Innovation - Board Game Box Shot

Innovation

| Published: 2010

Innovation is a journey through innovations from the stone age through modern times. Each player builds a civilization based on various technologies, ideas, and cultural advancements, all represented by cards. Each of these cards has a unique power which will allow further advancement, point scoring, or even attacking other civilizations. Be careful though, as other civilizations may be able to benefit from your ideas as well!

To win, you must score achievements, which you can attain by amassing points or by meeting certain criteria with the innovations you have built. Plan your civilization well, and outmaneuver your opponents, and with some luck you will achieve victory!

User Reviews (18)

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8
Professional Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Silver Supporter
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
7
125 of 133 gamers found this helpful
“A civilization game of unpredictable craziness!”

Innovation is neat civilization style card game. It took me a while to understand the rules, but once you play a hand, it begins to make sense. I recommend you learn from someone who already knows how to play to make it a lot easier.

In this game, each player is playing technologies to improve their civilization to get to a certain number of achievements to win (points determine winner if number of achievements aren’t made). The technologies are the heart of the game, because they bestow special abilities (called “dogma”) to players that allow you draw more cards, steal cards from other players, make special achievements, and other fun stuff. Also, sometimes “dogma” can be shared with other players based on how much of the same icons opposing players have. This can make one more cautious about exercising the “dogma” on your technologies, because you may benefit your opponent too much.

Gameplay is simple by the fact that you get two actions per turn. You either meld (put a card down), draw, or use a dogma effect from one of your top technology cards. Again, these dogma effects are “rulebreakers” allowing you to do some extra actions along with sometimes allowing your opponent to do the same.

This game is unpredictable, because even if you might be losing, a new card drawn from a supply pile in a new technological age may completely change the game. I’m not sure if there is a sure fire strategic “solution” to this game either, because there are too many combinations. It really makes you play to the very end, because you just don’t know who is going to win.

I like this game better than Race for the Galaxy even though it has icons like Race. The icons in Innovation are a little bit easier to grasp. The interaction in Innovation is a lot more direct than Race for the Galaxy even when players take the same action. Innovation is not as deep a game as some others, because you can’t really develop a long term strategy due to it’s unpredictable nature. It is a more of a “tactical” game where you have to react and play the most beneficial card at the moment.

Definitely a good game for avid gamers and probably social gamers for the unpredictable fun (might cause some laughter and groans). My guess is that most power gamers will gravitate to something more deeper like Race for the Galaxy. The rules may be turn off for casual gamers. For family gamers, there is nothing wrong with this game, you just may have to wait for your kids to get a little older to appreciate it, and depends on your family dynamics.

 
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3
I'm Gettin' the Hang of It
8
100 of 107 gamers found this helpful
“A Hidden Gem”

I passed over this game for a while. I’ve tried a lot of the Asmadi games and haven’t really been that impressed with them. Their games kind of wear thin after a few plays. I did eventually cave after hearing good things about this game and ended up buying it on a whim.

I LOVE this game. It’s main focus is tactics instead of strategy. You kind of deal with the board as comes along and deal with the cards your opponents put out. I won’t be diving much into the rules, but I do want to go over some key points:

Components – This game comes with 100+ cards and each card is unique. They come in 5 different colors and each “age” has 10 cards total [except for age 1]. The cards are decent quality, but they don’t carry a linen finish. I sleeve everything and these work great with the Mayday Green Premium Sleeves. Just make sure you get clear sleeves since the backs play an important role in the game. The cards are fairly bland looking [which is why I skipped over it for a while], but after playing, any more pictures/icons on the card would just clutter it. The game also comes with a handful of achievement cards and 4 player mats that are thin cardboard. They work well enough and do their job just fine.

Gameplay – The game goes until enough achievements are claimed or if the players have to draw an ’11’ and can’t. There are other cards that have alternate win conditions on them which is the 3rd way to win the game. On you’re turn you have 2 actions you can use which include the following: Draw the highest card from the draw pile that you have out [if you have a 6 card out you draw a 6], “meld” a card [place a card down from your hand], use a cards “dogma” [use a cards actions that has been melded], or simply claim an achievement if you have a high enough score total. Pretty simple but each card can do some crazy things with other cards in front of you. I haven’t played this enough to figure out more than a small handful of fun card combinations, but just playing the game you’ll realize their is a lot to dive into. The game flows pretty quickly and you don’t ever feel like there is a lot of downtime.

