Sunday, 2 December 2012

EXPOSURE (Board Game) -- Uncharted: The Board Game

So yesterday, my sister's fiance came over and he brought along Uncharted: The Board Game. It's a board game based off of the Uncharted game series on the PS3, PSVita, and PSP. My first thought was: how would they turn a video game into a board game? And make it fun? Well, we played one run of it yesterday.

Uncharted: The Board Game

Playtime Length: About 90 minutes (should go faster next time)
Instruction Learning Curve: Moderate
Played As: Elena
Played With: My sister and her fiance (I won, yay)

Brief Impression
Hmm... what to say...

Well, to be brief, Uncharted: The Board Game is fun -- once you get how it's played. The instruction manual is about as thick as a video game manual -- i.e., the instructions are quite lengthy (and not all that organized). This is not a game that somebody would be able to just set down and play right away.

In Uncharted: The Board Game, you get to play as a character from the video game series. The main aim of this game is to get the most VP (victory points) and surviving the last round. VP is gained by either discovering treasures or killing baddies. Sounds simple enough.

This is the most difficult part on the first run: the game flow. Yes, the whole game flow is a little hard to get. But once you get the hang of it, it can be really fun and strategic. Below I'll try to explain how the game works, hopefully in a way that's easier to get than the manual.

I'd recommend this to those who enjoy an intense game. You don't need to be a fan of the game series. If you enjoy adventure and being strategic, you'll most likely enjoy this. Especially if you can get over the learning curve.


There are four different sets of cards:

-Character cards
-Adventure cards (divided by basic, normal, and special)
-Action cards
-Special Action cards

Character cards: This is where you choose which character to play as. Each character has two sides: an easy side where everybody has the same amount of health; a difficult side where everybody has a different amount of health, and some character-specific abilities. Once a character loses all their health, the player is out of the game.

Adventure cards: Adventure cards are made up of treasure and baddies. These are the cards you want to "win" to gain VP, either by discovering the treasure or killing the baddy. The player with the most search markers gain the VP. If there are an equal amount of search markers, those players all gain the VP. Treasure cards have an effect that either comes into play once it's discovered, or when somebody is currently searching for the treasure -- it only affects those who have a search marker on the treasure. Once a treasure or baddy card is "won", they will be replaced with a card from the Adventure card deck.

Action cards: These are the main cards that the players use. These action cards can be played from the hand, and they each have a "casting cost", where cards from your hand have to be discarded. So if card "A" has a "casting cost" of two, two cards from your hand will be discarded to play card "A". Instead of playing them, action cards in the hand can also be discarded to evoke an ability that corresponds to the card's colour (red, blue, yellow, and green).

Special action cards: These cards work the same as action cards, except that you can only pick up one of these if you kill a baddy.

Now that that's out of the way, here is the gameplay flow:

At the start of the game, everybody has a character card, six search markers, four basic cards, and three action cards.

Now comes Round 1:
A round is broken into three phases:

Phase 1: Recovery Phase
This is the start of the round. Any "rested" cards (or in Magic: The Gathering terms, "tapped" cards) are "standing" ("untapped"). Any special abilities that are round-specific happen here.

Phase 2: Action Phase (aka the main meat of the game)
The first player gets to make two of the following actions:

-Play a card
-Discard a card and evoke the card colour's ability
-Attack an enemy
-Use a card's ability in the play area ("tapping" a card)

The player can do two different actions or two of the same actions. Then it goes clockwise to the next player. And so on. 

When a player can't do any more actions, or if they just decide, they have to "pass". When a player "passes", they pick up an action card and place a search marker on a treasure.

Then Phase 2 goes on with the rest of the players until everybody "passes". The last person to "pass" doesn't get an action card or place a search marker, but they get to start the next round.

Phase 3: Enemy Phase
If there are any enemies present, they attack all the players. Players can defend by "resting" ("tapping") cards in their play area, each "resting" ("tapped") card representing one DP (Defense Points).

Then the next round starts.

Once one deck runs out (action cards, special action cards, or adventure cards), that starts the last round.

The one who has the most VP while surviving the last round wins!

Thanks for reading! :)


  1. Wow, when did you take a picture of the board? Didn't even notice...

    Yes, the game was much fun. We will have to try it with all the adventure cards next time. Get ready to be killed by enemies!

    And also, you did a smashing job of summarizing the gameplay. I know it's not fair for me to say since I know it too, but it sounds spot on.

    1. Thanks! I know I left out some details like how to determine how many VP you get from discovering a treasure or killing a baddy. Just -- man, even trying to briefly summarize takes a while to do.