Gender : maps, draft, resource management
Numbers of players : 2 to 4 players (+ a cooperative mode)
Game duration : about 60 minutes
Suggested price : from 53.90 to 55.90 euros
Author / Editor : Julien Prothière/ Ludonaute
Illustrator : Sebastien Caiveau
If you had precognition, what would you do? Would you take the opportunity to know the results of the lottery in order to amass a good fortune? Would you use this advantage To make the best choices and have no regrets? Would you try to save as many people as possible? Yeah, that would be commendable. Commendable, like the mission set by the prescient Ymunes who are trying to save humanity from its disastrous fate in this board game exploiting the difficult mechanics of vision in the future.
In Precognition, humanity is therefore on the verge of extinction. We don’t really know what could have happened, but 99% of the population died out in a few weeks, leaving only a final percent transformed into beings devoid of feelings, emotions, cognition… However, in this bleak future, there remains a hope: the ymunophycée, a unique green algae which is able to heal humans and which allowed the ymunes to survive at the end of time. ymunes who therefore hold in their hands a future that the prescient have seen. A future where the two species live in harmony on Letea, this island downstream from the great river.
Thus, it all begins as the chosen ymunes, able to know the future in bits and pieces, embark on their ship with the hope of saving as many humans as possible. And for that, they will have to cooperate with those they manage to save during their journey by providing them with care, so that certain tasks are carried out. These tasks will be four in number, equivalent to the number of types of cards that can be played. The first allows you to recover ymunes capable of curing the deadly plague. The second, to recover essential food for humans at the end of each season. The third, to collect batteries powering the various machines of the boat used to improve certain effects or at least, to benefit from them a little more. And finally, the last, to save humans, because this is the central goal of a game of Precognition where you will have to descend a long river divided into twelve stages for as many turns of the game.
The very nice point with these cards is the way in which you can optimize their effect. First in the most basic of ways. Because at each turn, several options emerge according to his needs but also his means. Indeed, each card having a “cost”, it will be necessary to exhaust humans to be able to play them. Humans who will then have to be treated through the ymunes, at the rate of one doctor per patient. Suffice to say that it will be necessary to balance the use of cards to intelligently manage its resources and avoid shortages, synonymous with unpleasant surprises.
But to return to the uses and precisely to the economy of human resources, it will be possible to play only one card so as not to tire anyone at the expense of a lost card. A good solution when the second card is either too expensive or not interesting, but a big downside when it comes to taking advantage of combos. Since the fruit of the dilemma, having two cards of the same type and activating them allows you to take advantage of their secondary action vector of additional resources and paving the road to victory. In short, we will try to achieve this “combo” as often as possible. Yes, we will try…
And it is precisely at this moment that precognition will intervene with this famous Dual Select System. A system that we will briefly explain, so as not to confuse the mind with a complex explanation for a cog that is not that complex, and above all because a nice video is buried a little lower on this page to a more tangible illustration.
To put it simply, two cards will be drawn each turn while two others will be given by the player on the left. Therefore, it will be necessary to make a double choice which will involve a third. Among the face-up cards placed in front of you (received from the player on the left), you must secretly assign one to the player on the left. Of the three remaining, one will have to be used. As for the two remaining after this “draft”, they will be entrusted to the player on the right. Player who, in the next turn, will be forced to give you back one of the two cards you gave him in the previous turn, hence the precognition.
Since at each turn, we will know that one of these two cards will necessarily return to our hand. From then on, we will constantly try to imagine what could happen turn after turn in order to maximize the interaction between the different cards available and dominate the table… knowing that a huge round of divination will take place, each player interacting with his left and right neighbours. And it is at this point that we take the most pleasure: when Precognition installs this immersive atmosphere whose potential will crescendo over the games. Because the decks of the players being identical and planned to be deployed in three waves, at the rate of one per season, we end up knowing the occurrences of the cards, being able to even more easily anticipate what will happen during the following turns.
And so it is that lap after lap, and undergoing more and more harmful events (necessarily…) as the central river descends, the one that will assume the best but will also have the most success (the draw of the cards being sometimes scratching) will snatch victory. Because game betting on the rescue of humanity or not, it will be a question of electing only a prescient victor, unless playing in cooperation. A cooperation bringing an additional stone to the experience, just like the team mode to play in 2vs2, there also in a sauce versus cooperation which will add a touch of calculation to the whole, even if, very frankly, the puzzle aspect stands out less than the competitive inclination, more tasty at the time of operating the machine of divination.
A guess that, on the whole, convinced us despite a few sometimes frustrating small flats. Chance of the cards drawn necessarily from the game, we have for example faced the one for whom everything goes well in the draw, not having to force reflection to cause devastating combos. A reflection that also seemed quite mechanical to us past some parts with regard to knowledge. It’s a bit of the inherent defect of a game that advocates more control over the games.
In fact, quite striking at first glance, Precognition may also gradually lose its flavor in the eyes of those who prefer surprises and who will see in the more thorough knowledge of the ins and outs of the parties a kind of strategic breathlessness. And even if it means talking about strategy, we also regret the superiority of food which will save humans and which will almost certainly offer victory, the player having managed to afford the most food having always had a length of progress according to our parties. We would therefore have loved it if the game offered more varied events, changing victory conditions and why not a way to go and “crassounettes” the opponent to destabilize his strategy, beyond that of trying not to offer him the right cards turn after turn. In the end, we had seen that Precognition had great potential, but our glimpse of the future had not warned us that weariness could have set in after several games in this universe with more than proven charms. To be reserved for those who therefore fully adhere to his experience with knowledge.
Precognition’s mission is to give the feeling of predicting the future. And on this point, with its Dual Select System, we can clearly say that it is doing wonderfully. Really giving the impression of concentrating in order to glimpse the future, the drafting of the cards installs round after round a real atmosphere around the table where analysis and learning play a predominant role. However, this option of control has a price: that of a lack of variety which can be expressed after a certain number of games since nothing, except the chance of the pickaxe, disturbs the achievements born of experience. In fact, we will very quickly tend to repeat the same strategy that will lead to victory. It’s not that often that happens, but we would like an extension to bring a touch of variety, almost chaotic, to the whole. But make no mistake about it, the Precognition experience remains quite striking when it comes to expressing visions of the future, without going into an expert-type production. In short, he didn’t miss much to reach the heights.
– The sensations of really trying to predict the future
– The very interesting Dual Select System
– A particularly immersive universe
– Simple cogs for a game that doesn’t lack crunch
– Quality materials and beautifully illustrated cards
We don’t love
– The lack of variety that increases over the games
– The cooperation that left us a little cold
– We would have liked more varied events throughout the game
– The idea of starting the rulebook with the Dual Select System which may discourage some players (on the other hand, it is much more pleasantly explained later).
The presentation of the game in a video signed Ludonaute:
And for the pleasure of the eyes, an unboxing:
We would like to say thanks to the writer of this short article for this remarkable web content
Precognition test: The future of humanity through the cards
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