2-4 players 30 minutes Ages 8+ Language dependency: None
Written be Guilou
Queenz is one of the last games of the prolific author Bruno Cathala. For this new game, he is accompanied byJohannes Goupy and we find the excellentVincent Dutrait adding his artistic hand. The game was released at Essen 2019 byMandoo Gamesand is distributed in France byBlackrock Games.
Queenz is a game that gives you the chance to become a Beekeeper. You will have to place your hives judiciously according to your land and plant flower beds that cover them. Each flower, as in real life, offers the possibility of producing a honey of a color but especially of different taste. The more you have the ability to diversify, the more points you will earn. But do not forget that without bees, there is no honey. This is good because you can also opt to collect and position them onto your fields. But beware, a bee too far from his hive will not give anything. Dilemma and choice are at the heart of the game.
Queenz accessibility is one of its strengths. Indeed, the rules are really very simple. Each player starts the game without a parcel of land but with three unused hives of your color and "pots" of honey representing the possible future products. Plots of land are available for purchase and positioned next to the central plateau.
The central plateau offers a square of 6x6 boxes initially covered by orchids taken at random. The flowers care of different colors (5) and can also contain or not bees (one queen or up to three workers). Around this flower garden, a meeple gardener walks from space to space depending on the flowers collected by the players. This meeple occupies an important position in the game. Indeed, you will be able to choose to recover flowers only according to its position. On your turn, you will have the choice between two actions.
The first action is one of the most important: collect flowers. You will be able to take from one to three flowers depending on the position of the gardener. Indeed, it will indicate the row available to recover the flowers. And without being paid. What a nice gardener. Because yes, taking flowers in this game, it's free. And you will be able to collect up to three. But of course, there are conditions to that.
If you choose to take only one flower, then you can take the one you want, whether or not there are bees on it.
Do you want two? Go for it. But only if there are no bees on them.
It is not enough ? Do you want three? Go because it's you, it's a gift. But, only take orchids of 3 different colors.
The flowers thus collected are stored in the personal reserve of the player. Attention, this reserve contains only six places. And when there are no more places ... you can not take flowers anymore. Gluttony has its limits and waste is not tolerated. The gardener then moves as many boxes as flowers taken by the player.
As you can guess, the central plateau will empty little by little. It will become more and more difficult to recover the desired flowers and especially the desired number. Especially since the flowers take time to grow, they are not replaced immediately. First come, first served. This will also play a role in choosing to take one to three flowers so as not to give too much opportunity to his opponent.
The other possible action is the construction or enlargement of his field. It could not be easier. The player takes one of the land tiles available for purchase. It's always free ... If it's your first tile, you simply place it in front of you. Otherwise, it must be added adjacent to existing tiles. Here too, there is a constraint. The tile chosen, once placed, must be filled with flowers from your reserve and possibly a hive. No empty spaces.
If by the time you finish placing your pieces, you have an area with at least two adjacent orchids of the same color on your land, then you produce honey of that color. Take your "honey pot" pawn of the corresponding color and place it on your personal tray. If you have all the pots of all colors, then you receive a distinction in the form of a bonus points. Be aware, the faster you are, the more points you will have (these diminish over time).
Now that you have placed your new land, it is time to see if it brings you something. If you manage to create areas of the same color, or if you enlarge an area already present on other tiles with at least two more flowers (of course with the same color), you will gain one point per flower belonging to these areas.
To note a small exception which I did not speak to you for the moment. When choosing to retrieve orchids from the gardener. You can take a flower with bees on it. If there are several, they will count at the end of the game depending on their promiscuity with a hive (pollen, honey production all that stuff). Queens work a little differently. Indeed, they allow to act immediately their taking of the garden. You then have permission to replace one of your flowers already laid by the one with the queen on it. The removed orchid returns to your reserve and the queen settles on your field. This ability is sometimes handy for increasing the connection of a colored area or for getting closer to a hive.
The end of the game occurs when a player places his fifth land tile in their playing area. The opponents of this player can then bloom a last field without the necessity of it being filled. The last chance to make points.
At the end of the game, we move to the count up of end points. First of all, look at the points earned during the game. Then add the end-of-game bonus points.
First the points indicated on the diversity of production token. You know it's the token gained during the game thanks to your honeys of five colors (yes, this was easy). These points range from ten for the fastest, to two for the slowest. Without necessarily making a big difference, it can still affect the final score.
Then you’ll review your hives. Hives that have attracted bees will earn you points. A good beekeeper knows how to take care of his workers. Each player will earn one point for each bee on their eight adjacent squares. Eight boxes, eight possible points, three hives, so it can go up to 24 boxes so 24 points. Not so bad is not it? For the most skeptical so far, you now see the interest of the capacity of the queens? It's a score that can make a clear difference. Especially if others have focused on the immediate points of color areas.
There you go. The one with the most points is judged by an incredible assembly of beekeeper recognized in the middle, as having achieved the best honeys and thus wins the game. Youpi! Hooray! Bravo!
The great strength of Queenz is its ease of access. Short rules, limited possibilities, the kind of game that allows you to dive directly into the game without resifting through the bow for the rules. This type of game is perfect for casual players who sees it as a present challenge and a possibility to play without taking the lead. It is true that the parts are nice.
The game is in tune with the times. In other words, simple rules but with a relative depth and a reduced playing time (count less than 30 minutes when you start to know the game). Despite the number of restricted actions (two), the number of possibilities and play patterns are quite important. This allows replayability and satisfy the players who are keen on this type of game. The game also has a variant to "complicate" the game adding a new bonus flower. An accessory, but nice.
Another strong point, it is possible to play 2 to 4 players, and it works well in all configurations. Said like that everything seems to work like clockwork, and we are far from having hives "buzzy" ... and yet. Honey may not be as good as wanted.
My first concern, that's why I’ll start with it, because in reality this is not one for many players, because of the theme. Or rather, it’s absence. It should not be hidden, and it appears very quickly, Queenz is actually a disguised abstract game. The idea of the hive, the honey, the bees, the flowers ... all that is superficial. You could definitely replace all that with something else and it would work just as well.
Let's move on to less forgivable things: the overall quality of the material. Unfortunately, the game is far from irreproachable. One oscillates between hot and cold during the depunching. While the flower tokens are correct, the field tiles and the trays (individual or central) are very thin and a lot of tiles of land do not fit together properly. It's nerdy when we want to make a nice display on the table. The size of the score pieces is also disturbing. These are slightly larger than the boxes of the dots. Which is ultimately quite impractical especially if you play four. Frankly, we remain in the field of non-crippling and that does not prevent us from having fun, but this lack of finish is regrettable. To be forgiven (?), You have Queenz token in quantity. There, I confess I have not yet understood their usefulness.
In terms of gameplay, the game actually offers a lot of possibilities. But finally these possibilities can be summed up in two main axes of scoring : to leave the fastest on the diversity and the bees (thus seeking to accelerate the game) or to realize larger areas of the same color. After several games, we found ourselves limited in these two ways of scoring points. For the general public, this feeling will certainly not appear, but for most players, you will see there a possible limit to playfulness. A limit that necessarily negatively affects the replayability and willingness to return to it.
Finally, focusing on the illustrations, we are starved on this front too. Normally, I really like the work of Vincent Dutrait. In addition to being one of the most prolific board game illustrators, he is above all a person with great talent and in many ways. On the other hand here, outside the box, I had a sense of "minimum union" for the rest of the material. It's colorful, it's not devoid of interest, it's visible (even if the flowers are very similar) but, at the same time, it's relatively "cold". Finally, one could even say that it is abstract as are the mechanisms. A sensation difficult to explain but, visually, the game will not remain in the annals. However, I am fully aware that art is purely subjective and I do not doubt that others will find this game superb.
Very inspired games likePatchwork or the series ofCottage Garden, Queenz finally fails to offer enough originality to win. The proposed mechanisms are known and without real risk taking, even if effective for those who love this style of play, it remains a simple game to access with pleasant mechanisms, and for optimization accessible. It will easily find a place in the family toy libraries. Far from being demanding, it will offer you a certain challenge and will entertain you, but for a short period.
Technical note 7/10 Some technical errors that unfortunately ruin the experience. The game is simple, the rule more or less well written. Once understood, no reread needed. It's colorful, visually clean but maybe the whole lacks a bit of soul.
