Skip to Content

[GDS] NOVEMBER 2013 "The End is Near" - Critiques

88 replies [Last post]
mindspike
mindspike's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/06/2011

We have a winner!

The Housing Bubble

With a theme like "The End is Near", I had really hoped at least one entry would involve figures marching up and down the street carrying large placards..... Alas it was not to be. Congrats to our winner, and big kudos to everyone who entered this month's contest. There were some great entries! The final scoring is posted below. Please take the opportunity to give feedback on the games and encourage the entrants!

Game Score Gold Medals Silver Medals Bronze Medals
The Housing Bubble 12 pts 3 1 1
The Last Castle 11 pts 2 2 1
Quarreling Corsairs 11 pts 2 2 1
One Clip Wonder 7 pts 1 2
Aliens on Holiday 6 pts 1 3
Die Race 2000 5 pts 1 3
Monkey Business 2 pts 1
richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Critique schedule

Here are the Guidelines:

This contest is for development of your game design and rule writing muscles. So deep feedback is often needed and appreciated, but often lost for some entries. In an effort to provide time for quality feedback on each entry we'll be using a critique calendar, where each entry has a day or two of feedback just on it. Afterwards, the designer can make their own thread if they wish for further feedback.

The calendar:



Game Entry

Designer

Critique Starting Day

Quarreling Corsairs

Kroz1776

Monday, 18 November

Aliens on Holiday

bike

Tuesday, 19 November

One Clip Wonder

Corsaire

Wednesday, 20 November

The Housing Bubble

Dagge Games

Thursday, 21 November

Die Race 2000

disaac

Friday, 22 November

Monkey Business

melx

Saturday, 23 November

The Last Castle

KrisW

Sunday, 24 November

anonymousmagic
Offline
Joined: 11/06/2013
My comment on Quarreling Corsairs

I used a somewhat arbitrary point system to determine my vote. For me this entry only lost major points on rule clarity, but that was enough to have it land outside the top 3. The scores were close, though.

Limit: 10 points; the limit required by the contest rules was beautifully implemented.
Theme: 7 points; I love pirates, but there was some points lost because it's not exactly the most original of themes.
Mechanics: 7 points; The mechanics worked fine, but there was nothing new that got me hyper-excited. That's why the entry received average points in this category.
Rules clarity: 6 points; the question I posed in the original contest thread is what cost most of the points here.
Components and profit: 8 points; I gave points for how cost effective I deemed all games to be.
BONUS: 7 points; points for overall feel and things not covered in other categories.

TOTAL: 45 out of a possible 60. (The game that received my gold medal vote totalled 51 points in this scheme)

KrisW
KrisW's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2013
Quarreling Corsairs Critique

Voting was particularly hard this time, I liked all the games. I had to resort to my weird little scoring system.

Quarreling Corsairs 42 out of 50
- Comprehensibility 4X4=16
- Playability 4X3=12
- Theme 5X2=10
- Marketability 4X1=4
Notes: I LOVED the mechanic for determining the first player (Arrrrrr!)

Comprehensibility – I did wonder how combat works. There’s no cue that I saw. Maybe each combatant rolls a die? Maybe the active player can use multiple actions to increase the number of dice one uses? The defending player can borrow actions from their next turn?

Other than that - Although I did have to make some assumptions, such as ‘The gold (and pieces of eight) are displayed for all players to see’ and ‘the port city is not on any of the islands with treasure’. I felt those assumptions were due to the compressed format (500 words) and not any sort of problem in understanding the game.

Playability – Maybe too playable for adults? The mechanics might get dull after playing this a few times. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you market it as a family game. I could easily imagine this as a father / son favorite – easy enough for pre-teen kids and lots of room for adult strategy and general horsing around. Get those mugs of (root) beer, fake eye patches and head scarves ready for mom’s night out!

Theme – I didn’t subtract points even though the theme is currently heavily used. The theme was used very well.

Marketability – As I mentioned above – good for the juvenile and inter-generational market. The hardest piece to make might be the treasure tokens – Are they textured on one side so players can pull them out of the bag and place them face down without looking at them? And hey – Maybe one of the treasures could be a treasure map, allowing a player to peek at 3 other hidden treasure tokens?

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Combat

Yeah, I did leave some stuff out because of some time constraints and also because I didn't really have an idea about the combat system until after the entries were locked in.

