Tobold's Blog
Saturday, January 02, 2021
Patching a board game

I mentioned a board game on this blog that I didn't buy: Etherfields. It is from the same company that just delivered Tainted Grail to me, and it caused some stir recently with some reviewers being quite negative about it. The reviewers said the that rulebook was badly written, the vertical setup of the board was unpractical, and while the "dreams" were nice, the "slumbers" you had to play between them were grindy and repetitive. Now you might think that with a physical product, there isn't much what the developers can do about fixing a board game, but apparently in this case they are at least trying. Awaken Realms announced that they are working on improving the game.

They already released a short rules guide, but will also make a better version of the rulebook, and a how to play video. They will release a high quality file of a horizontal board to print out and replace the vertical one. And they are even adding a new game mode, Continuous Dream Mode, without those slumbers that some people so dislike.

I still don't plan to buy the game, as the theme of playing through my nightmares isn't really appealing to me. But I found the concept of "patching a board game" quite interesting. Some of the patched stuff will even become physical, because there is a second production and shipping wave. Note that the second Kickstarter of the 7th Continent had something similar, making an improved 2nd edition of the original game, and offering an upgrade pack to the owners of the 1st edition, so they got cards with errata on them. Of course, some parts of a game are easier to replace than others, cards easier than the game board. But it is interesting that in spite of the Kickstarter business model, in which the customers pay long before receiving their game, the developers still care to improve the game after release.


The Witcher Adventure Game (board game) fits this bill. I got it thinking, cool - Witcher stuff and while the components were all great the game play was simply dull and for some reason competitive. Yep Geralt vs Jaskier like what?

A fan made rule set (The Witching Hour on bgg) fixed everything and made the game actually enjoyable (and cooperative!). Still better if the designers get it right from the start though.

Still waiting for a "patch" for London Dread because the finale in that is just terrible.
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