My score BGG 6/10 (An ok game, to play from time to time if it is proposed to me) A game that unfortunately offers nothing original, but based on proven and recognized mechanisms. A game in the format intended for the family audience or higher. In this context, the game works pretty well, to discover the optimization. Before moving on to something more solid ...
Combined score of 6.5 / 10 And now, it's up to you to play ...
1-4 players 40-90 minutes Ages 14+ Language dependency: very little
Written by Guilou
Bellwether Games is a publisher who gained recognition with the game Coldwater Crown. A game rather interesting and perfect about fishing. They are now back with a new Kickstarter, this time, Freshwater Fly. No surprise, it rests in the theme of fishing. While the first game was intended to plunge you into a world tournaments, the second offers a more intimate approach, more solitary. Indeed, in Freshwater Fly you go fly fishing in a slightly mountainous area, with friends. Just that, your whole program. Indeed, I like games that offer original themes. This one is one of those. However, I have to admit, not being a fisherman myself, I have not mastered the jargon specific to this passion.
Freshwater Fly is a game ofBrian Suhre. All the visual was done byDarryl T. Jones. The game was available in small quantities at Essen 2019 and sometimes in a few shops. But the stock quickly melted. Hard to get your hands on now. The theme played a big part in the success of the title, especially in a current production that is struggling to renew itself. But what about the game itself?
Freshwater Fly invites you to play as a fisherman. Here, no religion. No, a real fisherman, with his rubber boots, his overalls, his gloves, his bucket hat... In short, all you need to not catch a death by cold from facing the currents. With your fishing rod, you and your friends decided to start a small competition. The subject of the competition: angling. The goal: to get the most points at the end of the game. Simple, basic. Fishing rod in hand, let's go.
Me, I dig my saplings, to go fishing, musette on the shoulder, sausage, cold beer. (french song "LA PÊCHE À LA LIGNE" - RENAUD) Settled in my little corner of paradise, I'm ready. First thing to do, choose my fly. There are six flies available, each corresponding to a color, which itself corresponds to the hatching tokens. It is important to study the game board in order to choose a color that corresponds to your target fish at the risk of telling the story of how the big fish got away. Each player, in the order of the turn, will prepare their rod carefully.
In Freshwater Fly, there is no lap count. You have the time, as this requires practice. Although ... the first to catch their seventh fish, will end the game. It remains a race. Monitoring the progress of others and catching up is a good idea. Just be contemplative and enjoy the water and clean air.
Each player has an individual board representing their abilities and reel. This is not a simple accessory that challenges but represents a real pretty ingenious and well inserted in the theme. The central board corresponds to the whole accessible end of the river and gives you a visual of the catchable fish. And essentially with which bait to catch them.
At each round, you will roll a number of dice based on the number of players. The dice are at the heart of the game. In turn order, you will choose one of the dice still available and perform a force action equal to its value. There are three main actions available: casting, reel or finesse +2.
First of all, you'll need a target, a whipping fish (no Igor, put that whip away!). For that, nothing more simple. The chosen die will show you a column on the board. In this column, you will be able to choose a position among those available (paying attention of the rocks). But for your prey to be attracted, you must have a fly of the same color as the hatching token at the bottom of the river. If this is the case, you must go to the second step: catching your fish.
For him to bite the hook, you will have to show skill ... not in fact, it's more luck but in a controlled way. There is a small deck consisting of four cards. Among them, is a card "fish caught". You mix this deck, and if you have a hook of the same color as a hatch, you draw one. If this famous card is drawn, bravo you can go to the next step. If you missed your fish, do not panic. Concentrate. Do you see your fineness level on your personal board? If you have any, you can spend one (you slip your token one step to the left) to take another card. Still missed? Decidedly, this fish is tough. You can even do it again, if you really lack luck (perseverance is a good virtue).
But what happens if you miss your fish? The current will move your line will drift one step to the left. If you were already in zone 1, too bad for you, you will have to retry your luck on your next action. In other cases, if your hook corresponds to a hatching token you can try again to hook a new fish. Take back the cards, shuffle them and ... this time you do not shoot one but two cards. Yes, it is like that. You want this fish! If, after this second chance, you have not succeeded, your action is lost.
In case your hook does not match the hatch token, it's a little less convenient. If this is your first run, your line drifts down a notch. You can only try your luck if your hook matches the hatch token. If it still does not fit, you still drift one step to the left. With each drift, you have the right to try your luck to catch the fish. But be careful, after the second drift or after the second attempt, your turn is over. Small bonus of a drift, it is not one but two cards that you will draw. Sometimes, going farther can be a good strategy.
Once your fish is hooked, you have it at the end of your cane. It took the fly, which may tend to annoy it. But expert as you are, it's not a problem. So you take the corresponding fish and position it on your personal board according to its color. Each color corresponds to a step in the capture. The more difficult a fish is to catch, the more points it makes. You also take the hatching token (which will serve at the end of the game) and of course you place a fish in the space of the one that your caught. If by chance you have caught it next to rocks, draw the first card from the pile. These are bonuses that will help you greatly during the game. Finally, the reel is positioned on its starting space.
Which brings us to the second possible action. Play the reel to tickle this stud. In short, bring the fish to the surface. Your reel has five spaces. Each corresponds to a specific action:
Breaking the fish by decreasing its strength to 0 (put the correct token on it)
Win an available bonus tile, if you already have one, your flip it on it’s back
Gain a fineness (one step on the right)
Depending on the resistance color of the fish, you will move one space back or forward. If it is green: you advance one space; if it is yellow you retreat.
The starting space makes it possible to bring the fish closer to the surface. When you stop or go past this, you do not collect € 200 but you lower the resistance of your fish one step to the left. If it was already on the green box, bravo you captured it.
To use your reel, you will have to select a remaining die. You decrease the value of the die by the resistance strength of the fish and you advance your reel by that many spaces. Once this is done, you can use the power indicated on the space.
There remains a third and last action available, focus. You can take any dice and regardless of its value, to move your fineness slider two notches to the right. This is the best way to ensure future success or desired power.
There are also bonus actions that depend on your rock cards (permanent but once per turn), your speed tile (one-shot) or your situation on your ability (lower your fineness by one step to the left). These actions can be done in addition to the main action.
The end of a round occurs when there are no more dice available. To determine the first player, you’ll calculate the value of each die you used, the smallest total is prime. Being first can be important. This is also one of the ways the author tries to convince you not to just take the big numbers.
The end of the game comes at the end of a round where a player fishes their seventh fish. You’ll then count the points. Starting with the fish, then public goals and after private goals. Finally, the points from rock cards are added and the one that has the most wins.
Contrary to what it seems, Freshwater Fly is not a complicated game. Everything seems quickly logical and the rounds are linked in a rather important fluidity. In front of the small choice of available actions, the wait between turns is quite limited.
Thematically, the game is really exemplary. Everything breathes the theme. That it is the material but also the mechanisms. Special mention to the idea of the reel. We found ourselves with the impression of raising fish at the end of our lines. A little cricket singing in the background, relaxing music with water streaming and you're there.
The rules are in the majority quite clear and the components is relatively correct (some problems may be on some material). You’ll quickly identifies your objectives and the fish that you wishes to catch. Moreover, the idea of having personal boards with asymmetrical objectives is excellent. Everything is well indicated and it is not necessary to go back in the rule book.
The duration of a game is not very long. I must admit that it is sufficient. Longer, the game could have become quite boring. Because yes, it is not free of defects.
Already, the game seems pretty scripted. This feeling finally agrees well enough with the theme, but we quickly feel forced. One of the things you need to do first is hook a fish. When you do not have fish, the rest is impossible. Then, once you have one at the end of your line, you will have to go back up, so you will do almost this action. And so on. Finally, you take a dice, you take a fish, you spin your reel. However, this repetitiveness of actions and especially choices fits perfectly into the theme. How else would you have wanted it? To have wanted to stick too close to the theme, the author may have forgotten that this is a board game and that playfully non-fishermen could quickly get bored.
Luck is present. But it is relatively discreet and most of the time controllable. Once again, you could have liked unforeseen events (fish snaps the line, the wind reverses the current, etc.) which would have broken a little this playful monotony. The dice, in turn, play a role that is ultimately rather minor. The game will sometimes be a race to the one who will be able to take the strongest dice first (hence the interest of being the first player). Collect dice of small values quickly finds its limits.