Pirates is overused, but at the same time, I don't know of any stellar pirate games so I attempted my own.

Anyone wanting to know about the combat system I did devise, basically it revolved around the attacker throwing (yes throwing) the dice into a dice tower and needing to roll above a threshold to win the fight. All dice the didn't make it into the dice tower count as misses.

Too bad I didn't come up with it beforehand.

I'll post my own link once all is said and done to give a bit more details into the game.

bike
bike's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/08/2012
Quarreling Corsairs

Hello,

This was my bronze medal.
This month I looked mainly at two things: how the uncertainty of the end is implemented, and how that has effect on the tension of the game.

It seemed logical that dug up eight-pieces are shown to the other players. As soon as 6 or 7 are dug up, every player must make sure to market their gold. It seems the amount of gold, or treasures is not visible for other players. The players do not know if it is smart to dig up another treasure (when 7 out of 8 eight-pieces are found), or to attack another ship. Attacking wil surely not end the game, but if they have the most money, that does seem like a good idea.

The unexpected ending is decent implemented. At some point in the game it is uncertain if players will get a next turn. Since the amount of money is not known, this does not give much extra tension. If, shortly before the end a player completes his card, a next turn for that player might be important, to be able to reach the market.

I do no mind the much used pirate theme here. It suits the game.

Regards, Bert.

KrisW
KrisW's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2013
Quarreling Corsairs Combat

Kroz1776 wrote:

Anyone wanting to know about the combat system I did devise, basically it revolved around the attacker throwing (yes throwing) the dice into a dice tower and needing to roll above a threshold to win the fight. All dice the didn't make it into the dice tower count as misses.

Cool! That fits well with the other whimsical features of the game. Maybe use those spherical six-siders colored like cannon balls?

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Bombs Away!

KrisW wrote:

Cool! That fits well with the other whimsical features of the game. Maybe use those spherical six-siders colored like cannon balls?

Yeah, actually I planned on having the dice tower look like a sinking ship (with the area that holds the dice after they're rolled looking like the sail and mast) and the dice be d8+ dice (so that they're round and look more like cannon balls).

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Thanks!

bike wrote:
Hello,

This was my bronze medal.
This month I looked mainly at two things: how the uncertainty of the end is implemented, and how that has effect on the tension of the game.

It seemed logical that dug up eight-pieces are shown to the other players. As soon as 6 or 7 are dug up, every player must make sure to market their gold. It seems the amount of gold, or treasures is not visible for other players. The players do not know if it is smart to dig up another treasure (when 7 out of 8 eight-pieces are found), or to attack another ship. Attacking wil surely not end the game, but if they have the most money, that does seem like a good idea.

The unexpected ending is decent implemented. At some point in the game it is uncertain if players will get a next turn. Since the amount of money is not known, this does not give much extra tension. If, shortly before the end a player completes his card, a next turn for that player might be important, to be able to reach the market.

I do no mind the much used pirate theme here. It suits the game.

Regards, Bert.

What do you think could add more tension and options for the late game? Would limiting the amount of treasure and allowing players to see the treasure add some more tension? That way you have to be constantly banking your treasure instead of just waiting till there are 6-7 pieces of eight found? This coudl create another reason for banking your treasure early on though, and that is security against pirate attack since they wouldn't be able to take gold from you, only treasure (and pieces of eight).

I don't know if this addition made it into the contest entry, but I also planned on being able to spend gold to upgrade your ship/crew. This may have been a feature that wasn't thought of until submissions were already locked in.

Corsaire
Corsaire's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/27/2013
Quarreling Corsairs - Didn't

Quarreling Corsairs - Didn't make it onto my top 3, largely because: Hey I'm not that quarrelsome! Actually because neither the game itself nor the end mechanic felt fresh to me. I've seen a number of games when item X of a set is revealed then the game ends.

I can see some game here, a little challenging to make it strategic and to differentiate it from similar games out there. Not too long ago, I played a move around the board and collect treasures and attack other pirates and steal their loot game (it came in a treasure box) and mostly only the end mechanic seems different here.

I did like the write up and the description felt pretty clear. I think it hit the right balance of detail+rules.

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Congrats are in order

I must say though that compared to the last few, this was a very close top 3. Only one point difference between the three! So congrats to all who won.

