This week’s Table Kicker will be all about the cooperative post-apocalyptic survivor travel game, Salvation Road by Van Ryder Games.
Salvation Road is a game that requires strategic thinking, on your toes adaptation and team work to ensure victory. Tasked with making your way through the waste land to make it to salvation to save your group, players must collect vital resources to ensure their survival. The road to salvation isn’t free from its own agonies though. Players will have to go through great pains, survive marauders and find key resources in order to survive the road ahead. No one said getting to Salvation would be easy. Oh by the way, your compound is on the clock to be blown up. Better get yourself in gear.
Of course if that weren’t enough, your group will also have to deal with perhaps your greatest enemy; yourselves. As a cooperative game, players will work with other players towards a common goal. Each player will have access to a “Hero” with some pretty great positive abilities to help you on your way. From there players can figure out the best strategic plan in order to ensure victory. However, players will also have to deal with the “Survivors”. Survivors are characters that each player controls who come with negative effects that make winning that much more difficult. In order to ensure victory and reach Salvation players must not only learn to work with their strengths but to contend with their weaknesses as well.
In order to make it to Salvation players must collect the appropriate resources from the wastelands of a post-apocalyptic world from a variety of locations each with their own unique qualities giving the game variety and a high replay value. By collecting resources such as med kits and ammo, your group can make their way from their compound to reach your destination, Salvation.
However, Salvation Road is much more than just a simple scavenger hunt. Players may carry a limited amount of resources and furthermore, the more resources a player has the less “Wounds” a player may take on. Wounds are essentially penalties a player takes not just for rummaging through an apocalyptic wasteland but more importantly for “scouting” and “exploring”. Scouting and exploring are two essential components to your group’s survival. Scouting will allow your group to know what resources are needed, while exploring will tell you exactly how many of those resources you actually need. After all, like most survival games information is the key.
In this, we are introduced to one of the main strategic elements of Salvation Road. Taking on wounds brings your character one step closer to demise but those little agonies can ensure your group’s survival on your way to Salvation. So it becomes a balancing act between collecting resources and taking on wounds in order to ensure safe passage. Too many wounds and your character dies and the group fails. No wounds however, and you’ve doomed your group regardless. Essentially, the more resources you take on the fewer wounds you can withstand but of course if you don’t take any resources then you’re certainly not going to survive.
A few things caught my eye when it came to Salvation Road. First and foremost, I will be the first to admit that I am a sucker for cooperative games. I love the idea of people working together to meet a common goal and to weather the difficulties of the road ahead of them together. Secondly, from a strategic standpoint I love the idea of needing to work with the negative effects brought on by the “Survivors”. While for most games eliminating the negatives is plain and simple the best strategy, working with the negatives is just foolish and stubborn or that they are simply stagnant facts of the game state. With Salvation Road however, the negatives can be worked with and become a part of your group’s strategic thinking. Salvation Road more or less requires players to utilize both their strengths and their weaknesses in order to ensure victory. Furthermore I’m a big fan of the rustic, authentic art style of the game. In my opinion this gives the game a sense of urgency and it’s much easier for players to find themselves emerged into the game.
I for one would love to see Salvation Road become a reality. From the looks of it Van Ryder Games has a unique game that not only puts an interesting twist on classic strategy but also combines it with a cooperative experience, something that is sadly becoming more rare in the gaming world. So many great projects like Salvation Road sadly do not see the light of day, force to live out its days simply as an idea in the minds of talented individuals rather than on kitchen tables during game night where it belongs.
If you would like to show your support for Salvation Road please consider donating to their Official Kickstarter Page. However, if you are financially able to support the project I’m sure the team at Van Ryder games would greatly appreciate you telling your friends and getting the word out. Furthermore, please let me know in the comments below if there are any projects that you feel deserve my attention.
Thanks! Hope to see you next week for the next installment of Table Kickers!