Blog — Flashpoint RSS

Flashpoint: Fire Rescue: A functional review: Smelting theme, the power of roleplay and Alphas defeated?

Last week I started my first look at Flashpoint; considering how it builds game arc and the nature of the puzzles it presents. This week I look at the critical role of theme in the game. A thorough smelting of mechanics and theme As I have previously written, the execution of theme is a sizeable element of Flashpoint's appeal. Its everywhere in the game: not just in the specific business of the advance fire roll, or its representational rather than symbolic art style. Rather the theme is completely intertwined with the vast majority of the game's mechanics. The fire itself is one of the most perfectly thematic co-op opponents we could hope for. It expands exponentially and somewhat erratically, just...

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Flashpoint: Fire Rescue: A functional review: Co-op arcs, puzzles vs non-puzzles and your pleasure at risk

In my second adventure into forging designer-focused reviews, I start my look at the well-loved co-op Flashpoint: Fire Rescue and go for the world record number of colons in a blog post title. If you haven’t played this game, please read the BGG link for a description. While this review will cover a broad outline of some game mechanisms, it will assume some prior knowledge. Player activity summary Flashpoint is a co-operative game very much in the 'traditional' mode popularised chiefly by Pandemic: players are pitted against a random jeopardy creation mechanic which - if left unchecked - will result in them being overwhelmed; in this case, by fire in a house. They attain victory by reaching a given score...

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An experimental mission to Flashpoint: The results (Part II)

In the last post I explored some possible reasons why Flashpoint's turn order is just so forgettable. In this post, I present the results of my little experiment and explore what it all means. A brief recap Flashpoint is a co-operative game about firefighting. Its turn order requires each player to undertake three steps: take their actions to fight fire / save people, advance the fire itself, and replenish potential victims. After seeing people frequently forget to advance the fire, I theorised that something about this turn order makes it forgettable and, further, that an order in which players advance fire first would be more memorable. Part I covers my three main working theories: first that the current turn order...

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What makes a memorable turn order? An experimental mission to Flashpoint: Fire Rescue (Part I)

Flashpoint is a very well designed game but it has an oddly forgettable turn order. Can we use it to find out if certain design decisions will always result in a more memorable structure? UPDATE: Full results now available in Part II. A theme that does an awful lot of work Flashpoint: Fire Rescue is one of the best examples of theme-first design that I have ever seen. From beginning to end, its burly theme throws the player over its shoulder and carries them through its mechanics with confidence. The fire itself spreads logically in the way that you'd expect a house on fire to spread: sometimes randomly from a build-up of heat or an explosion, but always gradually and...

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