Review: Robinson Crusoe

Posted by James (admin) on 2nd November 2012

‘Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island’ is a co-operative game where players are on a desert island and must fight for their survival whilst trying to achieve a goal (depending upon the scenario being played).

Good co-operative games need two very important  components.  First, the players need to be given interesting/difficult choices so they feel they have input and are playing the game, not merely a passenger.  Second, the game must create some  random elements (like events) which aren’t too random that they don’t make sense or are overpowered, but also aren’t too predictable or small that they don’t make any difference.  Back in the 80’s, Games Workshop released a solo-play game called Chainsaw Warrior which I always hold up as an example of how a game where you play against the game can be done badly.  A card deck determined random events but you had little choice and was so random that you could just look through the deck  and see if the card order meant you’s almost certainly win or lose. Read the rest of this entry »

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On the Radar: New Games at Essen 2012: Part 4

Posted by James (admin) on 6th September 2012

More games to watch out for at Spiel.  (I’ve combined all the Spiel games on my radar on my Essen 2012 page.)

Archipelago (Ludically)
This game looks like it has a vast amount of stuff in it – both bits and mechanics.  It’s a giant euro game with lots of simple systems but just loads of them, such as tile placement, exploration, an economic system, worker placement for actions, worker placement for area control, semi-co-op, events, evolution cards, and more!  Add to that each player has a secret card which states one of the ways that the game will end (it ends as soon as one of these is reached, or it may end with all players losing if rebellion takes hold – yep, there’s rebellion too caused by lack of employment, too many taxes, etc.), plus each player’s card shows one of the ways final scoring will earn points.  The core driver of the game though is the worker (discs) placement system to claim the mostly-limited actions each turn.  Oh, and the game has three different lengths that you can choose from.  Definitely looking forwards to this one.
More info on the Ludically site here:

Robinson Crusoe (Portal)
This sounds like an interesting game with players on a desert island.  It’s by the designer of Stronghold so that gets my attention already.  Sounds like a good theme and it’s a co-op game which apparently has a decent AI.  Not many details yet but the designer has just posted a link to an introductory video on their web site which talks about the main elements of gaining food, building a shelter and tools, and exploring the islands and its mysteries (but no details on gameplay mechanics yet).
More info on the Portal web site:

I’m The Boss: The Card Game (Gryphon)
I still have my copy of the original game by Sid Sackson and it’s a great negotiation game if you like humorous screwage.  I’m looking forward to finding out how the card game plays – I don’t think there was ever any real reason for a board in the original that cards couldn’t have provided just as easily; however, a brief look at the rules makes it sound like it’s played quite differently to the original boardgame.
More details and full rules on Gryphon’s Kickstarter page:

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Posted in Archipelago, Board Games, Essen Spiel 12, I'm The Boss, On the Radar, Robinson Crusoe | No Comments »