Hip Hop time
IN THIS REVIEW WE’LL PRESENT GRAFITO, A BRAZILIAN GAME ANNOUNCED IN SPIEL.DIGITAL
Hip hop is a cultural movement originated in the streets of the big cities. Created by African Americans in the 70’s, this cultural movement is an important expression of power and creativity of the black community.
The four elements of Hip Hop are deejaying (the art of disc jockeys with the rhythm), rapping (the rimes of the singers), break dancing (performed by b-boys and b-girls) and graffiti painting.
This four elements inspired Grafito, a new game about hip hop and street art. Each player takes on a role of a graffiti artist and they need to pick paints, combine and use them to create great panels with their signature.
In the end of the game the greatest artist, the player who can best combine the four elements of hip hop, rules the walls of the city.
Are you ready to rule the walls?
Grafito is an eurogame to 2 to 4 players. The core mechanics are rondel, contracts, networking building, resource management and worker placement. Developed by New Player Studio in partnership with MeepleBR, Grafito invites players to manipulate rondels in the main board, complete tasks and create a beautiful wall with street art.
In general a typical match lasts between 25 to 40 minutes, a good amount of time to sustain the focus of the players. The game is easy to learn and presents dozens of strategies to win, making it a good option for your game night.
In the beginning of the game you need to place the main board in the middle of the table and randomly put 8 paint cubes in each one of the 4 rondel (the rondel looks like an old school LP record divided in 8 colored sections). In this moment you only use primary paint cubes (blue, red, yellow and white). Place the wall board next to the main board.
After that each player chooses one color and takes all the meeples and spray tokens of this color. Also the players receive an individual player board where they can organize components in their color and paint cubes.
Last but not least, you should shuffle mural cards and place the shuffled pile of cards, face-down, next to the wall board. Reveal the top four cards of the pile and place these in a display next to the pile.
The players have two possible actions during their turns: manipulate one or more rondels to pick paint cubes or make a mural card to occupy a place in the wall board.
To create your street art master piece you need paint and the best way to guarantee this resource is manipulating the rondels in the main board. If after your action the manipulated rondel combines the color of the base with any adjacent rondel, the player picks one or two painting cubes.
There are 4 different ways to turn the rondels:
- rotate one rondel in one space – left or right – without any cost.
- rotate one rondel in up to 3 spaces – left or right – at the cost of one worker.
- rotate one rondel in up to 4 spaces – left or right – at the cost of one worker, but you can only pick one paint cube.
- rotate two different rondels in one space – left or right – at the cost of one worker, but you can only pick one paint cube.
The paint cubes collected are organized in the bag localized in the individual player board.
After collect the necessary colors, finally you can make a mural card. Every mural card shows you the following elements:
- the paint cubes necessary to chose the card.
- the basic amount of points you’ll receive in the end of the game.
- the elements of hip-hop present in the card.
- the possible connections.
You have 16 possible positions in the wall board and it’s necessary to choose wisely or you’ll miss important victory points: most cards have connections, and if you create a bond with cards with different hip-hop elements you’ll receive a lot of points in the end of the game.
In addition to these actions, in any moment of your turn, you can transform two primary paint cubes in a secondary one (green, orange, pink or purple) without cost, or you can spend one worker to use one Basquiat‘s Lessons to perform incredible combos (unique abilities like duplicate paint cubes in your bag or change the colors).
The game continues until players complete the wall board. In the end of the game the player with more points is the winner and receives the title of King of the Wall!.
The general concept of Grafito, street artists compete to control the walls of the city, never changed, but the current version is easier and more dynamic than the old versions.
In the beginning the players needed to manipulate more paint cubes, including tertiary colors; the mural cards were static and that limited the strategies; and there was an area control dispute as an incentive, that created an annoying run without strategic variants.
After many tests the number of paint cubes decreased, and the resource management has became quick and more intuitive. In the current stage the players can easy identify what the best colors to their strategies.
The mural was the second task. The develop team abandoned the static mural and adopted a canvas with 16 possible positions when the players can insert the mural cards. With this solution, the score system received one interesting layer of strategy, based in the possibility of connecting cards with different elements. Easy to learn, but hard to master.
The last challenge was the problem related to area control rules. The previous solution resolved this question: the networking building with the 4 hip hop elements eliminates the necessity to score the majority in the wall board and increases the importance of positioning mural cards.
The final result is a gateway eurogame, good to present board games universe for your friends and family. An interesting game with plenty of strategy and with a unique and innovative theme.
After the Spiel.digital our develop team will use the public feedback to improve the mechanic core of the game. Probably we’ll finish this process in a couple of months and start the writing of the rule book at the same time.
After that, the artwork is our next challenge. Today Grafito has a prototype art. The project needs a clearer iconography and an amazing street art to transmit the spirit of freedom and pride of the hip hop culture.
In a good scenario, we can released Grafito in the second half of 2021.