Teburu – the future of gaming, or a niche assistance?

If you don’t like apps in your games, Teburu is going to make you really mad

Gaming apps. A phrase that some gamers want to love, and some love to hate.

I quite like some apps. Chronicles of Crime and Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game are excellent examples of games that include gameplay not possible with digital assistance.

But that is the keyword – assistance. If I want to play a video game, I will play a video game. Some apps mean well, but add very little to the experience. The whole thing is very hit and miss.

One of the first digital apps I tried to embrace was the Zombicide Companion App. People were enjoying the game, but a few had complaints about the amount of ‘little things’ they had to track with their characters. I was hoping that the companion app would help alleviate this. Spoiler alert – I was wrong.

As you still had to play wiht the cards physically, it was just doubling up on a lot of the admin

Some apps only try and help with one small facet of a game. For example, the 7 Wonders scoresheet app. And help it does. 7 Wonders scoring is almost a science unto itself when beginning to learn the game.

But there have been some great examples of apps that blur the line between tabletop and video games. Mansions of Madness 2nd edition, for example, made it possible for me actually to play as the player for a change. I did not always have to be ‘the bad guy’, which opened up a lot of new gameplay chances for me. In all of the games of Mansions of Madness I had played, I had never been a player character. Now thanks to the app, I can play Mansions by myself if I want!

I no longer have to spend an hour alone setting everything up thanks to the Mansions app

CMON and Xplored have taken the app ‘games master’ one step further. With the assistance of app integration, NFC and Bluetooth technology, the vision is you can play your game and have all of the admin done for you.

Introducing Teburu, the tabletop gaming console that CMON and Xplored hope ushers in a new age for tabletop gamers.

On the surface, I love the idea. The idea itself is far from new. Years ago, when the Microsoft Surface was still a tabletop computer concept design, developers showed off the possibility of playing Dungeons and Dragons with the tabletop being an interactive map that recognised your miniatures.

Teburu doesn’t seem to be going quite so far, but the basics are all there. You have an app on your phone with your characters information such as stats, inventory, etc. A central app keeps track of all other aspects of gameplay – enemy positions, line of sight rules, objectives, everything.

One advantage Teburu has over a lot of concepts I have seen are physical dice you roll and don’t have to tell the app the results. It might not sound like much, but having to stop to type in your rolls all the time sucks. Now, I am a little worried about the dice needing a charge halfway through a game, but that is a small price to pay.

The mat becomes a large sensor so that it knows the position and orientation of your pieces

There are a lot of games that can benefit from this type of system, and CMON makes a lot of them. Dungeon Crawlers is a genre that suffers from a lot of admin minutiae that stops you just having fun. Having something that takes care of all that math is appealing for a lot of players.

I am a little torn of the existence of Teburu. On the one hand, I admire the tech and passion involved in its design. It also allows for more social gaming, as you are still playing a physical game with your friends. Because the app takes care of the rules, ‘House Rule’ arguments and the like will be minimised as well.

I am hoping that this concept is successful, but I also hope that this technology will be available to other companies as well. Fantasy Flight could expand its existing app game lineup with the Teburu expansions, for example. Other games, like Betrayal at House on the Hill, would be so much easier for new players. The Betrayer would have their information and can see hidden rules on their phone, and the whole ‘What does this mean’ argument becomes invalid immediately as the app won’t let them make illegal moves.

Another thing I will be wary on is how fragile the system will be. Not in use, but storing and unfolding the base over and over.

Of course, this is probably going to cost a pretty penny. While described as a console that other games work with, the initial cost will likely be reasonably steep. If you aren’t a fan of CMON games in general or only really love one of their games, the investment may be too much.

I am still waiting to hear some feedback after the Teburu being shown at Gen Con 2019 with the new Zombicide, but I will be following the development news closely.

There have been hints and teases of other compatible games, such as the upcoming Project: Elite and even the newly revealed Ankh. I expect a lot of this information to continue to firm up before the Teburu Kickstarter alongside Zombicide Evolution – Las Vegas next year.

