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Subject: More Exciting Than Organizing the Medicine Cabinet rss

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Matt Drake
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Remember when you were a kid, and you used to play pretend? When you would pretend to balance your checkbook, or get a dead-end job in an office, or refinance your house? Yeah, me too. And I think my favorite game was when I used to pretend I was a guy who bought and sold silk from the back of an elephant.

Wait, you didn't play that one? Man, I loved that. I would spend hours just pretending to buy some silk in one place, take it to another place, and sell it. It was so thrilling to get clients and pay tolls and try to get enough to build a big house. Ah, good times.

Finally someone has recreated my childhood dream. Bombay is all about riding an elephant all over India, buying silk in one place and then selling it in another place. It's really great, too, because nothing bad can happen to you outside of paying another player if you have to go through his palace to get to your next client. No fighting, no stealing, none of that awful garbage that happens in those horrible games like Descent or HeroScape. Nobody gets hurt! Everybody gets rich! What a great fantasy world.

See, there are these markets all over the map, and every market sells a different color fabric. And then there are cities, and they'll buy silk, but they pay more for one color than another. So you'll be able to walk your elephant up a road, and then buy silk! Well, OK, you probably won't be able to buy the silk this turn, because you only get to do a few things every turn, so you may have to wait until next turn, but then you can buy silk!

After you buy some silk, you can go to a city, and at the city, you can sell some silk. It's every boy's dream come true. You could get money! You might even get a client! Man, it's like they saw into my childhood and found the most exciting thing from my youth.

You can also trade some of that silk and spend a little cash and put up a palace, if you're at a place where nobody else has put up a palace. That's cool, because then you can totally charge tolls! When I was a kid, all I ever wanted to do was build a palace and collect tolls. That, and I wanted to haul silk all over the place with an elephant.

As the game progresses, you almost can't help but get richer. You'll sell your silk, and collect your tolls, and after everyone gets to be first player, the game will end. Now you can compare your pile of money to the piles of money that other people have. This is so much better than some crass game where you count kills or compare victory objectives. In this one, there's none of that scary punching or stabbing. Just honest-to-goodness mercantile work. Why, I don't think it could be any better if it were a game about stocking the back room at Bed, Bath and Beyond!

Now, some of you readers may be the kind of sick individuals who get a kick out of playing games where you kill people. That's just wrong. You should never kill people. You should sell them silk. That's way cooler, and nobody has to get hurt. Plus you might be able to make a very nice billowy dress shirt.

But I have good news for you violent types - Bombay isn't just about the most exciting thing ever, it's also a good game. If you can get past your blood-crazed tendencies and just enjoy the way the game works, it's full of opportunities for tough decisions, long-term strategies and quick deals. No, it doesn't have any of your precious gunfire, but it is a well-designed game with several different paths to success. Plus, even with five people, it goes pretty fast. Turns go by before you know it, especially if you're not that jackass at the table who doesn't plan his turn until he has to start moving, and then spends five minutes calculating permutations while the rest of you recharge the batteries in your cattle prods to wake him up and make him do something, already.

The art is also a lot of fun. It may not have robots or monsters, but it's as pretty as you would expect from Asmodee. And the elephants are ludicrously cool - you can actually stick two bales of silk (well, these are actually little wooden cubes, but they're colorful like silk) into the baskets on their backs. The little palaces are pretty darn sweet, too.

So if you like to play a game where people die, you still might enjoy Bombay. It is a good game, regardless of whether you spent more time as a kid pretending to put on power armor and blast space orks, or if you lived for those quiet afternoons when you could become a middle-management accountant, if just for an afternoon.

Summary

Pros:
Very solid economic game
Super kick-ass plastic pieces
Very nice art
Fast, even considering all the options you have

Cons:
This theme is nearly as boring as one where you collect tea
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tom moughan
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ahh....I love the smell of a stack of sketchily placed animals in the morning!
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Correction: Ystari game, not Asmodee.

I thought this was going to be a negative review riddled with sacrasm..I was actually surprised I got to the end and you generally liked it. In Bombay, I worry there is not enough meat to hold my interest.
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Mark Slater
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lengthtoavoid wrote:
Correction: Ystari game, not Asmodee.

