$25.00
$10.00
Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

Terra» Forums » Reviews

Subject: User Review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Shin Yoo
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Terra » Forums » Reviews
User Review
Terra is the newest game from Bruno Faidutti/Days of Wonder. I was very curious about the game because the theme was "save the world" against various problems of our troubled time. How can one make this into a game? I had a chance to play this game recently and decided to find out the answer to my question.

This is a simple game with only a few components. There is a round board with a cartoonistic drawing of the mother earth which serves as a score track. Game itself is composed of only cards. There are two kinds of cards for three types of main crisis(poverty, environment and war) : solution cards and crisis cards.

Solution cards have numbers ranging from 1 to 6. Numbers represent the amount of effort to solce the crisis. Crisis cards have numbers ranging from 10 to 16. Numbers represent the amount of threat.

Every player starts the game with given number of cards. In your turn, you draw a card from the draw stack. If it's a solution card, you can keep it. If it's a crisis card, you must open the card to other players and try to solve the crisis. Starting from you, everyone can decide whether he wants put down a solution card with the same color as the crisis card, or not. If the sum of all the solution cards are equal or greater than the crisis threat level, you have solved the crisis. But if there is not enough cards put down, the crisis becomes a full-blown crisis. It goes beside the score board.

If you have solved the crisis, points are given out. The first player who has put down a card, and the player tho has put down the greatest amount of help each get 3 points.

After drawing a card from the stack, you now can play some cards from your hand. First, you can work for the common good : you can play one card to each full-blown crisis. If you plat the last card to solve the full-blown crisis, you get 5 points. After this, you may put down some cards for your own good. If you make a set of three cards(straight or same number), you get the sum of the numbers of the cards when the game is over. But remember, you must play at least one card for the common good to lay down sets for yourself.

Still this will not make sense if there was not this rule : there can be a game where everyone loses. As soon as there are seven full-blown crisis, game is over and everyone loses. Four of same type crisis ends the game too, with the victory to no one. Also, there is a small picture of continents on the crisis cards. If three crisis happen in the same continent, again everyone loses. On the other hand, if you make it through all the cards in the draw deck, game is over and the players reveal their personal sets they had put down during the play. Add this points to your existing score, and the player with the highest score wins the game.

This is how the game works. Now, some of the players who have played with me thought the theme was silly. Granted, the only reason that the players must help each other comes from the theme : save the world. Otherwise, a game which is both competition and cooperation will make little sense I think. From the strict gamers' view, this game can be kinda silly. And I agree that it doesn't feel much like a Bruno Faidutti game, as my fellow gamer Tom pointed out sharply.

But the theme put aside, this game has some virtues. I know your game purists will rage, but this game can have some educational effects to little kids. It can be used to illustrate some examples of the cases where you must help each other. Viewed from this way, the game has warm and beautiful graphics which is perfect for the kids, and it is easy to teach and play too. The fact that this game was commissioned by UNESCO and NGO organizations, intensifies this belief too. And Days of Wonder is donating some of their profit from this game(what can go wrong here?). Overall, I think this game was produced more as a way of informing people, not entirely as a boardgame. It's a little like those museum games, which are boring but supposed to be educational. And no doubt Bruno did a better job than those
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ananda Gupta
United States
Santa Monica
California
flag msg tools
Re:User Review
This sounds a lot like the old "Red Empire" game from GDW, which was a card game in which players controlled leaders from three factions of the Soviet Union (Politburo, KGB, army) and had to deal with crises while feathering their own nests.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Alden
United States
Dallas
Texas
flag msg tools
admin
Aldie's Full of Love!
mbmbmbmbmb
Re:User Review
ntrolls (#26897),

Our group played this 3 times as a 4 player. The system beat us down each time. We figured it was our "unfriendly" playing style showing through. Anyone else experience this?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Re:User Review
Aldie (#27014),

The Days of Wonder folks say that serious gamers have a much harder time with the game than familes or casual gamers.

Shannon
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
bruno faidutti
France
PARIS
flag msg tools
designer
Re:User Review
Most of the tests were made with four players, and we save the earth here in more or less half of our games. I admit it can be difficult with three players, but with four, I'm sure you can do it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cliff Fuller
United States
Brooklyn
NY
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re:User Review
ntrolls (#26897),

I have Terra and have wondered if it's a better experience with 5-6 players. I played with four players, and this scenario occurred enough times to warrant my attention.

Player 1 = draws a 16 crisis card and passes (i.e. does not use a solution card).
Player 2 = passes
Player 3 = knows that the highest solution card value is 6, and that the crisis will not be solved even if he plays it and player #4 also plays a 6 card, so he passes.
Player 4 = passes

Now... am I misinterpreting the rules? If solution cards in the impending crisis do not equal or exceed the crisis number, then are all played solution cards "discarded" before the crisis goes to the middle of the table as a full-blown crisis? Or do those solution values stay with the crisis in the middle of the table?

Forgive my ranting; I'm at work and not with the game. It's possible I played it incorrectly.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
bruno faidutti
France
PARIS
flag msg tools
designer
Re:User Review
You're right, they are indeed discarded. That's the whole point in solving impending crisis "in the egg" like we say in french - you must allow other players to score points with you if you want to be followed, and if you're too greedy, you lose your cards.

A few hints :

• With four players, better let the 16 points crisis get full blown, and concentrate on the lighter ones.

• Never start trying to solve an impending crisis with a 6, especially if it's worth more than 12 - this means 6 points for you if it's solved, it's very unlikely other players will follow you. Even if one has another 6, he won't play it thinking no third player will join.

• If you play a small card on a full blown crisis to ste a set of cards aside (yes, I know, it's bad), better play it on a low value crisis. Your going for the win, so you have to make the game last till the end, so concentrate on the crisis you have a chance to win.

• Don't hesitate to play a card on a full blown crisis even if you have no card trio to set a aside if you've clearly little chance to make a trio with this cards.

• Better set aside 2-3-4 or 3-4-5 than, say, 4-5-6 or 6-6-6. If you remove 18 points from the game, you secure the victory if the game ends, but you make it almost sure not to end.

All the game is in being greedy, but not too much.

I grant you it can be played as a player's game - meaning, it can be played to win.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C Witcomb
United Kingdom
Chelmsford
Essex, ENGLAND
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re:User Review
ntrolls (#26897),
I've not played this, but a look at the 2004 Newsletter of the Seattle Cosmic Encounter Wiki suggests an interseting way to play.

Every player donates $10 to a "kitty" at the game start. If someone wins, everyone gets their money back (and the winner gets bragging rights / a beer / envy of fellow gamers). If noone wins and the Earth is destroyed, the money is given to charity.

This encourages cooperation in you viscious gamer types (LOL)!

Thanks to Hale-Evans!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger McKay
Canada
Bedford
Nova Scotia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re:User Review
faidutti (#27314),

This sounds like a fascinating (and uplifting) premise for a game. I commend you for designing it. The 'serious' gamers will have to reign in their selfish desires in order to bring the game to a satisfactory conclusion. The combination of selfish and co-operative goals strikes me as a fine metaphor for modern economic and political practices.

Like some other games, I think this one can teach us much about the characters of the people we game with.

It also sounds like a much better game for children than the 'screw everyone else' games like Monopoly. It's never to early to let children know that it's important to work together with others to achieve common goals.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Martin
Canada
Mississauga
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re:User Review
Played this game for the first time, with 3 players, and found it both entertaining and as well, the world was saved (this point seems important based on earlier posts here). I managed to win quite handily basically by being greedy but not too greedy as Mr. Faidutti suggests. To sum up then, good simple game that also works well with 3 players.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.