Yo ho! It be Groundhog Day with pirates. Uh… avast. ….Y… yarr…?

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and i have here a game called Chrono Corsairs, which i’m gonna unbox for you today. i have tons to say about this game, which isn’t the usual for my unboxings. Folks at TMG sent this copy along. The only reason i have it so well in advance of the release date is that Rahdo from Rahdo Runs Through and i are going to talk about it together in a video that’s coming to you very very shortly. If you follow the channel, you’ll know that Rahdo and i previously had a team-up on a game called Tiny Towns where we played head-to-head, and Rahdo won that bout through the power of cheating. Inadvertently cheating. But… we lost track of who was supposed to be doing what at the time, and i think he got an extra move, and – IT DOESN’T MATTER! It doesn’t… really doesn’t matter. i don’t… i don’t think about it… daily, and it doesn’t keep me up at night, and i don’t secretly obsess over it and… and champ at the bit waiting for my next chance to defeat Rahdo at a game, but! That’s neither here nor there! Chrono Corsairs. What do you want to know about it? This caught my attention because i was just cruising around BoardGameGeek one day as i do and i noticed a screenshot of a good-looking board, and when i clicked through to find out which game it was for, it was for this game: Chrono Corsairs. And then, i found about the concept of Chrono Corsairs. Chrono Corsairs… first of all, the game has a naming problem. “Chrono Corsairs.” That’s a synonymic (?) way of saying “Time Pirates”! So this game should be called “Time Pirates,” but unfortunately, there is already a game out there called Time Pirates. And we were just talking about this at the dinner table the other day, and my daughter Isabel asked me “Hey daddy, why…” (and she still calls me daddy at age 11) she said, “Are there multiple movies that have the same name?” And i said “Well, yeah. There are tons of movies that share the same name, and that’s okay, but i think the way that works is the movie studios agree not to name their movies with the same name as other movies, generally? i don’t know that it’s necessarily a copyright thing, except – especially when the words are not really copyrightabl,e because they’re pretty common words? i think it’s just sort of a… a gentlemen’s agreement?” The two i remember were Crash… and Traffic. (Cue music) Hey everybody. Ryan-from-the-future here. Those posters are both for the *same* movie. i was just getting really confused. Both Crash and Traffic have Don Cheadle in them, and both titles have something to do with cars…? And they both have the short “a” sound, so… that’s how my mind works. Let’s just… get used to it. Back to you, Past-Ryan! But you… you don’t really get a lot of board games that have the same name. Zen Garden, which is being released shortly, is one that i found recently that has the same name as another board game, so i thought that was a little bit interesting. i’d love to know the skinny on that. Should be called Time Pirates is the very long way that i’m trying to say this, because this game is Groundhog Day with pirates. That’s the concept. And i worry about this game, because i think it has a bit of a back-of-the-box problem. i looked at the back of the box when it arrived. Like, as soon as i looked at the screenshot of the board, and i read that it was Groundhog Day meets pirates, i thought “Well, i mean… i’m… i’m IN. i mean, i almost pre-ordered it that very day because i was so excited about that concept. However, if i were to have picked up this box in the store and looked at the back of it, i don’t know that i would have been… first of all, i don’t know if i would have got that concept from it, because it’s sort of buried here in the flavor text that they have on the back. They say “a strange storm of shipwreck your crew on a mysterious island. As the time storm collapses, you’re determined to make the best of the situation.” So what you’re doing is you’re running at the game repeatedly with your crew of pirates finding treasures, and then the storm resets you to the beginning, and now you know where some of the treasures are, so on your next run you can grab a few, and then not explore the areas that you know don’t have treasures, i think, that’s the idea. If i were designing the back of this box, i would put in gigantic 89 point font “GROUNDHOG DAY WITH PIRATES.” That’s what i would do. i don’t know about the legality of that either, but i would want people to know that that’s the concept – that it’s a time loop kind of concept. The other thing is that the graphics on the back of the box – i don’t know – do it justice? i mean, this game caught my eye because the board looked so gorgeous. i’m not really getting that from the way that they’ve laid out the artwork on the back, and it looks like this is a – sometimes they do a 3d visualization of the components because they haven’t printed them or manufactured them yet. This little asterisk note down here says “actual components may vary,” so i suspect that’s what’s going on. They have a couple of examples of card artwork. The colors on here look a little bit muddy. i don’t know. i just, if i… like i say, if i picked it up in the store, i don’t know that it would have rung as true for me. Let’s open it up and see what’s inside, and see if it pops a little bit better than the graphics on the back of the box do. Ah – the other thing that i’m going to mention is i’m really fastidious about spelling, and this is… when i picked up the box when it arrived, i was like “Oh, that’s the WORST!” It’s the worst. There’s a spelling mistake on the back of the box. (sighs) Awful. It’s right here: they say “explore the island, learn IT’S secrets,” and they’ve got an apostrophe in “it’s,” so that means “Explore the island and learn IT IS secrets,” or “IT HAS secrets.” That’s awful. And whenever i see a spelling mistake on the back of a board game box, well i think “How particular were they about the quality control on the rest of the board game?” Am i gonna find spelling mistakes in the rulebook, or errors in the rule book? Are there gonna be problems on the cards? When i see that on the back of the box, it’s… i’m gonna be honest: it’s an instant no-buy from me, and it would take a lot to convince me that this is really something that’s worth my time investment. So that stinks! But! All that said… i didn’t even unbox this properly. Look – i’m ripping plastic like an ANIMAL. All that said, i hope… i HOPE that this game lives up to its promise, and the excitement that i experienced when i found out about it. “Oh! You know what? We’re gonna say Box Fart-O-Meter… it’s a three! That was a little… taht was a toot, i would say! The box tooted! Here’s the instruction booklet. A nice big, beautiful shot of the board – again, these look like 3d rendered graphics because they didn’t have it ready for photography… and it’s pretty…. i don’t want to say “skimpy,” but it’s thin. It’s… it’s an eight page instruction booklet, well spaced out, not too dense, lots of illustrations… so it looks like it’s not gonna take a whole lot to learn what’s going on in this game. Some card off the top. These are thin-feeling player mats. This is bendy, but it’s interesting because they have a.. i don’t even know what to call it, because i’m not in printing, but a shiny… ahh. It’s not glossy, because it’s not shining on the camera, but it’s… veneer finish? i don’t know. it’s more than what you would find in something like a Rio Grande Games game, where they do those really thin player mats, and they just feel like paper cardstock, like it’s a papery finish? This feels more like a plasticized finish, so it feels like it’s a little bit sturdier, and it feels like if you were to drop water on this or – you know – spill your drink, it wouldn’t wreck the thing. But still, thiiiin as anything. You can see it’s bowing like that. So these look like player mats. One, two, three, four, five player mats. Is this a five player game? i’m gonna guess it is! i’m gonna check the box just so i’m not steering you wrong. (jazzy improvized scatting) Whenever i look, i always see the little “no 0-3,” and i think that’s the player count, and i’m like “How do you play a game with zero people?” Muhhh! i’m not a smart individual! Ah – i know the problem. i’m looking at the bottom of the box. One moment – there we go. 2 to 5 players. i was correct! Look: things to punch out. i like this artwork. This looks really nice. This looks good when i see it up close. Better than it looks on the back of the box. These crystals look cool. That looks like treasure that i want to hunt. There’s another board of poppy-outy things identical to the first, some round things… i mentioned in a earlier video, Things That i Like About Board Games, and one of the five things that i really like about board games is when things puzzle piece together, and look at this: look at the cut they’ve got on this. It’s all round-y and stuff. This looks like it’s gonna fit beautifully alongside something ELSE that’s round. And so the the Fisher-Price impulse in me is just going “ping ping ping!” That sounds cool. A couple of flags of different countries. Looks like imagined countries. i guess this is fictional pirates, not, like, real pirates, because real pirates are super mean. And here we go: oh, yeah! Look at this: gorgeous! Here we go. The board, which first drew my eye… whoa! Look at that! Lovely, lovely, lovely. Yep. Aaand… these round pieces… they don’t… they don’t puzzle piece with other cardboard pieces quite yet, but it looks like the ones that go around the outside do. Right? So that whole thing is like a nice little puzzle mat. That looks nice. Y’know? It looks like maybe a modular set up on the board. Very nice. That pops really, really nicely. That looks great. i was gonna scoop the board away, but instead i’m gonna leave it on there because it looks So darn good, as we unbag the wood. (jovial humming) So most of these wood pieces look like they are little (guffaws) i love