Tragedy Looper Board Game
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- For 2-4 Players
- 120 minute playing time
- High quality components
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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What if you could loop back in time to save a Tragedy? Tragedy Looper, a time-loop deduction board game. A Mastermind will unfold a mystery while the Protagonists try to figure out what is going on. As a Protagonist, your goal is to break out of the time loop maze and create a happy future. But you don't know who is who, what is what, and you don't even know how to win! However, you have the ability to travel back in time so you can replay the same script multiple times! As a Mastermind, your goal is to trigger tragedies and feast your eyes upon the misery of your opponents. You have all the information, but you have to win every single loop. And when the Protagonists lose, the taste of victory is so much sweeter!
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||8.75 x 1.62 x 12 in||9 x 12 x 1.11 in||2.01 x 1.77 x 8.78 in||11.97 x 1.77 x 9.06 in||11.75 x 3 x 11.75 in||1.37 x 4.6 x 6.41 in|
|Item Weight||—||1.83 lbs||—||1.98 lbs||3.9 lbs||0.65 lb|
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Each scenario is a mystery set up according to a set of rules available to all players. The protagonists (after the first two scenarios) can win by either figuring out all the roles assigned to characters, or getting through a loop without any of the "tragedies" occurring to force them to repeat it. You gradually learn more information each loop, and hopefully box the mystery into a corner where you can either make a play to win or solve it completely.
The only downsides I see is that you need a dedicated player as the mastermind, who serves as more of a Dungeon Master than a player. The scenarios are all designed to be "winnable" by the protagonists; the game seems like it's not intended to be a fair fight, I don't really see it as a team game, the mastermind is a facilitator to force the other team to play optimally. Most groups would want to rotate out the mastermind role, and the mastermind should put in a little research before each game to be able to play their scenario out effectively. The other downside is that there are only 10 scenarios... our games have taken progressively longer as we spend a lot of time debating and deciding between plays, so there's no doubt in my mind we're getting our money's worth, it'll just be a shame to see it end (until Z-Man brings over the expansions). The rulebook also contains guidelines on creating your own scenarios and balancing them according to how many loops would be required to solve them.
I'd recommend Tragedy Looper for a small core group (our group doubles up on a protagonist role to let us play with 5), that enjoys deduction and mind games. The game and the mysteries can seem a little overwhelming at first for casual players, but the game is heavy on tutorials and explanation, so they'll ramp up quickly. And the rewards are well worth it.
After the Mastermind sets up the board for the particular adventure, the play mechanics are pretty simple. The Mastermind plays cards, then the Protagonists play cards, and then you activate the abilities of the characters on the board. If the Protagonists didn't lose as this point, you go to the next day in the loop. If they failed, start the loop over and reset the board.
It's simply impossible to grok the game without spending time getting familiar with the various roles each character might play. There are 12 roles (serial killer, conspiracy theorist, etc) and 18 characters, but only 6-8 roles and 9 characters appear in each game (fewer for the first couple of games). Characters that play a certain role in one game, will play a different role (or none at all) in the next. For the Protagonists to succeed, they have to figure out which role each character plays. The rulebooks have good examples, but might overwhelm new players. I recommend using only the player aids when teaching the game. All the necessary information is there.
Time Stories has a similar time-travel gimmick, but I prefer Tragedy Looper because there are no randomized results from dice. When you get lucky in Tragedy Looper, it's because you had a keen sense of timing choosing when and where to play a card - or your opponent didn't. If you have a consistent group that will put time into a game like this, it's really fun to switch being the Mastermind. You might think it would be easier to win having more of the information, but once the other players figure out a few of the roles, they will solve it quickly if you don't bluff effectively.
There is no box insert to organize the cards, boards and tokens. Good (not great) quality, but inconvenient storage. A few small zip bags would have been nice. I sleeved the Mastermind and Protagonist cards because they're constantly being handled to and from the board. The manga artwork is fine, but it's hard to read the small text on the cards, so use the player aids for reference. Finally, the 12 adventure scripts that are included don't appear to be sequentially related, so it's less like a campaign and more like an anthology television series with 12 episodes that get more intense each time you play. Only replayable if you're the Mastermind and have a new group, but absolutely worth the price for fans of deduction games.
The problem with this kind of guide for me is that the terminology is not explained in the beginning, even during a practice play by play!