Replayability – There is a ton of replayabilty in this set. With 100+ cards all unique, you’ve got a lot to learn and a lot to work with in unique and fun combinations. The game feels different every time and each game can be a complete swing of power near the end.

Negatives – This game is a great 2 player game and does scale well up to 4, HOWEVER it does become quite a bit more chaotic the more people you throw into the mix and I personally find this game is best played with just 2. This game is somewhat chaotic and can turn people off. It’s also a very aggressive game since you can demand cards from another player or completely tear apart a players starting area. It does have a luck of the draw kind of feel, but it really isn’t that bad. This game also takes up a lot of table space. The last negative is simply that the cards are kind of bland looking. They work for this game, but it was a deterrence for me for a while. Look past it and enjoy the game for what it truly is.

Overall Impressions – I LOVE this game and I feel like it’s a great item for any gamers collection. This is an extremely fun 2-4 player game that takes about 45 minutes. It is chaotic and aggressive, but it’s not the main focus of the game. Finding synergies with the cards is the main focus of the game and trying to utilize what you have in your tableau the best that you can while occasionally screwing over your opposition. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite games and hopefully it will for you too.

 
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6
I play red
Strategist
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
9
58 of 66 gamers found this helpful
“Civilization in a handy little card game.”

This is a brilliant little card game for 2-4 players. Each technology in the game is ona playing card that is part of a deck from that age (1-10). As you develop your technologies they give you access to different resources which can allow you then to piggyback off of someone else’s technology when they use it. It never plays the same way twice and because of the different ways you layout the cards during the game means that you’re constantly evaluating your situation.

My biggest dislike with the game is a pretty standard one unfortunately. The rules are sometimes hard to follow and can be difficult for even well versed gamers. There are times when it feels like someone can be running away with the game and others can get discouraged, but the beauty of the game is that from one turn to the next technology can change and change the whole dynamics.

Overall, a great cheap fun and interesting game that gets a heart from me :). Check it out if you love civ games, but don’t want to lose an entire day to one.

 
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5
Gamer - Level 4
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Zealot
9
59 of 69 gamers found this helpful
“Amazing game hidden in this little box!”

Innovation is an amazing card game for 2-4 players. The game comes with 110 cards that are divided into 10 ages. The cards represent different ideas and inventions that were created over the ages.

Game Overview
Each card is one of 5 colors, a special ability, and three icons. On a players turn they may take two actions. The available actions are Meld, Draw, Dogma, or Achieve. To meld, the player plays a card, adding it to the matching color stack in front of themselves. The draw action allows players to take a card from the age stack that matches the highest numbered card in front of them. The dogma action lets players use the special ability on one of the top cards of their stacks. In order to use a special ability, the player must either have more of the icon associated with the ability showing on their stacks, or allow the other players with more to use the ability too. Each player gets more and more icons as the game progresses by “splaying” their card stacks, which means to spread the cards out so that 1 or more of the icons on the lower cards are visible.

The achieve action is important as it is one of the ways to win the game. If a player has at least 5 times as many points as the age achievement they want (e.g. 5 points for Age 1, 10 points for Age 2, etc.), then they can take the achievement card. There are also 5 special achievement cards that can be claimed if special conditions are met. A player wins automatically if they claim a set number of achievements. The game can also end either through the Age 10 deck running out or through a number of Age 9 or 10 dogma effects on the cards.

Review
I overlooked this game for a while because I didn’t like the look of the cards. While I was at GenCon this year, I decided to try it out since I had seen some good reviews for the game. I was immediately grabbed by the game, and I have played it 10-15 times since GenCon. Every game is different, and it is almost impossible to go into the game with a set strategy. There is a high level of player interaction, as every action can have a huge impact on the other players. Some players complain that there is a large random factor with all the other players’ effects going off, but I have always felt I still had control of what I wished to do. This is an incredible card game that I will be playing for years. I have also reviewed the expansion for those that are interested.

 
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3
Rated 25 Games
9
58 of 74 gamers found this helpful
“True Gaming Innovation”

My rating of Innovation is as a two-player game. I think this a fantastic two player, and I kind of wish they had only listed that as an option. That being said, this is one of my favorite two player games. Every game plays out differently because of the different inventions. It’s also extremely fun to exploit the various power combos in the game.

I don’t recommend this game for four players, but definitely give it try if you’re looking for a top notch two player game. There is also a way to play a partnership game. I would try that before playing the standard four player version.

 
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2
Amateur Reviewer
9
58 of 86 gamers found this helpful
“Innovation lives up to it's name.”

