Blitz Stop Mechanic: Real-Time

February 25, 2018

Blitz Stop Mechanic is a new segment featured on The Dice Tower's bi-weekly Throat Punch Lunch videos about games where I pick a mechanism and then talk about games that use that mechanism in a cool, thematic way. 

Games discussed:
Escape: The Curse of the Temple
Kitchen Rush
Captain Sonar

Hi! This is Ambie from Board Game Blitz, and this is Blitz Stop Mechanic, a segment where I pick a mechanism and then talk about games that use that mechanism in a cool, thematic way. This time, I’m talking about Real-time.

Real-time games don’t follow a typical turn based structure of the common board game. Instead, everyone is doing actions at the same time, and there’s usually some sort of timer for the round or the game. There are a lot of games that use the real-time mechanism to add stress in a fun and thematic way.

One example is Escape: The Curse of the Temple. In Escape, players work together to try to get a bunch of treasure from a cursed temple and then escape before time runs out. The game lasts exactly 10 minutes, with a soundtrack indicating the different things that happen in the game. Everyone rolls dice in order to do their actions, but you can reroll as quickly as you want, as long as you don’t get the cursed side of the die. So you’re frantically rerolling to get the dice rolls you need in order to navigate through the temple and escape in time. The whole theme of Escape is that you’re trying to get out before the temple collapses on you, so the real-time aspect is a necessity in bringing the theme to life.

Another newer real-time cooperative game that uses the real-time mechanism well is Kitchen Rush. In Kitchen Rush, you’re all working together in a restaurant kitchen, trying to get ingredients and cook up the customers’ orders in time. This game mixes real-time with worker placement, by using hourglass timers as the workers. So instead of having turns to place your workers, you wait until the hourglass timer runs out before you can move a worker to another spot. I think this is a really innovative and thematic way to use sand timers, since it simulates the time you need to do the actions, like preparing the ingredients, washing the dishes, or waiting for the oven to bake the dish.

Another game that uses real-time is Captain Sonar. Although Captain Sonar also has a turn based mode, the main mode is a real-time submarine battle between two teams. In the game, each player has a different role on the submarine, and you’re trying to find and destroy the other team’s submarine. The real-time mode adds a lot of tension to the race to find the other team, since as in a real battle, if one group works faster than the other, they’ll have the advantage.

I really like real-time games, especially real-time cooperative games. The stress and tension that real-time adds often brings out the theme of a game. Thanks for watching Blitz Stop Mechanic. What other games use the real-time mechanism in an interesting way? Let me know in the comments!
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