Above and Below - Board Game Box Shot

Above and Below

| Published: 2015
47 11 7

Your last village was ransacked by barbarians. You barely had time to pick up the baby and your favorite fishing pole before they started the burning and pillaging. You wandered over a cruel desert, braved frozen peaks, and even paddled a log across a rough sea, kicking at the sharks whenever they got too close, the baby strapped tightly to your back.

Then you found it! The perfect place to make your new home. But as soon as you had the first hut built, you discovered a vast network of caverns underground, brimming with shiny treasures, rare resources, and untold adventure. How could you limit your new village to the surface? You immediately start organizing expeditions and building houses underground as well as on the surface.

With any luck, you’ll build a village even stronger than your last– strong enough, even, to turn away the barbarians the next time they come knocking.

Above and Below characters

Above and Below is a mashup of town-building and storytelling where you and up to three friends compete to build the best village above and below ground. In the game, you send your villagers to perform jobs like exploring the cave, harvesting resources, and constructing houses. Each villager has unique skills and abilities, and you must decide how to best use them. You have your own personal village board, and you slide the villagers on this board to various areas to indicate that they’ve been given jobs to do. Will you send Hanna along on the expedition to the cave? Or should she instead spend her time teaching important skills to one of the young villagers?

A great cavern lies below the surface, ready for you to explore — this is where the storytelling comes in. When you send a group of villagers to explore the depths, one of your friends reads what happens to you from a book of paragraphs. You’ll be given a choice of how to react, and a lot will depend on which villagers you brought on the expedition, and who you’re willing to sacrifice to succeed. The book of paragraphs is packed with encounters of amazing adventure, randomly chosen each time you visit the cavern.

At the end of the game, the player with the most well-developed village wins!

images © Red Raven Games

User Reviews (1)

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BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Amateur Advisor
48 of 54 gamers found this helpful
“Above and Beyond Expectation”

I think this is the best of Ryan Laukat, in terms of game play and illustration. I love the art and how the game plays.
Ryan did a great job to create an original setting of the universe in this game and it is remarkably full of imaginations.
In this game players will lead their villagers to venture deep inside the tunnel into fascinating world of underground in rich story telling aspect that drives the game in such a compelling way to keep players interested, while building their villages into something more advance and getting points to win the game.

The core element of the game is that players will explore new places underground which they will be facing a certain encounter from the book of encounter based on their die rolls. The outcome is countless, many combinations of encounters can be found that lined up as a one big story for a player in a single game.

I love how the story telling really works in this game, it keeps you engaged within the story, the character and the game. It drives you to make an important decision along the way, which everything has consequences while keeping it simple and easy to resolve.

But aside from the story telling, you can still enjoy Euro aspects of the game by building something up and by doing that getting the maximum points you can. I enjoy it very much and this will likely stay in my collection forever.

The good thing is if Ryan want to make expansion, he can easily make a new book of encounter with different plots and stories to be included to make new and fresh things.

If you can get the KS edition, the wooden resource tokens are way much better than the tiles.


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