Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
I've played a good number of Van Moorsel's games of the last years. Most of them work quite well and have nice components, but gameplay rarely gets my juices flowing.
This game has some really great components, with 5 different types of food (a totally overproduced type of currency!) and the player pieces. One component left me speechless though: the pieces that you keep to indicate your color. These look like plastic leaked out of some machine, and they scraped the drops off of the ground and decided to use these things as game components. But the rest is very, very nice.
The game is quite abstract and very straightforward. It's kind of cool that you team up with an other player and can plan on who should get which resources. But it's quite one-dimentional and will probably get very samey after a couple of plays. It's not like there's all kinds of different strategies to try out.
It works, but it's not special or spectacular, except for those pieces of course!
Initial rating: 6.5
This game got quite some buzz going at Spiel as it sold out quickly. I didn't get a copy, but a good friend did.
There's quite a bit of wood and cardboard in the box, which justifies the higher price point, I guess. Everything is of excellent German quality, all though I would have really preferred them to use more thematic shapes for the different building types. And custom ones - we get some standard meeples, standard Catan houses and churches and standard cubes. But that's a minor complaint. I guess we've been spoiled in that department in the last couple of years
The rule explanation wasn't short, but the game play is quite straightforward and downtime isn't too bad of an issue - at least not in my group, even when playing with 5.
I really liked how this game seems to offer different strategies, and I look forward to playing this again soon. I wouldn't mind owning a copy.
Initial rating: 7.5
I knew very little about this game before playing, but a group at an other table seemed to have a great time playing this, so that increased my hopes.
I must say that this is one of the more original co-operative games I've played to date.
I'm not sure we played strictly by the rules. We might have been a bit too clear on which cards we thought the card holder should play next, but even then we ended up with only 17 points. But most of all we had a good time and there was laughing going on quite a bit.
I'd have to play again to be sure of how much I like this, but I did enjoy this first play.
Initial rating: 7