What is Spotlight?

There are so many games and so little time. At Best Play, rather than try to review everything, we only produce content about the games we’re happy to recommend. So far, that means we make videos and articles about the very best that board gaming has to offer. But what about games that are good, but perhaps not quite right for us? Or games that we haven’t played enough to be able to recommend?

Well step forward Spotlight, our new series taking a quick look at games we want to share but not quite ready to recommend yet.

What is Avertigos?

Avertigos is the first in-depth strategy game that we’ve come across that features game pieces that not only interact horizontally – but also vertically. By that, we mean that the game takes place in 3D space, operating at multiple levels as each player’s flying galleons attempt to out-manoeuvre and out-gun their rivals.

It’s set in an alternate reality, one in which the South China Sea Sky is populated by two powerful factions: Dynasty and the Singsari League. Each group boasts a powerful armada of sky-ships in a bid for territorial control of the region.

The ships in question are held aloft by the rare and expensive fictional material of Bayanore. They’re piloted by the titular Avertigos; the people that bravely crew the sky-ships. The game features a handful of modes, but we got to grips with Skirmish – a straight up battle for the skies.

Why do we think it’s interesting?

There are a few elements at play in Avertgos that make it stand out from other titles. Firstly, there’s the fact there isn’t a standard game board; at least not in the set we were sent for review. Interestingly, that means you can play the game pretty much anywhere, creating a play space as large or small as you like, with any kind of surface beneath.

Secondly, the way the actual ship pieces move is unlike many other games. You move your sky-ships by using a variety of cards, which are laid across the board. The fact that there are no default spaces also means that movement is entirely analogue, allowing you to move with more freedom than usual in a board game.

Finally, we love the pieces. While our copy is only an early prototype, from what we’ve seen of the complete edition it’s going to be one hell of a game once it’s done. Shifting your laddies up and down to different heights is fun, and you can upgrade each ship with various bonuses and weapons. It also features team-based modes and the more in-depth strategy mode for those with the final game.

The Rub

While Avertigos is likely a quality game, it’s definitely quite intimidating to new gamers. Part of that might be down to the prototype-grade materials, but the rules and explanations need a little refining.

It’s also a complicated game, requiring intense concentration as you get to grips with the lore and the mechanics. That could put off more casual players. So might the price tag, which could be well worth it (you get a lot in the box) but is daunting to those on a budget.

Where can you get it?

At the time of writing Avertigos is in the midst of its Kickstarter, having raised a serious amount of cash already. If you think this is the kind of game for you, then go and check out the page and back the project. The final version looks like a real monster of a game too.