Review: Transmissions

Share mechanical friends in a lovely rondel worker placement game.

Review: Transmissions

Share mechanical friends in a lovely rondel worker placement game.

Designed by Adam West and published by CrossCut Games
👤  1-4 players
🧩  Worker Placement, Rondel, Set Collection
⚖️  Light


Based on the lovely illustrated world of Matt Dixon, Transmissions brings his world of mechanical friends to life. In the game, players share robots as workers moving around a rondel-styled board, collecting engrams and electricity. These are used to gather ideas to improve your use of the robots or items to score points at the end of the game. You also build your own set of connected, flowing pipes while gathering birds and butterflies to score even more points. The game ends when no ideas are left, a player's robots are complete, or no pipes remain to be built. After an equal number of turns, the player with the highest total score wins!

The game features a unique mechanism of worker selection and sharing with incredible illustrations, adorable miniature robots, and very welcoming play for everyone!

—description from the publisher


Transmissions is played over a series of turns starting with the start player. Players will share robots that move around a rondel on the main board to perform various actions. On your turn you play a card from you hand of 3 cards and move the robot printed on that card (or from the area printed on the card). Each area of the rondel provides different actions:

At The Lake and The Meadow you can collect different coloured engrams. The power station lets you collect electricity. The Town area lets you collect items that provide victory points at the end of the game. Upgrading your robots with ideas can be performed at the Scrapyard. Items and Ideas are placed on your personal player board assigned to a specific robot making it stronger on future turns. Each robot has limited space so you need to choose carefully! At The Forest you can collect forest cards that provide powerful one time abilities or scoring opportunities. Lastly at The Pipes you can buy pipes to expand your personal pipe network.

The game ends when any player removes the last pipe tile from a stack, items / ideas can't be replenished or if all robots on his/her player board are completely filled. The player with the most VP is the winner!


I must admit that the first thing that drew me into backing Transmissions on Kickstarter was the gorgeous art and theme by Matt Dixon. The world he has build has a special kind of vibe that I'm really intrigued with.

Transmissions is a light game with a high family game feel to it. The actions are straightforward: collect resources and convert them into point scoring objects (be it items, ideas or pipes). There is a bit of set-collection going on as each item is part of a set. What is unique about Transmissions is that the Robots (workers) are shared by all players. So you're never sure what Robots are gonna move around the rondel. This is where most of the interaction comes from in Transmissions. This adds an interesting twist to an otherwise pretty straightforward game. For me this is the most interesting part about Transmissions. If this twist would've been absent from the game it would have been a pretty boring experience I think.

Another aspect I liked was building your personal pipe network. That is something I really enjoyed in the heavier Pipeline, and Transmission brings a lightweight implementation of it. The feeling when the perfect pipe tile comes up from one of the stacks is satisfying and the race to The Pipes area is on! I do feel like the pipe building is a bit disconnected from the rest of the game. Besides scoring points it doesn't do much otherwise and it just kinda lies there besides your player board for the end of the game.

I've personally played the Kickstarter edition of the game and the components and production value are top notch. The rulebook and iconography is perfect. Birds and Butterflies (another point scoring condition) can be a bit hard to spot though.

For my personal taste the actions are too simple. Having over 200 games in my collection I'm worried that I wont be coming back to Transmissions a lot as there is not much to explore for experienced gamers. However I do think it's a perfect game for families that are interested in the theme or less experienced players that are just getting into the hobby.

👍 Gorgeous theme and artwork from Matt Dixon
👍 Shared Robots on the Rondel is an interesting Twist
👍 High quality components

➖ Besides the Shared Robots not much interesting new mechanics
➖ Pipe building feels disconnected from the rest of the game
➖ Birds and Butterflies are sometimes a bit small and hidden
➖ Not much to explore for experienced gamers


Transmissions is a family game with beautiful art and an intriguing theme. The High Quality components and the shared robots twist makes the game unique. Besides that it's a pretty straightforward game and there is not a lot to explore for experienced gamers. If you're looking for a light / gateway rondel game look no further, as you will have plenty of fun with Transmissions.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

View on Boardgamegeek


Looking for alternatives or similar games? Have a look at the heavier Pipeline or
Glenn More 2: Chronicles