For years, I’ve enjoyed tales of spies and espionage. Blame it on afternoons spent watching Get Smart when I was a kid. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that WEB OF SPIES from Cole Medeiros, creator of family favorite GUBS, caught my eye. It’s a deck-builder that has you moving your spies across the globe to gain assets and dispose of the competing agents. It’s for 2-4 players ages 14 and up and takes about one hour to play. I had a chance to ask Cole about his inspiration for the game, and this is what he had to say:
“WEB OF SPIES was inspired by my love of secret agents and espionage, action sequences and chase scenes in movies, and an all around excitement of world-traveling, top secret agents on dangerous missions. I wanted to distill this all down into something quick, easy to play and exciting to experience. I enjoy the act of deck building, but often times I feel like it feels very abstract. What am I building up when I build my deck? In WEB OF SPIES, your deck represents your agency and the assets it has available to it. If you acquire a Private Jet, that asset can be used over and over by your agents, but not every turn (as it takes time to move through the world). That fiction really seemed to work, and it helps each player build and agency with its own flavor.”
“In WEB OF SPIES assets are randomly placed out in the world. This represents them being discovered remotely by your agency, and awaiting your agents to come close the deal, or simply steal the asset from where ever it can be found. (‘There’s a Helicopter standing by in Berlin. Rendezvous with it and use it in your mission in Russia.’) Once you have an gent in the same city as the asset, you can use resources from your hand to acquire it. If other agents are already in that city, they may thwart you by blocking the asset. To overcome this, you must bring more of your agents to that location, or take out your enemies who are protecting the asset! Depending on how awesome the prize is, these can be very heated, exciting moments!”
The games components look great, even in the prototype phase. But that’s not the coolest aspect of WEB OF SPIES. “I think the coolest aspect of the game,” Cole told me, “is that it tells great stories. You have all the components of great secret agent fiction, from blackmail and bribery, to surveillance and silenced pistols. There are vehicles which can help your spies move across the world or even attack each other, weapons to build an arsenal, and tons of surprises as new tactics present themselves. You never know what your opponent might throw at you, and just as easily you may have the chance to catch them unaware or even in a deadly trap once they close in. The game is intended to be light and easy, but your opponents are what really make it shine!”
Sounds great. For indulging my love of spy tales and deck-builders, WEB OF SPIES is our Kickstarter of the week.