Dagge Games
Offline
Joined: 10/11/2013
The Quarreling Corsairs Critiques

The quarreling Corsairs

I gave this game a bronze medal.

I judged primarily on the basis of the following criteria:

1 how the game was adapted to the task for this month's GDS

+ The quarreling Corsairs I think did pretty well in relation to the theme " The End is Near " Players can not know with certainty when the game ends. The players realize when the ”end gets near” and then get a dilemma as to whether one should dig for more treasures or exchange for gold.

- I missed an effect of the end apart from the fact that the game ends. I think the theme proposes that the end should give a consequence to the players somehow.

2 If the description was detailed and clear enough to provide a decent understanding of the game

+ I think the description was quite OK. I understood what I needed.

3 How I loved the idea and if I wanted to play .

- I have no good reason why this game is not really appealed to me . I like basically the idea of pirate games. Unfortunately, my experience says that pirate games mostly disappoint. Often I find them lacking the little extra excitement to the game. I also got the same feeling about this game .

All in all, the bronze is good. I think the designer did a great job in solving this month's GDS . Congrats!

mindspike
mindspike's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/06/2011
Pirates and rum and treasure, oh my!

Pirates and rum and treasure, oh my! Thematic possibilities abound.

(+) The theme of this game is strongly tied to the implementation. While it would work well for a number of variations on adventure and combat, it seems particularly appropriate to pirates. The combination of movement, combat, and exploration suits the pirate theme, while the gradual assembly of the pieces of eight is a strong implementation of the mechanical restriction. This game gives a little flavor of multiple strategic approaches in the choice of piratin', diggin', and sailin' without a dominant strategy being immediately obvious.

(-) Division of action is needlessly subdivided between the ships and the islands. The Market is a weak implementation of theme. The requirement for players to hide their treasure is a needlessly complex strategic addition.

(*) I rather like the idea of sailing around the islands in an archepelago searching for treasure. This strikes me as a game I'd trot out for my kids rather than play with the gang over beer and pretzels. Lots of good stuff here.

richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Quarreling Corsairs

Congratulations on the high finish. I think you've got a perfectly workable game here, particularly after you flesh out the rules beyond the 500 word limit. Although I think a description of your combat mechanic here might have helped your score even more.

Kroz1776 wrote:
Anyone wanting to know about the combat system I did devise, basically it revolved around the attacker throwing (yes throwing) the dice into a dice tower and needing to roll above a threshold to win the fight. All dice the didn't make it into the dice tower count as misses.

It's a different take on rolling (aiming for the dice tower), and if you develop this game you should definitely pursue this is as the fun core to the game. I'd suggest not double penalizing the attacker by having them need to both get it in to the tower AND roll above a threshold. Perhaps all that make it in count as a hit, and the dice are just damage or locations for damage. This on a player mat with half a dozen locations to hit, with gold divided up between them as the player saw fit.

Then damage wouldn't destroy a ship so much as remove their coins a la rings in Sonic the Hedgehog.

Without a focus on the unique combat the strong point of this entry is the end game mechanic. I like the pieces of 8, and it seems there would be just enough of them to make it a long enough game to build up some tension. In that regards, why not cut to the chase and remove the movement from the game? Ships can basically move the same speed so chases are out of order, so why not make it a location-selection game instead? That way you can eliminate the in-between stuff (in-between the lootin' and the shootin') and keep tension on the locations. Then the flow of the game would probably go:

  • Early game players stay apart and loot individual islands. Avoiding or looting Spanish Galleons as they see fit.
  • Mid-game players occasionally bump heads by looting similar islands, with more skilled shooter being the victor. Spanish Galleons ...? (Maybe reinforcements come on? So players can take the risk of attacking but not losing money to other players)
  • Late-game players will rush for left-over gold or try to avoid conflict by going to empty islands. Maybe to discourage this Spanish warships start appearing around looted islands and can attack ships that travel there, causing them to lose some gold if they hang around.

Finally a question: Is there a use for the pieces of 8 beyond ending the game?

disaac
Offline
Joined: 02/26/2011
Quarreling Corsairs feedback

I can see many possible hurdles that the designer may need to overcome for this game. I may be missing something due to the breifness of the rules, but here are my concerns:

From the rules as they are laid out, it seems that a player could possibly just squat at a treasure location and collecting multiple cards each turn. Only moving back to a dock/market to sell them all when their supply is full (if there is a limit) or as the game nears an end.

