This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Assembly: A compact solo or cooperative puzzle game
Assembly: A compact solo or cooperative puzzle game
A light yet addictive puzzle card game with a sci-fi twist. There's a deadly virus, a crazy computer and a spaceship!
A light yet addictive puzzle card game with a sci-fi twist. There's a deadly virus, a crazy computer and a spaceship! Read more
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .
Assembling your escape ship requires both skill and willingness to push your luck if you have any chance of escaping. Working alone or with your friend, you must use your time and commands wisely, or else you will run out of time.
Assembly is quick to learn, fast and eminently replayable; there’s plenty of variation for repeated attempts and the variable difficulty levels allows you to scale the game to suit you.
Assembly was designed with both solo and 2-player game modes in mind from the beginning. The only difference in gameplay is that secret information and (optional) communication limits are added into the mix for 2-players. You can even play entirely with hand gestures!
Assembly has been created by indie publisher Wren Games, the wife and husband team Janice and Stu Turner.
Note: Photos show handmade prototype components and mini-sized cards. The final version of Assembly will contain standard bridge-sized cards.
Note: This expansion is only included at the 'Advanced Escape' pledge tier or higher.
If you'd like to pledge for multiple copies of Assembly, simply add on the cost for each additional copy you require, e.g. for 2 copies at the Advanced Escape pledge level, enter £42. You will then be able to allocate the amount you have pledged in our pledge manager.
Premium Neoprene Play Mat, £19
Coasters, £3 for a set of 4
Note: Every backer at the Basic Escape pledge level or higher will automatically get 1 of these coasters included with their reward.
Note: Design, sizes and fit of the T-shirt are still being finalised.
Zinc Alloy Die, £3
The die shown in the graphic above is missing the coloured numbers because the factory add in the colour we choose. We have decided to ask them for a cream that will match the game so the final die will be a dark blue zinc alloy with cream numbers.
You must fully assemble the spaceship that lies in front of you in order to escape by locking each module into its correct bay before you can escape!
Working either alone or with a friend, you will take turns to manipulate the modules around the assembly line towards their correct bays.
Unfortunately, the ship’s computer isn’t going to make your life easy, and just as you think you're a step ahead she'll throw a spanner in the works.
There are multiple versions of the 2-player game allowing you to customise the game, ranging from simply not being able to reveal the cards in your hand, to playing in silence, only using hand gestures.
Sounds easy? You might be in for a surprise!
Assembly's turn order is:
- Choose a Command card to play;
- Verify it (2-players only);
- Execute your chosen command;
- Apply any resultant effects;
- Draw up to hand limit.
And there are just 4 commands to remember:
Watch How to Play the Solo version with Ricky Royal at Box of Delights:
How to play video by Janice (Wren Games) with prototype components:
Playing with 2?
More interested in a 2-player game? Here's how to play:
Amelie and Sammie look at their progress and decide that they want to lock as many Room Modules in place as early as possible. Amelie has 2 Draw / Lock cards and 1 Any Rotate card. Sammie has 1 Draw / Lock card, 1 Clockwise Rotate card and 1 Swap card.
Here's how their turn plays out:
Each time you need to refresh the Command deck (when you can't draw a card), you must first Scramble the Bay (Blueprint) cards.
After scrambling, add one of the set-aside Command cards to the discard pile and shuffle the deck to create a new draw pile.
The Glitches add an extra dimension to Assembly; it gives the computer the ability to actively disrupt your escape attempts. This expansion will increase the replayability of Assembly and will ramp up the difficulty. This expansion also includes 4 new Malfunction sets and 1 new Role card.
But what are Glitches?
With the Glitches expansion, when you refresh the Command deck, you must add a Glitch card to it as well as one of the set-aside Command cards. Glitch cards allow you to chose their outcome, between two undesirable effects of course! When you draw a Glitch card, you must resolve its effect immediately.
The best way to find out if you like a game is to play it. You can download and read the draft rules, play Assembly digitally or print it out and make your own copy. Just follow these links:
- Draft Rules (Base Game)
- Draft Rules (Glitches Expansion)
- Low Ink PnP
- Solo setup on Tabletopia
- 2-player setup on Tabletopia
Note: You do not need an account to play Assembly on Tabletopia. Due to setup limits, these versions do not include Malfunctions - if you want to try them, please download the PnP files.
We continue to welcome constructive feedback on Assembly. It's at least 95% complete but we're happy to make mods and tweaks if it'll make the game better. We want you to have the best possible game we can make.
“Loved the game; a fiendish puzzle that will delight any soloist looking for a compact quick challenge. It’s a game you can keep playing for its simple ruleset and quick play time. It’s a big thumbs up from me.”
