The Networks Board Game

Experienced designer Gil Hova immerses players in the world of media moguls and high-stakes prime-time television. Gil Hova of Formal Ferret Games has announced a Kickstarter campaign for his next board game. The Networks is a strategy game playable by 1-5 players in 60-90 minutes, ages 13 and up. It launched on Kickstarter on September 1, with a $25,000 funding goal and a base pledge level of $35 for a copy of the game, with free shipping in the US.

In the game, players are TV network executives looking to build their prime time lineups and score the most Viewers. Shows alone won’t do, they need big Stars and Ads, which players must secure first. Stars and Ads have their own sets of conditions; they perform better on certain types of shows or in certain time slots. 

As shows age each season they decline in viewership, so players must replace them with fresh new Shows and Stars. The game rewards planning and strategy, and features a drafting mechanism that drives player interaction. “I’ve put a lot of work in removing friction from the game,” Hova says. “Its rules are extremely intuitive and turns move very quickly, and yet the game is constantly presenting you with interesting decisions.”

The Networks is infused with Hova’s trademark sense of humor, as you start with three awful public access TV shows (e.g. “Emergency Broadcast Test Hour”, “Unlocking Your Cat’s Psychic Potential”, “Get to Know Your Lower Colon”) and slowly replace them with hot new shows (“Communist-y”, “Paisley is the New Burnt Umber”, “The Baccalaureate”). 

The game also boasts a challenging solo player mode, which introduces a push-your-luck mechanism. “It’s possible to lose the game early by pushing your luck too far, which creates an incredible tension,” Hova says.

 

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