Before we begin, let’s get one thing out of the way. “Holy Ship, We’re Sinking” is a genius tagline, and whoever wrote it should get a raise!
Titanic: The Game is based on the 1997 feature film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as passionate lovers with a tragic fate awaiting them. Players each take on one of the key characters from the film – the legendary lovers Jack and Rose, as well as Cal (Rose’s arranged husband to be), Ruth (Rose’s mother), or Captain Edward (one of the historical figures represented in the movie).
Much like the real-life Titanic story, there are not enough seats on the lifeboats for everyone to survive. Players are rescuing as many as they can, scoring points based on the passenger colours, thematic points driven by their chosen character, and cards that offer points for end-of-game accomplishments and minor in-game missions.
Before we dive in, it’s my opinion that Mass Market is the lens through which to look at Titanic. Spin Master has tiptoed into a hybrid hobby market in recent years, with releases like Hail Hydra and Santorini, but their gaming bread and butter is still Loopin’ Louie, Boom Boom Balloon, and an avalanche of all things Paw Patrol!
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT IT?
Depending on where you shop, the price of Titanic will be in the $25-40 range, and the amount of content included is impressive – over 200 components in the box! Plenty of interesting (and sometimes difficult) decisions are made each turn, all using basic actions – moving heroes, picking up items and passengers, delivering them to lifeboats. However, the flavour of the film really shines brightest through the star cards, which integrates famous scenes, characters, and locations into the experience.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Die-hard fans of the movie will love what this game offers, and folks who have only seen the My Heart Will Go On music video will have something to sink their teeth into as well. Folks wanting to rope their non-gaming friends into playing a light strategy game might find an opening with the famous actors and infamous tale.
WHO IS IT NOT FOR?
I was SO certain that this game was going to be cooperative, but instead, it offers moments of cutthroat play that may result in players being eliminated! Folks who crave deluxe components may be disappointed, as everything inside the box is functional, but not particularly fancy. The graphic design is at times simplistic and blocky, which I suspect to be another deliberate choice made to keep the price down.
Daryl Andrews and Adrian Adamescu have designed many excellent games with layered complexity. Titanic offers a memorable theme for nostalgic movie fans, and is intended to be a casual strategy experience at a budget price. If you’re wanting a more subtle gaming experience and aren’t fond of the epic story of the sinking ship, Speakeasy Blues is a touch more expensive, but an absolute treasure from this design duo.