Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Next board game review

The most popular tabletop role-playing systems prefer dice to determine whether a player’s action succeeds or fails. It was frustration with their arbitrary nature that led the designers of What Next to create this. This is his first game. It’s a collaborative family adventure where success is determined by various dexterity challenges instead of dice.

There are three adventures that make your choice more difficult. Wilderness rescue, superhero thread, sci-fi escape story.

What’s in the box

The WhatNext box itself is noteworthy. Instead of a sliding lid, there is a gatefold opening with a magnetic clasp. There is an archway cut into the outer flap, and below that there is a cartoon mural that introduces the adventure. These types of boxes are common in small games, but they are full-sized boxes and their effects are fascinating, as welcomed by your favorite novels.

Among them is a set of eclectic components that allow you to think that you bought a design kit rather than a game. There are three boxes of cards, one for each adventure, each holding three decks of different sizes for location, event, and item. The paper bag contains various blue plastic shapes, and another paper bag contains irregular purple blocks made of sturdy foam. The drawstring bag also contains an irregular piece of yellow plastic.

For cardboard, you’ll need to assemble a total of three dials, one for each adventure, to keep track of time. There is also a long cardboard wedge marked in the area, which comes with a wooden pack piece. It’s an intriguing collection that stimulates your curiosity and sees them in play.

Rules and how to play

What is the basic structure next? Anyone who has played an adventure gamebook will know. Players set the scene by reading the story text on the top card of the location deck. This usually leads to being offered a choice that could be a combination of other location cards to go to or events to work on. As a group, you are expected to discuss their relative benefits and decide what to do.

In reality, there are few clues as to which is the best choice. Part of the game is trying the same adventure multiple times to learn the best path. This is not a game issue as the adventure is so short. The essence of play is to challenge to overcome the problem.

The challenges are detailed on the appropriate cards, but fall into one of four major groups. In shape builds, like a tangram puzzle, you need to find the right blue piece to fill the shape of the card. To look for things, you need to immerse yourself in a yellow-shaped bag, feel blind and around, and find one or more specific shapes. The third is pack push. Here, flick a wooden disc over the wedge, aiming for a specific point.

However, the most notable is the fourth group. This is because it contains crazy mini-games that designers may come up with using the pieces in the box. These range from throwing cards at other players to quickly flicking a puck to try to knock out the bottom piece from the stack.

Part of the game is trying the same adventure multiple times and learning the best path.


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As you can imagine, the difficulty of these tasks varies greatly. For example, I feel that the final task is almost impossible. Sometimes you make practice attempts that often serve only to tension the nerves before the actual attempt. Certain members of your group may be better at some challenges than others that may affect your strategy. The challenge is never dull.

Anyone who reads a location card will rarely need to take on the challenge with a helper. Everyone else will be out of breath, screaming for advice and encouragement. It’s a nice little game theater, helped by its persistent sense that failure is just around the corner, even with the most certain hands.

Failure can result in the loss of useful items with penalties, but often it adds pieces to the Tower of Danger. This is the purpose of the purple foam shape. You need to place the first two side by side and then stack the pieces on top. They are all weird in shape and there is a clear strategic space to learn the best way to line them up. And that is an important skill of learning. Because if one collapses, it’s game over for the group.

This makes the stack of dangers delicious and tense, but this single point of failure can be difficult for clumsy players. Is this especially true if you are playing What Next? As a family game with children, they may find the tower difficult and even harder to lose. Of course, it depends on the individual child, and otherwise it’s a very good family game.

Indeed, it’s so clearly written, and all three adventures employ a painful comedy tone full of stupid ideas and masterpiece moments. But from nodding to popular franchises to occasional hidden gags for adults, there’s a lot to enjoy for all ages. Everyone is joking, so it’s hard to imagine someone reading the text and feeling self-conscious.

Despite the quality of writing, you can only hear quip very often before it gets old. And repetition is the greatest danger you will face during your adventure at WhatNext. The game strives hard to mitigate this problem. Every four turns, flip through the location cards for another difficult text and challenge. And the mini-game itself takes time to master. But when you start ignoring familiar stories, you lose some of their charm.

From nods to popular franchises to occasional hidden gags for adults, there’s a lot to enjoy for all ages.


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Play can also have strange artificial sensations. Mini-games are often a good imitation of the story, but repairing a compass, for example by making a circle from a piece of shape, can be difficult to lose yourself in the world of WhatNext. This is because the groups that tackle individual issues are clearly devised to involve everyone. It can be played solo and provides a more cohesive narrative sensation to make up for what was lost in group dynamics.

Where to buy

Next has a retail price of $ 50 and is currently available.