Thursday, November 9, 2006

5 reasons Reincarnator is a great CE Online alien

In many ways, Reincarnator is the perfect Cosmic Encounter Online alien. Here’s five reasons why:
  1. He’s random and chaotic. Thirty years ago, the designers decided to build Cosmic Encounter around a foundation of randomness and chaos.
  2. He’s a blast to play, even when you’re losing (in some cases, especially when you’re losing).
  3. He is a potential building block for future CEO features. The CEO design team can take what they learn from building Reincarnator and possibly apply it to future features such as "join in progress" or "get 3, pick 1."
  4. He will generate enough buzz in the lobby that CEO is almost guaranteed to gain some new membership subscriptions.
  5. With Reincarnator, you’re never going to be out of the game.
That last one is actually the most important factor to me. I’m a firm believer that the most important rule ever written for Cosmic Encounter is the one that allows you to retrieve a ship from the warp to begin your turn, ensuring that no player — no matter how hopeless the situation — is ever actually eliminated from a game.

Reincarnator reflects this rule in a lot of ways. No matter how desperate the situation might look, this is an alien power that ensures you will never be truly eliminated. Think about switching to Warpish when the warp is full … or switching to Trader when your foes all have huge hands … or switching to Pacifist when your hand is full of Ns. I’m sure you get the idea. This is a power that can take you from the outhouse to the penthouse in a matter of just a couple of turns.