"[Assembly]’s a lovely little design. It’s a fun fast puzzle of a game that’s tight and compact and has a Hanabi feeling. It's a sharp, sweet, fun little coop game." Watch it.
“Sci-fi at its ultimate mind bending, puzzle solving best. Probably the most fun a solitary spaceship construction worker can have left alone on a space station in lockdown/self-destruct mode, a deadly virus doing the rounds, a mad computer and a limited oxygen supply. This is Assembly!” Read More.
“I love the look and feel of this game. It's co-operative but with communication restrictions which nicely adds to the complexity. But the best thing for me is that the theme is immersive. Every element, every mechanic, every card strengthens the theme. To say it has a strong 'Again... again…' vibe is an understatement and the compact nature of Assembly is very handy given how addictive it is. It's permanently in my bag!” Read More.
“Overall, I think Assembly is a lot of fun! If you’re looking for a fun solo puzzle, this is definitely it, but if you’re looking for a very strategic two-player cooperative puzzle, this will likely satisfy that part of your collective brain as well. I’d recommend at either player count. One thing that I particularly like is how clear and distinguishable the symbols on the Room Modules are so that players don’t have to rely on color (or their perception of color) to be able to effectively play the game. There are a lot of good design elements at play. I’m a fan.” Read More.
"I highly recommend checking out the Kickstarter campaign as this is a game that I can honestly say I love everything about – the replayability; the wonderful quality of the wooden tokens; the gameplay; the exhilaration that comes with trying to beat the clock; learning to communicate differently and more effectively with my fellow players; literally everything!" Read More.
“We really enjoyed playing Assembly. It's such a great 2-player puzzle game and I love the replayability. The random shuffling of the bay cards in combination with the random order of the room module stack means you will have a different puzzle nearly every time you play. Clearly a lot of playtesting was done to get the number of deck shuffles and number of cards down to nearly the minimum necessary. It's a tight puzzle!” Read More.
“I enjoy [Assembly] so much, but particularly as a solo game it’s a rather meditative and quick playing entertainment. I recommend Assembly and think that Janice & Stu have done a really good job of balancing simplicity with strategy.” Read More.
"I love games that are of small stature, but pack an almighty punch- and that’s Assembly." Watch it.
“The gameplay is awesome. It’s a pretty interesting game and we had a lot of fun. We’re planning on playing the hell out of it; I think we need to work on our strategy for the game as our highest score is 20 points!”
“One of the best things about this game remains that rulebook and the clever, witty humor that drew me to the game in the first place. The game is good fun and it succeeds at being a fun and fast solo game. I could see someone who love cooperative games really enjoying the 2-player version of this game. As a solo game it is well-designed and enjoyable every time it hits the table. I think they're going to be a new publisher to keep an eye on!” Read More.
Other related links include:
- PC Gamer Article: Ten Best Kickstarters at the UKGE 2018
- Interview with Janice by Girls Play Games
- Interview with Wren Games by Cardboard Clash
- Interview with Wren Games by Shiny Happy Meeple
- Guest Blog about Designing Solo at BSoMT
- Janice talks to Nathan and Alex on Delve Cast
- Janice talks to Cathy on Our Turn Podcast [coming soon]
- Janice talks to Richard on We're Not Wizards [coming soon]
- Rahdo walks around the UKGE and spots Assembly!
We know shipping can be quite a contentious issue and we have thought long and hard about how to best meet the needs of our backers whilst also minimising our risk. We have therefore decided to use a pledge manager and charge shipping after the campaign and will be using a fulfilment partner to ship rewards. This allows us to to mitigate the risk of the highly variable shipping costs between different regions whilst also ensuring that you aren't negatively impacted by our estimates being off. See our FAQ for more info.
However, we know you want certainty; we know we would. Therefore we will be as open and transparent as we can with regards to shipping, which will be based on actual cost. We've done our calculations and the subsidised shipping will be a maximum of:
Note: Extra copies of Assembly may incur additional shipping charges; however it is expected that this will not exceed £4 in most cases. If you're in any doubt, please contact us!
*All pledge levels at or below the Advanced Escape are Canada friendly, however if you plan to purchase additional copies, the play mat or T-shirt, please contact us so we can let you know if your pledge will remain Canada friendly. See our FAQ or contact us for more details.
Retailers, please back at the £5 Retailer Only pledge level then send us a message so we can discuss your requirements.
Still not sure whether to back Assembly? Then read on!
