Android Mainframe is an abstract game set in Fantasy Flight’s Android world. It plays from 2-4 players and takes about 30 minutes.
The main feature of Android Mainframe is the interlocking plastic grid board. The game also includes cards, player tokens, and plastic partitions. While the art on the cards is up to standard with the rest of Fantasy Flight’s art, the rest of the game is pretty barren and underwhelming. We would have like the partitions to be something more hefty like wood.
Android Mainframe is the classic childhood game of “dots and boxes”, but with special powers. Each player chooses a character, and each character has a set of special power cards that allows them to break the normal rules of the game in one way or another. On your turn you do one of three things: you play one of your special power cards, you execute a generic program from the communal card deck, or you discard the top card of the communal deck to place one of your player access tokens on the grid. Some cards allow you to add partitions to the board, and you are trying to surround your access tokens with partitions. The more spaces inside the partitions the more points you will earn at the end of the game.
The biggest problem with this game is how unpredictable the state of the board will be from turn to turn. This game is 100% tactical, but you can’t ever do enough on your turn to take advantage of the tactics. We felt like many of the cards from the communal deck were too powerful and resulted in too much attacking. For example, you will choose a card to swap yours and your opponents access points, and the next turn your opponent will swap them back with the same type of program. This problem would be even more noticeable in a four player game. The special power cards are a good idea, but feel unbalanced.
- The heavy duty grid board was original.
- We like the idea of updating a classic game.
- Too sporadic, the board state changes too frequently.
- Too many “Take that” cards, not enough building up of the board
- Bland, boring, unoriginal
Final Thoughts and Rating
This one is going to the trade pile. It has some good ideas, but ultimately it could have benefited from a lot more play testing.
Final Rating: [star rating=”2.5″ max=”10″ numeric=”yes”]