I thought this was going to be a negative review riddled with sacrasm..I was actually surprised I got to the end and you generally liked it. In Bombay, I worry there is not enough meat to hold my interest.


What are you talking about, theres loads of meat on an elephant!
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Joel Weeks
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its a light game for sure. i think Ystari is trying to hit the "just right" heaviness for an SDJ nomination or win. Bombay could do it.

And Bombay makes a nice intro game for new gamers as well. Gets them familiar with quite a few aspects of heavier games: multiple paths to victory, scoring victory points, etc.
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John Bandettini
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That one not so much
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I played it a few weeks ago and I thought it was quite fun. I was not exactly rushing out to buy it, but if the opportunity comes up to play it again I will not object.
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Jens Alfke
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Waste of a review. The cheap sarcasm got old after a few sentences, then you reversed yourself and briefly described the actual game positively (but with way too little detail.)

If you think nonviolent games are for pussies, then don't play them, or god forbid, try to review them. I can only imagine what a hash you'd make of Bohnanza...
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Doobermite
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Awesome review that was fun to read. If I hadn't already purchased the game, your review would have made me go out and buy it.
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Matthew Mesina
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Thanks, Matt, for a review of a game that has so few of them. Bombay looks good to me, but I'm still not certain I want to buy it. Basically, all the comments regarding it's "lack of meat" make me wonder if it has any real long-term replayability.

The people I game with like light to medium light weight games, so it does remain on my radar.

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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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Matt - Is Jens Right???

Can you make hash out of board games, that would rock, I mean for a stoner you would be like a Super Hero or something - I mean you know for those stoner types out there, At least I think so, I have no clue I have only read about these stoner types in books I tell ya ( but hey if it is true PM and I will be over tomorrow with all the board games I can fit in a rental car I tell ya - Heck I will hit up Thrift stores on the way over - well I mean for some of my friend that is )

Great review as always, hard to imagine people have a problem with a funny review - you would think people would enjoy having a good time and laughing - but I guess to each is own.

So, you mean we can't just kill the other guys elephant and steal all the silk on it?? Sounds like this game needs some serious house rules - anyone wanna trade silk for an Elephant Gun?
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Matt Drake
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Sadly, Hendal, Jens is not talking about narcotics. He is referring to the breakfast meal usually created using potatoes. However, Jens is wrong about Bohnanza - it makes a delicious plate of hash browns. It doesn't provide a very large meal, but for its size, it is surprisingly satisfying.

Bombay, by comparison, makes a much weaker hash. It's a little bland, and doesn't fill you up as well, but it does have the benefit of being a little easier on the palate. You'll have a much easier time feeding Bombay hash browns to people who don't usually eat much in the way of food made out of games.

In general, there are lots of games that make a lovely meal, though not all of them should be made into breakfast. Android hash, for instance, is best served as a midday meal when your guests have plenty of time - they may have to take naps between courses, and the taste blends can seem confusing to the tongue. It may take several meals before they figure out how best to work around the seemingly unnecessary spices in Android hash browns.

But whatever you do, you must not try to make hash browns out of The Suicide Bomber card game. While it is satisfying, with a light texture, something in the ink makes the majority of people who even smell Suicide Bomber hash browns violently ill.

Don't worry too much about Jens, though. He usually skips breakfast - an unfortunate side effect of too many people peeing in his Wheaties.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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Well I am glad you cleared that up, I have to go give back a bunch of my friends games and tell them that bad news " Sorry Bro, he can not make your backgammon board into Hash, you think your heartbroken I got 20 Heroscape Master sets I was ready to have turned into Hash - Now you know I am just kidding since I would never willing part with my Heroscape plasti-crack for gold, drugs, or even super models for the night - well OK I could give up some of the collection for a super model for the night - think about it, How fricking cool would it be to say " Yea I traded my game for a super model for the night and man it was just not worth it - I beat her at every board game we played, I have no clue why the word super in used for non-gamers? laugh )

Now that I think about it - how can you make a game with word
BOMB
in it and not have any violence at all - That ain't right I tell you. Maybe we could bomb the elephants, then it would be a game worth playing I tell you, yea see we bomb the elephants and the palaces and the first person to kill everything everywhere in the entire universe wins!
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Matt Drake
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lengthtoavoid wrote:
Correction: Ystari game, not Asmodee.