The replayability of the game is theoretically good. However, it can quickly become a problem if your resistance to do more or less the same is low.
The game offers a solo mode that has the merit of existing and remains interesting. Not convinced by cons, once realized, we return with great pleasure.
I was really attracted to the theme that was off the beaten track. I would have loved to love this game. It is pleasant but unfortunately far from what had sold me, at least in my imagination. Maybe I was expecting too much? Far from being a bad game, it is not unforgettable either. If it had not had its original theme, would it have been so successful? Nothing is less sure.
Freshwater Fly is a pleasant game with a refreshing theme and incredible thematic respect. But even if it has interesting mechanisms, the game suffers quickly from gaps. Shortcomings that will be quickly forgotten if you are fans of fishes, or that will be important if you search more than a theme. This points race could finally be compared to a long calm river. A known place, relaxing but not surprising.
Technical score 8/10 Many good things in this game. The graphics, the material (even if some things are disproportionate or just below the rest), the rules, everything is clear, clear and thematically respected. The reel is a small gadget that has its charm. We hoped for a finish on some elements, for a little less generic look.
My BGG score 7/10 (Good likes from time to time play) The strength of the game is its theme, rather its thematic respect. On it, the work of the author is remarkable. However, when you touch such a special passion, you have to know how to balance. Focusing on it alone can quickly knock out those who do not have this fiber. Paradoxically therefore, the game suffers from the thematic omnipresence that prevents it from coming out of the currents. A current sometimes too linear.
Combined score 7.5 / 10 And now, it's up to you to play ...
2-4 players 30-60munites age 10+ laungage dependent : No
Written by Barry
(Remember, this is a first impression and not a final review. The game was played on a well rendered prototype, of an upcoming Kickstarter game. These words and thoughts are of a one-time play play with a 3 player count.)
If you're looking for a game with a unique theme and gameplay, here is a game that should pique your interest. Theme wise, Red Outpost is about the Russians winning the Space Race. And instead of going to the moon, they crash on another planet and start inhabiting it. Mechanics wise, this is a worker displacement, resource gathering and and Influence scoring game. Where are all the workers and resources are shared between all players. But this is no “co-op game” by any shape or means. Players are going to be scrambling to manipulate these workers for their own benefits and mainly trying to hold the others back from doing the same. Each, trying to keep their head about the water, at the same, submerging the heads of others.
The ruleset for the game is very simple. You’ll move an unused worker to a unique empty location, place one of your influence tokens on that workers image, possibly change the mood of that worker, before taking the action as indicated on the location. As simple as that. Although so your first game, you may occasionally forget to place out your influence token. This can sometimes screw up the game. Or at least your score, if you forget to do so. But that's an easy player error to make in your first game. Quickly forgotten in this very rapid, slick, elegant game. To help the game run smoother, it has its own simple to read, iconography at each location. This, players will pick up very quickly and make your gaming experience run very smoothly. But with all that being said, this game is easy to pick up and play (with a possible error...lol) but is no easy game to master.
The game is played over 2 rounds, which represents 2 days. Each day is broken down into 5 phases. Morning, first half of the day, lunch, second half of the day and evening. All of the six unique workers will start their day in the barracks, sleeping. Waking up from they're wonderful dreams and preparing for that hard but yet satisfying day of work. In the morning, lunch and evening phase, each player will be able to move a worker to a new unoccupied location. Whereas as in the first and second half of the day, players will activate all available workers until they have all been utilised. This may mean at certain player accounts, some players will activate two workers while others only one in this phase. Here there are some little thematic ideas that play into each of these times of the day. For example, any workers that are not moved in the morning phase will sleep in and instantly be satisfied, augmenting their mood level. That's true in the real world, yes? The kitchen space is only open at lunchtime, but you're not obliged to send a worker out there to elevate their mood. Again in the evening, the barracks is the only place that you can send a worker. And not all workers will go there, but any that do will have their mood increased.
To add a bit of variety to this, the game comes with 3 morning and evening tokens. These can be placed out randomly or in set locations, rendering them closed for that part of the day. Reducing the amount of locations during two phases of a round. This is not as restrictive as it sounds, although it will make a few players feel claustrophobic, as they become first play and have free reign of the board. But that one action they want to do is not available! But it will add a little more to your thought process from game to game. Plus with the restriction of only one worker being able to move to an unoccupied location, will consume a little bit of your grey matter.
Let's talk a little bit about these locations and what they do. Most of the locations will gather resources, like wheat from the fields or coal from the coal mine. A few of them will allow you to draw cards to see whether you collect resources, like whether you catch a fish from the lake. All resources are pooled together the storehouse. For each resource your worker collects, you will move your token on the production wheel. Once it passes a certain space, you're received two points and a crystal, which is its own unique resource. More about these crystals later. If at the end of your turn, you have added a third resource of the same type already stored there, you’ll score some additional points. This is an action that can be stolen from you by other players, so don’t try to think too far ahead. Two of these resources are removed while the other is placed on a resource score track. At first, this track will only give you one point. Over time, as more players contribute to this resource gathering, that score we'll go up to a level before caping itself to a solitary point. Making resource gathering important but at the same time only at certain stages in the game. As the game goes on, players may be forced to collect resources and add them to the pool, which in turn may lead to another player scoring off of that action.
Other locations may require the aforementioned crystals. Going to the beer house will allow you to spend a crystal that will allow you to manipulate the mood tracks of 2 of the workers. While going into the palace will allow you to drop off a crystal to contribute towards the construction. Leading to another way to score. If at the end of the game you have contributed the most, there are some bonus points up for grabs. Going to the storehouse will allow you to use the resources to manipulate mood or collect crystals. Going to the administration will allow you to move other players influence around. This all sounds great and well, but most of these locations also have benefit or malediction depending on the worker that is sent there. Again this ties in with the theme of the game and can lead to some interesting decision making.
Let’s say you send the minor to go mine at the mine (that's a lot of mines). This will benefit you with 2 coal resources and no penalty. As the minor is used to working in the mine and will not be upset with the working conditions. Send any other worker to the mine, and as they are not at proficient as the minor, they only collect one coal. And as they are not accustomed to working in the mind, and their mood will decrease by 2 to. Making them a very sad bunny. And that's how most of the locations work. They will give you something but they also may change the mood of the worker that you have used to do that task. Each space thematically ties in with the worker. Another example is the commissar, who will lose morale if they visit the beer house (dull chap) but will gain morale every time another worker goes to the palace to contribute to the construction.
So I have done a lot of talking about morale, moods and influence. These are all important at the end of each day, as they will also add points to your game. Or lose them! Once the workers have gone to bed, your tally each of your your influence markers that you have used on each of the workers. If you have the most or are joined for the most influence on one of these meeple, you will gain or lose points depending on their mood. This adds an entire heavier level of planning in regards to just sending “so and so” over there to do this or that. It also prevents a player from using the same I'm working over and over again, due to too many of the locations making them sad rather than happy. Added to that is the restriction of only six different workers, which will force players to play dirty. Maybe leaving behind the last worker for you to influence, knowing they are on negative points. Just like real life, if we are all contributing to make this world better, but stabbing each other behind their backs.
This influence and mood scoring track is probably the hardest ball to juggle in the game. Sometimes it feels just like luck that you have been left with a certain meeple to manipulate or a certain location due to others being occupied. But that's part of the give-and-take of the game. Using a character and figuring out how to get a special bonus in a special location but also penalizing yourself we'll have you head scratching for awhile as you search to see if it is beneficial in the long run. But this can be overthrown by another who is quicker or wiser enough to manipulate the workers moods.
Is this all sounds too simple for you, then don't fret. There are also some special cards that you can add to your game that will make your decisions a bucket load more interesting.At the beginning of the game you can be dealt two cards. One location and one worker. Each has its own extra benefit when you either visit that location or use that worker. This variant of the game that we played with, did make the decision making process of your action a hell of a lot more interesting. Adding an additional level of though as you want to use that power, but it may hamper other benefactory ideas further along. Also these cards are open knowledge to all the other players, they may deliberately occupy that worker or location, just say you can't benefit from your special powers. I would definitely recommend playing with this variant if you have a group of experienced gamers.
