Note: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.
Ever feel like you might be a little TOO addicted to your device? Like maybe there’s something compelling you to fiddle, text, scroll, and swipe? Like maybe as you gaze into the abyss of your screen, something stares back at you? In Techlandia, Silicon Valley meets Arkham…
Techlandia is a horror-themed mini-dungeon crawler for 1-4 players, now in funding on Kickstarter.
Techlandia is a small scale modern dungeon crawl. The objective is to infiltrate the Techlandia Company’s headquarters in order to crash the unveiling of their newest smartphone and learn their true objectives.
To crash the party you’ll need to sneak around the upper levels of the corporate building, avoiding guards while you collect QR codes to unlock the elevators to the auditorium. Each player has two actions. With an action you can move, search, collect code fragments, or get new gear.
You’ll find codes by searching rooms – some with easy access, and others more challenging. You’ll also spawn more enemies the more you move and search, so efficiency is key. You can also pick up and use gear to influence events you encounter, either giving yourself rerolls or dodging danger.
Once you think you have the right codes, head to the security room to try them. A proper match will unlock the doors to victory. Meanwhile, the Doomsday Clock will tick down, introducing new challenges while you attempt to make your way through the building…
One part tech conspiracy theorist, one part Dr. Who episode, Techlandia drops you at the front door of ‘big tech’ in order to discover the truth – are people really watching us? Are they tracking our moves online? Attempting to control our habits… hold up, I think I segue wayed into talking about Facebook there for a second.
Techlandia is a short, small scale exploratory game with a competitive edge for those that lack the time for a full dungeon crawl and probably didn’t trust their party to begin with. The small size contributes both to time conservation as well as keeping things competitive – you’ll frequently have to choose between defeating goons and dropping clues that might be advantageous to your opponents. Rules for cooperative play would be interesting, perhaps a more difficult doom counter or a few added tiles.
The art and graphic design contribute to the futuristic, almost cyberpunk feel of the game. (I thought of Shadowrun more than once as we were playing.) The flavor text on all the cards supports this as well, with a lot of sarcastic humor thrown in as well. However, I almost wish it leaned into its satirical styling a little more.
All of the encounters are entirely luck-based, which you may find frustrating or evocative of rolling a 2 in a standard dungeon boss fight. There’s only one ‘correct’ QR code as well, which means getting codes is a must, but these are really just opportunities to scan more codes. Given that the game is about hacking and technology, it might be more interesting with some cipher/puzzle to solve in order to unlock the proper QR codes earlier.
I really enjoyed the dry, sarcastic humor of Techlandia. What art was available in my prototype copy was sharp and theme evoking. I appreciate that it scales for multiple players but keeps the play area smallish in order to promote player interaction. A little more strategy could be a plus, but it might just be part of the genre to expect that one fated bad roll that dooms you…
If you’d like to get a copy of Techlandia, or find out more about the game, head over to their Kickstarter page. Their campaign is running for about another week if you are interested.
As always, we don’t post ratings for preview copies as the components and rules may change from the final game. Check back with us after the game is produced for a full review. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.