Indie Spotlight

Each month, the Indie Spotlight highlights a new game that exemplifies the creativity, cleverness, and beauty of today’s independent games market.

 

This month’s Indie Spotlight is:

STRIKE! The Game of Worker Rebellion

Board games are known for many things. They are known for their creativity of mechanics and flavor. They are known as excellent source of social interaction and group-based entertainment. They are even known for being educational – either directly as the main crux of its theme, or indirectly by fostering skills such as critical thinking and logical reasoning.

The one thing board games are not typically known for, however, is being topical.

Part of that is simply the self-selecting nature of much of the hobby’s thematic choices. On the one hand, it’s difficult to bring up real world issues in an overt way if your game is about fantastical creatures, deep space colonies, interdimensional threats, or esoteric and abstract constructs. On the other hand, when a game does pertain to people and places here on planet Earth, they are almost always removed from the here and now, opting for aggrandized aspects of the source material or so far removed from the present day that it’s treated more as an historical adventure than historical fact. It’s kind of hard to be current when your themes all revolve around Egyptians, Vikings, pirates, and medieval cities. And if you want something directly referencing the even the last 75 years, more often than not, it’s a war game reenactment.

That’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions to this, of course. There are some excellent examples of games that tackle modern era topics. However, they are generally more the exception than the rule.

Today, we’re all about adding one more to that exception pile, with STRIKE! by The TESA Collective. Unlike your typical board game publisher, TESA is one part design studio, one part educational program development organization – with both sides focusing on advancing social issues in the 21st century. And STRIKE! fits right into those efforts.

In this middleweight cooperative title, players find themselves cities and workers in the great Mercury City. Unfortunately for you, the richest company in the world, HappyCorp, has moved into the city and decided that it would be best to turn your municipality into a corporate-run metropolis in true Orwellian fashion.

Honestly now, did you actually expect anything less from a multinational conglomerate known as HappyCorp? Its name is less of a mission statement and more of, well, a subtle threat.

Over the course of the game, HappyCorp will deploy its assets across the city in order to take control of various parts of the city’s infrastructure, crush protests, and lull the citizenry into complacency with its Commercial Breaks – representing its control over media and entertainment.

Standing against that are the players, who must collectively work as a team to, well, strike. Through a mix of familiar and creative mechanics, players must sway parts of the city to their side, recruit allies and other strikers to defend against the company, and ultimately try to keep hard fought worker rights such as public services and unions from being eradicated by HappyCorp’s efforts.

Games about the labor rights movement of the last century are not particularly voluminous, and even fewer tackle the topic from a modern perspective. In an era of unprecedented wealth and social inequality the likes of which we haven’t seen in a century, STRIKE! aims to step into that void with an approachable game that’s one part social awareness, one part classic co-op, and one part dystopian warning.

Though purely coincidental to release in the summer of the decade that is 2020, we can’t help but note its timeliness. So get out there and fight the good fight!

 

 

Need more information about any of our previous Spotlight selections? Check out the list below or contact us at: info@cardboardrepublic.com!

 

Previous Indie Game Spotlights:

July 2020: Shaolia | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

June 2020: The Search for Planet X | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

Note: Due to COVID-19, there was no May 2020 Indie Spotlight

April 2020: Far Away | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

March 2020: Chai | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

February 2020: Dungeon Drop | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

January 2020: The TOKYO Series | Review | Q&A | InterviewDeveloper’s Site

 

Click for 2019 Selections

December 2019: Rival Restaurants | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

November 2019: Fantastic Factories | Review | Q&A | Design DiaryDeveloper’s Site

October 2019: Chocolate Factory | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

September 2019: Rurik: Dawn of Kiev | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

August 2019: Re-Chord | Review | Developer’s Site

July 2019: The Artemis Project | Review | Q&ADeveloper’s Site

June 2019: The Valley of Alchemists | Review | Developer’s Site

May 2019: Unbroken | Review | Strategy Tips | Q&ADeveloper’s Site

April 2019: Mountaineers | Review | Developer’s Site

March 2019: Defense Grid | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

February 2019: Fire Tower | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

January 2019: Good Dog, Bad Zombie | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

Click For 2018 Selections

December 2018: Wu Wei: Journey of the Changing Path | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

November 2018: Dice Hospital | Review | Designer Interview | Developer’s Site

October 2018: Swordcrafters | Review | Q&A | Design Diary | Developer’s Site

September 2018: The Brigade | Review | Q&A | The Future of TinderboxDeveloper’s Site

August 2018: Who Goes There? | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

July 2018: Dwarven Smithy | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

June 2018: End of the Trail | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

May 2018: Visitor in Blackwood Grove | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

April 2018: Feudum | Review | Q&A | Strategy GuideDeveloper’s Site

March 2018: The City of Kings | Review | Developer’s Site

February 2018: The Last Garden | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

