011 – it’s a game but it’s different

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We got some interesting new games at Essen last October, and here’s one that’s getting some attention. We had to pay €25 just to get a used demo copy from the publisher, it was that popular at Essen. It’s called 011, it’s quite different in many ways, and our Andrew (Britain’s leading Friedrich player) gives us a snapshot review…

011, it’s an odd sort of name for a an odd sort of game that doesn’t really fit in to any particular category. There are familiar elements alright – but it is unique in its own special way, as I hope to explain.

The game is set in the city of Turin, in an alternative reality where the world is going to end. In 11 hours time to be precise. One of the 8 characters on the board is the chosen one who must find 15 pages of
music and be directed to the “inscrutable organ of eternity” to win the game.

So it’s a co-operative game then? No, the players don’t control a specific character throughout the
game; and only one player can achieve the glory of victory. On the 5th turn of the game one of the players will be randomly possessed by the “spirit of Fennir” (or dealt a card in plain English) and that player gets different win conditions. There is an auction element in the game to determine order of player,
yet I would not describe this as an auction game.

To discover the chosen one you need to look at the cards in other player’s hands, thus deducing which character is required for the win. Some compare this process to Cluedo! I’m not sure I agree.

Just one more thing to throw in to show the kind of game this is. There are three gears meshed together at one corner of the game board – twisting one round re-positions all three – creating an interesting
and unique way of determining the movement and the character actions available on any turn.

I haven’t covered every single aspect of the game, but I hope you can see that here we have game that is proud to be different. I enjoyed the game enough to want to play again – at least once anyway. When I played 011 on 04/02/2012, my fellow players had mixed reactions. A mixture of “this is interesting” , “a bit long” and “confused” was the verdict.

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2 thoughts on “011 – it’s a game but it’s different

  1. BMYork says:

    I’ve not played it myself, but it’s a curious beast. You don’t own a character, but one of the characters will win the game.

    Ask Andrew to show you on Saturday.

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