Some people dislike Innovation because of it’s chaotic nature. You can’t plan too far ahead because the game state often changes drastically by the time it’s your turn again. The fun part about innovation, in my opinion, is having to adapt to that ever changing game state. Innovation is a lot of fun, but if you’re looking for a civ game that is more about planning for the long haul this game isn’t for you.

 
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2
Noble
8
58 of 87 gamers found this helpful
“How I lost to archery!”

Great game. So much strategy is hidden in this gem making its replay factor for me almost off the chart. No one is ever down in out in this game. Comebacks are always possible it feels great to trounce someone with archery or monotheism while they rock the late ages.

 
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1
 
58 of 94 gamers found this helpful
“Small box of fun”

This has become one of my favorite games. Each play provides new challenges with a wide variety of card combinations. It is highly interactive because a card’s strategic value is dependent on what cards are in play by all the players. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a card game.

 
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3
I play purple
7
58 of 98 gamers found this helpful
“Good Luck!”

You’ll need it if you’re playing Innovation for the first time. It’s such a complex game and amazingly intricate in its card variation. You’ll likely be confused and feel lost for the first several times you play, but eventually you’ll start to get somewhat of a feel for the flow and card selection.

Either way, it’s good fun trying to figure this one out.

 
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1
Gamer - Level 1
8
58 of 103 gamers found this helpful
“Innovative Card Play”

As a successor to Glory to Rome, I expected innovative, pun intended, mechanics. This game delivers in that aspect and offers many avenues to winning the game. The main problem is that it doesn’t scale beyond 2 players that well.

 
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4
Critic - Level 2
Strategist
Gamer - Level 4
10
58 of 103 gamers found this helpful
“Another great civilization game!”

This game wrapped me around its finger as soon as I learned it was a civilization game. However, it is not like any other civilization game I have ever played. My first impression of the game was that if you took the tech tree from any other civilization game, and made that its own game, you would have just created Innovation. This was a big hit for me, because the tech trees are always my favorite parts of other civilization games. However, while this game does have a great deal of strategy, you have to be equally prepared for insanity to ensue. The special abilities of many of the cards, especially late game, will leave your head spinning. So be prepared to see the game end in an entirely unexpected way once you start drawing high level cards. It is a really enjoyable game for me though, and it is worth trying at least once. Personally, I am ready to play it many more times!

 
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1
 
58 of 110 gamers found this helpful
“Favorite Card Game (Maybe overall game) of the Year”

Lots of crazy things happen in this game. I like it best with 2 or 4 (partners). I’m withholding judgement about the expansion. There is some cool stuff, but it makes the game more complex and long. I would rather play 2 short games of innovation rather than 1 really long one.

 
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2
Gamer - Level 2
9
58 of 117 gamers found this helpful
“Amazing civ game!”

This game is excellent if you have a need to play a civilization game, but don’t have the time to play Through the Ages. I like this a lot and am amazed each time I play it that it’s got so much depth in a small card game!

 
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3
Critic - Level 1
6
58 of 128 gamers found this helpful
“Best with 2”

Adding more than 2 players to this game ups the randomness and makes the game no fun for me. It is an interesting game with two players.

 
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10
58 of 129 gamers found this helpful
“Wonderfully Fun Game!”

This game has overtaken Monopoly as my all time favorite game. The concept itself is interesting and the game is so much more! I have played several time, and it’s a different game each time. The cards have wonderful innovations, and reviewing what innovations your society has opens up a lot of avenues for conversation “My society mirrors…” etc, or what kind of society would have these innovations. A truly great game, I highly recommend!

 
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2
My First Game Tip
9
58 of 134 gamers found this helpful
“Fluxx Meets Sid Meier’s Civilization”

I get a real kick out of the tactical back and forth this game provides. The theme comes through really well on some cards more than others, but they come and go too quickly to dwell on it. If you like fast and clever card mechanics that keep you appraising each other player’s board, you will likely enjoy Innovation.

A second edition of the base game has been released, which is certainly a more visually appealing product, though both expansions are still only available in the first edition version as of this review. (2013/09/12)

 
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1
9
58 of 148 gamers found this helpful
“Great Game that Scales well”

Great strategy game for 2 players. With 3 to 4 players it becomes more fats paced as you cycle through cards quicker. Easy to learn, just read the card text out loud to know what has to be done.

 
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6
I play green
 
58 of 160 gamers found this helpful
“First play: must be missing something.”

I gotta heck out some tutorials or demos or something. It seemed like I was missing something this first time around. Will reserve judgement until I can play again.

 

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