Now Look Up, Waaaay Up (Uprise review)

There are things in life which are pure, which are simple and straightforward, and often it isn’t until we’ve had some time away from them that we truly appreciate how invaluable they are.

That’s how I feel looking back at The Friendly Giant, something I love as a young boy. I now have a stepson of my own, and spending time with him has re-invigorated an appreciation for the purest forms of art.

Board games that accomplish this task are essential.


Uprise (2018)

Player Count: Solo, Co-op 2-8, Competitively 2-4
Age: 10+
released on Kickstarter March 20, 2018
Play Time: 30 minutes
Designer: Games By AR
Publisher: Games By AR
******** 8/10

BoardGameGeek: TBD
The Guardian: TBD

Alex Racine is a 3D printer, board game designer, inventor, and a big proponent of DIY game making. He launched Games By AR in the summer of 2017 and has been slowly building up his roster of games. I’ve spent some time with him 1-on-1, learning about his passion for making games (1) (2), so follow the numbers I’ve listed to learn more about him!

Now, Uprise is the first game he has officially launched, but he has a couple of other games on the way (Anchor What?) too. I wanted to give him an opportunity to describe his game in his own words.

Uprise is a strategic tower building game; grow your secret society by completing your Missions! Disguised with a trendy Top Hat, travel to countries around the world. Disguised with a mischievous Moustache, you’ll be free to place your Bureaus. Successful Secret Societies have Secret Agendas. Yours, of course, is no different.

To be fair, Uprise is still in a state of production. You see, dear readers, Games By AR is launching this game on Kickstarter, as many designers do these days, to get the game backed, produce lots of copies and get a foothold in the door. So you can’t buy this game today and bring it home tomorrow – yet. If you back his campaign though, you’ll have fun getting to build your own towers using a mix of strategy and dexterity.

What’s great about Uprise is that it can be played solo, cooperatively, and competitively, with various player counts. As I mentioned above, what I find fascinating about this game is that you can play it with children, and yet, it works just as well with a group of serious gamers in a bout of competition.

This is accomplished by either building towers as a team or working on your secret agendas separately with mission goals to have the most bureaus, reach a certain height first and a myriad of other challenging problems. With the introduction of crisis cards, you can tip the balance of power in your favour, and buy decoys to help build your towers without the use of stache cards.

Pros: The theme is so well considered, the components are tactile and withstand abuse, and the variety of modes can accommodate different player groups.

ConsWhile the game is easy to learn, the instructions on how to play the game in it’s different modes are not always apparent without some serious investigation.

Points of Interest: Alex has two 3D printers at home that he has put to task in helping to cut costs on game production. Games By AR is not only a board game company, Mr. Racine has created several carnival games over the years, and even some variations on popular sports.

Now, I haven’t mentioned this yet, but another fun component of the game is the ability to use bridges, and other yet to be released pieces in constructing famous buildings, behemoths of architecture and fantasy structures.

theories Summarized

Do I think you should pick this game up? Yes absolutely, it does it better then Rhino Hero, Riff Raff, Bausack, Ghost Blitz and a host of other dexterity games, while being a fun strategy game too.

And if that still doesn’t make a good case for it, please check out my video review for some more insights. I promise you’ll get a laugh out of my late night antics.

I really do hope this was a helpful review. And please let me know if you’ve bought the game and enjoyed it as much as I do, independent game designers like Alex work really hard to bring these ideas to the table, and they appreciate feedback when their work is satisfactory.

So please let me know what you thought of my review, like and share the video, and subscribe to the channel if you haven’t already. More theories to come next week!


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