What about you? Do you like the idea of game apps in general? Do you like the idea of the Teburu, or do you think it’s going too far? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

A quick multi day – Deadpool 2 Super Duper Cut, Cthulhu: Death May Die

Deadpool 2 4K Cover

Deadpool brings it all for the ‘Super Duper [email protected]{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c}!#& Cut’

Not many people buy movies anymore.  The die-hard collectors always will.  The last DVD I purchased was Thor: Ragnarok, and that was only because I wanted the Team Darryl featurette that would never stream.

I’m going to say Ryan Reynolds and the guys at Fox recognise this.  As such, the upcoming August release of Deadpool 2 includes a load of extras, including the extended ‘Super Duper [email protected]{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c}!#& Cut’.

Included in the physical release:

  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes
  • Until Your Face Hurts: Alt Takes
  • Deadpool’s Lips are Sealed: Secrets and Easter Eggs
  • The Most Important X-Force Member
  • Deadpool Family Values: Cast of Characters
  • David Leitch Not Lynch: Directing DP2
  • Roll with the Punches: Action and Stunts
  • The Deadpool Prison Experiment
  • Chess with Omega Red
  • Swole and Sexy
  • “3-Minute Monologue”
  • Audio Commentary by Ryan Reynolds, David Leitch, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Theatrical Version Only)
  • Deadpool’s Fun Sack 2
  • Stills (28 Images)
Deadpool 2 4K Cover
15 extra minutes makes the 'Super Duper [email protected]{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c}!#& Cut'

Of course, this couldn’t just be quietly released.  Oh no, where is the fun in that?

Instead this appeared on Ryan Reynolds twitter account:

Nothing about this release on the JB Hi-Fi website yet, but I am sure it will be coming.  The backlash would be too huge otherwise 🙂

The latest outing from CMON is now live on Kickstarter – Cthulhu: Death May Die.

A collaboration between two of my favourite designers Rob Daviau and Eric M. Lang, with a cooperative effort to end Cthulu.  It all seemed right up my alley.  Timing and a huge initial rush does mean I have missed every single early bird pledge, but that’s OK.  It’s a CMON project – there is going to be a ton of plastic extras that don’t fit in the box and push shipping rates up anyway :p

Another usual problem I have with CMON projects is no rules.  This looks great, but will it be fun to play?

The situation on this front seems to be improving though.  This time around there is a gameplay walkthrough hosted by Eric M. Lang himself!

I have only mostly watched the video all the way through, and I will watch it another time or two, but the Cthulhu: Death May Die looks like it has a lot of potential.

But it is only potential, and as such I have 2 reservations.

  1. I have a lot of cooperative games already in the Cthulhu theme.  While the comparison is unfair as they are very different games, Mansions of Madness: Second Edition already springs to mind as a fun mini-fest with expanding scenarios.  And I have it on my shelf now.
  2. The cost.  It’s CMON – there will be a lot of plastic.  A lot.  Oh, so much plastic.  But the ‘All In’ pledge is 2.5x the base game, for what sounds like a Kickstarter Exclusive expansion with no information on.
Cthulhu Death May Die Components
So much goodness. Or is it? It's CMON, it's going to be beautiful.

The components look great, and Cthulhu: Death May Die has an interesting premise.  But some CMON Kickstarters have the problem where the ‘stretch goal optional expansions’ were required to make the game fun to play, which pushes me to back the ‘R’yleh Rising’ All In pledge.  At USD$250 plus probably USD$45 shipping.

That’s an almost AUD$400 investment in a game I can’t see the rules for or what the expansion is, and that’s asking a lot.

Cthulhu: Death May Die has only just launched in the last 12 hours as of posting, so everything is pretty fresh.  I am sure over the next few weeks there will be more information, so expect a follow-up post in about 3 weeks.  I will then talk about if I decide to back this one or not, and the reasons why.  In the meantime, check out the Kickstarter page and let me know what you think.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD