Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's Alive!

It's Alive! is a boardgame designed by Yehuda Berlinger and published in 2007 by Jackson (Jack) Pope of Reiver Games. It's Alive! is actually a re-themed version of Yehuda's previously designed The Menorah Game (2005).

The front of the box (image from BoardGameGeek)

Here is a description of It's Alive! from BoardGameGeek:

It is the turn of the nineteenth century, and mad scientists throughout Europe are competing for the infamy of being the first to create life through the power of alchemy. Using only the raw materials provided by some dubious 'Suppliers to the Anatomical Trade', harnessed lightning and the services of a motley crew of unattractive servants you race to collect the eight body parts needed to create your monster and bring it to life. Unfortunately the local peasants are particularly clumsy and tend to die in freak farming accidents so the dubious gentlemen rarely find a whole cadaver in sufficiently good condition. Instead they offer the parts they have managed to salvage. Each turn you may buy the offered part, sell it to an anatomist for a meagre profit, or auction it trying to get a better deal or rip off your opponents. You might be lucky and get a coffin with a weakling clerk's cadaver in it, which can be used in lieu of any strapping villager's body part, or your involvement in the macabre trade might invoke the villagers' wrath.

For over a year now I've been subscribed to both Yehuda's gaming blog and the Board Games - Creation And Play blog of which Jack is one of the main contributors. It's been fascinating reading about Jack's virtually one-man publishing company and his labour of love in creating and publishing games (which I'm sure is something most gamers (including myself) would love to do!).

The back of the box (image from BoardGameGeek)

To date Reiver Games has published Border Reivers (2006) and It's Alive! (2007) and Jack is currently working on another game called Jorvik which will be a 2-player card game about the building of York in North-East England during Roman and Viking times.

It's Alive! cards - Mmm...deliciously gruesome! (image from BoardGameGeek)

I recently noticed a blog entry on the Board Games - Creation And Play blog that Jack at Reiver Games was offering a free copy of It's Alive! in a competition he was running on a geeklist at BoardGameGeek. The game will go to the person who adds the best It's Alive!-themed joke to the Geeklist.

I've always been interested in this game so I decided to enter the competition. Instead of searching Google for other people's jokes about mad scientists, Frankenstein or grave robbers, I made the decision to make up my own original It's Alive!-themed joke.

Here is my competition entry:

Devastated (and somewhat mentally unhinged) from failing to win a free copy of ‘It’s Alive!’, BGG User Ozvortex decides to make his own copy of the game…

"A shovel is the only tool I'll need to collect the components (i.e. body parts) for my home-made version of It's Alive!" [cue evil mad scientist laugh] - Ozvortex

It would be really cool to win a copy of this limited-edition game to play with my family. I also know some local BGG members, game groups and clubs here in Brisbane Australia who would be dying [haha!] to play this game.

Just on the topic of mad scientists making dead bodies come to life, watch this clip from YouTube of the 1931 movie Frankenstein where Dr Frankenstein (Colin Clive) exclaims the famous line "It's alive!" when he successfully brings his monster (Boris Karloff) to life. A classic piece of cinema which after watching really whets my appetite to play It's Alive! So fingers crossed! I'll update my blog with the results of the competition when it ends.

1 comment:

Jack said...

Hey Ozvortex,

I'm afraid you didn't win, but don't give up hope! I've got to go to Canberra for work in April, so I might be able to offer you cheap shipping if you still want a copy.