Acronyms are part of our lives. Our fast-paced lives. Before you realize it a dozen fly by you with a thundering bang! bang! like the bullets of an MK47. Sometimes I get them and will happily use them. But more often then not I wish we would just slow down in our frantic lives and pronounce the entire thing. It’s not like we have a limited lung capacity throughout our lives and then it’s over! Words, and I mean full length words deserve respect.
So here it goes. Let me tell you about Draw & Play. It is a not so distant cousin of the Print & Play,
a.k.a. also known as p.n.p. Okay, okay! I see you frowning. I know I haven’t actually gotten any closer to explaining a thing yet. Let me try again.
Print & Play (version of) board games are not published in a physical form. You would not be able to buy them in a store. Instead, the rules and (most) components are available in a digital format which you are expected to print (hence the name) and assemble (cut, glue,
etc. etcetera) yourself. And sometimes additional components (like dice) are required.
And now we come to the Draw & Play. I would define it as a game that you would draw yourself because a., you don’t have a printer at home; b., you cannot get a hold of the printer at the office; c., you are locked in due to a global pandemic and all you have access to at home is a pack of paper and an assortment of colored pencils.
To be fair, this is not a new thing. Both Mr.AP and I have fond memories of recreating something we saw and longed for in our childhood, but could not get our baby paws on for one reason or another. The finished product might have been wonky, not as pretty as the original, the rules accidentally tweaked but it was so ours! And it became THE GAME, one we treasured in our hearts.
Under Falling Skies already existed as a Print & Play game, I did not make it up. In fact, it won the 2019 9-Card Nanogame p.n.p Design Contest (no, I did not just make that up!) When I heard of this game it looked so interesting I wanted to try it. However, because of reasons a+b+c listed above only a Draw & Play version was the alternative.
And the thing is, this project wasn’t just fun, it was in fact a travel back in time. Back to the best part of our childhood when we were still carefree, full of idea(l)s and had all the time in the world to fight off a menacing alien mother-ship.
But everything aside, Under Falling Skies is a really good game. It is a hell of a mind puzzle! It has some randomness built in with the dice, yes. But you have ways of mitigating that randomness. You have choices, and I mean meaningful choices that exercise your brain muscles. In 15-20 minutes I felt like I played a much more substantial, much bigger game. And that I really like.
However, there was also something unexpected I discovered about myself and the effect that this game has on me. The game gave me this sense of control. A sense that I know exactly what the threat is, I see it coming, and that I have some say in the outcome of the battle. And right now – when the biggest menace in our lives is an invisible thing called COVID – this sense of control, the possibility of starting over felt good. So good! Even if only for 15 minutes. I highly, highly recommend it!
If you want to see what the game plays like, here is a fantastic video (rules overview starts at 9:25, game play at 19:30).
Did it catch your attention? Fancy giving it a try?
- If you are lucky enough to have access to a printer, try the Print & Play version. Register without any obligation (or unwanted mails) to
BGGBoard Game Geek to download the file here; or
- if you are like me and fancy a fun little Draw & Play project, use the above info and draw it yourself; or
- if you like the ready made things, don’t despair! The publisher CGE* (Czech Games Edition) has gotten the rights to publish the game and it will be available in retail from October 2020! From what I can see here it looks amazing!
* Oh, by the way If you are wondering, I have no affiliation whatsoever to CGE or BGG. I just sincerely love gaming! 🎲