January 2018: Triplock | Review  | Developer’s Site

Click For 2017 Selections

December 2017: Bargain Quest | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

November 2017: Cytosis | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

October 2017: Periorbis | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

September 2017: Overlords of Infamy | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

August 2017: Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment | Review | Q&A |  Podcast | Kickstarter PreviewDeveloper’s Site

July 2017: Nemo’s War (2nd Edition)| Review |  PodcastDeveloper’s Site

June 2017: Tau Ceti: Planetary Crisis| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

May 2017: Zephyr: Winds of Change| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

April 2017: Sagrada| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

February & March 2017: Gloomhaven| Review | Goomhaven & RepresentationPodcast | Developer’s Site

January 2017: Santorini| Review |  Podcast | Developer’s Site

Click For 2016 Selections

December 2016: Karmaka| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

November 2016: Days of Ire: Budapest 1956| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

October 2016: Roll Player| Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

September 2016: The Guardians: Explore | Review | A Tale Of Two CampaignsQ&ADeveloper’s Site

August 2016: Vast: The Crystal Caverns | Review |  Q&ADeveloper’s Site

July 2016: Dark DealingsReviewQ&ADeveloper’s Site

June 2016: Millennium Blades | ReviewQ&ADeveloper’s Site

May 2016: World’s Fair 1893 | Review |  Q&A | Renegade Games InterviewDeveloper’s Site

April 2016: ApothecaReviewQ&A | Designer JournalDeveloper’s Site

March 2016: ParadoxReviewQ&ADeveloper’s Site

February 2016: The Shadow Over WestminsterReviewQ&ADeveloper’s Site

January 2016: HocusReviewQ&A | Strategy Guide | Designer JournalDeveloper’s Site

Click For 2015 Selections

December 2015: Trickerion | Review |  Q&A | PodcastDeveloper’s Site

November 2015: MonarchReviewQ&ADeveloper’s Site

October 2015: Resistor_ReviewQ&A | Podcast | Developer’s Site

September 2015: Steampunk Rally | Review | Developer’s Site

August 2015: Operation F.A.U.S.T | Review |  Q&A | Developer’s Site

July 2015: StockpileReview |  Q&A | Strategy GuideDeveloper’s Site

June 2015: Lift Off! | Review |  Q&A | Podcast | Developer’s Site

May 2015: Ophir | Review |  Q&A | Podcast | Developer’s Site

April 2015: Penny PressReview |  Q&A | West Meepleville Gazette Headlines #meeplevilleDeveloper’s Site

February 2015: FallenReview |  Q&A | The Taken: A CYOA Short StoryDeveloper’s Site

January 2015: ScovilleReview |  Podcast | Strategy TipsDeveloper’s Site

Click For 2014 Selections

December 2014: Epic Resort | Review |  Q&A | Strategy TipsDeveloper’s Site

November 2014: Tiny Epic Kingdoms | Review |  Podcast | Developer’s Site

October 2014: Lagoon: Land of Druids | Review |  Q&A | Developer’s Site

September 2014: Battle Merchants | Review | Design History |  Q&A | Strategy Guide | Developer’s Site

August 2014: Magnum Opus | Review | Developer’s Site

July 2014: PraetorReview | Google HangoutDeveloper’s Site

June 2014: Boston Festival of Indie Games | Why You Should Submit | Indie Convention Bump |  Q&A | Podcast | Developer’s Site

May 2014: Havok & Hijinks | Review | The Creation of H&H | Podcast | Developer’s Site

April 2014: Euphoria | Review | Favorite Gaming Pieces | Google Hangout | Developer’s Site

March 2014: Relic Expedition | Review | Q&A | Designer DiaryDeveloper’s Site

February 2014: What’s He Building In There? | Review | Q&A | Developer’s Site

January 2014: Empires of Zidal | Review | Q&A | Beginner’s Guide to Zidal | Developer’s Site

Click For 2013 Selections

December 2013: Eons | Review | Q&A | Strategy Guides | Developer’s Site

November 2013: Compounded | Review | Developer’s Site

September 2013: Deadwood Studios, USA | Review | Q&A | PodcastDeveloper’s Site

August 2013: Heroes of Metro City | Review | Q&ADeveloper’s Site

July 2013: Pixel Lincoln | Review | Q&A | History of Lincoln’s HatDeveloper’s Site

June 2013: ViticultureReview | Strategy Guide | Extra Pieces on Game FlavorDeveloper’s Site

April 2013: Island Fortress | Review | Profile on Creator | Developer’s Site

March 2013: Zpocalypse | Review | Q&A | Z-Breakout  Print & PlayDeveloper’s Site

February 2013: Inevitable | Review | Developer’s Site