Viewpoint in a non-collectible card game produced by the Australian game design company 93 Made Games. The game contents consist of a deck of 70 cards, each illustrated in a ‘70s/‘80s retro art style, and a rule sheet, attractively packaged in a small black cardboard box. Most of what you need to know is printed on the cards themselves and makes picking up and getting into the game very easy. The use of icons on the cards, representing different aspects of the game (e.g. the discard pile, the play area and your hand of cards), makes the game even easier to understand.
The game is designed for 2 to 6 players of ages 7 and up. Games can take as little as 5 minutes or as long as 30 minutes to play - depending on the experience of players and the number of players in each game.
The objective of the game is to be the first player with 100 points down on the table, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Players have cards that can steal cards you have tabled or send them to the discard pile. So you need to be able to judge the best time to put cards on the table and how to defend your cards once they are down.
Game-play is highly interactive and the base rules are simple to follow to make it accessible to casual and non-gamers as well as dedicated gamers. At the start of play, each person is dealt a hand of five cards. These cards each have values clearly printed on them, ranging from negative amounts to a maximum of 20 points. They also have actions printed on them, along with a graphic (which features some pun on vision such as ‘wink’ or ‘blind spot’). The action associated with an individual card is usually executed as you attempt to put the card face up into your play area (known as your Field of View). There are a few cards (such as Spectacles) that allow you to play the card as a reaction to other players trying to affect your cards.
While your first few games of Viewpoint might not appear to involve a high degree of skill for winning, you will soon discover that you need to be much more strategic about how and when you play your cards, as well as keeping a careful eye on what people have got down on the table. Simply placing cards into your Field of View won’t win you the game, as other players will start targeting you as you hit a score of around 80+. You need think ‘out of the box’ and bluff your opponents, by sitting on a ‘non-threatening’ score, while searching for cards that will let you steal cards or take multiple turns, allowing you to suddenly win the game by coming from behind.
Gamers will soon begin to unveil the different styles of game-play as they begin to explore the subtle strategies inherent in each different card and how they could be used to get those elusive 100 points down on the table.
The design of the game system provides an entertaining and interactive experience encouraging replayability. The games system also provides the opportunity to release future expansion packs of cards to add to the mischief already present in the base deck.
Viewpoint was released at Gen Con Australia in September 2009 and Viewpoint tournaments are now being held all over Australia and beyond. Viewpoint was also exhibited at the Australian Games Expo in January 2010 and at Gamicon Tau in the United States in February 2010.
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