We’re continuing with our Fowers Games week! Today, I’m doing an unboxing of the Fowers Games Kickstarter release of Hardback. Hardback is a spiritual successor (of sorts) to Paperback, with new gameplay aspects and mechanisms.
Designers: Jeff Beck and Tim Fowers
Artist: Ryan Goldsberry
This is how it looks when you open the box.
This is a closer look at the score track, which is called the Prestige Points track.
The fun and whimsical player cards look great, I love the art!
Here are the ink and remover tokens. Note there are twenty more Ink tokens than remover tokens, which correlates with the mechanisms in the game.
Here are are the five different player tokens, which Book Meeples or Beeples, whichever you prefer (Marti kept laughing at Beeples, so they are now Beeples in our household).
The stickers that come with the Beeples. I’m not the best at lining up stickers for game components. But the level of detail on the stickers is really impressive.
The Beeples after being stickered. How cool does that look? I love these little details – they didn’t even have to put covers on them, but they look great!
The piles of Romance, Adventure, Horror, and Mystery Cards, which make up the offer piles of letter cards. These are purchased during the game. In the top left corner of each card, there is a section which tells you the letter and the genre of the card. In the bottom left corner, the cost of the card is shown. Then in the blocks of text, the first line is the basic benefit of the card and the second section is the genre benefit, which applies when you have multiple cards of the same genre.
The backs of the basic cards. This is your offer deck.
Here’s a look at the deck of starter cards. Like many other deckbuilding games, everyone will receive a total of 10 of at the beginning of the game.
The player aid, which is always a handy thing to have available.
This is the Literary Award, the first part of many parts of possible variant play included within Hardback. The way the Literary Award works is fairly simple. When you spell a word with as many letters as are on the top Literary award, you get that card for end game scoring.
The next part of variant play is with the Adverts, where you can purchase Prestige Points with coins throughout the game.
You can also add player powers, which cost ink to activate. Some you can use multiple times on your turn, others just once.
There are also event cards that can make Hardback more challenging. As long as the event card is in front of you, its rules apply to your gameplay.
Lastly, there is the cooperative variant where all the players are trying to defeat the villain writer, Penny Dreadful.
These are the divider cards which help keep everything in its place.
This is how everything fits back in the box.
Just from looking at all the components and the rule book, it is easy to see all the attention and care put into Hardback. It is high quality through and through, and corners were not cut at all in this production. All the details are spot on and add to the overall appeal of the game. The Beeples are really awesome!! The cards that you use in the base game all have the same backing color and the variant cards have a different color. The card for the letters is distinctive and lets you know via font and iconography which kind of card it is. We’re really excited to try this one out – we may even crack it out this weekend!