Publisher: Loneshark Games
Game Type: Card Drafting, RPG, Bidding, Hand Management, Asynchronous Power
Designer: Paul Peterson
Designer: Boyan Radakovich
Designer: Mike Selinker
Initial Year of Release: 2018
Artist: Brenoch Adams, Samuel Araya, Jacob Atienza, Helge C. Balzer, Bruce Brenneise, Mark Bulahao, Richard Burgess, Milivoj Ceran, Chrom, Giorgio De Michele, Florian Devos, Dreamstime.com, Jason Engle, Luke Green (II), Guido Kuip, Brandon Leach, Eric Lofgren, Patrick McEvoy, Brynn Metheney, Grzegorz Pedrycz, Michael Perry, John Peterson, Roberto Pitturru, Nick Russell, Joe Slucher, Liz Spain, Matthew Stawicki, Prosper Tipaldi, Cory Trego-Erdner, Shane Tyree, Christopher West, Ben Wootten, Kieran Yanner
Theme and What is it?
You are in Ninth World, a place where Numenera are found. You are nearly lacking all skill, and you must adventure, or be set upon by the adventure. Kill the monsters of the land or be killed by them. As with all true adventures, you may go alone, with a friend or group of friends, or battle it out with your frenemies for true glory.
Whether or not you survive is largely dependent on your skills in hand management and card drafting. Do keep in mind, you are not drafting Hallmark or Target father’s day cards. You are drafting enemies, that want to see you die.
The world has lived and died 8 times. You are in the ninth age, a tenth will eventually happen. What you do, may not matter in the grand scheme of things, but it certainly matters to you, and your destiny.
In each round you have five cards, with variable powers. You must use those over 5 rounds to draft cards, and those are enemies or places, sometimes treasures. You can choose to use more than one card in a round in your auction, but doing so means you will not have that card in the later draft rounds.
This is not a super unique mechanic in and of itself, it is the combination of the mechanic that feels new and fresh. In every round, there are mini drafting rounds, which are started by a mini-auction. The goal is to get first pick of the draftable cards. Use too many cards in a previous drafting round, and you may have none left to use. However, have no fear, there are 9 main rounds. You can make this same mistake 9 times in a row!
Some games yell quality. This can be done in a plethopra of ways; through art, gameplay, build quality or many other things. This game yells at the player, it says PLAY ME, NOW.
I had a bit of a hard time getting through the rules, but once I was playing, we were off to the races. My initial impression is that, WOW, now I will have to find a place on my shelf, this art is just too pretty.
Game Build Quality
The cards are good quality. They are the main part of the game. The board is part of the box, and functional for score keeping.
I really want to say the game build quality is phenominal, it is at its core, a card game, and nothing necessarily stands out physically. Though, with that being said, it looks great, and has fantastic table presence.
The box being the board, where the pieces are kept, and a part of the overall table presence is something new. As such, it stands out. The insert has places for everything except the characters oddly enough. It made me wonder if there size was an afterthought.
The art of this game beautiful. It makes the game pop. When you play, through the art, you are injected into Numenara. This is how game art should be, it should make you feel like you are in a different world, even if temporarily.
As you have read above, no expense was spared in the art. There were about 372 artists who contributed to this game.
I presume some of the art was from the previously existing Numenara universe. This is great, it means the universe is thriving and that the art has value beyond the initial placement. For the artists appreciator in me, this validates what I say constantly, that games are art.
After the rules pains (for me, probably not for you), I really like this game. The bidding mechanic makes every round, painful and fun.
The color palette works quite well for the game, and contributes to the overall fun. I’m in extreme like.
Age Range & Weight
The game says 13+, I would guess that would have to do with child safety reasons as there are some small pieces. The game is quite playable by someone younger, once they understand the general mechanic, the gameplay is quite accessible. The future planning may be difficult for a younger player, but I have known many 10 year olds that would eat this up.
I’ve been told that when I like a game, I gush in the first paragraph. I am not sure if that is a fault or a reflection of the value of the game in terms of likability.
I do like Ninth World. The game draws you in, and has the ability to play solo, co-op, or competitive. This trifecta is something many modern games are pursuing, and it works well in a RPG lite type of game. The game discusses some Legacy mechanics that are expansions, and I will update you on those when we see them. All in all, I am very interested in these mechanics to make this game a goto game.
This game will make it on my shelves. It will be played again, and probably many times. Loneshark, with their affiliation with Monte Cook, has a hit on their hands. I am hoping that the marketing of this game gets it on your shelf, and your friends as well. Quality games should get our attention.
Ninth World is a quality experience that deserves your attention.