it! Little pirate meeples. Look: they’ve got their little tricorn hats on. Well THAT’S adorable. And they come in the following player colours: they are… oh, cool! And they’re different – look: this one… neato! This one is a captain, and this one looks like a crew member because he’s got the little bandana on there instead of the fancy hat. That’s kinda neat. So they come in the following colors: orange and blue and black and purple… always like to see purple in a game… that’s my preference whenever i play. Second choice: red. And there are a couple of other little pieces that aren’t that. There are… there’s this hexagonal piece, which i’m guessing might be a start player marker, or it fits up here, possibly, tracking the storm. Maybe? i dunno… i don’t know if that tracks the storm. i dunno – i’ve never played! This thing… maybe… first player marker… you know. So a couple of other pieces. But these are unique. i don’t have any little pirate guys like that in any other game i own. Cool! i like finding unique pieces and board games, cuz otherwise, whaaat’s the point? And the last thing in the box… the box which, by the way, has no cool insert to speak of. It’s just… the well that we’re used to. Two packs of cards, both approximately… they look about… they have the same amount of cards in them, i would say. And that amount… is fifty thousand cards. So in this one… do they have a… yes, they do! They have a handy rip strip. (super cool mouth noise) Ah – look! Piece of cake! No teeth involved. So these were some of the elements that i was a little bit nervous about looking at the back of the box, because they looked a little bit muddy, but up close, apart from the back of the box, they look quite nice! It’s an interesting style here, because they have this… thick black outline going over an almost photographic…? It’s… it’s… i don’t know if it’s cel-shaded 3D? It’s possible? Or if it’s just Photoshop painted, but it’s interesting that they put that thick black outline around things, like they’ve got it on the ensorcelled spyglass as well. That’s cool, man. Ensorcelled spyglass. There’s pirates, but there’s magic with the pirates… Yeah. If i were to guess, i would say that what’s going on here is they got something like Posert or another piece of 3D software where they’re just using… i say this at the risk of offending the artists, but it looks like they got Poser models, which are just, sort of, out of the box figures that you can put in different positions, and maybe threw a bandana on him and rendered him with that… that outline. i’m… that’s… if the artist did this from scratch, i apologize, but again, it looks like here, this is another stock asset female figure that they’ve posed, and maybe thrown a hat on. i’d be surprised to find that that was a ground up illustration. It’s not artwork that’s taken the most care and love, i don’t think, but it’s also not offensive to mine eye, let’s say. Raiding party… all kinds of piratey things happening on these cards. Volcanoes, and shootin’ stuff, and all manner of piratey shenanigans. And in the last deck of 50,000 (or so) cards, we have… this looks like a storm deck, i’m gonna guess because it has similar icons as up on the vortex track. It’s a pretty back. Pretty back of the card. i’m gonna need to guess that these get flipped over every round in a different order? Let’s read one of them. This one says “Your crew was chosen partly for their sailing savvy and swordsmanship. More importantly, they were chosen for their courage in the face of the strange curses you were sure to face on the island.” Well, maybe this is just, like… maybe this governs the entire game, so you pull one of these, and it determines start resources for the whole game? i don’t know. i don’t… pfft! Just a guess! Just a guess. Don’t wanna steer you wrong. You can rea… read the rulebook. So can i, and i will! Watch out for the video that’s coming up soon with Rahdo and me talking about this game, and possibly playing it head-to-head. i don’t know if we’re gonna manage to do that, because Tiny Towns was kind of perfect for that, because it was kind of bingo style. i don’t know if we can do that with Chrono Corsairs, but we’re gonna put it through its paces and tell you what we think about it in that video! Keep your eyes peeled. Meantime, thanks so much for watching this one. Did you just watch that whole thing? Oh – hey! To 100% this video, click the badge to subscribe, and then click the bell to get notifications when i’ve got new stuff!

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If you’d like your own copy of Chrono Corsairs, you’re down to two options: sailing out and boarding the TMG cargo vessel to steal your own copy like a true pirate, or clicking the Amazon link below (for which we’ll receive a small commission). i’ll let you choose which method is best for you!

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New From: $59.95 USD In Stock

This title will be released on March 5, 2020.

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