Hello. How do you feel about puns? Your answer may well determine how you feel about The Rival Networks, Gil Hova’s latest game — and a minor Hova all around.
I’m always curious to see how board games handle issues of scale. Is a desolate geographical region compressed, perhaps necessarily, in order to fit onto a map? Is a powerful monster larger than its weaker kin? Do oceans feel vast, or are they minor transitions between continents? Do stock markets plummet or gently slope?
And then there’s Gil Hova’s High Rise. Set on an island that could give Manhattan a run for its money, every addition makes its presence known. A size-six structure is twice as tall as a size-three structure. When somebody muscles into a district, the skyline is altered. When one of the taller edifices is constructed, it stands over the rest, unironically erect. Phallic comparisons? Isn’t that gauche? Not when it comes to corrupt billion-dollar enterprises stamping their mark on human endeavor. Scale is the point.
Oh, and it bears mentioning if but once: High Rise manages this without a single plastic miniature.
Everything I know about running a broadcast television network I pretty much learned from broadcast television. Which is great! Who better to learn from than the creators of content themselves, after all. Thus, I went into The Networks expecting to totally 30 Rock it.