Thursday, January 24, 2008

Alien Invasion Board Game - Shameless Sort-of-On-Topic Plug

In lighter pop culture news, I recently discovered that some old college friends of mine are publishing a board game (they are apparently taking pre-orders now, according to the website) called E.T.I., which stands for Estimated Time to Invasion. It has many of the themes of the mainstream E.T. hypothesis and conspiracy theory schools of thought, and the rulebook (pdf download) is covered with images of classic flying saucers.

Set in the mid-1960s, the players take on the roles of captains of industry affiliated with a loose conspiracy dedicated to reverse-engineering alien technology in order to fight off an invasion fleet on the way to Earth. Each player heads up a research corporation and competes for choice reverse-engineering projects. While the general goal is to help the Earth survive, like good Skull and Bones types, each player is really out to save themselves and get earthly resources and influence for their efforts. Oh, and like very good Skull and Bones types, one of the players has sold out the Earth and is in league with the aliens. This treachery will be revealed at some point as the would-be Quislings help lead the invasion. The entry at Boardgamegeek has a description and images of the components.

The acronyms, intrigue, mid-60s setting, and gleaming dummy corporations of Science makes me think of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with a dash of U.F.O., recognizable as a distant cousin of the research phase of the classic computer game X-COM.

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