Kickstart This! #242: Not Alone: Sanctuary
Designer: Ghislain Masson (Not Alone)
Artist: Sebastien Caiveau (Menara, Not Alone, When I Dream)
Publisher: Geek Attitude Games (Crisis, Kitchen Rush, Not Alone)
Genre/Mechanisms: action queue, bluffing, card game, deck building, deduction, expansion, hand management, one versus many, simultaneous action selection, team-based game
Funding Status: At the time of this posting, Not Alone: Sanctuary is already fully-funded. Pledges currently total almost 3x the initial funding goal with 3 days left to go on the campaign.
Player Count: 2-7
Solo Mode: no
What It’s About: “An asymmetrical card game in which one player (the Creature) plays against the stranded explorers (the Hunted). The new expansion adds a few elements to the base game, such as a Sanctuary location that gets more powerful the more that you visit it, but which also requires more effort to reach. The creature also gains the ability to mutate. Rescue survivors & fortify your base quickly!”
How It Works: “If you play as one of the Hunter, you explore Artemia using Place cards. By playing these and your survival cards, your aim is to avoid being hunted down by the Creature until help arrives. If you play as the Creature, your aim is to hunt down the shipwrecked survivors and assimilate them into the planet’s ecosystem. By playing your Hunt cards and activating the powers of Artemia, you repeatedly attack the Hunted to wear down their will and inescapably bind them to the planet.”
“The planet Artemia is made up of 10 different Place cards. Each Place card has a number, a name, and a power that can be activated by the Hunted. The Place cards are horizontally or vertically adjacent. Each Hunted begins the game with the 5 basic Place cards (Lair, Jungle, River, Beach, and Rover) and may explore new places during the game (Swamp, Shelter, Wreck, Source, and Artefact).”
“Each turn takes place over 4 phases: Exploration, Hunting, Reckoning, and End-of-Turn Actions.”
“During the Exploration Phase, the Hunted simultaneously play one Place card each from their hand. Before doing this, they may choose to Resist, forfeiting 1-2 Will counters to take back 2-4 Place cards of their choice. If in doing so, the Hunted loses their third Will counter, they must instead Give Up, regaining all of their discarded cards and Will counters, but moving the Assimilation Counter one space forward.”
“In the Hunting Phase, the Creature places the Creature, Target, and Artemia tokens on various Place cards.”
“During the Reckoning Phase, the Hunted reveal their selected Place cards. Hunted in locations without tokens can then use the Place’s power or regain 1 Place card of their choice from the discard pile. A Hunted on a location with the Target token is subjected to the effect of the Hunt card, and then may use the Place’s power or regain 1 Place card of their choice from the discard pile. A Hunted on a location with the Artemis token discards 1 Place card from their hand, and may not take any actions. A Hunted on the location with the Creature token immediately loses 1 Will Counter, and may not take any actions. The Assimilation Counter moves one space forward total (not one per Hunted) if any of the Hunted are on a location with the Creature token.”
“In the End-of-Turn Phase, the Hunted discard the Place cards they played during the round, and the Creature retrieves its Hunt Tokens and draws Hunt cards back up to a hand of 3. The Rescue counter moves forward 1 space.”
“The Creature wins immediately if the Assimilation counter reaches the Victory space first. With their will sapped, all of the Hunted have been assimilated. They are now part of the planet. The Hunted win immediately if the Rescue counter reaches the Victory space first. A Rescue mission arrives to extract the survivors from this hostile planet.”
Comparisons: Not Alone is somewhat unique in its combination of the one-versus-many and deduction genres. The best comparative games out there are probably Fury of Dracula, Letters to Whitechapel, and Whitehall Mystery. Some other one-versus many games include Betrayal at the House on the Hill, Conan, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, HeroQuest, Middle-Earth Quest, Specter Ops, Spyfall, and Star Wars: Imperial Assault. And a few of the higher-rated deduction games (especially those that don’t fall into the party genre like Codenames, Coup, and The Resistance) include Alchemists, Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, Captain Sonar, Chronicles of Crime, Dead of Winter, Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, and Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective.
What Should I Pledge?:
$24 Take Sanctuary: just the new Sanctuary expansion including all milestones from the campaign, presumably for those who already own the base game.
$34 Expanding Universe: everything in the Take Sanctuary pledge level plus the previous Exploration expansion, again presumably for those who already own the base game.
$44 You Are Not Alone: everything in the Take Sanctuary pledge level, plus a copy of the base game.
$54 Exploration: everything in the Expanding Universe pledge level, plus a copy of the base game.
The milestones of the campaign (aka the stretch goals) will not be included in retail editions.
All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $54 for the Exploration pledge plus $15 in shipping for a total of $69.
Not Alone: Sanctuary completes its Kickstarter on Friday, July 17th and tentatively ships in January 2021.