In Big Easy Busking, players represent street musicians in New Orleans seeking to satisfy the crowds and earn cash. It's an enticing but unusual theme for what is actually an area control game - a mechanic more commonly paired with games with a more martial flavour.
Players are ultimately trying to collect the most cash but they will sometimes need to spend some of that cash to refresh their musician's energy. In this game the dollars are really the victory points and it is musicians' 'energy' that constitutes the key in-game currency. You'll be expending energy to learn (buy from the market) new songs and in order to perform songs. It's this energy that goes into the crowd and so it is what ultimately determines the majority area control.
Big Easy Busking is designed by Joshua Mills, with a kitsch art palette by Adrienne Ezell and Andrew Thompson. The game take up to five players but it also incorporates solitaire bots of varying difficulty designed by Carla Kopp. Regardless of player count, the game plays over just three rounds, so resource management of your energy is critical to success. All in all, Big Easy Busking is a surprisingly tactical game that we found rewardingly challenging, even if some of us did leave the table feeling just a bit more like we'd competed in a Battle for New Orleans rather than in a Battle of the Bands.
Big Easy Busking is published by Weird Giraffe and is on Kickstarter now. Shown here on Board's Eye View is just a preview prototype so the game and components may well change over the course of the Kickstarter. You can check out the KS direct and back the game by clicking here.