Game Glimpse #13: Flash Point

FlashPoint07.05.12-Richard takes a look at Flash Point: a fully cooperative game where everyone plays on the same firefighting team – and win or lose together. Players can ride the ambulance to safety or fire the engine’s deck gun in an attempt to control the blaze.
LINKS: Indie Boards and Cards




4 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Stefan Lopuszanski,

    You don’t really mention Space Alert much. As you suggested the “time pressure” element does essentially eliminate on the “leader controlling everyone” problem.

    I’m not sure it is really that “hardcore” — you can definitely make it difficult and complex, but Space Alert seems to easy people into it.

    Additionally, Space Alert does use other mechanisms to combat the oppressive leader problem such as randomness (cards flipped as enemies), hidden information (cards people can play), and reduces information (static sound track where you can not talk).

    It does seem that more randomness does reduce the problem as well — Ghost Stories doesn’t seem to be as problematic as something like Pandemic or Forbidden Island which is much more formulaic.

    As always some very interesting ideas. Keep it up and I can’t wait till the next one!

    • Yes – I forgot about Space alert, it uses several of the techniques I mention. The time pressure is very relevant – I wish the ‘non communication sections’ of the cd were more common, it seemed a minor irritant rather than a major feature. It could also have allowed the limited communication which I mention, where only a particular color can talk.

      Overall Space alert was a really cool coop game, though for my group it became pretty rapidly controlled by a few players, despite its clever design.

      • Stefan Lopuszanski,

        Surprised you had a game of Space Alert where people controlled others. It seems to be one of the best co-op games for going against that. Hidden cards limits what people can command, the time element puts a pressure on everyone to do their own thing, and more.

        Wonder if there could ever be co-op game that doesn’t have a leadership problem. Maybe if each person had hidden missions or special conditions that only they knew about. That would limit someone giving commands when it might do something completely against what the individual players object was… hmm.

        Anyway, shame you weren’t interviewed on The Dice Tower for winning best family game with “King of Tokyo.” Were you busy or something? Would have loved to hear you talk about it on the show. Oh well, maybe next time?

      • The first few games were great – and I am sure a game with a new group would be good – our problems began when some of our players got out of the mindframe “this is my piece and I am controlling him” and into the mindframe ” This is a big puzzle with multiple pieces we are all trying to solve together. ”

        My favorite method for making coop games not end up here is (as I mentioned in podcast) to severely restrict communication. Some games lend themselves very well to that, others can’t be played that way. For example, Pandemic or Forbidden Island are really unplayable without some communication (one can probably find some creative limitation). Flashpoint is playable with no communication. (some people bristle at the idea of not communicating in a cooperative game, with some justification. The ‘communication’ then is done through game moves. Also, it is incorrect to think of players playing in silence – they can still chat about stuff socially).

        I was out of town in the narrow frame available for me to do the interview :-(

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