Now or Never tells the story of a cliffside village called The Monument, which once protected an ancient shrine. Then a crystal meteorite descended upon the village, releasing its wicked monstrosities to wreak havoc across the land. The people of the village fled and the creatures spread throughout the land like a fungus. Now, twenty years later, rumors have begun to spread of their growing weakness, causing the people to consider returning and rebuilding. But do you have what it takes to seize your chance before someone else claims your home?
Rebuilding The Monument
Now or Never allows you and up to three friends to play as four asymmetrical characters, competing to see who can best rebuild your ancestral village and guide your fellow villagers home. The first thing you’ll need to do is rebuild your village so that the other villagers have a place to live. Your advantage comes from figuring out the best locations and buildings to construct, which will earn you rewards for long-term planning. You can even interact with other players by hiring their specialists to perform special actions when needed.
You’ll also have to fight the weakened creatures to protect your fellow travelers as they journey home to the village you’ve rebuilt. Although they’re weakened, they still pose a significant threat to you and your fellows, so make sure everyone makes it back safely!
All players will use a main board, which is overlaid by a 10×4 grid that contains iconography of the land and its various terrain. The game is played in six seasons, with each turn allowing you to use one of three hero actions to move on the game board and interact with the world. Each player gets their own hero board, which is fitted with different attack and defensive slots waiting to be filled or upgraded.
Players get a grid of 4×5 buildings and two specialists, one who can build and the other who can refresh your heart track. If you choose to not be a hero on your round, you can activate one of your specialists to perform a distinct task. Other specialists can be recruited from the market to do things like buy gear or other specialized tasks. However, specialists need to be paid. If you choose to use another player’s specialist, then that player will get a few coins to act as taxes for reconciliation.
One optional move you can take is to use one of your specialists in order to let them rest. This earns you either two hearts or one coin. The trick of the game is in choosing the actions in the right order that earns you enough money where you need it while also allowing you to properly spend it.
Standard Vs. Story Mode
Now or Never has two modes of play: standard mode and story mode. Story mode allows you to read from a story book while you explore, while standard mode forgoes the use of the book. For players who want to learn more about the characters and the world, story mode can help add a magical feeling to the otherwise straightforward gameplay.
Every character has their own distinct story, with each decision guiding you further along in your own unique story. If you’ve played the previous two games in the Arzium storybook series (Above and Below and Near and Far), then you’ll definitely want to break out the storybook for your gameplay.
Now Or Never: A World-Building Fantasy
Now or Never is playable by 1-4 players, so it’s a great game for single players who love fantasy as well as small groups. If you play the game solo, then you will set up the board for a two-player game while only setting up the character board for your opponent. This allows you to play against an automated opponent.
Playing time is 90-180 minutes, so be prepared to settle down for a lengthy and satisfying game. It’s suitable for ages 13 and up, which makes it fitting for high schoolers and other young adults who appreciate the fantasy genre. Buy Now or Never and dive into this fantastical and mythical world!