Do you love battle games? Pitting your best fighter or team against an opponent’s and duking it out?
You know, sometimes that can get exhausting. Wouldn’t it be nicer to just sit back and watch a fight take place? And who knows, if there is some special scenario you would love to witness, maybe you could exert your influence to make it happen! Wouldn’t that be awesome?
With Drawlab Entertainment’s newest Kickstarter campaign, you can have that chance! In this game, you will be exerting your influence — cheering and jeering — in hopes of inciting the arena fighters to please you with some outstanding highlights. Your goal, not to win any fights, not even to back the winning fighter — no…just to simply leave the arena as the most Fired Up!
Fired Up’s campaign ends in five days and is my Friday F.O.M.O. highlight of the week. Let’s take a look at a few aspects that have piqued my interest and curiosity in this game.
Downforce-style play: In Downforce, the racing game, you may have certain cars (yours) that you want to see perform the best, but throughout the game you will be pushing forward all six racers — but trying to do so in a manner and with timing that pushes your interests forward the most. There are also some betting stages in Downforce that allow you to potentially score points based on an expectation of who will win the race — and you have the ability, through card usage, to make sure your ‘pick’ brings in the prize!
I love Downforce and it interests me to see some of these same elements in Fired Up. Now, you won’t “own” any of the fighters in this game, but you will have the ability to influence any of them as you desire — by increasing or decreasing a fighter’s morale — choosing to cheer on a fighter to attack faster…or harder…or to be wary and defensive. You will be doing this amidst your competitors trying to influence these fighters as well. You may want the giant rhino Rexus to get excited and attack the bullish robot. Your friend may want to harness that energy and direct Rexus’ attention towards the Hurricane! And the purpose of this? To create the highlights that will get you most fired up [in other words, you have cards that score points if stated scenarios are able to occur during a fight]
Beyond influencing fighters, you will also get to make bets during the game as well. If you can properly predict / influence the first fighter to get eliminated, the 2nd fighter to land a knockout, and the remaining fighter at the end of the match with the most stamina –> you can find yourself even more Fired Up! [as an example, through stretch goals / expansions, there could be more betting options that get added]
In this style of game, I appreciate that a player’s aggression tends to be directed towards the pieces on the board and less so at the player’s sitting by you at the table. Furthermore, during every fight, you will have a vested interest in seeing how things play out — staying engaged to make sure you don’t miss that perfect highlight you have been waiting for.
The fighting in this game is resolved through dice. Now, many modern games are moving towards card-driven combat to reduce the amount of chance that is involved in skirmishes and leave outcomes up to the strategy / decision-making of players. In Fired Up, these aren’t your fighters…you are simply the audience. Yes, you are cheering loudly — or — shouting out hurtful euphemisms to influence the performance, but you are indirectly involved in the results. Because of that, dice-rolling combat is absolutely perfect for this game. This allows for those zany moments when a super strong fighter (with 7 dice) is about to knockout a weak (2-dice) fighter’s lights…but a sneaky dodge plus a distracting gesture from a nearby audience member leaves the attacker swiping at air where a head had just been a couple seconds before.
And for one player, that may be the highlight that gets them super-pumped!
Last, the components (based on what I’m seeing from the campaign page) look very nice. You get a whole bunch of unique six-sided dice and some great-looking miniatures sculpted by Nikos Rovakis. The artwork was immediately familiar to me as the work of Mihajlo Dimitrievski (Mico) and the scenes created for the various highlight cards look great.
Sometimes I like to find games that will be highly strategic and create fun puzzles to workout in hopes of out-thinking or maneuvering my opponents. Then there are times where a game just looks like a blast to play. While Fired Up definitely has some crunchy strategy, while you try to impact the influence programming — I believe the game’s strongest point is that it looks like a lot of fun to line up fighters, roll dice, and see if these meatheads can please you and your viewing whims.
What do you think about Fired Up? Would you like a chance to play…or do you plan on backing this campaign?