For those familiar with the Spiralchain novels, the story of the game will probably feel somewhat intuitive. But for those who have never read a Spiralchain book–or those who have been away from the series for a bit–we wanted to explore the story of the game and how it deals with the broader themes and elements of the series.
The text below is a combination of the text from the back of the game box and a heaping helping of commentary from the author and game developer.
Let’s begin with the story from the back of the box (though this art is from something else–it was too cool to not use it!)
So that’s it… that’s what the game is all about.
The game asks players to take the role of mystics from the world of Onus, one of the 8 worlds of the Spiral, and move amongst the eight worlds in an effort to gather the necessary resources to overcome the power of the Foreverot that lurks at the heart of the world Nur.
Along the way, there will be dangerous confrontations with Obliviates–the spirit-like agents of the Rot that sew havoc across the Spiral. These creatures spawn from unwise use of the Spiralgates that allow travel from world to world, and the more the heroes move around, the more likely they are to unleash additional Obliviates. As more Obliviates are born, the tempo of the game and the vicious attacks of the Rot increase.
As if that wasn’t enough, there are Warlords on each world that do not care at all about the greater danger that threatens the Spiral of Worlds. They want only dominion over their own worlds and interests… and they will stand between the heroes and their objectives time and time again until they are dealt with.
Luckily, the heroes are not alone in their struggle. They can petition the guardian dragons of each world to help turn aside the Warlords and Obliviates… and they can carefully forge alliances from across the worlds, making it easier to move around and acquire the necessary resources to vanquish the Rot.
The game offers a detailed view into the machinations of the Spiral of Worlds, accounting for each dragon in the series, the possibility of losing worlds once their dragons have been defeated (alas, poor Rettik), and more… even offering a few tantalizing hints of things to come in the series’ grand finale!
Avid readers of the series may be more curious about the roles that the players take on. The decision was made early in the design process to empower players to play members of the 8 mystic orders of Onus… but NOT to play as the novels’ protagonists, the Children of the Line.
That means that players will take on the role of a Gatemaker or a Wraithtender or the like… not Adam or Celia or the other main characters of the series.
If you want to play as a specific signature character, like Becky or JC, there is a way to do that, however–that’s the main theme of the Children of the Line expansion!
MECHANICALLY… WHAT IS THIS THING?
The game was originally built with the idea of capturing some of the tension and excitement that I experience every time I play the classic game Pandemic. It has evolved a lot from its roots as a Pandemic wannabe, to the point that I don’t know as they you can see much resemblance between the two games any more other than the four colors of energy.
Spiralchain: Foreverot is a cooperative game for 1-8 players. It is a resource allocation game with a bit of worker placement. The only truly random element of the game that can’t be accounted for through careful management and anticipation of cards and tokens is the handful of situations where a single eight-sided die is rolled. This die adds just enough variability, particularly in the Foreverot Roll each turn where the forces of the Rot act, to make the game unpredictable!