Sunday, May 19, 2013

Island Fortress - if Ubongo and Tetris had a baby?

Great Wall of China would have been a better theme
So Jon brought over Island Fortress and 4 of us had a go at it. Its a role selection light-medium game where players are trying to build parts of a fortress, trying to meet objectives (by building parts of the fortress in a certain configuration) and scoring points. Player with the most points at the end of the game (including end game scoring) will win the game.

There are about 5 roles in the game (each player has the same set of cards) and each role has 2 or 3 sub actions which you can take. At the start of each round, players will bid for first player token.  Players then get income. Then in player order, players will play a role card from their hand and that will be the end of a round.
It feels like a game of ubongo (due to the way you are trying to achieve objective cards) and tetris (making sure the lower levels are built before you can build higher levels). The interesting thing was that Jon won the game without completing a single objective cards. Not that he did not try but because he was often screwed due to the difficulty of the cards he had gotten as well as the close proximity of the other players. Art wise it is pretty ok, the score board had little touches which were excellent. The choice of resources is questionable and may lead to a detraction from the theme. For example, why is Jade used? Knowing that this was a remake of an older game with a theme of the Great Wall of china, it feels as if the Jade resource was left in accidentally. Also, labourers and prisoners. Why are they related and how come 2 labourers can be changed into 6 prisoners?
So there seems to be something missing from the game that makes us really like it. As of now, its OK (meaning average) for me. Perhaps more plays may make this more fun but as of now, its a Try before you buy.

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