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Visitor in Blackwood Grove

Theme and What is it?

I am a movie from the 80’s with an alien, and a kid on a bike. Can you name me?

This is that game, if it were ever a game. In Visitor, you are playing the kid, an alien, or government agent. Each party has different goals. If the MAN wins, all agents win, and they get to dissect the alien, yuck. If the kid, the kid and alien wins. 

You might even be able to take a moonlight flying bicycle ride in front of the moon. Preferably with the alien wrapped in a blanket in the front basket of the bike.

You go Elliot… you go!

Gameplay Mechanics

There is a spaceship with a shield, some objects get through it, some don’t. You are trying to guess what objects get through it. The person playing the visitor makes a rule in their head, such as only cards with three colors get through the shield. 

There are two basic actions, a guess, or believing you can solve the alien shield puzzle. As Elliot, I mean, The Kid, when your guesses are right, your relationship with the alien grows, and you are given bonus actions. As the government agent, you are trying to guess what pass through the shield before The Kid does. 

The general game mechanic is quite easy. Actually guessing the mental rule of the visitor was surprisingly difficult. We had; “is flammable”, “starts with letter D” (against the rules apparently), and “things that are grey”. We eventually got them, but with more hair pulling than II thought might happen. 

Initial Impressions

Love the look and idea of Visitor. Many social type games require higher player count, this game does not. I like the idea that a lighter social game can be played with three. By light, I mean lighter than strategy type games, not that it is light for a social game.

Game Build Quality

The game was built quite well. The player boards and game board are functional, and look nice. The secret screen has cut outs so it sits flatly on a table. Some thought was put into the build. 

As a self professed nerd, I like the idea that time was spent making a social deduction game look and function well.

Artistic Direction

Simple art to convey big ideas. For the type of game that Visitor intends to be, I think the art hits the nail on the head. 

Each picture gives lots of info, without being overly detailed. This allows conveying ideas without giving specifics with the art. 

The box art is also something to look at. It reminds me of the cover of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I have no idea if that is correct or not, just that is the idea it evokes. I did not look it up to verify, as I wanted to give you the idea of the feeling it gives me, rather than whether it is true or not.

Needless to say, I’m a fan of the art.

Fun Factor

This will highly depend on your like of social deduction, and your ability to get into someone else’s headspace.  

I enjoy this sort of game irregularly and think a few titles like this deserve a space on your shelf. It allows you to have non-gamers at your home to play a game, as most social deduction games are not a high bar to understand the rules. 

If you like social deduction, and have a smaller playcount, you may enjoy this.

Age Range & Weight

The box says 8+. I tend to agree. This is also a “clean” social deduction game, and would only be as dirty as the random rules made in your head. Therefore, it is children appropriate, if the adult is child appropriate. 

Conclusions

This is a game that anyone who appreciates social deduction should play at least once (That could be multiple plays the same night).

If you have fond memories or the fun kid alien movies as a kid, this will be a nostalgia gold strike for you. If you are younger, and have no clue to what I allude, as a friend about the movie, and watch it, you deserve that. I do think the game is better with the idea of the previous content in mind, as it gives you more context and makes the theme so much stronger. 

I need to phone home, just saying…

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