Further correction: Ystari game produced and distributed to the US through Asmodee, but that doesn't really roll off the tongue, so I shortened it to the current US publisher. Usually Ystari uses Rio Grande or other more Euro-friendly publishers, but this one is an Asmodee game, in much the same way as the current incarnation of Jamaica is an Asmodee game. See also Okko, Formula D and Giants.

http://www.asmodee-us.com/games/strategy/bombay.php

From time to time, I do actually do my homework. Also, I know who sends me games. I kind of keep track.
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Dave Small
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VixenTorGames wrote:
When I was a kid, all I ever wanted to do was build a palace and collect tolls. That, and I wanted to haul silk all over the place with an elephant.


TMI! TMI! Some things are just not meant to be shared! I think I'm going to have nightmares for a week.
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James King
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Unfortunately for the reviewer, since the best of intentions do NOT guarantee the results desired, he may have inadvertently swayed a number of people away from considering "Bombay" as a future game purchase simply because they may well have prejudged his entire review by its title, "More Exciting Than Organizing the Medicine Cabinet," and merely bypassed reading it altogether because of their simple preference not to read negative reviews about a boring game or simply out of disappointment that the game apparently hadn't live up to expectations.

In my opinion, the reviewer's title without any hint of its being a positive review can most readily betray his entire intent in spades since those who infer from it at face value of the title alone that it's a negative review and don't bother to read or even skim it will be none the wiser that it's just the opposite.
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Matt Drake
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Well, in all fairness, the theme is really boring. It's not an exciting game, by any stretch of the imagination. I think it's a well-designed game, if a little light, but heck, Power Grid is more thrilling. Key Harvest is more exciting. So yes, I take your point that I may have overplayed the cleverness in the title, but it's not exactly a complete failure of truth in advertising. This is a really boring theme.
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Leonardo Martino
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VixenTorGames wrote:
Well, in all fairness, the theme is really boring. It's not an exciting game, by any stretch of the imagination. I think it's a well-designed game, if a little light, but heck, Power Grid is more thrilling. Key Harvest is more exciting. So yes, I take your point that I may have overplayed the cleverness in the title, but it's not exactly a complete failure of truth in advertising. This is a really boring theme.


I like the theme A fresh perspective on the pick up and deliver mechanism
Riding an elephant is cool! You should try it!
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James King
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VixenTorGames wrote:
Well, in all fairness, the theme is really boring.

You sound like you wholly ignored what I wrote in my original response and chose merely to try to justify your wrongheaded title. As a memory prompter, I took you to task about the deceptive title of your review ("More Exciting Than Organizing the Medicine Cabinet"). After all, you were *supposed to be* judging the game on its substance, NOT MERELY its aesthetic theme.

Notably, your review title did NOT say "Theme More Exciting Than Organizing The Medicine Cabinet" OR "Great Economic Game But Theme More Exciting Than Organizing The Medicine Cabinet."

And yet, you nonetheless failed to illustrate how the silk-delivering elephants were supposedly a boring theme for an economic game set in India. Clearly for a war game, silk-delivering elephant caravans wouldn't be a satisfactory substitute for war elephants by any stretch of the imagination.

In essence, you majored in the minors and minored in the majors in your critique.


VixenTorGames wrote:
It's not an exciting game, by any stretch of the imagination.

What's exciting for an economic game would be substantially different for what's exciting for a war game (which you apparently were hoping "Bombay" would be).


VixenTorGames wrote:
I think it's a well-designed game, if a little light, but heck, "Power Grid" is more thrilling. "Key Harvest" is more exciting. So yes, I take your point that I may have overplayed the cleverness in the title, but it's not exactly a complete failure of truth in advertising.

"Cleverness"??? Uhhh, not hardly! Sheesh! On the contrary, you appear to have judged "Bombay" for what it wasn't rather than in proper context for what it was: an economic family game set on the silk routes of India.


VixenTorGames wrote:
This is a really boring theme.

