The first two weeks of BCM300 – Game Making has been an eye opener for me in terms of the popularity and existence of highly interesting ‘enthusiast’ board games. Although I grew up playing video games of all kinds I never really made the link between the ‘mechanics’ of board games and how they have influenced the construction and creation of video games.
The first game I experienced in class was a board game called ‘Flashpoint: Fire Rescue’. Flashpoint puts you in the shoes of one team member of a fire & rescue crew, extinguishing a house fire and rescuing victims in a co-operative manner with up to six players. Movement and actions are achieved with movement points over a grid board according to the roll of a set of dice.
I went with flashpoint over the large selection of other games as it seemed most relevant to my interests. What could be better than fighting fire and saving lives? I thought ‘surely this will be the most fun I ever had in class’, how wrong I was. The basic objective of flashpoint is for players to work together to rescue people and animals from a burning building before it collapses, this may sound relatively simple, but it is not easy. This is probably intentional and fair as I don’t imagine wading through fire and risking your life would be easy. I found myself struggling against increasingly large numbers of fire tokens spreading around the board on each consecutive turn, without enough movement points on each turn. This was compounded by constant explosions and the risk of being thrown back to your starting point.
Although I found flashpoint very challenging, I think it had potential for replay, especially with five or six players which would make it slightly less challenging, in my opinion. This is actually one reason I would definitely play Flashpoint again, the challenging nature of the game gives a great sense of satisfaction when you get something right.