Assembly

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About

Assembly is an escape puzzle card game with elements of push-your-luck. It’s compact, fast and eminently replay-able. Set on a spacestation, you can play Assembly either solo or cooperatively with a partner. 

Your Mission

You are on an orbital platform that assembles luxury spaceships. After a recent swarm of micrometeorite impacts, a deadly virus has emerged and wiped out the entire staff. Luckily, you seem to have natural immunity and now you must escape to help create a vaccine before the virus reaches Earth. Unfortunately, the on-board computer has quarantined the station and is now venting the oxygen to ensure nothing survives.

Fortunately, you know of a half-built spaceship on one of the assembly lines and have discovered a rather limited set of commands to complete it but as you try to make your escape, the controls keep glitching. Does the computer know what you are trying to do?

You must work together and use your time and commands wisely to assemble the ship and make your escape before you perish.

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Gameplay

The only way to escape is to lock each Room Module into their correct bay, fully assembling the spaceship before you run out of time.

Using the available commands (Draw, Lock, Swap and Rotate), you can move the Room Modules around the assembly line until they are located in the correct and lock them into place. Unfortunately, the ship’s computer isn’t going to make your life easy, and just as you think you are a step ahead she will throw a spanner in the works.

No two games will ever be the same because of a variable setup, numerous role cards and the optional use of several malfunction sets activating on locking that force you to change your strategy. Also, 2-player games add limited communication into the mix and the optional use of sign language instead of verbal communication.


Design Approach

When designing Assembly, we had the following design goals, which we hope you will agree have been achieved:

  • Inclusiveness: We have tried to avoid using gender stereotypes and have made a conscious effort to include all variations of pronoun. The game can also be played entirely with hand gestures. Additionally, a reference sheet teaching you basic sign language is included.
  • Replayability: The base game includes 6 different roles along with 3 sets of Malfunctions (plus the standard no malfunction game), each of which require you to modify your win strategy. Additionally, there are several recommendations on how to make the game easier or harder. We will also be releasing templates for the community to make their own malfunction sets and role cards to extend the game even further.
  • Intuitive: This includes both learning the rules and playing the game. One of Janice’s pet hates is having to refer to the rule book mid-game as she feels it breaks the flow of the game. Therefore we have aligned every mechanism within Assembly to the background story. We know from experience that stories are far easier to remember than rules. This method, we hope, will mean that knowing what you can and can’t do becomes intuitive. We have also included lots of examples in the rules and there are player aids included for the key elements of gameplay.

Inspiration for Assembly has been drawn from clock patience, Shadi Torbey’s Oniverse games, Dungeon Petz and The Maiden Voyage. You can find a narrative on Assembly’s development in its WIP thread on BGG.


Awards

Assembly was ranked among the top designs in the 2016 Board Game Geek Mint Tin Design Contest (26 entries):

  • 1st place: Best Written Rules
  • 3rd place: Most Innovative Mechanism
  • 4th place: Overall in Contest*
  • 6th place: Best Overall Design
*based on Geek Gold

Reviews

BOD Loved the game; a fiendish puzzle that will delight any soloist looking for a compact quick challenge. It’s a big thumbs up from me!

Watch it.

Ricky Royal, Box of Delights

whats eric playing Overall, I think Assembly is a lot of fun! If you’re looking for a fun solo puzzle, this is definitely it, but if you’re looking for a very strategic two-player cooperative puzzle, this will likely satisfy that part of your collective brain as well. I’d recommend at either player count. One thing that I particularly like is how clear and distinguishable the symbols on the Room Modules are so that players don’t have to rely on color (or their perception of color) to be able to effectively play the game. There are a lot of good design elements at play in Assembly. I’m a fan.

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– Eric Yokuru, What’s Eric Playing

159e95b1-ea98-4077-b202-3cd63991131f Sci-fi at its ultimate mind bending, puzzle solving best. Probably the most fun a solitary spaceship construction worker can have left alone on a space station in lockdown/self-destruct mode, a deadly virus doing the rounds, a mad computer and a limited oxygen supply. This is Assembly!

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Giles Pound, Both Sides of My Table

72a4fd_980566ca013b4ae5bc728ecec33d6b8d~mv2 I love games that are of small stature, but pack an almighty punch- and that’s Assembly.

– Lindsay Jo, Shiny Happy Meeple

321c72_8c5db2879aff4c3db25db6570dc1e941~mv2_d_4960_5208_s_4_2 I love the look and feel of this game. The layout mimics clock patience. It’s co-operative but with communication restrictions which nicely adds to the complexity. But the best thing for me is that the theme is immersive. Every element, every mechanic, every card strengthens the theme. I am playing this [game] a lot. To say it has a strong ‘Again… again…’ vibe is an understatement and the compact nature of Assembly is very handy given how addictive it is. It’s permanently in my bag!

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– Ann Jones, Cards or Die

20624725_10102059909721317_914525507_n One of the best things about this game remains that rulebook and the clever, witty humor that drew me to the game in the first place. The game is good fun and it succeeds at being a fun and fast solo game. I could see someone who love cooperative games really enjoying the 2-player version of this game. As a solo game it is well-designed and enjoyable every time it hits the table. I think they’re going to be a new publisher to keep an eye on!

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– David Wiley, Cardboard Clash

Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 13.56.33 If you’re thinking that this game sounds rather like low level computer programming, you’d be correct. Perhaps my ancient degree in computer science is part of why I enjoy it so much, but particularly as a solo game it’s a rather meditative and quick playing entertainment. I recommend Assembly and think that Janice & Stu have done a really good job of balancing simplicity with strategy.

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Dave Taylor, Go Fatherhood


What Do Our Playtesters Think?

I’m a sucker for a small game.  It plays very fast, and feels very tight, by that I mean it’s always close to the wire. Loved the set up and this one has new mechanics which I love too!”  – Bruce, UK

Assembly is great puzzle for two. Both players’ decisions matter, and the communication limits help provide plenty of tension. It’s great to have a quick game we can break out after a long day that requires just the right amount of thinking.” – Teresa, USA

I liked the puzzle element of moving pieces (gambling on certain action cards turning up etc)…really challenging deciding when to use command cards for their optimum effect.” – Giles, UK

The rules were easy to learn and the game was fairly quick to play. We escaped on the very final turn – exciting and satisfying!” – Tom & Katherine, UK

I enjoyed the game a lot! It seems like the type of thing you could bring with you to a boring family gathering to pass the time alone or with the one person there you can stand.” – Amy, US

The ability to scale difficulty and switch roles make it a more replayable game, I like value for money.” – Symon, UK

I think it’s a great game. I love the malfunctions, and I like adding the special abilities.” – Michele, US

If you would like to playtest Assembly, please read the Rules then fill in this form

Photos

Assembly - Components sm

Prototype Components

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Layout with Prototype Components

Tabletopia Digital Implementation

Beta Tabletopia Digital Implementation

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