We’ve been watching the progress of a few Kickstarters and this one has had our attention from pretty early on. Right away the team behind Rivals Masters of the Deep was tugging on my wallet-strings by focusing on asymmetry, tactical combat, and miniatures. Asymmetric design is an instant interest generator around here, and the other two primary features are also very high on the list of things we love.
In particular another very cool design choice with this game was to stick with the nautical theme, of battles taking place deep in the sea. This seems like relatively uncharted territory in the past few years of releases for tabletop gaming. 2014 did give us Abyss, but that game ended up being largely about set collection – and isn’t quite the game that the initial (amazing) artwork for it had me hoping it would become.
Rivals, on the other hand, goes in a direction that is much more in line with my tastes with all of the features mentioned above. Specifically about the design, that’s a big plus as well. Not only the theme which is on the more unique side, but it also bears a pretty strong resemblance to the BioShock series (or at least BioShock 1 & 2 and smaller portions of BioShock Infinity.) This is a GREAT thing, in that it was a very strong series that resounded positively with many gamers, and is at the same time far from over-done.
Recently we had the opportunity to get in touch with Sean Layman and asked him would he kindly answer a few of our questions about the upcoming campaign, and hopefully that helps shed some light into the depths to help you make your own decision on the Kickstarter for yourself!
The art style for this game is fantastic, what type of other games, media, or literature inspired you all in the creation process?
Jules Verne of course but on top of that we have fallen in love with all things steampunk, Cthulhu and chibi. We like the cute and fun aspects of chibi and love how steampunk and Cthulhu really captures our imagination and lets it run wild.
Rivals features 2-4 players per game. For an introductory two-player game, which two factions would you recommend for new players – and why each of those two?
I would recommend the Cog and Nautilus, as the first two original factions their abilities are best suited for beginners. Their abilities are more attack/defense oriented, while the Low Clans are about numbers and swarms and the Ancients have crazy telepathic/elemental powers.
Do you have a personal favorite unit in the game?
My personal favorite unit is probably “Urf ‘The Swolen'” in the Low Clans, we worked really hard to give everyone unique abilities and I find his to be fun and different.