There may not be much reason for players to even interact with each other much, nor to move around very far. Why risk a battle, or spend your actions traveling around, if you can just stay in one area on your own and collect easy treasure.

Drawing and placing random treasure tokens unseen would prove to be quite difficult. You may need to have a textured face/back to allow the chooser to know which side was up without looking. Alternately, you could just leave the tresures in the bag until you are at a treasure location, and are in the process of digging one up.

Pirates are a very common theme as many have said, but that is because they can make for an interesting story line. Also as others have pointed out, it seems to be quite difficult to capture the essence of the Pirate theme and come up with a gem of a game. So I think it may still be worth-while to keep on trying to find the perfect set of mechanics.

I have kicked around similar ideas for a pirate themed game, and have run into some of these same hurdles. Here is wishing you well on coming up with some new ideas to make the game shine.

I did rank this game fairly high in my list as it could have potential, and I would love to play a well constructed version of it. But there were a few other games in the competition that came together a bit more completely, or where I saw some signs for quite interesting mechanics coming together.

richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Some answers?

It seems your questions are from this part of the game:

kroz1776 wrote:
On the board are six small islands and two bigger ones. The smaller islands will each have two spots for treasure while the two larger ones will have four thus having twenty treasure spots total. To set up the game pull treasure tokens on of a bag and place one face down on each of the treasure spots.

If a player tried to camp at an island, he would use his 5 actions to dig five times, right? Unless he can only use 2 (small island) and then at the end of his turn replenish the treasure. Still, you're right, this means he could continue this for many turns. Maybe if the treasure isn't replenished, and they don't get 5 actions? Perhaps 2 actions, only 1 can be a move (to a new island).

disaac wrote:
Drawing and placing random treasure tokens unseen would prove to be quite difficult. You may need to have a textured face/back to allow the chooser to know which side was up without looking.

Plenty of games place random tokens on a board without player knowledge. Endeavor from Z-Man does this with TONS of the things. Just put them facedown on the table, shuffle them around and then place them on the board.

richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Tuesday November 19th: Aliens on Holiday

Great discussion today (yesterday by the time many of you see this). Let's keep the ball rolling with Tuesday's entry by bike, Aliens on Holiday.

I'll post my own critique when it's properly Tuesday and not just late Monday for those in the US.

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Opinions?

disaac wrote:
I can see many possible hurdles that the designer may need to overcome for this game. I may be missing something due to the breifness of the rules, but here are my concerns:

From the rules as they are laid out, it seems that a player could possibly just squat at a treasure location and collecting multiple cards each turn. Only moving back to a dock/market to sell them all when their supply is full (if there is a limit) or as the game nears an end.

There may not be much reason for players to even interact with each other much, nor to move around very far. Why risk a battle, or spend your actions traveling around, if you can just stay in one area on your own and collect easy treasure.

Drawing and placing random treasure tokens unseen would prove to be quite difficult. You may need to have a textured face/back to allow the chooser to know which side was up without looking. Alternately, you could just leave the tresures in the bag until you are at a treasure location, and are in the process of digging one up.

Pirates are a very common theme as many have said, but that is because they can make for an interesting story line. Also as others have pointed out, it seems to be quite difficult to capture the essence of the Pirate theme and come up with a gem of a game. So I think it may still be worth-while to keep on trying to find the perfect set of mechanics.

I have kicked around similar ideas for a pirate themed game, and have run into some of these same hurdles. Here is wishing you well on coming up with some new ideas to make the game shine.

I did rank this game fairly high in my list as it could have potential, and I would love to play a well constructed version of it. But there were a few other games in the competition that came together a bit more completely, or where I saw some signs for quite interesting mechanics coming together.

Do you think part of the problem would be fixed if I made it so that the treasures didn't repopulate until all the treasures (or a good amount of them) had been picked up? I believe this would help keep the ships moving around.