So this game has a lot of interesting and thematic ideas in tangled inside it's small framework. And left me with the sensation of playing a kind of Mediaeval Academy meets Outlive hybrid. Even though the artwork and theme were reminiscent of Scythe. And a game does seem to be a cold logical puzzle, where you are having to adapt to what is available and whatever the other players are doing. Saying that, one detractor from the game is the luck factor.
There are two small decks of cards located next to the lake and the spaceship. Going to these locations is a bit of pot luck, as some of the cards don't contain resources, but a whopping big red “X”. Meaning there is nothing there and you have practically wasted an action. This can definitely sting you. And players adapted to this by not going to the spaceship or they use the fisherman and only the fishermen to go fishing at the lake. This guaranteed a resource. And then there's the nasty action which a player can take. Sending the bureaucrat to the administration office. Or spending crystals to create mood swings,not only to the workers, but also the players. This then just blatantly let's them move one of your disks of influence from a worker that will probably get you lots of points to another that's going to give you negative points. This can sometimes feel like a real kick in the nuts action to take. Even if it costs a crystal. Points win the games, while crystals can also contribute.
Apart from that, this is a real solid and interesting euro game. It seems well balanced in how you get points. Either from scoring from resource collecting and crystal depositing. To the influence and mood scoring. Though some players may have trouble trying to manage this second part of scoring or losing points, as it is player dependent. Plus it's a mechanism that is not frequently used, worker displacement and influence. Have to play with the leftovers of other players feels refreshing and also a little confusing. Possibly not everyone's cup of tea. Even for a prototype, the components are very well realised for a euro style game. The rule book was very easy to digest, with a few added corrections and clarifications, it is near perfect. And the footprint of the box itself will not eat up a lot of shelf space. But saying all that, some of that is subject to change depending on the Kickstarter. There may be other components that add to the size of the book. Other rules that will add to the replayability or upgrades. These we will see in time. But if you're looking for a different type of solid and fluid euro, that has you thinking in a different fashion, as well as being fantastic themed, this is one you should be clicking on.
2 player 10 - 25 minutes Ages 7 + Language dependent : no
Written by Guilou
Released in 2008 was a small game called Papering Duel from Mandoo Games. You do not know this publisher? Who are they... Well, they are a Korean publishing house best known in Asia. But back here, especially through its presence in Essen, we are able to talk about them little by little. Most of their productions have themes, components or quite original mechanics. Papering Duel is no exception to the rule.
This is a game from Martin Nedergaard Andersen (I already told you about him and his Hippo game). What acts as illustrations is due toAgsty Im. Papering Duel is an abstract sheet placement game for two players (yes, there is the word duel in it).
The first thing that catches the eye is the components. Everything fits in a box of rather moderate size. You play from outside the box to inside this box. What acts as the game board is a cardboard sheet, that is thermoformed ideally. Each player will then have a deck of cards. But these are not normal cards. It is rather small sheets of transparent plastic. These sheets are divided into four squares of identical sizes. On these squares, there will be two full boxes and two empty ones. Some boxes will have symbols (dots, a square or a kind of star) and others will have colors (yellow, red or purple). Each symbol is accompanied by a color and vice versa. Do you follow?
The basic principle is that each player has a unique deck. A player will have a deck with filled boxes diagonally place while the other players has adjacent ones. The central plateau represents a grid of nine squares. Players will alternately place their cards on this main grid to perform tricks to win the game.
In turn, a player has the right to play one to three cards from their hand. The goal is to make combinations of three patterns either by the same symbol or the same color. If they do both, it validates two goals. Not bad, huh! Once the cards are played, you’ll check that the player has completed at least one of the objectives and that their opponent no longer has one. To help find your way around, there is a small cardboard tray next to the game. On this board, players announce current goals filled with small chips (black or white). This silly pest is quickly very practical but requires a little manipulation.
Players will superimpose their cards as the game progresses. This mechanism is visually quite attractive and is reminiscent of other games like Gloom or Edge Of Darkness (to name a few). But very quickly, everything can become a bit confusing, especially if an area has not been covered for a few turns.
But what is the purpose of this pile of cards on top of each other? The most noble way to win is to achieve three combinations in a turn. Immediate victory. Nothing to say again. That's class and something you can brag about it. But there are other ways to lose. You can also win if your opponent can not remove your current combinations during their turn or if they can not make a combination. And that's as simple as that.
Indeed Papering Duel is not a complicated game. There is also a variant with a few more cards for each player. These cards have gray boxes. These new colors allow you to add a new way to lose or trap your opponent. Indeed, if one of the players does not manage to cover a gray box of their opponent, they win.
Papering Duel is a little abstract puzzle game that works on the principle of associations of colors or shapes. A bit like Connect 4, but more thoughtful (not necessarily more complicated). Concretely, we’ll say it like this: “I play my cards... You play on top of mine... You pay attention and you're lucky... You do not pay attention *Bang* I have you trapped!” The games play quickly enough and everything can easily be transported and played everywhere. The game offers a cerebral challenge that can satisfy fans of the genre. On the other hand, do not look for a possible theme or to live a story. You’ll be facing a pure abstract game.
The challenge side is quite interesting and the initial postulate can give the impression of a very calculating game. But very quickly, one realizes that there are some elements which come to invalidate this sensation.
Already, luck is important. The cards are mixed and drawn in a completely random way. For an abstract game based on the anticipation of plays on several turns, this can be problematic. And at the same time, it allows a family audience to find their feet and play it without thinking too much.
Indeed, some might argue that for random drawing, but players have a hand of three cards. Except that the fact of being able to play all three in the same turn, lessened the strategy side of the game and favors the chance of the good hand. Again, this allows a family audience to have fun but can disappoint the player in search of cerebral challenge.
The game runs smoothly. After playing it several times, I think it's hard to define it’s real target audience. A bit too risky for fans of abstract games, too abstract for players in search of stories, too punitive for a truly family audience ... All that rests are the players who like to rack their heads but not too much, those who love games not too long but with a present challenge, the fans of the games with a beautiful components. As such, Papering Duel can satisfy their curiosity and their desires.
Far from being a bad game, it remains pleasant to play. However, we can ask the question about the long-term life. However, the part time coupled with a relatively short installation time allows to play quickly without taking the lead. Especially since the interaction is ubiquitous. No time to watch flies fly. You will have to pay attention to what the other person is doing at the risk of losing in style. Far from being frustrating, the game is relatively simple to access while having a certain depth. And finally, is this not the most important? Take pleasure in playing and work that little brain while having fun ... A game that will, without hesitation, find its place in some toy libraries without imposing itself as inevitable. But after all, was it its goal?
Technical note 8/10 The component quality is good. Thermoforming is well considered for both storage and playability. The cards are nice and the overlay side works well. Everything happens inside the box. There is an hourglass present in the box but no explanation of its use (Cooking eggs? Playing in Blitz mode? Time storage?). The rules are well written and you do not have to go back.
My score BGG 5/10 (Average game, will not please everyone) I’m still a little hungry after this game. Not unpleasant to play, it will not leave you an unforgettable memory either. There is a part of this game that will satisfy you, while you play, but will not have this little taste to come back. Too random for the big abstract players, a tiny bit punitive for casual players, it has however pleasant material and ease of access.
Combined score of 6.5 / 10 And now it's up to you to play ...
The game The Girl and the Robot is currently in the prototype state (although very close to the final version), I offer here a first impression and not a finished review. This seems to me an honest way for you and the publisher.
It all started in 2013 with a successfulKickstarter campaign for the video game The Girl and The Robot. It took three years of development to see the light of day on PC and consoles. A video game based on the puzzle / exploration game that immerses you in a universe that recalls some tales.
The Girl and The Robot follows the adventures of a little girl released from prison by an old man. She then tries to escape and in the process, bind a medallion to a Robot, who will become her bodyguard. This is the beginning of the video game. Of course, in the card game, you learn more about the story.
