Hardback board game
Hardback board game


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Overall Rank: #494 | Trending Rank: #2386

Hardback is a deck-building word game, a prequel to Paperback. As an aspiring 19th-century novelist, you work to pen your next masterpiece, earning prestige along the way. Specialize your deck in certain genres to exploit card combinations, and press your luck to draw extra cards — but make sure you can still string a word together!

Players build a deck of letters with various powers and race to 60 fame points to win. Some of the features:

  • No wilds in your deck - any card can be wild.
  • Push your luck for more cards with the Ink system.
  • Match genre colors to gain bonus abilities on your cards.
  • Fight over the coveted Endorsement cards.
  • New Persistent cards stay in play, until someone uses them!

In addition to the competitive race mode for 2-5 players, the base game includes several variant rules, including Literary Awards, Adverts, Player Powers, and Events; and a co-op mode for 1-4 players, in which players join forces against one of four simulated opponents, each of which is proficient in a different deck genre.

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User Ratings & Reviews

  • Paperback is one of my wife's and my favorites, so we were excited for this one. The way to describe this game is: Star Realms rethemed. No new ideas, no cool mechanics, just Star Realms with words. How Tim Fowers apporoved Jeff Beck's ripoff is beyond me. Ripoff aside, maybe it's at least fun? Nope. It takes all the things Paperback did well and simplifies them to the point they are meaningless. I played the same three words over and over - and won because I bought a few Romance cards with good bonuses. In Paperback, the words I played mattered and I put effort into maximizing my vocabulary, it felt strategic. This felt dumb. It frustrates me that this laziness in design is even remotely tolerated and it is tarnishing what I once consered an amazing company. I see that Now Boarding has Beck's name on it and I am very worried.
  • Quickly becoming one of our most played. Theres a fair amount of strategy here in this small box. It's easy to learn and teach. We love this one
  • Somehow more complex, but more simple than Paperback. hardback is to Star Realms what Paperback is to Dominion, but provides a much tighter and fast-paced spelling experience.
  • Far more engaging than Paperback, to me. Hardback can allow for nearly as much gaming as spelling, which I like.
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