The Networks

RRP: £49.99
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RRP £49.99
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In The Networks, you and your opponents are new television networks, and you need new programming. For this, you’ll need Shows, Stars, and Ads. Shows need Stars and Ads. Stars give you bonus viewers (points), and Ads give you extra money. You’ll need everything you can get; you’ll have a small amount of resources and time, and you must grab the latest hot show before your …
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Category Tags , SKU ZBG-FORFFNETW01 Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Great Artwork and Components.
  • Easy to learn.
  • Humour throughout.
  • Unique theme.
  • Plays in less than 90 minutes.

Might Not Like

  • Humour can begin to wear thin after a few games.
  • Keeping track of viewers in your tableau is fiddly.
  • The Stars - Should have carried on the theme of the shows. For example names such as 'Emma Stoneage' or 'Brian Reynolds.'
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Description

In The Networks, you and your opponents are new television networks, and you need new programming. For this, you’ll need Shows, Stars, and Ads. Shows need Stars and Ads. Stars give you bonus viewers (points), and Ads give you extra money. You’ll need everything you can get; you'll have a small amount of resources and time, and you must grab the latest hot show before your opponents. And some Stars will give their best effort only if you put them on in the proper conditions. For example, some Stars only want to be put on dramas. Other Stars want to be the only Star on the show. And your Ads will give you the most money only if you put them on in the correct time slot. Finally, Shows age and viewers lose interest, so you have to keep your line-up fresh by canceling shows and sending them into reruns. Fortunately, you can get viewers from your reruns, and you'll get bonuses if you get a lot of shows of the same genre throughout the game. If you need a special push, Network Cards can give you special powers — but will a Network Card be better than another action? You'll have to make that call. The player with the most viewers after five seasons wins! Ages 13+, 1-5 players, 60-90 minutes playing time.

Today I will be reviewing The Networks, a game that had so much promise with its art style that’s both cartoonish and humorous. The aim of this game is to be the most successful network at the end.

The game takes between one and five players, with games lasting around 60-90 minutes. This game was funded via Kickstarter and raised over $100000 thanks to 2,738 backers.

Opening the box

Upon opening the box, you see the same artwork flow through the entire contents. The cards and player boards are of a nice stock and have a quality feel to them.

The player disks and cubes are functional yet simple however The "on the air" expansion provides stickers to upgrade these. These stickers do improve the appearance and really shouldn't be an optional extra!

Rule book

The rule book for The Networks is well laid out and easy to follow. All rules and set up are explained fully, with a nice almanac at the end of the rule book, this goes in detail on to use the network cards.

Gameplay and Turns

In this game, you are the owner of a new television network and you need to acquire shows, stars and an advertising revenue to pay for it all. The network (player) with the most viewers over five seasons is declared the winner.

On your turn the actions are:

  • Develop a show - If you develop a show, and you are able to match the prerequisites, you then place it in the desired time slot on your tableau
  • Land Ad - Landing an Ad gives you income and allows you to place the Ad in your Green room. Some shows prerequisite is that you need an Ad, so having Ad's in your Green room is important and the additional revenue is always helpful.
  • Take a network card - Taking a Network card, these cards can give you immediate bonuses, they can give you end game scoring and improve your viewer ratings.
  • Attach star or Ad - Play a star or Ad to your current shows
  • Drop and budget - To Drop and budget is to pass, once you've passed, you get the choice of taking extra money or extra viewers, the earlier you pass the better the choice.

You can take one action each turn and you continue in turn order till there are no more actions to take or everyone has Dropped and budget this activates ‘END OF SEASON’ where four things happen. It’s a kind of clean up phase where everything is scored and the new season is prepped.

After the fifth season is played it’s the end of the game everything is cored and the winner is declared.

Final thoughts on The Networks

The positives outweigh the negatives for a fun game with little downtime. (On other players turn your reading the cards available to you and planning your next move) The turns are quick and overall the experience is an enjoyable one.

I believe that The Networks can be a great gateway game and that players will find themselves entertained and amused by the humour included. The theme itself is also a plus point for me as there aren't that many games out there that allow you to own your own television station.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Great Artwork and Components.
  • Easy to learn.
  • Humour throughout.
  • Unique theme.
  • Plays in less than 90 minutes.

Might not like

  • Humour can begin to wear thin after a few games.
  • Keeping track of viewers in your tableau is fiddly.
  • The Stars - Should have carried on the theme of the shows. For example names such as 'Emma Stoneage' or 'Brian Reynolds.'