And yet, I reiterate: Your ill-chosen title, "More Exciting Than Organizing the Medicine Cabinet," doesn't specifically cite the game's theme as boring. Indeed, because it lends itself to be interpretted quite broadly as applying to the entirety of the game itself, your ill-chosen title slights the integrity of the entire game without any qualifiers (as I mentioned above) to clearly and unambiguously denote exactly what one is criticizing and/or taking to task.

And being a fan of "Logistico", a great pick-up-and-deliver game, I myself really doubt your ill-chosen title properly critiqued the game for what it was, an economic game.
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Matt Drake
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Wow. You seem really upset. You spent almost as much space writing a review of the title of my review as I spent writing my review. Maybe I'll just back away from your posts before I start getting hate mail filled with dead pets.
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James King
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VixenTorGames wrote:
Wow. You seem really upset.

Since you so blithely ignored the content of my original post and evasively responded as if you were wanting instead to respond to something else entirely that you only wished I'd said, I felt somewhat patronized by your flippant response.

VixenTorGames wrote:
You spent almost as much space writing a review of the title of my review as I spent writing my review.

And yet, unlike you yourself did with the "Bombay" game, I at least addressed the merits and demerits of your ill-chosen title in both its proper context and content, even going so far as illustrate in no uncertain terms how your wrong-headed title maligns the integrity of the entire game as those who merely read its title without bothering to read your post will wrongfully infer that the game's mechanics lack integrity.

VixenTorGames wrote:
Maybe I'll just back away from your posts before I start getting hate mail filled with dead pets.

Since you didn't even venture to challenge the exact merits of the issues I raised about the shortcomings of your ill-chosen review title, I must therefore accept that last comment of yours above in the complacent spirit it apparently was delivered in: As your indirect indication that you're choosing to stand by that ill-chosen title.

I just hope if you're an aspiring game designer that you'll remember your review title for "Bombay" if/when somebody were to commit the same offense in reviewing one of your future games.
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Leonardo Martino
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Take it easy men, elephants are watching shakesurprise
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Rodney Phelps
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Great review sir, not exactly my cup of tea but it sounds like it would be one I would play if someone brought it along. The review kept me giggling throughout as well so nicely done....

The only thing I didn't like was that title...I almost quit gaming, got divorced, and began a slow spiral down the road of addiction all because of that title
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Jim McMahon
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Lookee what he can do! He wants a job!
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ShreveportLAGamer wrote:
VixenTorGames wrote:
Wow. You seem really upset.

Since you so blithely ignored the content of my original post and evasively responded as if you were wanting instead to respond to something else entirely that you only wished I'd said, I felt somewhat patronized by your flippant response.

VixenTorGames wrote:
You spent almost as much space writing a review of the title of my review as I spent writing my review.

And yet, unlike you yourself did with the "Bombay" game, I at least addressed the merits and demerits of your ill-chosen title in both its proper context and content, even going so far as illustrate in no uncertain terms how your wrong-headed title maligns the integrity of the entire game as those who merely read its title without bothering to read your post will wrongfully infer that the game's mechanics lack integrity.

VixenTorGames wrote:
Maybe I'll just back away from your posts before I start getting hate mail filled with dead pets.

Since you didn't even venture to challenge the exact merits of the issues I raised about the shortcomings of your ill-chosen review title, I must therefore accept that last comment of yours above in the complacent spirit it apparently was delivered in: As your indirect indication that you're choosing to stand by that ill-chosen title.

I just hope if you're an aspiring game designer that you'll remember your review title for "Bombay" if/when somebody were to commit the same offense in reviewing one of your future games.


Holy Term Paper words, Batman!

Jim
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Jerry Hawthorne
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This thread is more exciting than organizing you medicine cabinet.
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Cory Cook
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nobeerblues wrote:
This thread is more exciting than organizing you medicine cabinet.


There's an elephant in my medicine cabinet. Unfortunately, I'm all out of lithium, which I would gladly share with those in need, if I had any...
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Clay Hales
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So basically this is a multi-player, politically correct, board game version of Dopewars, and it's a decent game at that? Doesn't sound too bad. The theme is horrible, but it doesn't sound too bad in spite of the theme.

Criticizing a Matt Drake review for it's title is like not seeing the forest for the trees.
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