Tabletop games are cool.
Over the years, they have fallen from favour with popular culture, with video games rising to the fore. Video games may have the glitz and glamour, but you can have just as much fun with a group of friends sitting around a table with a few drinks, a few games, and a few hours.
For several years now, I have spent my Tuesday evenings with my friends playing the games we have bought, and over time we have amassed a large selection. In this series I will look at some of the more interesting and fun games I have on my shelves, in a hope that others will catch the ‘geek club’ bug.
Tonight, I’m reviewing…
What They Say
Six professional thieves. Six conflicting agendas. One pivotal heist.
It is the future, and beneath the flickering glow of the sprawling New Angeles skyline, immense corporations seek every advantage in the burgeoning field of android technology. On the brink of a revolutionary innovation, CyberSolutions Inc. is poised to become the next global powerhouse, threatening the profits of well-established conglomerates Haas-Bioroid and Jinteki. But unfortunately for CyberSolutions, security at their New Angeles branch has just been compromised.
Infiltration is a tense card game of futuristic larceny in which two to six players take the role of thieves, competing to steal valuable secrets from a highly secured corporate facility. The most vital information lies deep within the complex, but each step inward takes you farther from escape. Worse yet, the alarms have been triggered and corporate mercenaries are closing in! Can you avoid security patrols, surpass rival thieves, and download the most data before the mercs arrive on the scene?
Packaging and Quality
Infiltration comes in a small-medium sized box made of thin box-card. Despite being made from thin card, the box is sturdy and not at all flimsy. The box art is full of the typical blues, greens, and silvers you would expect from any game which takes it’s theme from cyberpunk genre. The cover is taken up mostly by a female android, not surprising given that Infiltration is part of Fantasy Flight’s Android Universe. The rear of the box is taken up by the above text, and a picture of quite an attractive female hologram.
Inside the box you find a twelve page Rules of Play booklet. The booklet is easy to follow with both illustrations and examples describing most phases of the game. Below the booklet is a sturdy cardboard spacer, leaving just a small trench available for card and token storage. The largest game piece is the alarm counter. It has three dials, one to show the current security level (which affects how quickly the mercenaries arrive) with the other two dials show how close to the facility the mercenaries are.
There are several decks of cards in the game, which are printed in two sizes. The larger sized cards are for the players and the rooms. The smaller cards are for NPCs, actions and items. These are nicely printed the colours and artwork fit with the universe. There are also six character tokens to show which room a player is in, as well as a large quantity of ‘DF’ tokens, which show how much data you have downloaded. The cards and tokens are stored in four resealable bags of varying sizes, with the large number of DF, Interface, and Lock tokens being housed in a large resealable bag the size of the box. The size of this bag is a bit unnecessary, as they could have been housed in a much smaller bag.
The aim of Infiltration is to enter the facility, and relieve the corporation of the crucial data that you have joined the heist to obtain. The person who gets in, gets the most data, and then gets out in time, wins. It’s the last part that causes the biggest issues for the players, as the game does have a time limit.
The facility is set up by dealing thirteen random rooms. Six downstairs, six upstairs, and a secret room that can be reached only if one of the two special rooms are in play. The rooms are dealt and the order signifies how close to the entrance they are. Each room contains an amount of data that can be download. They also can contain interface actions, which can do things like drawing cards, getting more data, or even changing the security level. The third thing a room may have is either a worker, or a tech lock. These tokens signify either a night-shift worker to get crucial data from, or a tech lock that also hides more data. Rooms may also have an effect which happens either when revealed or every turn. These can be both positive or negative.
Each room is one step through the facility, and the players must escape before the time limit expires. Failure to do so, means an instant loss. The time limit is set by the mercenaries moving ever closer to the facility. At the end of each round, the timer is increased by the roll of a die, and modified by the current security level. If the security is lax, the mercenaries won’t get there as quick, but if the alarm is raised, they will rush and end the game quicker.
There is a lot of character and flavour in Infiltration, coming from a Fantasy Flight’s ever-growing Android Universe. The game itself is quite quick to both set up and play, with it being very similar in gameplay to the classic Dungeonquest board game. Instead of treasure and gold, you have data. Instead of a dragon, you have mercenaries. The result is often the same, dead players. Infiltration is a game which shows that greed means risk, but the reward might be worth it. I would definitely recommend investing in a visit to this part of the Android Universe. I will be looking at the other games in the series, as well as the novels, and might well revisit the Android Universe in a future review..
Infiltration is produced by Fantasy Flight Games.