The little girl is actually the princess of the kingdom (of an unknown name) and the daughter of the king. The king was a good person and concerned about his subjects. Along with his wife, he allowed his people to flourish and be happy. Unfortunately, one day, a strange illness seized the queen. This queens health would deteriorate little by little. Desperate, the king finally accepted a pact with a demonic presence to save the soul of the queen. Once the pact was sealed, the kingdom fell into a strange silence. Several years later, a rumor spread that the kingdom fell into the hands of a demonic queen and an army of robots. In this kingdom, living out of sight, locked in a prison, the princess grows up. One day, the doors that were closed, open. The little girl then undertakes an adventure in order to escape from this cursed kingdom. But the demonic queen does not want her to escape. She will then do everything to recover the little girl (the why is not explained). During her escape, she will make friends with a robot who, strangely, does not obey the Queen's orders. Both will then oppose demonic hordes to regain their freedoms.
As you can see, the universe is not necessarily original and takes a lot of things in what is known. This does not prevent you from enjoying it and it has the merit of existing. Especially that it must be admitted, the presence of the theme is not necessarily the highlight of the game (I'll come back to that).
At the time of writing, the game is currently being running on Kickstarter. It has just reached his funding. A French version is potentially under way too. The volume in terms of text is quite limited. The Girl and the Robot is a little card game drawn from the video game. The game created bySalim Larochelleand illustrated byAyaka Nakamura, is published byFlying Carpets Games.
Depending on the number of players, the game play is slightly different. The two-player mode is a face-to-face clash. At four, it can play in a team of two, head to head. There is also the possibility of playing three, with two against one.
The game system is quite simple. Each player starts by choosing a character. For the two-player mode, the demonic queen will be opposed to the little girl. With three players, this will be the girl with the robot facing the queen. Four players, the girl and her sidekick will be opposed to the queen and a robot of her army. Each player then receives a basic sword card. Everyone starts with a weapon. You then receives a hand of cards and go.
Cards are divided into three categories: actions, objects and abilities. There is a fourth kind of card, the demons, which are not going to be directly used by the players but which will correspond to the permanent threat of the end of the game and thegame over. When your turn comes, you can play as many cards as you want.
Actions are, “one shots”that once used join the discard pile. Actions allow you to anticipate threats, better prepare, avoid drawing cards, recover used cards, go after your opponent directly, help your teammate (in team mode).
The objects will be positioned (face up or not) in front of you. They will serve you to defend against the demons. The objects remain in front of you until they are used, unless another player steals them. These cards are among the most important. Having several guarantees you a lot of advantages against your opponents.
Each character has their own abilities. To activate these abilities, players must use the enabled cards. These cards correspond to numbers: from 1 to 3. Each capacity requires a different cost that must be paid by discarding the correct number (whether in one or more cards). A used capacity at the right time can save your life. It is also true that some are more interesting than others. Unused bonus points are lost at the end of a turn.
In turn, you can play any number of cards and in any combination. Collecting new cards is not a simple thing and can be double-edged. So be careful not to reveal too much at once. At the end of a turn, the active player draws the first card from the deck. If it is not a demon, they keep the card and play continues with the next player. If it's a demon, then there are two possibilities. If the player has a weapon in front of them, they sacrifice it to repel the demon. The demon card is then put back into thedeck,face-up at any position desired by the victim player. If they have no weapons, they are then possessed and the game ends. The player or team that falls victim of the demon, loses the game.
A reading rules, I will not hide that I thought that this was a duplicate ofExploding Kittens. Everything is there or almost. The use of the Russian roulette system, the “take that”, the cards that can protect you ... But are they the same game?
With two players, the two games are relatively close and the sensations are very similar. The durations of games are very variable. It can be played in less than 10 minutes, but it can last around 30 minutes. This time is explained by the speed or not the appearance of demons, the presence of weapons. Because yes, the luck of the draw plays a key role in the game. The strategic side is often put forward. However, with two players, it is the luck factor that occupies an omnipresent place. Basically, if you have the right cards you win. But it's quite inherent to games that use the Russian roulette system. It can easily appear to have a sense of injustice in the face of repeated bad luck. One can also end up just drawing, without playing anything and waiting for the announced death of the other. Even if it is playable at two, this mode is clearly not what gives the charm of the game
The four-player mode is the more interesting version of the game. Players do not play in their corner, but must consult, act together and help each other against the opposing team. The tension is not the same. The possibilities are a little more important and fun is here. Notably because the game may have time to build up. Of course, this is the same game. The importance of luck is always there, but it is lessened by the distribution of the bad luck side. Being able to help each other allows for good combinations. Turns can last a little longer. As a team, the game has a different interest and can keep you indulge a little longer.
The theme is, for its part, is abundantly absent. You end up just playing your cards while trying to escape the card that will end the game for you. Besides, why would demons want the queen to lose? Has not she succumbed to their powers? Yes, I may be pushing the interpretation too far. But when you try to embed a game of this type with a theme that potentially holds the road (without being original), why not stick to it? Moreover if we push the thing even more. What is the relationship between demons and robots? Is it a metaphor that technology is evil? A priori, the video game does not answer these questions either (or no one has looked at them). In short, I’m go astray.
Graphically, the game has a real charm. The cards are clean. The illustrations, while being cartoonie, offer a very pretty pastel tone. The whole thing is trying to plunge you into this magical world and would get there if thegameplayfollowed. For her first work on a game,Ayaka Nakamuramakes you want to follow her future visual productions. In terms of quality, cards are good quality and pleasant to handle. The rules are pretty well presented but not always very clear.
The big highlight of the game and on it, they did not lie to us, is the ease of learning. The game is explained in a very short time. The understanding of how to play is also very fast. From the first part, you know what to do and pray that you do not fall on demons while trying to take on others.
The girl and the Robot is a party game that does not revolutionize the genre. Fans of fast games, Russian roulette and team games can find themselves comfortable here. However, we are clearly in fast play. Quick to learn, quick to play, and unfortunately fast to forget. Replayability is more at the level of the players than at the level of the gameplay. It's a shame. Yet the game has a certain charm, a special atmosphere that could have been put forward. Its average price can be an asset to convince players to help the girl (without a name?) to repel the demonic forces.
If you are convinced by the potential of the game, you can already pre-order the game on Kickstarter (the French version seems to depend on the success of the campaign) or wait for its availability in store in the future.
Language dependent : yes
Written by Barry
The post-apocalyptic, Magic the Gathering card game without the endless years of collecting. That's one way to describe this card game. As you are a hero who is picking through the remains of a destroyed planet, possibly Earth, collecting technologies and other warriors to fight for your cause.
Let me start by saying that the version of the game we played was of the second edition. So some of these comments might not apply to the future installments of the game. Again remember that these are first impression of a “One Time” play, of a two-player game. Therefore different configurations of players may change the overall feel of play
The rules of the game are pretty straightforward, especially if you are familiar with dueling card games. Each player will have a deck of cards and they will be using these cards to attack their opponents. Simple as that. But there are some interesting mechanisms and differences between this game and others of its ilk.
One of those differences is the set-up. For the base game, you'll be randomly constructing your deck and randomly picking your hero. As this is not a collectible card game, we found a very large selection of cards of each type in the game. This randomness in constructing a 24 card deck fits the theme of you picking through the ruins of a destroyed City, finding technologies, and other fighters ready to fight for you. With about 250 cards to choose from, and what looks like only two copies of each card within the deck, everytime you distribute cards you will have a different setup. And therefore play your strategy on the fly, with each card you reveal. This leads to a lot of random gameplay and possibly put off players who have to adapt quickly to what they have. But the alternative is to either give your deck a good looking over before playing or to play the advanced rules and build your own deck.
After our first play, I can admit that I wasn't too enthralled by this prospect, although I see the possibility of multiple plays leading to a better understanding of the game. Again multiple plays would also lead to faster smoother gameplay, less pausing and rule book reading.But my feelings were also tainted by the poor luck that I had. First impression, remember!In the game, your deck is your life points. Burning through your deck is not an option as these cards will go into your graveyard and when you have no more cards to draw or in hand, it's game over for you. Every time you take damage from an opponent, a card from your hand or your deck will have to go into the graveyard. I had the disadvantage of chance when everytime I took damage I discarded a card from the deck. Which all happened to be Unit cards. And every time I drew a card into my hand, it happened to be a Tactics card. What's the difference?
A nice element about the game is, there are these two types of cards. Units will fight for you, while tactics are like one shot effects. Can you now understand my frustration?In hindsight, I should have kept the tactic cards instead of playing them to try and melt my opponent's life points.And then when damage was taken, I would discard these for my hand and instead of blindly drawing from the deck. Not only are there two types of card, each type of card comes in one of three levels. These are to correspond with the level of your hero character. Which again could be a problem for some players who don't level up their hero at the beginning of the game. There's nothing worse than drawing cards that you can use, due to a restriction.