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Lost Treasure

Rich,

Yes, that could work as well. I was thinking the threshold would be pretty low. Basically if you get your cannons in you'd be able to board. How much treasure you could take would depend on the size of your ship's hold and your crew size/skill. You gave me an idea with your talk about Sonic (I loved those old games) in that any overkill would be used to make the enemy lose treasure. Basically if you get to steal two treasures, and you roll 5 over the threshold, you get to pick one of their treasures to discard (basically putting it back into the pile of tiles on the table). I'd have to play around with the numbers and see what worked and what didn't, but I kinda like the idea that in the heat of battle some of the treasure falls overboard.

Also I updated the rules so that you can upgrade your ships guns, crew, sail, "armor" (old ironsides anyone), etc so you can actually get faster ships. I may have to reduce the number of actions in the game and perhaps make crew skill/captain skill affect how many actions you get a turn. I could also add in picking captains at the beginning to give each player a bit more customization at the beginning.

I would just like to add that I'm grateful for all the feedback. It's been really helpful.

KrisW
KrisW's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/15/2013
Aliens on Holiday Critique

Aliens on Holiday 35
- Comprehensibility 3X4=12
- Playability 3X3=09
- Theme 5X2=10
- Marketability 4X1=04
Notes:
I like that the players have the strategic choice of taking gold from other players or the bank.

Comprehensibility: I got a little lost a few places. For instance, the track for coins is -20 to +20, but is that the same for aliens? Can you have negative passengers on your ship? I’m not sure what ‘the order of placement’ refers to. Also not sure how the pilot works. The word limit might be the issue.

The bidding mechanic seemed clear enough, and I do like being able to add aliens and coins to get the highest points, and therefore an actionable turn.

Playability: If I’m interpreting this right there is a bidding round in which all players bid but only one player takes action. This could slow the game down to the point of being irritating if there is a wide range of decisiveness in the gaming group. This can be a good thing on the purely game design aspect - I think this would be fun in a groups tightly matched in age and game skill, especially those who are trying to work out issues of pecking order and peer-to-peer pressure in a game setting.

Theme: Love the theme. I can see this with Googie style art work, something 1950’s like the Jetsons. A College Spring Break (with aliens) look might also work.

Marketability: I don’t see any problems with production, but the audience for the game is very narrow due to the need for balanced playing speed and skill. This might fit into something of a cult following game niche.

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
My Weird Way of Voting

Since there was only one criteria for the whole contest, I was especially harsh to any game that at the time I felt deviated from this path. If the contest had more criteria I would have been more lenient.

Taking that into mind, the auction is the reason this game didn't get my medal, mainly because I felt the mechanic in which you could take gold from the gold track allowed the players to affect the game end in a minor way. That dropped the game out of the running for me.

Taking in the game as a whole though, the game seemed good. The theme seemed good. The pilot starts off in the negative gold numbers (the cost of flying the ship). The aliens paying their fare to get on the ship (2 gold). I just felt that taking gold from the ship though just didn't make sense theme wise. Other than the stealing gold from people, the theme made sense.

The auction I had problems with though. If I have a card that gives me 5 gold, why would I want to ever bid more than 4 gold for it? I know that you can steal gold from other players, but that doesn't really help me, it only screws them over, slightly because you can only steal one gold from each player. If I wanted to play that a card that gave me lots of gold, I'd wait till it was my last card and then play that one for free as the last player or at least wait till the end when there is less competition. I just felt that there was no reason to ever play gold cards in the beginning rounds of the auction.

Other than those gripes I think the game has potential and with some work could do well. Congrats! You did well.

Dagge Games
Offline
Joined: 10/11/2013
Aliens on Holiday - critique

I gave this game the gold-medal because of the tension around the ending.
I don´t really like alien-games, but I think the designer did a very good job with this game according to this months criteria.
It has been mentioned that the players are able to "delay" the end of this game. In some way, I think they are. At least until the gold track reaches above "1-3" After this point though I think the tension is great. You can never know when the game ends. You can do something about the odds of "ending the game" but not directly delay the ending. The die could always roll for instance "1"

Besides this I like the tension around the bidding-part of the game. All though I see some trouble here. As soon as one player gets a bit more gold than the rest of the players, he or she might be able to control the rest of the game because of the fact that the other players have to either "discard" the gold or discard their card. They might run out of good cards and/or gold while the leading player will be able to get more money and/or aliens. With some adjustments though, I think this could work.

As I mentioned above I don ´t like the alien theme of the game, but the mechanics could easily match a different theme. I love games with this kind of tension in the end. Good job.

