Board On the Waves Unknown – Review of a real pirate adventure

Unknown on the waves

1-7 players 2-4 hours from 14 years Czech, many texts, dubbing

“As you approach the shipwreck, uncertainty begins to grow inside you. What do the ruins of a royal galleon do in the middle of an undisturbed, wide blue? And that’s when it happens. The whole wreckage rises and a strange circus creation is revealed, on which he has been dozing peacefully so far – four elephants standing on the back of a giant sea turtle. ‘Capa, what are we going to do with all the goats?’ one of the sailors asks. ‘Crew, attack!’ the order is from the highest places, and only prayer clings to your lips. “

You may not hear such a story in the board game Unknown on the Waves, but you will hear more than enough of similar ones. If you are looking for story boards, then you are here at the best possible address. In this case, the game mechanisms play the second violin, the main word is taken by the narrator, whether he speaks to you over the phone or his role is played by the players themselves.

Unknown is a cooperative game on the waves with private goals and some small innocent damage. That it can’t go together? If it’s against your hair to deprive other players of treasures or to be deprived of them, then from time to time your hair will get angry, but you should keep one in mind – you are dusty pirates who have to stick together to make their little boy crush. to the goal and back, but as soon as the prey comes, all the friendship goes away and selfishness begins.

Most of the time, however, you actually pull on one rope, because otherwise no one will live to see the next morning. By working together, you must provide enough food for the entire crew, prevent a rebellion, keep the cannons in a combat-ready state, heal the hull’s wounds after meeting various enemies, and last but not least, do everything you can to complete the mission before the most feared pirate here. seas or maybe a curse.

Captain, what’s the touch-sensitive glass pancake for?

It depends on the selected scenario, of which you will find five everywhere in the game. But you won’t find them in a box, but virtually. You don’t need a separate app to play, you just need a website that will take care of all the stories, events and initial preparation.

Don’t be afraid, there is still something to do outside of a smart device or laptop – you keep track of your own treasures, you watch the fame of individual crew members and various ship conditions, you travel on a “minimap” with your ship, visit places you like, and last but not least In turn, you choose the actions you want to do in a given round.

The book of locations with beautifully illustrated places that complete the atmosphere is used to select events. Action fields have a plethora of effects, but you don’t have time to study them all before deciding. Thank God! It is already a full-length spectacle, so it is good that you have to make decisions under pressure.

Unknown on the waves

Once the web application closes, you turn to a new page and start the stopwatch. During the time trial, the length of which you can adjust according to your needs, all players must decide on one of the actions purely by iconography and title, in order of fame. The Market with Toughness and Barrel icon tells you that you are going to trade, for which you will need to test your toughness property, which you will improve before that, and if you pass the test, you will get supplies for the crew. Simple.

The actual performance of actions is no longer limited in time. It’s just a matter of deciding in the press what I want to do next. Some actions may be done by more than one player, others are only for one and others are mandatory at all costs. And if you do not have time to decide by the end of the rare seconds, the level of dissatisfaction of the crew will increase, which can lead to rebellion and premature end of the journey.

The actions themselves can be ordinary, such as feeding the crew, repairing the ship, exploring the sea around so that you do not sail blindly, or even loading cannons or burying treasures (what else would you be a pirate). But very often the event will refer you to a number which, when entered into the application, will result in another great story.

Once upon a time

Storytelling is really the main and most fun thing in the whole game. The lyrics are simply great and it’s a great pleasure to listen to them. The waves of the unknown are not taken seriously at all, so you will laugh more often than you would be sad. The situations are either simply humorous and will entertain everyone at the table, even if the result of the event harms you, or downright parodying. I definitely don’t want to divulge anything, but maybe I didn’t really expect a reference to the Lord of the Rings here and it was perfect.

As mentioned in the introduction, you can read the lyrics yourself and take turns reading them or commission the greatest actor among you. But there is a second option, which is dubbing. Unfortunately, I did not yet have the Czech narration of stories available, but the Mindok publishing house “confirmed” to me that it is absolutely divine.

All I can say for myself is that English dubbing is absolutely divine and I am very curious about the Czech one. Either way, the individual events are well written and translated, and the main plots of the individual scenarios will definitely not offend.

Unknown on the waves

What the unknown clearly excels about on the waves are personal stories. In the game you will find about two dozen pirates, for which you will play. You will need a pencil for this and you do not have to be afraid to write in their sheets, because you can easily reprint them through the application. And with writing, we get into a very clever and sometimes blatantly funny system.

