Voidfall and the Contentification of Board Games - cutlassboardgame.com

Voidfall and the Contentification of Board Games

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  1. Ones one sneeks through the Void barriers by using the damn Hyperdrive and sends his combat fleet right into the heart of you most advances gild sector, you know wat WAR in Voidfall means.

  2. Every video you make is just board gaming perfection. Thanks! This must have been a ton of work, but you really nailed it!

  3. One thing to note for competitive play and House balance – you are limited to a specific pool of Houses for each scenario. So when it comes to 'soundness' I think they've got that covered?

  4. This is a Turczi problem: he doesn't understand elegance. This game is more complicated than Twilight Imperium 4.

  5. On the Scythe comparison, I've described Voidfall as like piloting your game of Scythe with a Gloomhaven hand of cards. It's not adding much more rule complexity, but it's adding that extra mental complexity of analyzing a large pool of potential action combinations and picking which pairs create the optimal result while still leaving you cards in your hand you want for later turns.

  6. Bought it and sold it > Too complex for this short and marvelous life!

  7. Thanks for another great video. I had already decided that Voidfall wasn't for me, but I have quite a few friends who are enjoying it. On the topic of contentification, I wholly agree with you. We have reached this strange era where all games are trying to be all things for everyone and therefore become mostly homogenous junk. (I am not implying that VF is junk!). I simply don't get the compulsion for example to shoehorn in a solo mode on a game that is all about auctions or direct conflict. (Take a look at the upcoming FCM campaign where someone in the comments vehemently requests a solo mode by David Turczi.) I much prefer games that are allowed to be exactly what they are and nothing more.

  8. I'd been thinking about board game play complexity, I think there's 2 axis, complexity in deciding what to do and complexity in how to do it. Some games that try to make how to do an action easy, but deciding what you need the tough part. Take a deck builder, you just buy a card, but deciding on the cards to buy is the game. Or there's ones like GH that make the task (killing monsters) obvious, but finding the efficient route to do so is the puzzle. And then there's one's like Voidfall that are high on both axis – sandboxy enough deciding what you want to do is tough and then you also have to puzzle out how to do it.
    Personally, I like the efficiency/how best to game the system type games, I like those puzzles. But, I know fewer people do and I think I get why: If you play a game where taking an action is simple, just pick the action/lay a tile/buy a card etc you're always getting to do something, even if oops, turns out you picked poorly. You got to play the game. When you play a game where how to do the action is a puzzle, you can get frustrated over and over by the game mechanics preventing you from doing what you want to do. You're stuck doing whatever it is that is allowed left to you. That's when people feel the game played them or the rules constantly got in the way.

  9. Looks overly complicated for a multiplayer calculator

  10. I am HERE for that statement about contentification. It has become absurd.

    So many absolutely great games just cluttered-up with 'content' that only does a disservice to the design. Most KS projects you could literally have a Bingo sheet for all of the ticked-that-box mechanisms that are only included for sake of advertising the KS, not because the design called for those mechanisms.

    Co-op mode, ticked that box.

    Legacy mechanics, ticked that box.

    Miniatures, ticked that box.

    BETTER miniatures with a stretch goal, ticked that box

    Player count, ALWAYS 1 – 8, even if the game can't actually support a player count of more or less than 5 players and hit its sweet spot, ticked that box

    And the cost to all of this is, at a minimum, a feedback loop that creates an environment where a game that is excellent but lacks the tacked-on 'content' is somehow lesser and ergo harder to pitch to a publisher. 'We don't want to publish games that require a rigid player count' is a real and embarrassing state of the industry, not in the least because publishers ARE in fact doing that but using contentification to claim every game can happily accommodate any number of players even when they plainly can't.

  11. We have it unopened on the shelf still. The conversation goes like this… "Do you want to open Voidfall?" "No, let's play Eclipse"


  13. OMG, I love the "You're too stupid!" defense. It's an argument that uses exactly zero intelligence.

    I am actually very good at complex games. My brain just works that way. I will destroy people at a crunchy euro. I just don't want to. Just because someone doesn't find math to be a delightful activity doesn't mean they're bad at it.

  14. The resource stuff in the intro is actually prime "complexity for complexitys sake". Why take the initial number, if you could also put it into a calculator to give you a different number. It's tedium.

  15. Since I already have TI4 and eclipse I passed on this. It looked interesting but overcomplex for what it is.

  16. Angry engagement comment! Rah rah rah.

    Glad to see the Scythe comparison, given that I spent a lot of time (and money) trying quite a lot to love Scythe, but ultimately felt let down by it. Voidfall might have gone the same way; hopefully a friend picks it up or something, and I give it a spin that way.

  17. Great review! I love the game for what it is, and I agree with you're tangent completely.

  18. Good video. I do like this game. It can be a slog to get through the learning curve on iconogrophy, has an enourmous setsup time, and can sometimes play as a multiplayer solo game. But it also fills a niche of a game with lots of decision points, multiple avenues to victory, it's a point salad euro not a 4x with too much RNG, and the theme is fun.
    Regardless of all that only one thing you said was totally wrong, at 08:45 you called this space the math game. Not even close. If you want that, you play Stellar Horizons, High Frontier, or Leaving Earth.

