Would-be pilots looking to earn their cardboard wings can test out upcoming board game Sky Team at Gen Con Indy 2023. The cooperative cockpit simulator, which asks two players to successfully land a plane, is slated for a wider retail release later this year after a few convention appearances.
Designed by Luc Rémond, Sky Team will be the “first fully cooperative game for exclusively two players”, according to publisher Scorpion Masqué, who is working in coordination with Hachette Board Games on production and distribution.
Dicebreaker saw Sky Team at Essen Spiel last year, where the team found the 20-minute sessions “thrilling and tricky” as both players worked together to run down the entire mechanical software checklist before they could successfully land their metaphorical bird.
All of those systems, from extending landing gear to communicating with tower control to maintaining the plane’s axis, is accomplished by allocating dice on a board representing the plane’s complex control panel. Further complicating your job are the peculiarities and idiosyncratic layouts of each airport - the full game will boast 11 different locations that demand specific performance from both co-pilots.
Rémond spoke with actual Concord pilots and airline personnel as he developed the design of Sky Team. Those insights were baked into the board game’s 21 scenarios, which mimic real-world emergencies such as severe wind, icy runways and highly dangerous fuel leaks.
“The biggest challenge was to avoid making a flight simulator, but to design a game that created emotional moments. After documenting details on flight physics and unique aspects of airports, collaborating with real aviation professionals, I needed to focus all of this information into a design that inspired emotions and tensions in each game,” said Rémond in a press release. “In Sky Team, the team is the heart of the game. Cooperative through and through, without any quarterbacking. You can only succeed by trusting your partner. You have dice, but also total control over the situation.”
Sky Team will host a demo and pre-release at Gen Con this year, which runs from August 3rd through 6th. Those attending Essen Spiel 2023 will have an opportunity to play the game and meet with Rémond to chat about designing the game. A full release is currently planned for Autumn ahead of a final appearance ad PAX Unplugged in early December.