So apart from my quibbles of randomness in the game, there are some interesting and exceptional ideas.Unit cards and the Hero have attacks or powers that, once used will have a cool down period. This is signified by the numbers on each side of the card. A simple colour system will remind you of the duration of the cooldown. Making tapping your card a simple affair, although it took a little while to remember in which direction the card should be turnt at the refresh phase at the beginning of your turn. For some reason we have a natural affinity to turn things clockwise. Where as in this game, it's anticlockwise.
Combat in the game is simple and logical. Some units have weapons that can shoot at a distance while others are hand-to-hand combat only. Leaving way for some interesting decisions that you will make while trying to take out your opponent. Two characters with the same attack is simply a case of the numbers and who has the most highest. Both doing damage to each other as well as exhausting themselves for a round. Where as, someone with a gun going up against a hand to hand expert has different consequences. The gun will always fire first, before the puncher I can punch.Realistic and interesting, as well as refreshingly simple.
When cards go to your graveyard, you have a choice of placing them either on the top or the bottom.This can be an important tactic because you can bring cards back from the dead, if they are on the top of the graveyard. Each card has its own recycle value, which means that you’ll eject that number of cards from your graveyard to bring the top card back into play on the battlefield. Plus there are other ways and power that will allow you to do this.
Now let's talk about the heroes. There are about 20 in this version of the game, each coming in three levels. Each will bring you a certain amount of water at the beginning of your turn. It is this water that is the currency of the game, allowing you to recruit and play cards into the Battlefield. Also this water will permit you to level up your Hero so they can activate more powerful cards from your deck. In fact, you may spend your first 3 to 5 turns doing so, while your opponent starts chiseling at your life points. Not only do they give you access to more powerful cards but also themselves, collect more water or even give the ability to draw a card into your hand each turn.All have the same regular power, of an additional water or card, but each also has their own unique power to discover.We also played with the optional rule all of technology cards. Again, these are dealt out at random. Of the five cards dealt to you, only three of them can be played into the game. These changed the balance of the game as they were introduced, once more leading you to adapt your gameplay to what you have in your hand. Plus giving each player a unique playing style.
The quality of the product is pretty high. The card quality is good, although there is no proper storage solution in the box. The tokens for marking damage or power-ups and power downs are chunky and easy to read. In fact the whole icon system is simplicity itself.The dark apocalyptic art is somewhat lost in the cards, but if you stare at them closely you can appreciate the wonderful details the artist has created. The rule book is nicely spaced out and easy to read. But could still do with some “easy to find” chapter markers and possibly being a bit more profound in its descriptions and definitions. We did run into some questions that we could not answer from the rule book or even the videos that we watched.
This is definitely a Board Game that Everybody Should probably get better at, with time and an understanding of some of the hundreds of cards.A great idea for those who just want to jump in a card battle, without having to collect or trade from blister packs.Plus very little down time to explain the rules. It's theme of scavenging the wastelands of a destroyed utopia is there at the beginning of the game but slowly dissipate into dust as you realise that this is primarily a two player Magic/Yu-Gi-Oh card game. But you can also play as 3 or go up to 4 players team matches, which is a bonus for this type of game.
As I said, these are the thoughts and feelings after one play of the second edition. The complete edition with expansions is currently running on Kickstarter. If this sounds like your type of thing, click on the link below to be zapped to an alternative universe.
Is he a Cool Mini or Not? Peter Shirey is here to talk about beingCMON's Play Manager and Retailer Relations Coordinator. Or Not? ...
This is an interview show where I have taken the idea of the tv show “Quantum Leap”, and put our guest in the shoes of Sam Beckett. Time traveling into people's bodies, in our case people we know. And finding out one of two things. If our Sam will walk in that person's shoes, absorbing a character trait or admiring their life. Or if our Sam will change something in their life, for better or worse.
Who will he jump into? And what is coming from CMON in the future? Maybe some Zombicide 2nd edition? Watch and see...
Joined by Eli Mamane, first time designers and publisher, who thinks he is here to talk about his Kickstarter game Vector Wars...Maybe he will, if he can make it through the Quantum Quiz. Join us Live.
Look out for Vector Wars on Kickstarter on the 20th of October
Vector Wars is set in a Tron-style universe where the world has run dry of resources and clans fight in a virtual arena to gain one of the last remaining energy sources for their people known as Zetta Orbs. Vector Wars is a 2-player area domination game based on a 9 square board known as The Grid. You place one of your 9 character cards face-down, which gives little to no information to your opponent as to the strength of the card placed. These cards flip to give you an individual flip ability, which you may use to battle to keep control of the grid. Your job is to try and gain the most victory points by maintaining a tactical advantage over your opponent, which will ultimately gain you the victory.
Cosmo duck roll & write collection (2019)First Impressions
This project is scheduled to run from October 21 to November 1 2019 only onUlule (a french version of Kickstarter)
Today's review is a bit special. We are not going to dig into one game like every time, but we will explore four! Yes, I said four! Hold on tight.
Originally, I wanted to create four different reviews, each returning to one of the games and creating a kind of countdown that would lead to the beginning of the campaign. But technical problems and a timing problem allowed other reviewers to do it. So, to avoid repetition, I’m putting all this in one go, there, Bahm! Get ready there is text. But ... what am I talking about?
Phil Vizcarro, whom I have already mentioned to you in the review ofDany, has partnered with Alexis Anne to create a concept, I’m not afraid to say, quite innovative. By this meeting, this is also two publishing houses working hand in hand: Phil representsCosmo Duck and Alexis is the worthy representative ofAurora Games. Me, I like stories that start well. These two people have joined forces to offer a new fun experience: " One year of Roll & Write ". This project is scheduled to run from October 21 to November 1, 2019 only onUlule.
" One year of Roll & Write " is as its name suggests, the ability to enjoy for one year a Roll & Write being sent directly to you. One per month, 12 games (with potentially surprises including a bonus game on the first shipment) in all. You will receive the necessary equipment to play at the first delivery and each month you will be entitled to your pad of papers with your new game. I cannot hide it, the sounds great.
or those who do not know, the Roll & Write is a very popular style of games. In France, it would be like "Roll the dice and write the result" (yes it's less glamorous but it immediately puts in the mood). Basically, what characterizes this type of game is most often: a score sheet, dice, things to write or draw, an obligation to note. However, there are many variants.
This style of games is becoming more and more fashionable and we see this system blooming everywhere. One could easily say that the Yahtzee is the most famous representative of this style. But, this system, a priori basic, is in perpetual transformation. Some of the best known include:Roll Through the Ages,Rolling Japan,Very smart,Metro X, the recentOn Tour... It is clear that this is a mechanism that is both simple and interesting as it is easily adaptable. Some even chose to remove the dice, which participated in the charm of the whole thing, to replace them with cards as withWelcome To ... andCartographers: A Roll Player Tale. We can easily say that to try an adventure like this, to offer 12 Roll & Write for a year is a difficult thing, especially now that this style of game is so competitive.
In order to make their idea known and because facts speak better than promises, the two co-creators decided to launch a discovery campaign. Some were fortunate to receive a panel of four of the games, with a few pages of each to better see the beast. I was lucky to be part of this selection, so I'm going to take you on a little tour of the thing.
2+ players 15-20 minutes Ages 10+ Language dependent: no
Written by Guilou
Diggers! is a little game that immerses you in the heart of the Wild West. Here, no cowboy or indians. You are an outlaw and you have just come across a mine with great potential in terms of wealth. Unfortunately, during an attempt to make small holes with dynamite, it creates a huge explosion and you end up deep in a pit. Fortunately, the light of day is still visible, but for how long?
The goal of the game is to get back to the surface as quickly as possible while collecting the most jewels on your path.
First and foremost, each player must have their own game sheet. You will then blacken three boxes on your sheet, then pass it to your neighbor on the left. You redo this operation and again pass to the left. Continuing until twelve boxes are blackened.
Warning: the boxes must not touch each other and they can not be the entry and exit boxes. The blackened boxes then become impassable areas.
Once done, you’ll mix up these sheets and redistribute them to each player. Here we go.
