And Then We Held Hands… and lost.
And Then We Held Hands
|Game: And Then We Held Hands||Players: 2|
|Publisher: Ludicreations||Age: 12+|
|Time: 30 minutes|
In a cooperative attempt to revive your relationship, you and your partner will be experiencing the emotional lows of anger and sadness which interprets to a better appreciation for happiness and tranquility. As you both make your way through the layers of argument, you both may find it a very enjoyable experience as you silently indulge in the emotional roller coaster which is a relationship. The goal is to achieve emotional balance through a series of objectives and reach the center of the board together. I found this card game to be one of the more unique experiences. A 2 player cooperative board game done through silence. I found silent in board games to be one of the harder components to perfect in gaming. Since Hanabi I seldom find any new titles implementing that mechanic. I feel the silence plays a vital role in both the game play and the theme in And Then We Held Hands. (link to BoardGamesGeek)
And Then We Held Hands delivers a very beautifully minimal board game with the iconic dreamlike artwork done by Marie Cardout, the artist of games such as Dixit and Steam Park. The card game comes with a board, two sets of cards, marbles, and perception changers. The two types of cards offer us are emotion cards or emotional objective cards. The objective cards will be set up into 3 decks (which resemble the 3 layers of the failing relationship (each finished deck bringing you 1 step closer to a balanced relationship)). You will start with 6 emotion cards and a balanced emotional state (located toward your side of the board). Each emotion card represents your current feelings, whether it be manic or cold. The trim of the emotion cards will be associated with the objective cards helping you maintain your emotional balance and move you around the board. The board is a physical copy of your mental state, each step closer to your destination will cost “emotion”. A red location will have you play a red emotion card (imagine you currently going through that mood). You will be able to take from both your hand of emotion cards or your partners. Again, as a silent game, you are unaware of what cards your partner may need in order to reach their objective, so it’s best to be mindful of them as well as yourself. As you travel around the board (moving from the left side to the right side of the board) you’ll be changing the perspective of the emotion cards. I mentioned the trim having the objective cars on it. That’s because depending on your location on the board, your card will be one of the two different objective states (which are used to move around the board). keep in mind, as you move around the board you’ll be controlling your emotional scale (the scale closest to you on the board). For each green or blue movement, scale it up toward the respective colors, repeat this process the other direction for red or black cards. To win the game on top of reaching the center with your partner, you need a balanced scale.
When I first set up And Then We Held Hands I was more confused than I was excited. I looked over the rule book, glanced over all the cards… Tried to stack the marbles. It wasn’t clicking as fast as other games do (which isn’t that fast to begin with). I realized that this card game was difficult to grasp because it introduced a lot of new opportunities to board gaming that I have not seen before. The circular travel through the levels of a relationship, the emotional stability you must maintain to delve deeper into the emotional journey, the silence between you and your cooperating partner. It was like I was having an emotional journey from the game through an emotional journey in the game (woah). I felt it only appropriate to play this game with my better half.
Our first journey toward a balanced relationship failed, unfortunately. That didn’t stop us from wanting to try again, and again, and again. The first few games you play are going to be difficult and demanding–which concludes in 5 to 10 minute sessions. But after a few sessions, you’ll get a nice groove of the game, specializing in strategies that may (hopefully) guide you toward the end. While I admit I have yet to beat the game with my partner, we love how difficult and engaging And Then We Held Hands is. While we may enjoy the mindless fun of some titles, every once and a while we love being able to get stumped from a game that expects more than luck and dice rolls.
For more visit their website at ludicreations