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NEWS: Peaks Board Game


When it comes to the Lake District, I’m a bit of a fanboy. The slightest mention of that sweeping idyll sets the heart yearning to return. Confession time: I’ve never ventured up any of the more serious clambers. Latrigg will do me, thank you very much. I suspect I haven’t got the courage/exercise regime/diet to tackle the likes of Scarfell. The mountains of upcoming board game Peaks are certainly beyond my capacity in real life - and many of the world’s most iconic locations are represented - but I’ll be more than keen to take them on at the table.

We’re all board gamists here, and it’s an understandably indoorsy type of pursuit, but a trek through the great outdoors can refresh and open the mind in ways that nothing else can. What if someone - thematically at least - combined the two? Well, someone has! Welcome to Peaks from Tangerine Games and designed by Sam Gray, an immersive engine-building board game designed for the explorer at heart.

The team have discussed the game in more depth on their Facebook page, and I’ve broken down the many points from one of their posts with my own thoughts, hopefully showing why this one’s really caught my attention.

Immerse yourself at the foothills of the tallest mountains with 100 beautifully hand-drawn illustrations from around the world. Each artwork is a masterpiece, capturing the essence of these majestic peaks and transporting you to breathtaking landscapes, each beautifully illustrated by Nilanjan Malakar. There’s a very painterly quality to the cards which I find very pleasing, and some of it puts me in mind of Wainwright’s pencil illustrations of the Lake District peaks – this is a good thing. Iconography appears to be very clear as well, which hopefully indicates a game that will flow freely once learned. I’m pleased the artist gets a name check too.

Each mountain card has its rewards listed at the top. When taking the CLIMB action, you’ll choose either the X or Y reward before scaling up the mountain. Choices of reward sounds intriguing. This could gear you up for long-term strategies. For example, reward X may set you up for the next peak, but reward Y might help you towards a higher, more challenging peak with greater rewards.

In order to climb, you’ll need to satisfy the requirements listed at the bottom of the card. All mountains require energy to climb, but as they become more challenging, you’ll also need experience, acclimatization, and gear. This leads me to believe that you’ll start out on the easier mountains, and with each success you can try tougher challenges, maybe involving a push your luck element.

Although Peaks is a competitive game – there can only be one winner – you’ll need to work together from time to time to be the best. This is where tagging along comes in. This is where the game excites me most, that balance between teamwork and when to strike out on your own for the win. It sounds as if there’ll be plenty of intriguing decisions to make, and a variety of strategies to test. ‘If I’d chosen to team up for that particular climb, then I would have gathered the resources necessary for something bigger on my own. Maybe next game I’ll choose differently…’ The scope for shifting dynamics at the table makes Peaks very enticing, and should generate some great stories.

Joining others benefits everyone on the climb, as you receive the rewards the lead climber did not choose. The lead climber will also receive some extra experience for leading, and all climbing players get an energy & experience discount as they work together. Not only is this mechanism highly thematic, it keeps all players engaged during others’ turns. It also creates some really fun table talk and negotiation as you work together to get to the top of some challenging peaks! And if this last paragraph doesn’t intrigue you, then I’m afraid we’re looking at different maps and our compasses are wonky.

Follow the game here to get updates and notifications on the imminent launch, currently pegged for June 25th. Also, you’ll find the Tangerine Games team here at Instagram.

Give them a follow and let them know how eager we all are for this perilous yet exciting adventure.