It's official: I live in an age where Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo's scary, insane, and amazing comic book Trese has been made into a board game.
My girlfriend Andrea and I had the privilege of being one of the first to playtest Balangay Entertainment's prototype Trese Board Game in Uno Morato last Saturday, and I have to admit I had some reservations. But all those doubts disappeared once the dice started rolling!
I was surprised at how well thought-out the Trese Board Game is. You play as one of five characters from the Trese comic (Maliksi, Captain Guerrero, the twins Crispin and Basilio, and, of course, Alexandra Trese herself), and the goal is to beat the scenario by completing three objectives. We got the God of War scenario, so we had to stop Bombers from blowing up locations, enlist the aid of supernatural creatures, and finally seal the Big Bad Talagbusao at the end to win.
The Trese Board Game took us to some iconic locations in Manila, where cases come up (via Case Cards) that need your team's attention. You roll dice to attack aswang, disarm bombers, or solve cases. The Case Cards are interesting in that you don't know what you're getting into until the Cases 'manifest' themselves by flipping face up. It's that kind of randomness that kept us players on our toes.
Too many cases unsolved, though, and the Crisis Meter goes up, representing the escalating trouble in the city. Once the meter reaches its highest point, the city is in shambles and you lose. It's a brilliant mechanic, really, and I love how it makes you feel just like Trese and the gang as they try to stop the city from being overrun. It's a good incentive for your team not to mess around and solve some cases!
Our team of four (Crispin, Basilio, Captain Guerrero, and Maliksi) made it to the end of the God of War scenario, where the final objective was to seal the dreaded Talagbusao. As luck would have it, the Kambal were in the right place at the right time to seal the dude and end his reign of destruction once and for all, just like in the comic! In the end, after a suspenseful series of dice rolls trying to meet Talagbusao's high requirements, it was Andrea (as Basilio) with help from another player (as Crispin), who defeated the Talagbusao and ended the session in victory!
It was a fun ride, and kudos to Balangay Entertainment for successfully translating the feel and flavor of Trese into board game form. We had lots of fun, and you can bet that we'll be there to buy a copy once it's available!