A somewhat abbreviated version today, as I wasn't feeling great and only stuck around for one game.
We got to the cafe, and were faced with a first. There were absolutely no tables available. In more than 2 years of playing there, this had never happened. Luckily, the girl behind the counter knows us, and hooked us up, but there was still some delay in the beginning.
We ended up playing Around the World in 80 Days, a game that seeks to recreate the manic voyage of Phineas Phogg. The idea is that each round 6 cards are placed out, and depending on which card you choose, you also take a corresponding action. The card drafting is the most interesting part of the game.
You play travel cards to move around the world to the various cities. The first & last person to reach any city gain small bonuses. Each travel card has a value, and the total value of the cards is how many days that leg of the trip takes.
One thing I like about the game is the score. It is kept in days, and the player to arrive in London with the fewest days at the end is the winner. Alas, that is one of the few things I like about the game. I thought it was sort of dull, and really did not offer many interesting choices. I never felt like I was making a critical choice that would decide the game.
I think the game makes a few bad design decisions, including the negative event cards. The negative event cards force everyone in the game to discard all their other event cards, which is a pain. There is no point in holding on to the cards, because a Storm will come up and get rid of them sooner or later. That robs the game of a little strategy. You almost always play event cards when you get them instead of saving them for a more appropriate time. Another poor decision is the set route. There is only one way through the race, so we are all following the same course. I would have enjoyed an opportunity to take a riskier travel option, with a higher potential reward.
One place I could see this game doing well is playing with kids. The mechanics are slightly complex, but not that bad and it would be a nice introduction to many of the elements of more advanced games (card-drafting, hand management, etc..) The game is also nicely produced with pleasant graphics and solid bits (although the cards are a little small for proper shuffling..)
Still, not a game I need to play any time soon. Had I been feeling better, it looks like much better games were about to be played. Oh well, next time!
Last 5 posts by Ezra
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