- Fun factor – 4/10
- Replay value – 5/10
- Components – 9/10
- Learning Curve – 4/10
Fun Factor: I have wanted to try this game out for quite a while and finally having gotten to play it I was pretty disappointed in it. There are several systems in this game that could have been great if they would have been further developed into something more. Sadly this game does not deliver any depth of strategy or idea, it’s all on the surface.
I am a definite fan of dice as workers and so this game had that as an intriguing idea but sadly it simply went with “higher is better” expect in one exact situation. The idea that you want your people to be smart but not too smart (higher numbered dice are “smarter” workers) was a fun concept that was fumbled here. There is a track at the top and you add your total dice to the number on the track, if too high you lose a worker. But this track has no other reason for existing. I had assumed that you would add the number on the track to your dice making them “smarter” but carrying the risk of losing a worker. This did not happen, it’s just a penalty track. I think this is a good example of the entire game, there are so many systems and chunks of the board dedicated to a single concept when it feels like they should offer and handle more than that.
Replay Value: Not much of replay value here. You get some randomly drawn cards at the beginning of the game and that’s about it for changing this game. Everything else is just going to be “did I roll as good this game as last game”. There aren’t really any different strategies that I saw at play and no real way to build into anything so you just want the highest numbers as often as possible to get the best/most parts.
Components: Here’s the biggest upside for this game, every component is amazing! All the wooden pieces are carved to match what they are representing and its really nice to look at. I am a big fan of the digger meeple, he looks awesome. The box is also large enough to support good organization methods which is a good thing.
Learning Curve: I ended up reading through the rulebook here several times because some things in this game just don’t work the way they look like they would work just looking at the pieces or sections of the board. The above mentioned worker intelligence is a good example of this. We also ended up having to go ask another guy at the store we played at, who had previously played the game, how to do some parts because it just wasn’t clear at all.
Verdict: I really wanted to like this game, I loved the idea that you wanted smart workers but had to balance how smart they were but it just did not pan out. I found that there wasn’t much strategy to be had in this game. By the end it felt like the role of the dice ruled everything. I can’t recommend this one at all. If you are looking for something with these ideas I recommend Castles of Burgundy.