23-Oct-2008All month

After a bit of wandering, exploring, and balking at the queue for the Lookout Games stall, we sat down to play our first game of the show.

There had been a lot of hype about this game prior to its release. This had made me wary of shilling, but curious to try it. Early descriptions suggested that its basic mechanic was a bit different to anything out there. In these days of seeing the same mechanism spreading from game to game like a cardboard based life form Iím always on the lookout for something different.

I guess anybody reading this is unlikely to have avoided the hype and so will probably be familiar with the basic idea. So Iíll forgo a detailed description. The basic idea is to use cards in your hand to obtain more cards. These all go to your discard deck, which is reshuffled to form a new draw deck when your current deck runs out. The ultimate aim is to add as many victory point cards into your deck as possible by the end of the game. But those cards are useless until the end. In fact theyíre worse than useless as they get in the way of the useful cards which you need to get hold of more victory point cards.

The obvious question is does it live up to the hype? In my opinion, no. What ever does? But I certainly thought it a good game and the deck building mechanism is fresh and clever. It was considered by many to be the best game of the show. I know I didnít play any better.

I do have a couple of reservations though.

First, there is very little interaction between players. I believe that only three of the twenty five card sets impact other players. We used two of them in the two games we played; neither was a big deal. I donít really care that you canít easily influence anybody else. The issue is more that everybody elseís turn is pretty much just something which stops you from getting on with your next one. The main thing youíre interested in during an opponents turn is whether theyíre picking up VP cards. That doesnít take a great deal of attention. Iíd probably prefer everybody taking their turns simultaneously, which may actually be a possibility with most of the cards.

Second, I donít know how much long term appeal there will be in this game. It strikes me as the sort which will get a lot of play in the short term, then people will burn out on it. Extra expansions will no doubt be produced but I donít think thatís really the point. Still, itís not as if we play any game hundreds of times so thatís unlikely to be much of a loss.
Scores: Boog 36, Paul 32, Oggie 30, Andy 25
Ratings: Boog 8, Paul 8, Oggie 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Boog