#092 7 Wonders

While at GenCon we played many different games, one of which was 7 Wonders, a board game where each player takes on the role of a city attempting to build an ancient wonder of the world while still building up their science, military religion and public works.  It’s an interesting game with a fun card swapping mechanic.  Listen in as Terry, Matt and Danny play the game for the first time.

We would love to hear your feedback on the podcast at podcast@goblinbeat.com which we will either answer via email or on our podcast.  If you leave us great reviews on iTunes (which we appreciate greatly) we might read those as well.  Thanks for listening.

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App Review – Outwitters – Multiplayer Strategy/Board Game

The Goblin overlords at the Goblin Beat have been on me to write a review of some apps that are worth playing and since this game is about  creating an army and waging war it was right up their alley.  Looking for a challenging app for your phone or iPad that has a high replay value?? Then take a look at Outwitters from Onemanleft.com.  The app is free to try but will cost you a small amount of $ to buy the full version.  You can spend hours playing the game continuously or just pick it up once a day to take your turns with your opponents, so the time commitment is solely up to you.  What’s it all about you ask?  Think Risk meets Final Fantasy tactics…

The game pits you against an opponent on a hex grid map.  You square off against one another using 1 of 4 races (Fishmen, Robots, Veggiemen, Adorables).  Every race has the same 5 basic troop types and one special class that vary by race.  The players take turns producing new troops, moving their troops, and attacking their enemy.  Each soldier creation, movement, or attack costs you Wits.  You start each round with a set amount of Wits plus extra ones for each Witt square you control.  The 5 troop types vary in how far they can travel each turn, how much damage they can withstand, and how much damage they do with an attack. The various troops also have different attack ranges associated with their attacks.  For example a Scout can move up to 5 tiles per round and do 1 damage, but only has an attack range of 1 and total life of 1, meanwhile a sniper moves 1 tile per round has 1 life, but can do 3 damage up to 3 tiles away.  The object of the game is to either destroy your enemy’s base that has 5 total life, or destroy all of their troops and occupy their spawn points.  If a round ends and they have 0 troops and you are occupying their spawn spaces the game is over.  There are plenty of other nuances to the game about earning extra widgets during a turn by destroying enemies, etc. and using the special classes of each race, but the game is pretty straightforward other than that.

outwitters2

When you first get started with the free version you only have access to one race and the ability to have 5 matches at a time.  There are different options for purchasing the additional races, and the ability to have more games going at once (Up to 20).  The bundle is the best way to go b/c you get access to all races, and you can have up to 20 games going at once.  You may be asking yourself, why would I continue to play this game every day…  Well if you are anything like me then you like to win, dominate your opponents, and essentially be the best.  Outwitters will rank you after your first five matches into different Classes/Leagues, and with each win and loss you earn more points towards your rank and you can see yourself moving up the leaderboards within the different ranks, plus its funny totally destroying a guy’s entire army when he had no idea he was going to lose on his next turn.  The creators of the game also hold month long tournaments for its purchasers of the game, as well as put out updates for the game regularly with new maps, and recently the 4th race.  All of these were free to anyone had purchased the full version of the game.  They are actively keeping the game updated and improving upon it, so you can expect to get your moneies worth once you have the full version of the game.  I travel a lot so I use this game to pass the time in airports and the hotel when I am on the road, and it never lets me down.  Unless I don’t count my Wits correctly and fail to destroy a soldier on my turn just to watch him get healed and massacre my guys the next.  You will definitely come back for more once you try this out, and the best part is that it is free to try out.  You will not be disappointed, because the opponents will always play differently so your strategies need to change for every different battle you are in on every map.  Some players are more aggressive, more defensive minded, or even very methodical in their troop creation and will slow play you into a trap.  Bottom line is it doesn’t get redundant or repetitive!

The Good: Easy to learn, Great Gameplay.  Challenging opponents that you are matched against based on both your ranks, so you won’t get matched against someone who has played for a year.  Different races allow for different playing styles.  Different maps call for different strategies.  You can have multiple games going, so you don’t have to wait on everyone to take their turns constantly.  Time needed to play a few rounds is minimal.  No match is ever the same.  Developers are continuing to support and update the app.  High replay value.

The Bad: 2vs2 matches take way too long to play. The Adorables race and maps are too cheesy/pink.  You need an internet connection to send your turns, so if you don’t have Wi-Fi for the ipad or a cellular service on your device for any reason…aka no offline play.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

 

 

Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island is a cooperative board game for 2-4 players by GameWright where the players take on the role of adventurers trying to retrieve four sacred relics from a mysterious (forbidden!) island before the entire thing sinks into the ocean.  Each adventurer has a special ability that can help out the entire group.  The diver, for instance, can move through one or more adjacent flooded/missing tiles for a single action, making it easier for him to get around in the later stages of the game.  The ‘board’ is created randomly each game by laying out the included tiles.  Each adventurer has a start tile (the tile itself is marked with a pawn the same color as the adventurer) which means that not only is the board random, but your starting location is as well.
Forbidden_Island
Tiles other than the starting tiles and the finish ‘Fool’s Landing’ tile all have a symbol for one of the treasures.  If you land on one of these tiles with four treasure cards of that type (and the tile hasn’t sunk into the abyss) you can claim the associated treasure and once all of the treasure’s are collected everyone heads back to Fool’s Landing to take off in the helicopter and leave the Forbidden Island behind forever!

Of course this is all complicated by the need to trade treasure cards with other players to have someone with enough of a single treasure type  to claim it and by the dreaded rising of the waters.  During each players turn they may take three actions (move, trade, shore up an adjacent section of the island, claim a treasure), draw 2 treasure cards and finally draw Flood cards.  Each Flood card matches one of the island tiles and causes a dry tile to flip over to its flooded side or a flooded tile to sink into the abyss and no longer be reachable.

waters_riseTo make matters worse the treasure pile also contains ‘Waters Rise!’ cards.  These cards cause the water level to rise and more sections of the island to sink each turn, up to a maximum of 5 before the entire island sinks in one fell swoop.

Review

The attractive tin the game comes in claims that this game takes thirty minutes to play, which is about right but the game play is so fast and intense it feels like much less.  Having played this game with multiple groups of players from age 8 and up I have found that it is always fun and exciting.  The pieces are all incredibly well made and the attention to detail on the island tiles is amazing.  I can’t help but imagine a movie version of this game every time I play through it with the main characters using their various strengths to help each other make it through the island only to jump aboard a helicopter at the last second while the last pieces of the island sink around them.

I would recommend this game to pretty much anyone from a hard-core gamer to a casual enthusiast.  The replay value is very high and the cooperative play style does a great job keeping younger kids from getting angry with one another as they do in many other games.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Dungeon! Giveaway!

In the spirit of the fast approaching holidays we here at The Goblin Beat are giving away a free copy of the Dungeon! board game  from Wizards of the Coast.  Dungeon! was originally released in 1975 by TSR and has the distinction of having Gary Gygax as one of the creators.  The game was just re-released earlier this year and now you can have a copy for free!

To win you need to live somewhere in the contiguous 48 states here in the USA and leave a comment below.  You will need to like us on Facebook and/or follow us on twitter  so that we can contact you if you are the winner.  Also make sure we can figure out who you are based on your comment by using the same name you use on Facebook or including your @TwitterName in the comment.

The contest is over on November 10th at Midnight Eastern Time so get your entries in and good luck.  The winner will be chosen at random within 48 hours of the contest ending and notified during the following week.  Don’t forget to have everyone in your gaming group enter for better chances.