The TX-1 smartphone is here and, while you haven’t exactly been invited to the launch, I’m sure you can find your way inside. That’s what bloggers do, right? All you have to do is get in, avoid detection, investigate a few rooms, grab some QR codes, a few decryption codes if you want, oh, and keep yourself from turning into a dreaded fanboy. Easy enough, if you ask me. Okay, get to it!

What Is It?

Techlandia is a 1-4 player Lovecraftian themed exploration game. Players move around a tight board investigating rooms for QR codes so that they can get into the smartphone launch party. They must fight Tech Cultists along the way in order to earn decryption codes, which will help them determine the correct code to get them past security. They must also use gear cards to assist them in investigations, fights, and picking up those codes to beat not only their opponents, but also the Doomsday Clock.

Who Is It For?

The game mechanics are pretty simple, and the theme is not super heavy or scary, so I’d say ages 8+ would be able to enjoy this. Players looking for a quick/light game with more luck (between card draws and dice rolls) than strategy. I’d recommend it to solo gamers, personally, as I found that experience a little bit better than the multiplayer.

Contents + Quality

The game is primarily cards – some normal size, some tarot – which are all average quality. The art is simple and nice, but repetitive as all cards of the same type have the same art; I wish there was more variety there, since there’s a lot of fun flavor text. The player/enemy standees are all average cardboard, and fit in the plastic stands firmly. The marker cubes are a really nice, translucent red, and really pop against the cards they’re used on. The board tiles are average cardboard, and there’s a little variety in what rooms may be available each game which is neat. There is a normal plastic die included as well. The rules are a little bit vague at times, but pretty easy to learn from for the most part, and have a lot of fun flavor text in there as well. Finally the box has really eye-catching colors and everything fits inside nicely.


Solo: The solo mode works well, as it just changes from multiple to 1 player moving around the board doing things. The only big difference is in discarding cards instead of giving them to someone else if a card instructs and speeding up the reset of fanboy status since there is only 1 person playing. I preferred this to the multiplayer game as I felt that with more people the game can stagnate, which I’ll speak more to in a little bit.

Low-Tech: The QR codes in the game aren’t just for show, they’re real! But if you don’t have a QR scanner on your phone, or maybe you just don’t like phones at the game table, there are rules to help you have the same experience without needing to scan anything.

Super-Hard Mode: This variant has players start without any gear cards (instead of 5). Personally, I think it just gives it more of a slow start rather than really being “super-hard.”


  • Rules have fun quips/narrative, made for a fun read while learning how to play
  • Quick to learn/teach/play
  • Good solo game if you’re looking for something with quick set/clean up and simple turns
  • Smooth turns with different options for actions


  • Some rule ambiguities and a few typos led to a little confusion at times
  • The game can sometimes stagnate in multi-player. Since anyone can pick up QR codes that others find, someone may get all the QR codes and decryption codes they need and wait until they’re nearly done to investigate so they can beat everyone to the punch of being ready to go to security. It seems more likely in the final turns of a 2 player game than anything, but led to some frustration
  • The game mostly comes down to luck of card draws (did you investigate successfully, and/or get the perfect gear for what you’re doing?) and dice rolls (for fights), which leaves you wanting more in terms of strategy

Final Thoughts

To me, it kind of felt like this should have been a cooperative game rather than competitive based on how some of the mechanics worked. I thought it was okay in multiplayer, and a little better solo, but ultimately it wasn’t for me. It just felt a little bit too random/lucky for my taste, but if you are cool with that, and looking for a light game with a cool Lovecraft + Tech theme, then you might like it!

My Final Ratings:
Overall Game – 3/10
Aesthetics – 5/10
Replayability – 3/10
Difficulty – 3/10

Additional Information:
Designer – Dan Ackerman
Artist – N/A
Publisher – 11231 Games
MSRP – $39

*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*

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