Archive for the 'Dakota' Category

Reviews of New Releases – 7 March 2011

Posted by James (admin) on 4th March 2011

Below are links to reviews of games that will be released in shops next week (in the UK):

Tikal II 

Tikal II
Reviewed: 29 Nov 2010


Dakota cover
Reviewed: 14 Nov 2010

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Review: Dakota

Posted by James (admin) on 14th November 2010

Dakota is an area-control game of settlers and natives in the Wild West.  The game mechanics are simple but their combination creates a very clever game which forces players to co-operate with their opponents in uneasy alliances.  At the start of the game, each player secretly chooses if they will play as a settler or as a native.  Any combination is acceptable so long as all players aren’t on the same side.  Each player starts with 3 pawns (representing their natives or settlers).  Depending upon the number of players on each side, some neutral native and settler pawns are also placed each round ensuring there are equal total numbers of native and settler pawns.  There are always at least 4 neutral pawns of each side.

During the game, players will gain resources and they can use these resources to gain extra or stronger pawns, plus they can be used to build buildings/totem poles and gain equipment which give the player extra abilities as well as score victory points (VPs).  Resources can also be sold for cash which can buy VPs too.  The game ends after a fixed number of rounds and the player with most VPs wins.  This may all sound fairly straight-forwards; however, it’s the area control part of the game which gives Dakota its identity and great gameplay. Read the rest of this entry »

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On the Radar: Dakota and Olympus

Posted by James (admin) on 26th August 2010

Fifty-seven days to Spiel in Essen and my list of games to check out (ranging from take a look to definitely pre-order) is already up to 44 games.  Two more games definitely stirring my interest are Dakota and Olympus.

Dakota is a game of settlers and natives in the American West.  It caught my attention because players can be settlers or natives in any mix and the the two sides play differently on the same board.  Also, players on the same side may be allied but not a team.  Bruno Faidutti’s write-up was very complimentary and being called the tensest nastiest game just intrigues me more.  The image of the game from Spiel 2009 makes it look quite complex but I’m hoping the 60-90 minutes playing time means it’s not too fiddly as that would limit the people I could play it with.

Olympus is designed by the same guys that created Kingsburg so, for me, that definitely makes it worth a look.  I own the board game of Kingsburg and I played the PC version against the AI a lot so I know it well and like the balance and choices the game offered.  Rather than dice-rolling, Olympus is priest (worker) placement game with difficult choices each turn and no luck involved.  Sounds good, and as it’s from these designers, I’ll definitely check it out.


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