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140 out of 158 gamers thought this was helpful

I just recently got the opportunity to play this game. I had seen it on Kickstarter but did not end up pledging. I had never played a worker placement game before, so this was all new to me.

Given that I had never played a worker-placement game, I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly I was able to pick up the game. I was playing inside of five minutes. The competition for constructions, espionage, production of workers, and ultimately the race to build a bomb was extremely engaging.

However, according to the player running the game, the victory conditions are 45 victory points. Being as how a plutonium bomb with a bomb test and loaded into a bomber can be more than enough to satisfy these conditions. The same can happen with two low-cost uranium bombs played in the same round (which is how our game ended). Because the game can end in one round, it is tough to make much of a competition of it. Our five-player game ended up being 45pts, 8pts, 0pts, 0pts, and 0pts. Because of the all-or-nothing nature of the game, I give it a replay value of 3/5.

What initially drew me to the game was the combination of a serious topic (proliferation of nuclear arms) with components that lighten it up including cutesie-looking meeples. The artwork was impressive while not being too detailed as to detract from the gameplay. I give the components a solid 4/5.

As I mentioned above, we were sat at the table no more than five minutes before play began. It was fairly intuitive and I understood the goals of the game and how one might go about reaching them. However, the newer players did not have much strategy and ended up falling behind. I believe this means the game is easy to learn but difficult to master, so I ended up giving the learning curve a 3/5.

All in all, it is not a bad game. I would play the game again, but I would probably not buy it.

Go to the Level 7 [escape] page

Level 7 [escape]

154 out of 161 gamers thought this was helpful

Level 7 [Escape] is a sci-fi horror game, which I thoroughly enjoy. The survival horror genre has been inundated by zombie games, so this is a breath of fresh air. The mechanics of the game keep players in a constant state of choosing between two bad options. Players must survive against the tiles, the enemies on the board, and sometimes even the other survivors.

A survivor’s score sheet show the player’s skills, threat level, fear, and vitality.
Skills are drawn at random from a deck of skill cards and grant bonuses such as a +1 to intelligence or the ability to move fear up or down one space per round.
A player’s Threat level is how dangerous guards perceive the character. Guards will pursue a higher threat first.
In the same way, the aliens (called clones) will pursue the player with the highest fear level. Fear levels can also grant bonuses and restrictions.
Finally Vitality determines the maximum number of cards in a player’s hand. When a player’s hand is empty, the survivor is knocked out and loses a vitality. Too much punishment and the survivor will die.

The part about Level 7 [Escape] that appeals most to me is the exploration aspect, which makes the game different each play. The map is explored by laying tiles from various stacks, which reminds me a lot of Zombie in my Pocket and Airborne In Your Pocket. I have also heard of it being compared to Carcassonne.

After a few plays, players really get into the survivalist mindset. They might risk losing a few adrenaline cards in order to knock out a guard to let a clone eat him (which initiates fighting between clones and guards). They might also place locks on doors leaving other survivors to fend for themselves.

I gave the game a replay value of 4/5 because it appears to be heavily scenario-driven. Once the scenarios have been played out, players would have to get creative to make their own. However, the scenarios themselves are well worth the replay as the maps and survivors’ skills are different each game.

I was pleased with the components and gave it a 4/5, though it is quite a large box considering how compact the components end up being. Also, I heard some complaining in forums about Privateer Press being known for miniatures and yet this is almost entirely cardboard punch-outs. I appreciate the artwork, though the set is not the best I have ever seen.

I gave a 3/5 on easiness to learn. I am not a terribly advanced gamer, but it took my friend and me a few plays and a second reading of the rules before we fully grasped them. However, for someone who has never played a board game before, it could prove problematic.

I loved the game and I enjoy playing it. I like that there is a one-player option and I recommend this game to any board gaming horror fan.

Go to the Nexus Ops page

Nexus Ops

29 out of 30 gamers thought this was helpful

My first play-through of Nexus Ops was a fairly interesting experience. There are two main “phases” of the game which begin/end basically whenever.

Each turn, players get to move units, explore hexes with unexplored tokens, battle in contested hexes, mine for resources, and draw a secret mission card.

In the beginning, players fan out across the board, attempting to gain control of various hexes in order to uncover and maintain rubium deposits. At the end of each player’s round, any hex controlled solely by the player with a rubium refinery on it earns the player that amount of rubium to be used for purchasing units.

Humans may not move into lava pits, and humans, fungoids, and crystallines may not move into the Monolith.

The three cheapest units are the only units considered “mining” units, so if a refinery is held but does not contain a mining unit, rubium may not be collected from that hex.

After the Exploration Phase comes the battle phase where players duke it out for domination

Units have various and attack values and abilities. Units attack based on a X+ roll of the dice. So for example, the human characters (cheapest and weakest of units) hit at a 6+ on a die. In contrast, the mighty rubium dragon attacks at a 2+. In other words, the only way a human hits is by rolling a 6, and the only way a dragon misses is by rolling a 1.

Units’ attacks can sometimes be affected by the hexes in which they battle. For example, Fungoids usually roll at 5+ to hit but in a Liquifungus Forest they roll at 4+ and in a Crystalline plane they attack at a 6+ roll.

Winning a battle earns players a battle victory point. Secret mission cards can also earn players victory points. Secret mission cards give a player points for winning combat with various units, holding more of a type of hex than other players, defeating a certain type of unit in combat, etc.

The game ends when a player accumulates 12 or more victory points or any player is eliminated from the game.

I had a great time playing this game. I am into the science fiction genre and learning all the abilities each unit has was great fun. One thing I really liked was the luck factor involved in the game. For example, I defeated a rubium dragon with a human because of an extremely unlucky roll by another player and an extremely lucky roll by myself. I like how the game can turn around like that.

I gave the Replay Value a 4 because I would personally love to play it again and because I have seen several of my friends play it over and over. I gave the Components a 5 because the art on the hexes, tokens, and cards is beautiful and because the units are probably the most detailed I have ever seen in a boardgame. I gave the Easy to Learn a 4 as well, as it took us about five minutes to learn how to play the game.

Go to the Heap page


20 out of 22 gamers thought this was helpful

At its core, Heap does not require a whole lot of brainpower, nor does it allow for too terribly much strategy. That said, the game is a great way to pass half an hour.

The game requires players to build up their four vehicles in the hopes of being the first player to attach three items to all of their vehicles. This is done through a “bodge” round in which each player can attach up to two parts and affect other players or themselves in various ways.

Next comes the rush stage where players choose a vehicle to head to the heap, duke it out with other players, while trying to defend against other players’ attacks. The vehicle players choose will have certain effects in this round based on what the player attached.

After the rush round, players may take parts they hauled and attach them to their vehicles. Once a player has attached three parts to all of his or her vehicles, the players enter the Pileup round. This is basically a re-hash of the rush round with more cards. The only difference is that the only time a vehicle can use an ability is if it is in Turbo (which means it had three parts before the pileup).

The victor in the pileup wins the game. Not too much to it, but it is a nice quick game for all ages.

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