04 October 2018
Off the grid
Alexander Pfister, the multi-Kennerspiel des Jahres-winning designer behind Great Western Trail, Mombasa and Isle of Skye, is going off the grid with his next game – literally.
Blackout: Hong Kong is set in the titular city following a total loss of electrical power, leading to social chaos and the breakdown of government control.
Players are those attempting to restore order to the city by building crisis centres and recruiting specialist team members to their crew, in order to explore and secure struggling districts.
With the power out, resources are hard to come by; managing their limited goods is crucial to players’ success, with only half the resources required by their crew available on any given round, making choosing who gets what they need to achieve given objectives a key dilemma.
As well as the central challenge of resource management, Blackout: Hong Kong also involves card-driven hand management gameplay. Pfister describes its complexity as being similar to the mid-weight Great Western Trail and Mombasa.
The game features a campaign mode set over five chapters, as up to four people compete to claim power in the city – no legacy or permanent elements are included in the campaign, making it completely replayable. Each chapter will take around 75 to 150 minutes to complete, making a full campaign last anywhere between six and 13 hours.
Bringing the world and Pfister’s gameplay to life is artist Chris Quilliams, the illustrator with credits on both seasons of Pandemic Legacy, Azul, Carcassonne and more.
Blackout: Hong Kong will be released at Essen at the end of October.