07 April 2017
Standalone follow-up to Tim Fowers’ 2015 hit is set during the 19th century
Paperback is one of our favourite games of the last few years and we’re massive classic literature nerds, so the news of a follow-up to Tim Fowers’ word-builder set in the 19th century writing scene was poetry to our ears.
What’s even better is that the standalone prequel-sequel has the perfect name: Hardback.
Just as in Paperback, players take on the role of authors looking to write the next bestselling hit. (Hot tip: use the Jane Austen ‘abstract noun and abstract noun’ naming formula.) To do so, they use letter cards to form words – but there’s a difference, in that players don’t buy new letters from a central market. In fact, there’s no central market at all.
Instead, there’s a new push-your-luck mechanic in the form of ‘ink’, which can allow the drawing of extra cards – but also stop players from spelling words if they take it too far. There’s also no wild cards, but any card can be made into a wild by playing it facedown.
It sounds like it’s much more than a simple reskin of Paperback, although the art design’s use of elaborate books spines is doing funny things to our insides nonetheless.
Fowers has taken Hardback to Kickstarter, where it has quickly sailed past its $20,000 target and now sits at more than $100,000 with 19 days left to run. The game is $27 – plus a thankfully modest $6 postage to the UK.
A couple of new expansion stretch goals have already been added to the game, with a co-operative mode among the bonuses yet to be unlocked.