Mining deep-space crystals for an uncaring corporation is bad enough without having to be intentionally swallowed by massive beasts to mine them from their belly, but that’s the exact premise of So, You’ve Been Eaten, an asymmetric, two-player board game from LudiCreations.
The title of gastronomically bad working conditions for zero to two players - no, that isn’t a typo - puts one unlucky soul in the shoes of a Deep Space Miner (5th class), while the other roleplays a massive creature with a gut full of valuable crystals simply floating through the void. The miner must successfully collect enough crystals to justify the corporation’s investment and evacuate before perishing to natural, if gargantuan, bodily forces. The Beast’s immune system will harry that effort at every turn with an onslaught of antibodies the size of horses.
On each turn, both players will need to make strategic choices to deal with immediate threats or invest their effort towards increased dice rolls and effects on later turns. The bacteria move down a straight line towards the miner and will promptly kill them if left to their own devices. Mutations and immune responses raise the stakes, while the miner can scrounge for the discarded gear of, uh… “less qualified” candidates to aid in staying alive.
The miner must travel further down the gullet to collect enough crystals or else try to escape through a different hole from the one they entered. That’s all there is to be said about that.
Individuals can take advantage of mechanics that automate either the miner or the beast’s turns, allowing So, You’ve Been Eaten to run as a solo board game experience from either end of the table. The campaign page also claims the game can technically run itself, as long as human hands aid in moving the pieces around.
“Nope, 0 players does not mean that the game will not set up and play itself. And no, it probably does not count as a play if you decide to not play it. Yes, it does seem to fit the times we are now living in,” it reads. “However you look at it, having the two AIs play each other is possible, and a conversation starter for the non-board-game-geeks wandering near your shelf.”
Finnish publisher Ludicreations has prototyped So, You’ve Been Eaten in the past, but this newest Kickstarter campaign funds its inaugural release, along with a collector’s edition and several other premium add-ons. It previously published sci-fi economic strategy game Crisis and On the Underground, where players endeavour to construct sprawling, yet efficient transportation lines.
Designer Scott Almes is best known for his work on several entries in the Tiny Epic board game series, as well as the miniatures exploration title Heroes of Land, Air and Sea. Kwanchai Moriya will provide all the illustrations in a signature and well-loved style that can be seen in 2017’s Dinosaur Island and upcoming sequel Dinosaur World, Cryptid and many others.
The Kickstarter campaign for So, You’ve Been Eaten runs through March 30th. Backers can secure a standard edition starting at $29 (£21), with shipping expected to begin in October of this year.
Edit: The release history of So, You've Been Eaten has been amended to accurately reflect past prototypes as not full releases.