This past weekend, holed away in a little cottage in Maine with some friends, I played Pandemic<, a game in which players seek to eradicate viruses that threaten Earth, for the first time. And for the second time, and the third. How could I have forgotten how amazing board games are? And despite my competitiveness, the cooperative nature of the game may have actually made it even more fun. Go figure.
Elbowfish, a game studio in Portland Oregon whose projects feature renderings from local artists, want to create a whole series of “meaningful games,” or “fun games that make you think.” Elbowfish is working with PandaGM, who manufactured Pandemic, among others. This is a huge vote in their favor.
The premise of Antimatter Matters seems simple: players try to build an atom by amassing the correct elementary particles. I’ve always wanted to do that! As expected, there are challenges, including antimatter collisions, cosmic radiation, solar flares, and the one I most look forward to, “quantum entanglement.”
The game takes place in the near(ish) future, in a space laboratory orbiting Earth. Players race to become the first human to successfully construct matter from particles, including quarks. Elbowfish describes Antimatter Matters as “set-collection and pattern-building” game that “balances deliberate strategic choices, surprising interactions with other players and the unpredictable nature of the universe.” This game sounds better and better!
Unlike Risk, an average game takes about 45 minutes to play, and in one of its most exciting features, the game can be played competitively or cooperatively. Antimatter Matters, then, would be suitable not just for vacations, but also for classrooms.
Donors to the Kickstarter campaign get a variety of awards (including the game itself) depending on their pledge amounts. The campaign ends in a few days and is still about $10,000 short of its $33,000 goal. If the goal is met, rewards will be delivered by the end of this year, and you know what that means — Antimatter Matters for Christmas! Nothing like a little quantum physics to spread yule-time cheer and to make those quarrels between relatives even more entertaining.