Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
I loved Vinhos, so I was very interested in this game, simply based on that fact. I didn't actually look in to the game all that much though, I was confident I would be happy to own a copy.
First let me say something about the artwork. It's very nice and artistic, but not very functional. Some things could have been a lot clearer. For instance: the types of power plants you can build in a continent, could have been clearer. Now those icons kind of blend in with the summit ones. Small things like that make this game a bit harder to play than they should.
Now on to the gameplay itself. The rule explanation was quite long and there seemed to be quite a lot of smaller rules and details, but once we got playing, everything became clear quite fast and gameplay is quite straightforward.
This is a game you need to play more than once though. In your first game you can't expect to do well, it's simply too hard to get a good grasp on things right away. At times this was quite frustrating as I knew what I had done wrong in the previous round, and I knew what to do about it in my next game, but getting out of the hole I had gotten myself in to was hard. So it can be unforgiving.
But I liked the challenge this game offered and I think the design is really solid. I look forward to playing this again soon.
Initial rating: 7.5
This was one of my first buys at the show. I trust Doug Garrets taste, and he was raving about this, so I knew I would at least like it enough to own.
The rules are simple, the graphic design is clear, and gamplay is straightforward.
I must say that this is a very solid game in all aspects. I don't think it's the best one to come out of this years batch, but it's certainly up there with the better ones, and, as of today, it was one of the most enjoyable ones to play.
Before starting the game I was a bit afraid keeping track of what tiles influence which ones would lead to many calculation errors, but it turned out that was not a problem in our game.
Initial rating: 8
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
A board with gears from the company that brought us gems like Shipyard? On the list!
Basic gameplay is very straightforward: place workers and pay for them, or take workers back and perform the actions they are standing next to. Of course the whole gear mechanism needs some planning, but that's what makes this game so unique.
It seemed a bit like a gimmick, but they have managed to make a rock solid game out of this gimmick, so once again CGE shows that they are not only capable of delivering original games but also combine that with great products.
I must say that timing is very important in this game, and that can be a bit frustrating. But the challanges this game offers are very exciting.
Initial rating: 7.5