While Shadowrun remains a tabletop roleplaying game experience at its heart, Catalyst Game Labs has been experiencing lately other ventures on the franchise with the critically-acclaimed deck-building game Shadowrun: Crossfire and the push-your-luck dice game Encounters: Shadowrun.
The next release is Zero Day, a two-player, dueling hacker card game.
You’re the contagion. You are the fear. You are the thing that makes the megacorporations of the world tremble. In the world of Shadowrun, the corps think they have everyone and everything under their thumb, but they don’t have you–the hacker in the Matrix, the fly in the ointment. You know where the world’s deepest scariest are buried–and you have the weapons needed to fight to bring them out.
In Shadowrun: Zero Day, players hack into the megacorporations that rule the Sixth World. Whoever disables and bypasses the myriad countermeasures and scores the most assets wins!
Shadowrun: Zero Day is a fun and quick game that let’s you dip your toes into the brilliant Sixth World in an engaging way that’ll have you exploiting zero day vulnerabilities over-and-over again.
Shadowrun: Zero Day, a two-player card game [$19.99]
In the real-world, a zero day vulnerability refers to a security hole in a just-released software that is unknown to the vendor. This hole is exploited by hackers, which brings it to the awareness of the vendor, who fixes it as quickly as they can. This exploitation of an unknown weakness is called a zero day attack.
In Shadowrun: Zero Day, two players duel as they each launch a zero day attack against the various Megacorporations of the Sixth World. The goal is to determine who has the brains, guts, and gear to obtain the most paydata in trade secrets, credentials, passwords, nuyen and so on, before the besieged corps can shut the vulnerabilities down.
Set-up is quick, with each player grabbing their twenty data cubes and their draw decks of twelve Tool cards—three Decryption, three Sneak, three Exploit and three Guard—while building a communal deck of twelve Countermeasure cards. Each player will also place four different face-up Megacorporation Cards, as well as the deck of eight Data cards and twenty-one corresponding Data tokens, which are placed face down. Players then lay out three face-up Countermeasure cards, randomly drawing and placing one Data token on each Countermeasure, as well as revealing face-up three Data cards. Each player then draws four cards from their draw decks and the game is ready to begin.
Play proceeds with one person taking a turn, followed by the opponent. The game ends immediately if three Megacorporation cards have been fully scored, or if you need to fill a Countermeasure spot and you cannot (because the Countermeasure deck is empty). Players then add up their points to determine the winner!
On each player’s turn, they play a Tool card from their hand. Only one type of Tool card can be played at a time, but the player can play as many of that card type as they have in their hand. After they’ve played their cards, if the player has three or fewer left, they draw two cards from their draw deck, and their turn is done.
Playing a Tool card lets a player place a data cube on any matching Countermeasure card (the colors will match up). Once the total cubes placed by both players equal the card’s target number, the player with the most cubes wins the Countermeasure and the Data token on the card and places both in their score pile (both players put any of their Data cubes on the card back into their reserves). If the opponent had at least one Data cube on the defeated Countermeasure, that player may select a Data card to place into their score pile. Once a Countermeasure has been defeated, a new one is revealed to replace it.
For the Megacorporation cards, there are two ways to score. First, if a Tool from a player’s hand is played and there are no Countermeasures corresponding to that Tool, that player automatically places their Data cube(s) on the Megacorporation of their choice. The second option for scoring is when a player defeats a Countermeasure, any of their Data cubes placed that exceed the target number on the Countermeasure are placed on the Megacorporation card of their choice.
As with a Countermeasure, when the total number of Data cubes from both players matches the target number of the Megacorporation, it is scored. The player with the most cubes takes the card and puts it into their score pile, while their Data cubes are returned to their reserve. If the opponent had at least one Data cube on that Megacorporation card, any of their cubes are then placed into their score pile.
Release date is yet to be announced by Catalyst Game Labs, but the game is already available for Pre-Order.