Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's A Small World, And That's A Good Thing.

Ever felt like Risk took too long? Yeah, me neither... How about this? Ever played Risk with whiny people with short attention spans who thought that it took to long? Yeah, me too. Well, Small World might be a good comprimse.

The biggest problem that I have had with a lot of the strategy games, is that in the beginning they are just too complicated to explain to casual gamers. The last time I tried to teach someone Race for the Galaxy their head exploded. Have you ever tried to get exploded head out of your carpet? It's not easy. With Small World I can happily report there will be no cranial splatter. The concept is easy and fun, yet still maintain just enough strategy to keep those of us who enjoy that kind of thing happy.

The premise is this. You get to pick one of 14 fantasy races (orcs, elves, vampires, honest politicians, etc) who happen to be trying to settle a very small continent. That mithical race will also be paired (randomly) with one special power that will help you out. You and the other 1-5 people are trying to capture territory by placing 2 tokens +1 for every piece of cardboard that exist on that space. So if the space is empty, put down 2 tokens and you've successfully capture the territory. Is there a mountain token on the space, then it will cost you 3 tokens. Somone else have 2 of their tokens on that space you want? You'll need 4. You get the idea. At the end of your turn, you count the number of territories you own and collect your points.

The strategy comes when you've stretched yourself too thin, and start to run out of tokens. At this point you can put your race into decline, removing all but one token from each territory you own, and flipping the remaining tokens over. But the game isn't over for you. Now you get to choose a new race, to start the process all over again. After 8 complete rounds, the person with the most victory points wins.

This is the short of it, and by no means the long of it. I like this game. I like it in the same way I liked Dominion, Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne. They are quick games to play, easy to explain, but have enough variety and strategy that keep me coming back time and time again.


Kelli said...

You're right... my brain didn't explode. It's oozing a little, but nothing a wet wipe can't handle. Miss ya.

Lostone said...

Yayyyyy! Reviews! (Sorry about the combustible brain matter though...)

......mmmmmm, brain matter....