Those with a keen eye might have noticed that my birthday went by with almost no mention on my part. This should strike you as odd because usually I am all about my birthday to the point of bordering on being obnoxious. I know it’s just marking the fact that you’ve survived the Earth rotating around the sun yet again, but really, I love my birthday! Seriously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating that you aren’t dead yet.1
Maybe it was part of the aftermath of major depression, but I was just blasé about my birthday this year. I didn’t have any plans in mind and in the end it was a pretty ordinary day, which suited me just fine. But you might have caught the passing mention of receiving some Firefly-related goodies.
Among this haul of fandom glory was the card game Firefly Out to the Black. Here’s a shiny picture:
I’m not entirely up on all the details, but the long and the short of it is this game was a Kickstarter that got pulled at the eleventh hour. I vaguely recall someone linking me to it last year and that is only because the board game and role-playing game were announced not long before that. Honestly, I all but forgot about this until it was gifted to me.
So, why haven’t I gushed about it before now? Well, that’s simply because I’ve only played it the one time, which probably wasn’t the best experience to use as an example.
First, none of us had played before so it felt like it took us until 2517 to actually get everything set up. As you can see in the picture above there are a lot of pieces to this game and the rules are just slightly different depending on the number of people playing. And nothing is labeled even though the instructions list a number of what you’re supposed to have of each thing.
Also, while the game is advertised as 3-5 players, it’s really does not seem intended for three people because the one big rule change in that particular setup is you play two characters rather than just one. And, you guessed it, it was just three of us playing. Two characters makes an already confusing first playthrough doubly more confusing. Also, it should be noted that there had been a not small consumption of wine beforehand so we were all of us maybe not at our peak cognitive abilities.
So, you have your character(s) and you get cards and then you put a bunch of other cards in the middle to be drawn. There is no board or anything to move around and instead it is all the various cards that are drawn which dictate the events and vice versa. It’s fairly straight forward. Each character has various skills and strengths and all in all the whole game is quite well thought out. I can’t say I was disappointed by it since I had no expectations at all, but for the most part the enjoyment was more about the Firefly references than the actual gameplay.
However, I will say that it was maybe just a bit over the top. The entire instruction book, for instance, is written in a style emulating slang from the show which sounds cool. But personally I found it difficult to follow, like trying to decipher netspeak or something. Certainly, there’s a great attention to detail here and everything is very nicely designed, but it’s not a sturdy game since everything is made from card stock.
Anyway, I’m just waiting to play with some more people before I can comment with any confidence. It’s definitely not a bad game, though.
- Plus, I didn’t get to celebrate my birthday as a kid. ↩