Created By: Dan Ackerman
Published By: 11231 Games
Player Count: 1-4
Time to Play: 60-90 Minutes
In a world where Tech Companies compete to create the one smartphone that will rule them all, a phone that will be in the hands of every user and send all other phone's to their graves, none have succeeded...yet. As a nosy tech blogger, you catch wind that Techlandia's CEO, Dexter Ward, believes they may have cracked the code to the ultimate smart device, the TX-1 smartphone. Rumor has it that the TX-1 runs off of rare earth elements making it faster and more powerful than any phone in existence. But those are not the only rumors you heard. Rumor has it that Techlandia is bleeding the earth dry of it's precious elements, that weird weather has been reported surrounding the Techlandia campus, and even more concerning people are starting to go missing from the campus without a trace. Something fishy is going on and you want to know what! You are not invited to the TX-1 launch party, but that doesn't stop you from wanting to get to the bottom of this story. You hatch a plan to sneak into the launch and uncover the mystery of Techlandia.
Techlandia is a dungeon exploration game for 1-4 players set in the campus of Techlandia instead of your ordinary, run-of-the-mill dungeon. Players must figure out the mystery surrounding the TX-1 smartphone launch before the "Definitely Not a Doomsday Clock" runs out. While Techlandia is not a cooperative game, if no players complete their quest before the clock runs out, everyone loses. Players race against each other and the clock in order to be the Tech Blogger who gets the scoop and uncovers the truth!
To start have everyone select a player standee and have them select one of the three skills at the bottom as their bonus skill (Spyware, Disinfo or Memes), then give each player 5 gear cards. Set the Doomsday clock to 20 and stack the lore cards in descending order. Shuffle the QR codes and set them aside. Next you will need to prepare the map. Since you have never been inside Techlandia it is impossible to know exactly what is inside. You know the basic locations of of the Welcome Center, Security, the Press Room and the Elevator, but what's behind the other doors is a mystery. You will randomly select map tiles and assign them to be one of the four rooms for that particular game. The extra tiles will not be used during that particular game. These will change around every time you play, creating new maps for you to explore. Once your map is set, you are now ready to play.
The object of Techlandia is to gain entry to the TX-1 reveal, which is taking place in the subterranean auditorium. To do this players will need to investigate rooms in the Techlandia campus to discover QR code fragments, which will give you the correct code to pass security and gain access to the elevator to get down to the main event.
Throughout the game players will take turns working to be the first blogger to get the code to pass through security. On a player's turn they take two actions. Actions include:
Move to a directly connected room
Investigate a room
Pick up a QR code from a room you are in
Fight an enemy (we mentioned this is a dungeon crawler style-game for a reason)
Send a fanboy back to the Welcome Center
Reload your Gear deck at the Press Room
Submit your QR code(s) to Security
As players explore Techlandia's campus they will investigate rooms, looking for clues as to what is going on. Sometimes investigation will be fruitful, other times it will lead to an empty room, but be warned in some rooms players may discover Tech Cultist's lurching in the shadows. By defeating them, players can earn decryption codes to help them crack the secret password they need to get to the launch party. But if a player loses in a fight against a Tech Cultist or other enemy they will pay the price. Players can use gear to help them in battles or to do other useful things while exploring Techlandia. Gear cards a precious commodity and playing them at the right time can make a big difference in your success.
At the end of each round (after all players have taken their two actions), the Doomsday Clock counts down by 1. As the Doomsday Clock hits certain rounds, players will read out Lore cards and fulfill any instructions given. Make sure you pay attention to the Doomsday countdown or you might find yourself in an unfortunate situation. Can you make it though the campus and crack the code before time runs out?
Techlandia is a unique modern take on a dungeon crawler that is perfect for the adventurer looking to explore somewhere new. It's modular board means that each game will be different and and with dungeon tiles being of varying difficulties, the challenge of each game will be unique as well. For those that are tired of exploring caves, dungeons and the usual places, Techlandia offers a fresh new option with a creative modern twist. The entire game is highly thematic and all of the different pieces tie into each other well.
One of our favorite things about Techlandia is it's creative use of components. The rule book reads like a story and is highly immersive, setting you up for your quest in a way that pulls you into the game as you learn to play it. For those that learn better by listening that reading there are tutorial videos you can watch instead. The components of Techlandia feel premium with varied sizes of linen finished cards, thick room tiles, well designed diverse standee characters, etc.
However, the coolest component by far is the use of QR codes in the game. Spoiler alert, the QR codes work! You will need your phone or another smart device to scan them to see if you won the game. This integration of technology into a game about technology taking over the world is meta in the coolest way. Techlandia does also include a variant to the rules for those without access to a smart device too, which we appreciate because it allows for inclusion of all players, even those who may not be able to afford a smart device.
The last thing we want to mention about Techlandia is that we like that is is designed to be played with others or solo. There is a solo mode included for those looking to adventure alone and the rules do not vary much from the main game so it doesn't take long to learn it solo and teach others, or play with others and then learn to play on your own. For those that like a challenge, there is also a Super-hard mode option, which is a great way to challenge yourselves after a few standard games.