Don’t we all want that One Last Job to set us up for life?
I have spoken a few times about my love of Android: Netrunner, and some of the problems of jumping into such a large game blind.
The asymmetrical gameplay and hidden information is a fun combination I really enjoy. Outplaying your opponent by putting the right card out at the right time, is a major rush while playing. It’s one of the reasons such games work so well overall, and why I am sad at Android: Netrunners end.
But last night, I found hope. A game that has been overshadowed by E3 and Origins for me on Kickstarter is One Last Job. This has nothing to do with the cyberpunk vibe and inherent competition of Android: Netrunner, but it shares a very similar feel – and it’s only one deck!
So in One Last Job, you don’t exactly do the standard ‘good guys vs bad guys’ in picking a side. One side plays The Crew, an assortment of operatives bought together for the single task at hand. The other player represents The Powers That Be, whose main goal is to increase their own influence by doing the job first or simply stopping The Crew.
But just as Android: Netrunner has the Corp and the Runner, One Last Job allows players freedom of playstyles with varying factions. There are six factions in total (three per side), so lots of narrative scenarios are possible.
For The Crew, you have choices of:
- The Professionals – The crew of veteran professionals who have seen and done it all, and are the ones looking for that One Last Score to get them out of the life once and for all.
- The Gangs – These are groups only together in looks and as a matter of convenience. Winging it is too much planning for this group, who will react on the fly and not always in smart responses.
- The Phreaks – While they might not be able to charm their way past socialites and feel a combination lock under their fingertips, these technical wizards can change your social security number from just having your twitter handle.
The Powers That Be on the other hand have their own factions as well:
- The Mob – The Family. The legitimate business owners with final negotiating tactics.
- The Mastermind – Operating from the shadows, The Mastermind is the one that controls it all. Think your old school Bond villain.
- The Society – The Elite. The ones that everyone wants to be like, even if they don’t know why ‘they’ actually are. Everything is done to elevate the goals of The Society.
Want to see how The Gangs fair against the always in control Mastermind? See how the Professionals are brought down by The Society? While the game in itself doesn’t spell out a story, one aspect of Android: Netrunner I always enjoy is playing the story through my actions, and it looks like One Last Job will allow this style of play to continue.
The game itself is fairly simple but has some complex interactions. At the end of the day, The Crew uses their skills to try and get to an objective in one location, and The Powers That Be use their abilities to try and stop them.
I could go into more detail on how the game itself plays, but honestly, if you have played Android: Netrunner, you already know how a game feels.
What I would rather talk about are some of the negatives of the Kickstarter upfront. With less than a week to go, One Last Job is at less than a quarter of its funding level, and I can see a few reasons why this might be.
This is a first-time tabletop publisher. There have been a lot of highly publicised ‘problems’ in the past, and the price could be seen as a little high by some people. Particularly as the components on show look ‘meh’ at best.
To this, I can only say the concept art shown in its comic style looks great, and Android Netrunner comes with punchboard components. The game is in prototype form at the moment, so to me, you can’t judge the quality of what you are getting yet.
But what they do have on their page is the rules and a free print and play version. If you like any form of asymmetrical and/or hidden information card game, do yourself a favour and print the free preview version and give One Last Job a try.
You can see how much effort has gone into gameplay and balancing. There is no feeling of a runaway victory here, and the alternate scoring conditions are as well balanced as the player powers.
Don’t let anything I say sway you into backing this project. The designers have put the game up to be judged on its own merits, and it deserves to be played. I only wish it could have been done at a different time or with more fanfare to bring attention to it, because I feel after reading through everything this is a game with great ongoing potential.
Check out the Kickstarter page for One Last Job here.
Until next time,