Assembly was originally designed as a BGG Mint Tin Design Contest entry in 2016 where it came 3rd out of 26 entries for the Most Innovative Mechanic. Since then, we have been refining the gameplay as well as adding extra content to maximise replayability.
But why should you help us make Assembly a reality?
Quick & Easy to Learn
We've kept things as simple, intuitive and thematic in Assembly. Additionally, key rules are included on player aids so you won’t have to refer to the rule book mid-game (one of our pet hates)!
Plays Equally Well at Both Player Counts
Whether you are a solo gamer or a cooperative gamer, Assembly has been iteratively refined and tested at both player counts. We believe the solo experience should be as good as those at higher player counts (minus the player interactions!) and vice versa.
Assembly at its heart is a thematic puzzle and by its nature every puzzle will be slightly different. There are also multiple ways to scale the difficulty both up and down. Finally, there are mini-expansions in the form of Malfunctions. These change the parameters of the puzzle, influencing your win strategy. And if you want even more replay value, add the Glitches expansion to your pledge!
Who are we?
Wren games is a wife and husband team based in the UK. We first got into tabletop gaming over 5 years ago with Pandemic being the game that got us hooked. We are also avid Kickstarter supporters and our games collection is almost exclusive coop/solo games as these are our passion.
We first started designing games over 2 years ago when Janice was on maternity leave with our eldest daughter, Amelie. Assembly is our first game on Kickstarter so you have every right to be suspicious of us as a new publisher but please read on to find out why we think we can do it and why you should trust us.
Janice is a frequent cooperative gamer and occasional solo gamer. She's the lead designer of Assembly, with Assembly being her second game design. Janice is also a qualified professional Project and Product Manager with most of her experience lying in high-tech, high value products. She's taken several products from an idea through to manufacture, including inventing her own technology as part of her PhD. Although board game manufacture is new to us, the process is not unfamiliar to Janice. As an added bonus, she is currently on maternity leave with our youngest daughter, Sammie, so doesn't have the distraction of work to get in the way (just the distraction of kids!).
Stu is an ex-teacher turned software engineer. He got the family started on the hobby of collecting and playing modern boardgames and loves to paint minatures. Stu is also the big solo gamer amongst the two of us. He has pretty high standards for solo games and has extensively tested and helped to develop both the solo and 2-player variants for Assembly over the past 2 and a bit years. He also has a knack for attention for detail, so if you spot any mistakes, it's his fault ;-)
Amelie is the eldest of our two daughters. She has a pretty decent dice and large meeple collection and loves 'reorganising' our game design bits and bobs. Already an avid gamer, her favourite games are Beasts of Balance and My First Orchard.
Sammie is the newest arrival to Wren Games, she is currently undergoing indoctrination about loving boardgames by her older sister and we're sure she will also turn into a little gamer in the not too distant future. For now though, she much prefers chewing electrical cables.
Inca the cat has shown little interest in board games. He doesn't even like boxes! Inca tends to keep to himself other than bringing us the occasional present of a (live) mouse or rat and then sitting and watching us try to catch it. He is however the star of one of our potential future games.
Mike Jessup is a good friend of Janice and Stu's. Mike by day is an engineer and by night an artist and gamer. The blueprint art that you see throughout Assembly is his work.
For most of the icons used, we are indebted to the wonderful resources provided by game-icons.net and Lemon Liu at thenounproject.org. They are some of the best online resources for game designers!
And finally, a huge thank-you to al our playtesters and previewers who have helped to bring some attention to the fact that Assembly exists. We will be forever grateful to you all :)
Risks and challenges
So we're a new publisher, why should you trust us?
Risk 1: Can We Do It?
Janice is an experience and qualified Project and Product Manager with over 10 years of industry experience (AMP-PQ / IPMA Level C). She has delivered multi-million pound high-tech projects on time and on budget. In comparison, this project is pretty small and she will be using her PM knowledge and expertise to manage it from kick-off to completion and beyond.
Risk 2: Manufacture - Quality
To reduce the risk of poor quality, incorrect components, etc. we have chosen to manufacture all elements of this project in Europe. This will ensure that not only the required safety standards are met but also with our manufacturers in (almost) the same time zone as us it will make communication much easier and more efficient. It also has the added bonus that we are supporting fairly paid workers and local/small businesses.
Risk 3: Manufacture - On Time Delivery
The delivery date of this project is not based on a 'best case' scenario. We have provided what is a realistic timeline based upon certain risks occurring (such as being bumped in manufacture due to being a small publisher in the lead-up to Essen, national holidays, etc.). However, we will be working to, and driving our suppliers to the optimum delivery schedule. We want to be realistic with you about what our schedule could be and will keep you updated every step of the way.