Each box has one or more numbers on it. All players start on the "Start" box. The active player rolls the four dice and each player chooses one of the four results to move. You can very well choose the same. You move by drawing a line from where you are yo where you want to go. You can very well go back, but impossible to return to the box "Start" or to cross into a black space.
If you can not do anything? Well, that's not good luck. But do not panic, take a deep breath. Oops, did not I tell you? The air becomes less accessible ... When you can not move, you must check off one of your Air boxes. At the sixth, if you are still not out, you suffocate. End of the game for you. And when a player is dead, they can not claim victory points.
When you pass over a jewel, it is validated. But it will only count once, even if you traverse the box a second time. As soon as a player is out, they win the bonus associated with their position. In addition, for each player who escapes, a die is removed from the pool.
The survivor with the most points wins the game.
The idea of personalizing your mine with the boxes blacken is a nice touch. Unfortunately, you’ll quickly realize that the variation is quite limited and that after several different choices, the configurations will be similar. But this does not diminish our pleasure, it brings a little replayability.
Of the four I received, Diggers! is perhaps the simplest. It is a race to the exit but with a small dose of risk-taking “stop or go” that is not uninteresting. The lure of gaining gems is sometimes more interesting than trying to escape first. But the risk will also growing.
That can be frustrating and at the same time enjoyable, to find oneself going back and forth gently waiting for death or on the contrary wealth, at the sight of this brilliant stone that is nearby ... so close ... yes. ..
Diggers! is a nice surprise. Finally, quite classic, everything is very clear and allows everyone to have fun without making things too complicated.
Players who absolutely try to finish first without collecting gems, not only will miss the point of the game, but also find too simple and uninteresting.
1+ players 15-20 minutes per level Ages 10+ Language dependent: no
Written by Guilou
Yes, of course you have all recognized the tribute or inspiration of this game. No need to discuss it for hours. Anyway, the whole game is based on it and the theme is ... amazingly well done.
Dice Quest: Tower of Illusion puts you in the shoes of an adventurer. At the beginning of the game, you will all choose by mutual agreement the number of levels you want. The number of levels is the number of floors this tower has. Each floor will correspond to a sheet and each sheet to a dungeon floor (it's well done eh!). The more level you choose, the longer the game is, and vice versa. At the end of each level of the dungeon, your group goes up one floor and you’ll redo a game while keeping your statistics and especially your gold.
Once the duration of the game is chosen, you do a little character creation. Yes, you read that right. We will create a character in a Roll & Write. The idea is very simple. You will first choose your race, at the count of four: human, orc, elf and dwarf.
Once done, you will roll four dice. These results will match your stats: health, speed, strength and intelligence. Each player must place the number of the chosen die in the box. Be careful to take into account the bonuses and penalties related to your race before writing the number.
Now, move on to the creation of the dungeon. Your dungeon is separated into four squares of color. Each colored square corresponds to a part of the floor. The principle is simple. Each player rolls one die. According to the diagrams available, you’ll draw the corresponding area. Each player is in the same dungeon but not in the same reality. This small nuance allows everyone to have their own dungeon. Then, turn the sheet 90 ° and start again, four times. You then have a beautiful dungeon with walls, paths and chests.
But what would a dungeon be without monsters? Each level starts with 4 + L (level value) of monsters. Each dungeon starts with the same monsters. You’ll throw a white dice and a red dice. These values define where the monster will appear. If the box is empty, indicate the monster (an M or a nice drawing as you want), if there is already something, the monster does not appear to be home. Once all the monsters are in play, it’s time to play.
On your turn, you have the choice between several actions.
You can choose to move. For that, according to your speed value, you will draw a line of your path of movement. Of course you can not cross the walls. If a chest is on route, you can choose to stop there. If you cross a living monster, it blocks you and you must stop there.
To open a chest, you will throw two red dice and a white dice. You will add your intelligence to the white dice. If this value is higher than the other two dice, bravo you pick up as much gold as the highest red value. If it's lower, you've failed. Pity. You can then try again, except if the two red dice are identical. In this case, the chest explodes and you lose a life point. What luck …!
Faced with a monster, three choices are available to you.
You can choose to fight. You roll two red dice and a white dice. You add your strength to your white dice. If successful, the monster is dead (it disappears for all players!) And you can tick a cross in the XP box. In case of failure, the monster stays on the spot and inflicts you a point of damage. You will be able to retry your luck the next turn.
The second choice ... is the flight. You roll your three dice, add your speed value to the white. If successful, you can continue to move (be careful the monster is not dead). In case of failure, the monster stops you by hitting you. A point of damage is received and it will retry your luck.
In the worst case, you can also choose to corrupt it. You can corrupt up to five monsters per floor. Each corrupt monster will let you continue your movement ... in exchange for three gold coins. You will need to check a corresponding box for each corruption. Just to say it right away, it's a shame!
At the end of each turn (as soon as everyone has played), dice are rolled to see if there is the appearance of a new monster. The round ends once you exit that floor. The game ends once the desired number of levels have been played. The hero with the most gold wins the game.
But beware, any death is final. You will have to make a new hero with no equipment. When you're dead ...
Finally, between each floor, you can shop in the Grand Bazaar.
Dice Quest is clearly Roll & Write the most surprising of the four. Everything perspires of theme and, at the same time, it is still a racing game. First to kill monsters, first to plunder the most treasure, first to go out, do not die first.
Finally, we find the appearance of the traditional Roll & Write, through the addition of monsters. Moreover, it is in this well realized mechanism that your nerves will be put under pressure. Continue to search at the risk of being overtaken by their numbers or running towards freedom by abandoning all these potential wonders?
The authors managed to make the taste and sensations of a small dungeon crawl with only a sheet of paper and dice. We did find many things that are a homage toHeroQuest, to name just a few games. The game is fluid, the creation of the levels is fun, the movement changes and the concept of risk-taking, "take the money or run" to ensure the thing is really well put together. On the other hand, running with 1 point of movement is a real ordeal! What an idea to equip lead boots.
The addition of the opportunity to equip yourselves better, not spending our precious gold adds to the theme. Dice Quest is a really surprised and we replay it with great pleasure.
It's always nice to see others constantly strive to try to open a chest when you get there the first time. And conversely, when your lamentable failure to take out a small Orc, others will not delay to remind you about it.
One of the flaws however is the number of sheets required to play. Indeed, unlike the other games where a sheet is enough for a game, here, depending on the number of level chosen, you will need much more. It might be wise to think about it when sending this game of the month ...
1+ players 20 minutes Ages 10+ Language dependent: no
Written by Guilou
Do you remember Game & Watch? It was electronic games LCD that was all the rage in the 80s. There was something for everyone and for all budgets (the most famous being those of Nintendo). Get out, Dugland! take again the imagery and the mechanisms of these games.
Dugland is a good guy who comes home after a drunken evening. Without anyone knowing how, the poor man finds himself scantily dressed and strangely locked out of his house. His wife is at the window and begins to throw all his belongings out. Your mission, if you agree, is to help poor Dugland recover as many of his possessions as possible and get the most points. The game system is directly inspired by Game & Watch.
You have four dice available: two white and two red.
After rolling them, you will have to place them. The two white dice will be used to select the row and column where the object will arrive. The two red dice allow you to choose the type of clothing and the space where Dugland will try to catch these things.
Once the dice are chosen, you will draw the object concerned in the selected box. Each box is divided into four mini-boxes. An object occupies a single mini-box.
You then check if Dugland collects something. He can only retrieve objects if he is in the right column of line 6 and there are objects present. Depending on this space, he can recover several items at once. At the beginning of each turn, he returns to the left of the page. When you arrive to retrieve an object, you circle it to indicate that it is saved.
After this phase, Bernard is his first name, definitely has no luck. Indeed, the wind comes to mix things up. The objects will then move on your page according to their own rules. As soon as an object falls out of the screen (no matter if its top, bottom, left or right), you must cross off a box in the lost object table. Lose twelve and the game ends.
At this point, you calculate the points of each according to what we have recovered and if Dugland managed to make bonus points with the combos. (The game can also end if there are no more boxes available on line 6).
Thematically or rather mechanically, the game fits perfectly in the spirit of Game & Watch. We really feel like we’ve traveled back many years to get annoyed at our little screen in the face of our inability to catch up or save the most people or ... The authors have managed to capture and revive this style of game.
