The Networks (with Telly Time) by Formal Ferret Games Review

Theme and What is it?

The Networks was a hit when it was released two years ago. Gil Hova had something. You are a network executive deigning the best lineup from a palette of several choices, and adding powers to that, to give you highers viewership, it is not unlike managing a board game review site…

If you can imagine building a media empire, or imagine just taking useful cards from your buddies, this may be right up your alley.

Gameplay Mechanics

The game takes place over four seasons. During these seasons you have a tableau of cards, each of these represent shows, ads, stars, and special powers (network). You will draft these cards over the course of the round, and take the cards useful to you, and ignore those not useful, or take them just to prevent neighbor from having them.

You will spend money on shows and stars, and get money from ads. At the end of the round, you will count viewership, and gets points for it. The round will be reset, and you will get new cards to steal from each other in a fair ruthless manner.

Initial Impressions

Some games sound interesting to me, some don’t. While I love the art in this game, the theme did not spark my imagination. I was asked to play this with a play group, and after a round, fell in love with the quiet snarkiness of the game.

The underplayed humor added just the right amount of snark, to make the game very interesting.

Game Build Quality

The game is mostly cards, and a board, but all of a high quality. The artwork speaks to the content of the shows. The iconography is easy to learn. Some thought was put into the game build and design. 

I’d give the game build two thumbs up.

Artistic Direction

I have been told lately that I tend to gush over games where I like the art. My response is, “yeah, and?”

Good art for me, makes the games so much easier to look at, enjoy, and immerse myself into the theme. I like the silliness of the art, and the crisp clean lines. Formal Ferret knew exactly what they wanted, and got exactly that. This art is par none.

Fun Factor

While fun is very subjective, I think there is definitely an audience for this type of drafting game. 

The humor while understated adds tremendous value to the game. 

Age Range & Weight

13+. Based on the amount of forward thinking any drafting game requires, I would say this is a pretty apt age range. 


I am a fan.

Telly Time adds a level of thought that was not previously a part of the game. Instead of just looking for like shows, you are now searching for shows based on a bingo board, and trying to block your neighbors based on their bingo board. It also changes the shows, and adds a few quirks. 

All in all between the original and Telly Time, this is a great game, it is not quite a gateway game, but it does introduce some new theming that was missing in the hobby. 

The Networks, will make it to my shelf. It’s possible, that this game should make it to your shelf as well.