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Seves by William K. Pashia Jr.

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Theme: (10 points) Seves is, to put it bluntly, a Chess variant. It is mentioned in the introduction that Seves will change the way that warfare is waged (paraphrase) and relates that (paraphrase) the lesson of warfare past have given rise to the evolution of the futuristic warfare that is, “Seves”. Doomed Civilization game? That is a stretch even I am incapable of making. I will say that any game that is a Chess variant is generally ‘doomed’ in terms of its marketability, and I’ll give him one point on that front.

1 points.

Originality: (10 points) Okay, I’m about to be redundant, so raise the redundancy shields… This game uses a chess board, and the moves while not mirror images of those made by chess pieces are necessarily chess-like due to the board used. The concept behind the game is moderately original, but suffers on this front from a lack of having been fully fleshed-out. I do have a hard time calling this game original, although it is unlike anything else on the market… but in the same sense that Castle Risk differs from Risk.

2 points for (the lack of) originality.

Cohesiveness: (15 points) Here’s where this game shines. Game play is simple, although the strategies and tactics involved are of at least moderate complexity. The simplicity of the rules make for a distinct lack of ‘holes’ in the rules, and game play is generally uniform throughout the length of the game. It is difficult to ascertain the value of this game as it relates to its genre (or intended purpose) as the ‘backstory’ of the game is sparse to the extent being non-existent... but the game-play was highly cohesive, with no dead spots whatsoever.

12 points

Components (5 points): Again, this is, more or less a ‘presentation’ category. In the instance of Seves, however, I must also mention that the components (were it to be published commercially) are highly manageable/practical, and yet will be compelling ‘bits’ to a potential purchaser of the product. Presentation in the prototype I received was standard, but I do want to add a few points to the score of this game for the practicality of its design in terms of its componentry. 4 points.

Fun (25 points): I will say that I was surprised to find the actual playing of this game as entertaining as I did. Again, Chess variants generally don’t run a “Boy-Howdy” flag uip my flagpole, but Seves did make me think, without a need for extraordinarily repetitive review of the rules. It was a bit dry as a result of being a Chess variant, but was still a fairly good time. In spite of this, I do need to mention that it won’t make my “top-anything list”, it was simply more fun than I expected after having read through the rules. Put a facelift on this product, making it look a whole bunch less like Chess, and with a decent backstory and a tad more complexity… and it might make my top-something list. 14 points for fun.

Side Note: This game obviously had some play-test time put into it, as the game plays well… but it is far from compelling. Save the mechanics, expand them a bit, and throw the rest away. Just my opinion, but Seves is more a solid start than a finished, ready for market, idea.

Personal Prediction: This is the first serious effort that William (if I may be so bold) has put into a cohesive format. I’m betting that we’ll see more from this designer, and that the best is yet to come.

Total score: 33 points

(Note: posted on behalf of XXOOCC)
-Darke

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