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Bill M.

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59 out of 66 gamers thought this was helpful

I’ll be honest…..when I first laid eyes on this game I assumed the worse. There looked to be hundreds of meeples scattered all over a game board in no particular order. All the pieces and colors made it look confusing and, worst of all, just plain overwhelming. I didn’t understand the title or the theme. I wasn’t sure if there really was a theme. Usually I’m totally attracted to games with tons of components, but this…..something about the look of this game just turned me off. Jackson Pollock would have been confused by it. Right?

I scrolled over it in Amazon. I passed it by at my local game store. But it found me on You Tube. More specifically Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop. I love this program (and obviously I’m not the only one) and watch every episode. I watch them even if I don’t think I’ll like the game very much because it’s usually good entertainment. And most of the time his picks hit the mark quite well. So anyway, the Five Tribes episode ran this season. And after watching I was more and more intrigued.

All the things that originally turned me off about the game focused themselves into clarity. I realized the mess I saw was the theme. And the mechanics were much simpler than I assumed. In fact, they are so orderly it’s genius. And all the pretty colors had a purpose. It all made sense seeing it played in front of me (we’ll sort of in front of me). This was now a game I desperately had to play. And tonight that desperation became a reality.

And I had a blast. I cannot wait to play it again tomorrow (if I can talk my sons into playing again).

I’ll be quick on my impressions here but I wanted to explain what I meant by “the mess is the theme”. You are trying to unite these unruly five tribes. When the game starts out there is no order in this land. Your job is the bring order here. And the cool part is that as you play you are cleaning up this board and uniting it’s people. The mess goes slowly goes away as you get closer to your goal of uniting the five tribes. The chaos becomes order. That’s really cool when you think about it.

Because the game always guides you in the right directions, you only really need to understand what each color gets you to understand the game mechanics. And the player reference cards help immensely the first time you play. Once you understand that and how to move the meeples it’s very engaging and easy to play. So a small learning curve at first, but that goes away quick.

The real joy here is all the different ways to win. You can get to the top very quick and lose the lead just as fast. My game tonight was long, but it never really felt long because I was always engaged and thinking. And before I knew it the time to start the next round was there. The next game will be shorter because I understand it better, but the if I had but one complaint it would be the length we played tonight.

This is a new favorite for me. I absolutely think this game is top notch. I know the next game will be completely different too because of its random starts. And that makes me want to play it even more. Do yourself a favor and play this game. It’s really not as confusing as it looks. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

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