Unfortunately, in terms of a board game, this iteration passes less well. The game is unnecessarily complicated. The management of the movements of the objects or the choice of the dice lacks fluidity for this type of games.
Without being complex, the game is sometimes heavy but especially very risky. Next, the whereabouts of the objects and what they are when they appear, it can often be impossible to do anything before it disappears. You are more likely to wait for them to arrive on line 6 and pray that the dice delivers the right number, rather than really to act.
The idea is not bad, far from it. But the game does not take. Instead of having fun, we are little confused, to think not about the way we play but whether we did everything to play. This is clearly for me, the one less convinced out of the four. And it's a shame, because the sensations are really there compared to its video-play model.
1+ players 15 minutes Ages 10+ Language dependent: no
Written by Guilou
Comrade! The Kremlin needs a new architecture. Our leaders want higher, more beautiful towers. This is your honor! Be proud ... but above all, be effective!
It is often said that you have to keep the best for last. So here is my little darling.
Kremlin Konstrukt is a game inspired by the game Tetris. Who does not know this game? Look, even beyond the wall we know how it works!
The principle is simple. You take four dice: two red and two white and throw them. The Active Comrade then chooses one die of each color and the other players will have to do with the other two. Each die symbolizes a predefined Tetris shape. You will need to insert each shape on your diagram. Of course, you will have to follow Tetris rules to the letter.
You can indeed turn the shape in the direction you want, while respecting its original shape. The pieces can not remain alone in the void, but when they touch another piece they are stuck. You can not go through another, but you can make them "slip" if that's possible.
The goal of the game is to make complete lines. The bigger you make (up to four lines at a time), the more points you will earn. Each time a line is closed, you check a location on the scale according to its size. If you reach certain areas, you will also have bonus points.
It's that simple. A real Tetris, pure and hard. The game ends for a player as soon as one of their pieces goes beyond their page. Others can continue to play until the same thing happens to them.
A specific solo version exists. In this version, you only play with two dice. You can also place a die on the “Hold” box of your sheet. It's a way of "saving" a die and being able to reuse it later. But in the meantime, you will only play with one die.
Of the four, this is clearly my favorite. Simple, fun, fluid, fast, clever ...
The game offers us the joys of a Tetris in the form of a game of die. We found all the subtleties (apart from the augmenting speed) and the cunning of this mechanism.
Young and old can understand the game quickly and all rapidly take pleasure.
The difficulty comes from the choice made by your opponent and there, we can try to trap the other in this way while trying to save yourself. The satisfaction of linking the four lines while the others accumulate holes is second to none (and also denotes that Tetris is like cycling, it is not forgotten).
To be honest with you when this idea came up, I was not particularly excited. Perhaps because of the profusion of games of this type lately. Now, my point of view has changed.
Even though I like Roll & Write, there is really something to eat and drink in this style of play. Few are really good to play.
After trying these four demo versions, I must say that I am very pleasantly surprised. Beyond the games themselves, I take my hat off to Phil and his team. Until now, they have been able to offer game experiences that are very different from one copy to another. We have the same game materials but the sensations are totally different. This tell us good for tits future, and we hope that the trend will continue.
It is planned to send 50 sheets for each game. For some, it seems a lot, for others like Dice Quest it can quickly be too little.
In any case, congratulations to both editors for this risk. The four games tried, as you can see, are really nice and pleasant (even if they are not all at the same level). We feel that the passion of the 80s and thematic respect guided the authors. And that, I can only applaud with both hands.
A year of Roll & Write is a fun experience, which if it continues on its way, is likely to make a lot of people talk and want to be part of continuity. Casually, it's gone. The joy of surprise every month, and the pleasure of trying it make you want to abandon yourself. Whether alone or with others, the Roll & Write is always something pleasant. Especially since it is easily transportable (why not a little box as a gift?) And playable everywhere.
Remember, this is happening on Ulule and it's from October 21st to November 1st. In addition, the price announced is far from exorbitant. To watch very closely. If you are a fan of this type of games, it would be a shame to miss out. Nothing but the experience of seeing totally different games with the same material every month at home. In any case, I would not fail to check it out.
players 1-5 90 minute ages 16+ language dependent: yes
Written by Arnauld
50 clues is a game of investigation by Jeppe Norsker, using as a model the great mode of the moment: the escape game. The name of this collection, 50 clues, poses the genre since Clue in English relates to Cluedo (remember this game of inquiry that rocked your childhood and Colonel Mustard). In order to reveal the different events occurring in 50 clues, the players use an application. Not really an application, but a website (https://50clues.com/index.php/en ) on which to connect the scenario to be able to investigate. It’s essential, but that does not take precedence over the game.
The rules of 50 clues are simple and is played on two playing cards. We begin an investigation with a card indicating the objective of the current plot. Each scenario box contains 54 numbered cards on their backs. Different interactions can be found in the deck of cards to reveal them. There are three ways to reveal new cards based on the progress of the scenario.
1. Some cards indicate a number (sometimes a bit difficult to see); you can then look for the corresponding card in the deck to put it into play.
2. Otherwise numbers may appear on a black or red background. The figures on a black background must be entered in the game application. It will then announce what happens in terms of game, an upheaval in the narrative arc, making the most often cases to bring new cards into play.
3. The numbers on a red background must be associated with another number on a red background. This combination of numbers will also trigger a progression of the investigation and the referral to a new card, and thus a new puzzle.
The game is structured in a succession of riddles to solve, with variable difficulties. While some seem really obvious, many others are really complicated and will require a lot of thought to overcome. Compared to other games enigma games of the genre, 50 clues brings a narrative side not uninteresting, in the sense that it tells a story, with the meeting of certain characters and sometimes provides slight interaction with them. An interaction that feels cold and is usually limited to associating a person with an object just to draw a new card with a few bits of dialogues on it.
On the level of difficulty, in case of really hard puzzles or being stuck, a help button is available in the application. Using it will give a simple clue at first. If you are still stuck, you can use it for a second and third last time, each time recovering a clue of more and more importance. Using this hint button will lower your rating. By interacting with the application, each resolute puzzle will give you a rating, in the form of a percentage, as soon as it is resolved. The use of the clues will simply decrease this rating; the resolution time will be the second factor of this score.
Rest assured, this system is not penalizing, it is quite possible to solve a complete investigation by taking all your time and abusing clues. The result will be the same, but in a fashion less glorious.
I will not go into the story itself, just tell you about the starting plot of the trilogy. You are Maria, a mother locked in a psychiatric hospital, who must find her son before Leopold. This former Tsar goes from body to body in order to survive through time, while plotting black plans of the destruction of the world. Well, as much to say it, the starting scenario is not very original and can sometimes even touch simplistic.
Let's go to the illustrations, from the author of the game. They are of a rather sober style. The tones are very greyish with few colors. Only red appears from time to time, giving everything a very dark, adult and sometimes even violent feel. The game not for those younger than 16 as some scenes can really be disturbing
The game comes in a trilogy of three boxes, telling the difficult start for our heroine Maria, and going to preparation for the final confrontation. Each scenario consists of a pack of 54 cards, and has a very variable life span depending on the players; it is easy to spend a good hour and a half for the shortest scenario. It is easy to " save " a game, since it is enough to put aside the cards in your possession and pick them up as soon as you want to continue the story. On the other hand, it is necessary to keep your session of game open game on the game site, under penalty of having to identify your game box again because each box has a game code, usable 30 times. So even if you can finish the game after several plays, pass it to friends, it is better not to have fun “burning” through these connections because I feel that the game then becomes obsolete.
Technical note 7/10 A game with a very uniform graphic style, sober, almost dull, lending the game a dark and adult atmosphere. The enigmas are linked with levels of difficulty that alternate, not giving the feeling of blockage that can sometimes be felt on other escape game. The rules are very simple and the cards are large for good readability. Scenically, everything is held with a mix of detective story, fantasy at the limit of horror. My score BGG 7/10 (Good surprise for a type of game that I do not usually play) I was surprised and taken by the game and want to go further in the adventure. By cons, the game aid is double-edged (especially for me); you can sometimes abuse it to go too fast and finish the game faster than you should. Its use may not have enough consequences. The limit of use of the application really annoys me, I do not like the idea that a game can become unusable.
Combined rating of 7/10 And now, it's up to you to play ...