  19. I miss the days were games were just simple, yet fun. This push for complexity for complexity’s sake, bloated kickstarters with 100 boxes if you back the “pimp my ride walla-walla bing bang edition” which is a necessity, cause FOMO and the fun module is only in that tier- is getting beyond tiresome.

    Board games are seriously in that realm of video game, MTX, season pass garbage trend as of late. A game should be good and fun without a ton of expansions or kickstarter exclusive crap. I want more Elden Ring or Baldur’s Gate 3 equivalents in board games, not Madden and Call of Duty

  20. you're one of the few game culture channels that I've hung onto while the others burn themselves out or rent themselves out as freelance marketers. willingness to say things like this is a big reason why. I like NPI the essay channel more than NPI the review channel (but I like both). keep it up!

  21. You're also begrudging the wrong mode here? I'm nearly certain that the game was designed from the ground up to accommodate co-op and solo play, like as the main way to play the game. Now imagine if they didn't have to accommodate to competitive play and all those scenarios, think of how much better the game would be!

  22. For a giant space game, this game Is ugly. It looks like the only artist they hired was an icon designer and he jest went HAM. Covered the entire 50 million cards and pieces in nothing but icons.

  23. I think Voidfall is a really great game! I think you captured the overall concept of the game and summarized it very effectively (without going into rules details). And I also understand and accept the critiques you've made. It's not perfect and it's definitely not a rollicking space conquest if that's what people are looking for. It's a really deep action optimization euro puzzle with a space empire theme/setting. To me it really gives the feeling of managing a nascent space empire where you determine a strategy and tactically execute actions in order to build up your influence while facing potential threats from an alien presence and rival empires. I think it is a complete success at being the type of game the designers intended and is exactly what I expected it to be. Also, appreciate your review and analysis which I think was well thought out and can certainly resonate with. And yes, I watched all the way to the end! Cheers!

  24. As much as this game is my goty, and certainly will be one of my favorites game for years to come…

    I agree: I use and will certainly continue to use the same 3 scenario indefinitely…

    This game is too big for its own sake…. But, definitely my jam… So …

  25. Another thing I think doesn't get talked about much is that complexity is a bit of a value proposition as well. The best games get a lot of strategic depth out of few rules (something like inis comes to mind), but realistically a more complex game is just usually going to offer you more replayability than something simple. For people who can bring stuff to the table frequently enough to wear some games out, then its something worth considering.

  26. The burn about angry comments at the end of the video made me lol out loud

  27. i only play this game solo. i will likely only ever play it solo. there is enough content in this game even for just solo that im quite happy with it. had it been completely designed for solo im not convinced it would be better. id likely have more map setups and maybe more houses but there is a good chance that is coming anyways.

    however if i do happen to play with someone else it wont be because ive taught them lol. so it having other modes makes the possibility of me playing a mode other than solo more likely. so for me those modes are a benefit and not actually a downside.

    just an alternative point of view. plus if they make the money theyll make more great games. if gamers want to buy deep complex games with ridiculous amounts of content then only play it twice, it at least keeps the industry growing. as long as great games continue to be made we all win.

  28. I love this game, and I've never played competitive, only coop and solo. The special coop actions and the need to lift the lowest scoring player up over the void's target score (hello Uprising) make for a good time.


    Okay, you can delete this now.

  30. Really interesting side tangent on the contentification. I am not sure that the competitive mode in voidfall would have been improved by adding dice into the system to be honest. That being said, it's an interesting thought experiment.

    Personally I have played voidfall 14 times (each faction once) and u have found it extremely enjoyable. I was skeptical of the combat but I have enjoyed it a ton in the solo mode. I am curious to get more competitive games in to see if the combat calculations end up being that problematic. I think it's probably just going to be hit or miss depending upon the game group.

  31. Hashtag boardgames that should have been computer games.

    These games are trying to trick you into doing accounting, and do so with pretty fiddly bits.

  32. Best review you done by now (Sleeping gods, would be 2.). 100% agree on the crowdfunding problem.

  33. I cannot see a world in there are better board game reviews than the one of NPI! Need to explain a little deeper: after many years of being in the hobby I have „collected“ more YouTube Board Game channels than Pokémon when I was a kid. And after all those years of watching this content I absolutely know the taste of the people. Which is good in general. But the downside is, I realised that I am often just watching a board game review to have someone giving praise to a game I might enjoy to push me in the direction of buying it. This is fine. But it is nothing of true value. NPI reviews are different. They are so thoughtful, so entertaining, so funny, and they are simply amazing. I am watching these reviews for hundreds of reasons not just to decide wether I want to buy a game or not. These reviews/videos are invaluable. Outstanding content made by passion and love

  34. Combat is so silly in this game. We hit 11 games last night. I don’t enjoy Co-op at all. And yes. Where is the base game? Why is there so many maps. This doesn’t replace TI4 or Eclipse for me, but this game has been living on a table since it arrived to the game shop. Can’t agree more. Great review.

  35. Have you only ever played Catan? None of this is unusual

  36. Crowdfunding fucked up the boardgame industry; awaken realms did most of all

  37. That was a great 16 minute review, thanks efka

  38. NPI is so worth the financial tangent (if that fits your economic reality)🔥

  39. After buying all the lacerdas which have been sitting on the shelf because the setup and the teach are massive i've started appreciating snappy game design. I do still like games with a little meat on their bones, but there clearly are limits.

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