Game Buzz: Vivid Memories

Today, I wanted to look at a game that is currently on Kickstarter called

image by BGG user W Eric Martin

Vivid Memories is an upcoming game designed by Mattew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert, to be published by Floodgate Games. It’s a game about connecting various childhood memories in your brain, and trying to create new pathways to score.

The game comes with recessed boards that represents the brain. There are also a bunch of colored fragment tokens that will be used to make connections. Most of these go in a bag, though some are set aside in a supply. In addition to a player board, each player will begin with an Aspiration tile, which is an endgame scoring condition. There are also 20 Moment tiles that are shuffled and placed in a stack.

image by BGG user Iantacular

The game is played over the course of three rounds. Each round has four phases: Prepare, Remember, Reflect, Reward.

PREPARE: You’ll draw as many Moment tiles as there are players plus two (so 4-5-6 with 2-3-4 players), and set them up in a line. Each Moment tile has an action side and a scoring side, and you want the action side up at this point. You’ll draw 4-5 fragments from the bag for each Moment, depending on the player count.

REMEMBER: The start player can take 1, 2, or 3 fragments from a Moment at the end of the line. If you take three, all three must be different colors. If you take two, both must be the same color. If you take one, you get to do a rewire action – more on that in a moment. If you happen to empty a Moment tile and still need more pieces, you can continue taking from the next Moment in line. An emptied Moment is claimed by the player who emptied it.

All fragments you took are now placed in a single empty hex on your player board. If you only placed one, you can do a rewire action, which allows you either move all tokens from one hex into adjacent hexes (you can split them up) or move fragments into a single adjacent hex. You need to keep in mind, however, that no hex can contain more than three fragments at a time.

REFLECT: Any Moment tiles you claimed are placed on your Memory Bank, which is four slots at the top of your board that give different actions. Covering up an action makes it unaccessible to you later, so be careful with that. Once all Moments are placed, take the actions in any order you want, flipping each over once used. The actions printed on the board are available if visible. These actions include adding a specific fragment to your board, change a fragment into two others, combine two fragments into one, draw a random fragment from the bag, move a fragment into an adjacent space, or swap two adjacent fragments.

REWARD: This is the scoring phase, and is done in four steps:

  1. Moments – Score each Moment tile in your Memory Bank. These will show a pattern of two or three fragments. Each hex that matches that pattern exactly (no extra fragments for the 2-fragment patterns) scores points. If you successfully score a Moment, move it off your player board, setting it to the side. If not, leave it there – this will limit your actions in the next round.
  2. Connections – Around the border of the map are little colored lines. These are attached to the Core Memories, which are spaces on the edge of the board. If you have connected two or more of these with fragments that are the same color, you score points equal to the number of spaces in the thread times the number of empty Core Memories that are actually connected. In the example up above, the player has connected two purple Core Memories with three fragment spaces. This means purple scores them six points. You can use as many spaces as you want, you don’t have to be in a straight line. But once you have scored a connection, take the fragments from the ends and place them in the empty Core Memory slots on the edge. This means that connection won’t score again.
  3. Core Memories – You’ll score for completed Core Memories. One point for a single, four points for a double, eighteen points for a triple. All slots in a Core Memory must be full to score.
  4. Aspirations – This is only done at the end of the third round. You’ll reveal the Aspiration tile you got at the beginning, which shows a color. You’ll get one point per fragment of that color you have on your board, two points for each fragment of that color that is in a Core Memory, and five points per Moment you scored that has that color fragment in it.

After three rounds, the game is over, and the player with the high score wins.

image by BGG user Iantacular

I need to put in a bit of a disclaimer here. I did help with playtesting this game. I don’t think that’s a secret, my name is right there in the rulebook. I am not getting any kind of compensation from Floodgate for writing this post, it’s just a game that I want more people to know about. It’s very clever system with a great and unique theme, and I really enjoy it. I think the components look fantastic, and there’s a lot of detail in there. I’m looking forward to checking it out when released. If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the link to the Kickstarter campaign.

That’s it for today. Stay safe out there, and thanks for reading!

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