If you have the soul of a mad scientist, eager for the good old days when good people were left to experiment on pieces of their dead fellow citizens in their basements, then My father’s secret offers an ideal theme! Become the heir of the domain and the diary of experiences of one of your ancestors and try to realize the masterpiece that he could not achieve during his life!
An evolving worker pose game
To represent the domain of the players and their family, each has a personal board and figurines for his mad scientist, his wife and his minions (the wife is included among the minions, but let’s say it fits the era in which the game takes place).
In the center of the table is the main board which represents the village where the players perform part of their actions. The originality of this bulletin board is that it is actually a booklet whose pages are regularly turned and which reflects the evolution of your village depending on the actions of the players!
The central scoreboard with the booklet representing the country in the center – photo credit: Romain Bré
Player miniatures cannot perform all actions: assistants, your henchmen, cannot go to town where their appearance would disturb honest people. Conversely, your minions can go there, but they can’t go down to the dungeons of the domain to participate in your experiments, unless you want to see them end up in an asylum!
The game mechanics are quite simple, the players send their workers to gather resources and knowledge in the city, they then carry out experiments of different levels represented by the cards in their mansion, with their ancestor’s masterpiece in their sights. Either way, that’s how the game plays out at the start of the game …
An application present, but not intrusive
Why very quickly the application opens up new possibilities. At the start of the game, players choose a scenario and name their characters. The application indicates an implementation to be carried out and gives indications on the moments in which it is necessary to return to it (levels reached on certain tracks, types of experiments carried out, etc.). As the story progresses, players discover secrets, develop their village, earn rewards or, conversely, unleash the wrath of the villagers who pull out their pitchforks!
The personal scoreboard that represents the domination of the players – Photo credit: Romain Bré
The app also establishes flavor texts between each round, remembers the important elements to keep in mind during each of them, and generally advances the story beyond just playing the workers in pose. However, and for me it is very appreciable, we do not pass the part glued to the screen.
To date I only have the English version, the writing style of the lyrics is strong enough, to see which language level has been chosen in the French version. The translation in this type of games is obviously very important as it allows a good understanding of the tasks to be performed and facilitates immersion in the universe.
A very well done theme.
The game takes place over 3 generations, and at the end of each of them the players lose all their resources, all the knowledge that has not been recorded in their diary and all the experiments carried out except one, kept under the diary. Each generation therefore starts almost from scratch.having only the knowledge left by the generation that preceded it.
A little idea of the amount of material contained in the box – Photo credit: Renegade Games Studios
The material does a lot in diving : clear vials with caps, metal parts, meeples animals and coffin, figurines for the characters, that’s right! With a good Victorian horror playlist and a few candles, you might even have nightmares.
Hours of play in perspective
The players earn victory points while playing improving their dominance, advancing the story and carrying out experiments (attention, the masterpiece is extremely complicated to make, don’t get frustrated if you don’t make it) and the player with the most wins. But beyond the victory the journey through history, the adventures and the discovery of the end are really at the heart of the game.
One of the great discoveries to be made in the first scenario – photo credit: Romain Bré
The box includes 3 scenarios each with 8 alternative endings and the application records in each of your games achievements to unlock. Enough to spend a lot of time in your basement, with your friends, doing bizarre out of sight experiments! The game’s release in French is normally scheduled for October.
Publisher: Renegade Games Studios
Author: TC Petty III
Illustrators: Damien Mammoliti, Janos Orban, Cold Castle Studios, Eric Hibbeler, Anh Le
Number of players: 2 to 4 players
Duration: 60-120 minutes