As the players move through the game, they proceed through stages. They experience Esther’s journey through the stages. The first is “Becoming Queen”, followed by “Appearing Before the King”, and then “Saving Her People”.
Global and level/challenge specific goals include:
Global goals include the overall drive to win, as well as the drive to have fun or to beat the other players. When players take the alternate method of play, they get a new goal: to help each other through the game, and to make sure someone makes it through the challenges at the end.
Level/challenge specific goals are to win each stage. The winner of each stage has a better chance of winning overall, so each stage is very important.
Players earn points and achievements for:
The point cards are for stage 3, in which players face obstacles as Esther would have faced along her difficult journey to free her people. Each challenge costs a certain number of points, and the player must be able to beat the challenge or they have to go back to the beginning of the stage.
The achievements are incorporated through the stages. Each stage is its own achievement with a winner per stage, which eventually helps to determine the overall winner.
There is also achievement built in through the first stage’s ‘battles’, in which players compete as Esther did to become queen. The players have to play rock-paper-scissors with each other, and there is a winner and a loser with space bonuses or penalties for each.
Play space setting and description:
The point of the game is to experience the story of Esther. As such, the setting is that very story, and the players assume the role of Esther herself as they play. The different stages of the game are designed to give players the chance to explore the different stages of Esther’s journey to save her people, so the players get to experience a vaguely similar journey as they progress through the game.
The player acts as… and has specific props, features:
The player acts as Esther. They begin by competing with each other through “Rock, Paper, Scissors”, in order to win the “Becoming Queen” stage. They then proceed to the “Appearing Before the King” stage, in which their journey is aided mainly by luck, again trying to win the stage. Finally, the player proceeds to the “Saving Her People” stage, in which they face obstacles as Esther faced. In this stage, they have the use of the ‘Point Cards’, which they use to defeat the obstacles they face.
Protagonist(s): Power, props, and features:
Each player is their own protagonist, in some ways. They are each Esther, the queen of the Jews, the girl who saved her people. They are each fighting to win, to witness Esther’s journey and complete the game. Their powers are limited, as the players are guided mainly by luck and faith in order to truly experience Esther’s journey for themselves.
Antagonist(s): Powers, props, and features:
While the players are somewhat of antagonists also as they battle the other players for the win, the main antagonists are elements built into the game itself. The main antagonists are the battle squares in stage one, the back-to-start squares in stage two, and the challenge squares in stage 3. These squares provide setbacks and frustrations to the players, just as the obstacles Esther faced did.
Overall graphic directions and look:
The board is very colorful, out of necessity and for aesthetics. Each stage has its own color, and each antagonist square has its own color as well, leading to a total of seven different colors scattered through the board. While this can be chaotic at times, a color key is provided to help make sense of the colors, and they are also labeled in the directions. The players play along a linear path through the three stages, each labeled with a start and end space.
Key user interface elements or menus:
Key controller/input and navigation elements include:
The player moves through the world through dice rolling, moving their piece the number of spaces shown on the dice. Through this, they interact with the board. They also use the point cards given to them to escape challenges, using them as a tool to help them complete the game.
There isn’t really any specific songs that I can think of that would suit the story of Esther, though it would perhaps create the desired mood by playing hymns or just Christian music in the background of the game. This is an optional addition, however, and is up to the player how they want to go about it.
As it is a board game, there is little opportunity for sound effects. Again, any such additions would be left to the choice of the player.
Interacting with other characters:
The players battle each other, forcing each other to move back or forth on the board a designated number of spaces. They can also help each other through the ‘Alternate Play’, allowing them to share point cards in the third phase. As it is a board game, outside communication is, of course, encouraged.