Each of the pirates has a pre-prepared story, which you discover through a constellation of stars – you color it according to how you are doing in the game. The more stars you manage to color during one game and its story, the more you learn about your character and the better fate awaits her at the end of the game (the selfishness mentioned above comes into play, because you don’t want you to end up infamous, right?). But even though the lyrics are pre-prepared, they lack a few words in key places. Words that you add to the sentences yourself.

It has an ingenious catch – you come up with words before reading the texts, when you have no idea in what context they will be used. An example for all? At the beginning, the pirate arch tells you to note the tasty vegetables. In our case, an aubergine was chosen and a parrot was chosen as a flying animal. As we soon learned, an aubergine plague struck our ship and we were under attack by a giant parrot. On the other hand, later we stuffed our bellies with miniature parrots…

At this point, I must mention the equally funny generator of pirate names. You don’t have to use it, feel free to come up with your own nickname, but the game itself can take care of such creations as the Carnivore Chu-chu, Pif Paf Maude, Zazobaný Watanabe and Soudek Jackie, who all sail on the Immaculate Ditty. And that just sounds great!

The long life of a pirate

It is probably already clear to you that the Unknown on the Waves completely disarmed me. A great theme presented through excellent storytelling combined with ubiquitous humor and a certain degree of self-creativity of all players ensures a great experience. And also really long. Reading is widely represented in the game, and the more you have at the table, the more personal stories you will reveal. And it all stretches the length.

It’s already a multi-hour race in five players and I admit that it was the ceiling for me. It’s nice that the game also offers a game of seven players, but in that case you have to arm yourself with a good deal of patience and it can take a really long time to finally get the turn after reading the stories of other players. However, the game takes into account the extreme length and will offer you to save it after completing half of the tasks of the given scenario, while you can save it practically at any time thanks to the record sheet and return to it later.

On the waves, the unknown states on the box that he needs at least three players, but in fact it also contains rules for doubles and solos with appropriate changes. I didn’t play alone, but we gave a chance to play in two, where you will appreciate a much shorter time, but otherwise we prefer to play in three to four players, where the rivalry of some treasure effects (which are also quite funny) is better mixed up and you can hear more (but not too many) personal stories.

Unknown on the waves

I still have to appreciate how the game works by linking components to the application. There is relatively little of it, but as a result it is not to the detriment. Because one token, or its record number or record number on a page in a book that you visit several times, has a different meaning in each scenario. So it doesn’t matter at all that in each scenario you perform a completely identical action, because under its code there is a completely different event.

But even so, replayability is limited. Once you reveal the story of each pirate, you won’t want to play for it so much (although there are three ways your pirate will end up, but the path to them will always be the same, ie only with different words you add). And even the scenarios themselves will not last you long. But they can handle at least one replay, because you can easily visit only half of the locations on the map, and curiosity won’t let you know what else you might have experienced.

Coincidence will take care of a certain replayability. You will roll one hundred and six with your personal 12-wall dice, while the result of the roll will decide on one of the possibilities of the action (reward, specific text). You add the value of your tested skill and treasure bonuses to the number on the cube, so you can work a little here (thanks to the token tokens), but you still have to keep in mind that this is not a strategy. This is the topic, and write that you will hold your breath when your battle with the gigantic sea monster depends on your every roll…

We have a favorable wind, so we set sail!

The stranger enchanted me on the waves. She immediately became one of the best story games that have passed through my hands so far, and I really hope that she won’t stay with just five screenplays. Due to the nature of the application and how it works with components, there is really no need for another physical product, just skilled screenwriters who put together new stories. It would be ideal to release something like this to the community, which would certainly take care of an endless supply of scenarios.

But it’s still worth experiencing at least the five official scenarios and revealing the unique stories of all the pirates. Not all of them are as great as the others, and the pirate-skeleton is clearly my favorite, but everyone is experiencing something different enough to interest everyone at the table.

If you like a pirate environment, you don’t mind if the game is more narrative than mechanical, you can stand the coincidence and a little damage in cooperative play and most importantly you have a sense of humor and can relax in the game and not solve too many strategies, with the board On the waves you will be extremely satisfaction. I would be surprised if I didn’t remember this piece at the end of the year when I chose the best games of this year.

Source: Games by

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