Information for Reviewers (deprecated)

I appreciate all the early reviews and I understand it's a lot of work for you. I can really imagine how much time flows into every single review - just playing the game for the first time is 2 hours - and I appreciate your help. For your review, I will also ship you a copy of the retail version including a Venture Capital Extension as soon as it is available.

Foremost, if you have any questions, shoot me an e-mail to louis (at) I am a fully loaded gadget person and I should be able to answer within minutes or hours during the day, and early next morning at the latest.

Kickstarter ends Monday June 13, in just a few days
It makes a big difference if you get a review out 
a few days before that! 

If you want, ping me a few days before you post your review, and I try to get you some of the developing artwork that you can post first on your review.

If you get out a review to your readers before June 13th, please point out:
  • Readers can pre-order the game until June 13th from Kickstarter: This is the only way to get the Kickstarter-only Venture Capital Extension, and they will get $10 off MSRP and free shipping (US only). The games will be shipped in the fall, ready for Christmas and they are great gifts.
  • High pledge backers will get the Beta Edition as a gift for their generous support. That's the only way to get the current art work with xkcd (other than doing a review :-)
Two questions that came up recently
  • Slow first rounds. This is by design. It allows first timers to learn the mechanics of the game. They are somewhat different from many other games. If everybody played the game before, those first two or three years will go by really fast. 
  • Too many cylinders. This is an artifact of the beta. We are fixing this for the Retail version, and are still discussing which of several options (all of which are better :-). I decided to not spend too much time on design and wait for a design professional. If you are interested in the options, ping me after you play a game or two.
Some additional information
The rest of the page contains information about the different versions of the game just FYI and so you know what is changing. There are basically three version of the game. The Alpha is what you have and what is used in ongoing play testing (e.g. for the extension). The Beta will go to Kickstarters only and is identical to the Alpha except for the box. I currently plan to make just 50. The Retail will be available commercially, and is mostly identical in game rules, but different in art and manufacturing. If you have Alien Frontiers or Pandemic: I am using the same manufacturer (Panda), so quality will be identical. I wrote an update about manufacturing.

To play the Retail game, play without lawyers (blue meeples) and shares (nature cubes). Focus on the game mechanics, player interaction, event cards, and ignore the artwork and manufacturing.   

      Alpha Beta Retail
Basic Rules    See your rules book.Same as Alpha, plus

Play with one executive per color less than players (i.e. 3 CTO in 4 player game)

Same as Beta, plus

*maybe* Product Chips are visible from beginning of game (but products are still not launched)

Art and Layout will change.
Kickstarter-only Venture Capital Extension.The Alpha ships with lawyers (blue meeples) and shares (natural 10mm cubes), but misses the extra event cards of the extension. It's playable this way, though.

Play with Lawyers but not shares, and you have exactly the Beta version.
The Beta will ship with lawyers as an optional element, but misses the shares or extra event cards of the extension.
The Retail version has neither lawyers nor shares.

Kickstarter Pre-Orders will get the Venture Capital Extension that comes with lawyers, shares, and extra event cards.    
Event Cards    See your copy
There are empty cards. I might have hand-written events on them. If not, create Defense and Executive Power cards.
Same as Alpha, plus

Defense (play against any card)

Executive Power (can have two execs of the same kind)

Same Beta, plus

Additional Event cards with new flavor text, but same or similar card effects.

Art and Layout will change.
Artxkcd background and otherwise mostly text xkcd background and otherwise mostly text  Completely new.

See some of the new art.
Printed MaterialBox, Board, Product Chips and Product marker (cylinders) wood.

Rest thin cardboard.
Same as Alpha, but

Smaller box.
Box, Board, Product Chips, and product markers will be made out of card board. 

Player Reference card will be same manufacturing as event card.

The box will be as beautiful and sturdy as Alien Frontiers - and same size, too. 

There will be fewer product markers and game state encoding will be massively improved.
ComponentsEmployees, money out of wood.

Shares are wooden cubes in alpha, they will become cards for the Extension.
Same as Alpha, but

New color scheme
consistent in size and quality
No shares
Identical to Beta

Finally, in case you wondered: The xkcd art is creative commons non-commercial with attribution. It can be used for all non-commercial uses. But Gary Simpson will do a lot more than just the board graphics....