03 January 2018
Don Eskridge’s Black Hole Council sees players debating the fate of worlds
The designer of social deduction favourites The Resistance and Avalon is back with another way to spark arguments around the table.
Black Hole Council is the latest game from Don Eskridge, and the second Kickstarted project out of his relatively fresh-faced Orange Machine Games studio after last year’s similarly space-themed Abandon Planet.
As with Eskridge’s past work, Black Hole Council finds its entertainment and drama in encouraging players to debate and deduce the plans of their rivals – in this case, as they discuss the fate of entire planets in a galaxy.
The game is split into negotiation and deduction rounds, with the group of four to eight chatting about what to do with five planets for two minutes before voting on whether to settle, tax, mine or conquer the worlds in question. The final option is to toss a planet into a black hole, wiping it from existence.
Each player has a secret agenda for each type of planet, which dictates which type of action they want to happen. They can bribe their opponents to help get their way, but coins can be earned by guessing a player’s hidden objectives – helping to grease palms in future rounds and gain more sway.
Players advance up the council track as their influence increases, opening the doors for them to influence votes. Intrigue cards introduce other powers and chances to advance up the ladder.
Black Hole Council is up on Kickstarter until February 1st and has already made more than half its £14,706 goal. Assuming the project hits its target, Eskridge says the game will be out by this August latest.