it does vary quite a bit from Axia.
[two_columns title=”Similarities” ]
- Circular board design
- 3 concentric rings with a goal in the center
- Varied paths between points in each ring
[two_columns title=”Differences” ]
- Colour coded spaces
- Meter for each player (corresponds to coloured spaces)
- Dice vs. cards
- Co-op play
- Hand management
- Point-to-Point movement
So quite honestly, it’s not a clone. And since ATWHH was published in 2015, Axia would technically be the clone. That’s my life. Always late to the party. In my devblogs about Axia, I express how this concentric circle style board is specific to a common set of mechanisms. ATWHH follows that same tradition, two (or more) players working towards moving their pieces to the center goal. It’s actually very intuitive if you think about it. Either moving inward or outward towards a goal and or racing along the rings. I also have another concept for a concentric circular board design, but it’s more of a racing game than a destination game. And staying away from the center is critical for survival. Last player standing wins. If I can find a print ‘n play of this game, or find a copy at a reasonable price, I would love to give it a try.
For anyone wanting to explore these limits, take any pawn/disc style game and apply it to a round board. Chess, Backgammon, Chutes & Ladders even, and adapt to the board. It’s really interesting and you may get some great results doing so. There are so many of them already being applied and there are a whole lot more. Check out my post Round and round and round we go to see some of the concepts out there, plus a little something I’ve contributed to the cause.