After crash landing in the forest outside of town, a alien spacecraft has been discovered by a group of Agents and a Kid. This Visitor’s ship is protected by an invisible barrier, which is only penetrable by certain items. The group of Agents and the Kid are competing to discover the means to pass through the barrier themselves and get to the ship through use of the deduction process and the testing of various objects. There is only a short amount of time before one of the groups is successful, which one is it going to be?
The Visitor in Blackwood Grove is a 3-5 player, family-friendly game by Resonym in which one player takes on the role of the visiting alien. This player is also the one who creates the “rule” for the game regarding which items can and can not bypass the barrier surrounding the ship. One of the other players has the role of the Kid and the other players are all Agents. Each player is dealt 7 Object cards at the beginning of the game and 2 additional cards are dealt face up in view of all players. Once the Visitor player has established that they have created a rule, they classify the 2 visible cards as passable or not within the confines of their rule and then play begins.
While the government is trying to secure the Visitor and his ship for research purposes, the Kid was drawn to the site out of sheer curiosity and will cost the competing Agents their chance for a promotion if she reaches the ship first. Not wanting to be captured, the Visitor pairs up with the Kid as she gains the Visitor’s trust by correctly predicting which items will be able to pass through the barrier. The more trust she earns, the more the Visitor communicates with just her. The level of trust is tracked on a Trust Board using a Trust Token. Progression up the Trust Board will allow the Kid to draw more cards and alter interactions between players whereas the Agents will always draw back up to 7 cards at the end of their turn.
Each round begins with the Agent player(s) either testing a card from their hand against the barrier or trying to prove they know the rule of the barrier. Play then progresses to the Kid who tries to gain trust by predicting with up to 3 cards from their hand or proving that they know the rule themselves. Once the Kid has completed their turn, it is the Visitor’s turn. Depending on the level of trust, the Visitor will either reveal a clue to all players or singularly to the Kid using a card from their hand.
If the Kid can prove they know the rule before any of the Agents do, both they and the Visitor will win the game. Should one of the Agents do it first, however, they will be singularly promoted and win the game. Additionally, if the Visitor starts a turn with no cards in hand, he will be captured and all Agent players will win collectively.
The Visitor is a very quick game, which means each player can have a chance at the different roles within a short amount of time. Guessing the rule doesn’t have to be exact and can be a lot of fun to guess and to come up with. This is explained more in the actual rules, but was one of my favorite aspects. This is a game that definitely encourages deduction and creativity and can easily be played by children and adults alike. I highly recommend checking out the Kickstarter campaign for The Visitor In Blackwood Grove.
((A prototype copy was received for the purposes of this review, although that did not affect the outcome of the review. Prototype components are shown and are subject to change before final production.