Corsaire
Corsaire's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/27/2013
Aliens on Holiday I wasn't

Aliens on Holiday

I wasn't enthused about the concept on this one. Partially, the mechanics of play seem fussy with coin hiding and shuffling your seven card hand. Partially it seems the game length would be a bit drudgery. Too long to win for kids, too light for adults?

Since hands are playing out to zero cards and an alien advances two and a gold can at most reduce it by 1 and round is played to zero cards for someone, it seems it is a forced given that the pilot advances one each round? Or (big difference) is the pilot moving all the way to the highest gold coin on the track? With multiple moves, at best a conspiracy can slow the advance, at worst one player can make a token resistance.

I can see the die roll mechanism, and it has a potential to it. But it isn't a compelling mechanism for me in this game, as I can see it better paired with game that has room for some big reckless moves.

Overall, I liked the write up and the concept is amusing. I wish I was confident on the ship move. I would've liked to hear that there was a bidding mechanic before even parts as that would've informed my overall read and kept me from doing a few re-reads for understanding.

Adding a range of powers to the aliens could have me completely rethinking my pov.

anonymousmagic
Offline
Joined: 11/06/2013
Aliens on Holiday -- my critique

I used a somewhat arbitrary point system to determine my vote. A lot of it were gut feelings I can't really put into words, but I'll try the best I can.

I love an alien theme, but I felt that the mechanics didn't really fit the theme very well. Sure, auctioning places on a rocket makes perfect sense, but I didn't get why you should be able to regain spent gold, why aliens were paying in gold in the first place (instead of some futuristic currency) and why the pilot decided if the profit was big enough without any word from "his boss" or something similar.

Also, with the size of the track, the possible options clearly laid out, and the statistics of a d20 dice roll, I felt that the ending of the game was not as unexpected as I hoped for which WAS the major requirement for this contest.

The idea has grown on me a little bit since that vote, so it probably could've done better if I let me choice simmer more, but the deadline was approaching...

My advice is to make the mechanics and the theme fit better with each other to give it an overall more coherent feel.

Limit: 6 points; Theme: 8 points; Mechanics: 6 points; Rules clarity: 6 points; Components and profit: 6 points; BONUS: 7 points; TOTAL: 39 out of 60.

bike
bike's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/08/2012
Aliens on holiday clarification

Thanks for the critiques. Let me first clarify some questions that have been raised.

The gold-track I would implement as a ladder towards the rocket. Starting at -20 up to 20. Only for gold. The aliens are inside the rocket in theaterlike setting with numbered chairs. It is important to remember the order.

The pilot will climb the ladder if there is a coin of gold on the next step. He does not advance when there is no gold there. I figured I needed the pilot because otherwise players might continue to take gold from the ladder, and the game could possibly never end. Maybe... it is just easier to not have players take gold from the ladder.

The bidding should go quick. I suppose the whole game could be played in 30 minutes. The actions are straight forward: taking gold, or adding an alien. An alien means you get more cards the next round, and the gold helps to win bids. Well spotted that adding more than 4 gold does not really help! Something to look at.

After the action there is a choice to add an alien to the rocket. This is good for the scoring, but means a player receives a card less. (I did not make clear that only aliens in front of the player give the player an extra card).

Interesting to see if the game breaks down if one player manages to collect a lot of gold. I think it can happen, but that player will not have many aliens in the rocket, or just outsmarted the others with bidding.

I will find some alien-currency!

Some afterthoughts:

I think the gold-track should start at -12 for 4 players, -9 for 3. etc. That way the end-of-game tension gets to you pretty fast. Do you leave that extra alien for more options now, or do you put it in the rocket?
Taking all gold from the bank, and removing the pilot, is a simplification. Game end is game end.
I would love to implement variable alien powers. I think the aliens waiting in the rocket can have a few buttons to change the game. It is marked on their chairs. For instance "add or remove 2 gold after the bidding is shown". "Force a player to play a different card". "Rethrow the dice". Question is if these powers can be used once per turn, or once per game.

The dice ending the game I took from Evo, and expanded a bit on it. It is important to be ahead in the rocket for most of the game (especially with the shorter ladder). It can end now!

mindspike
mindspike's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/06/2011
Love Boat ... in ... space!

#2 Aliens on Holiday

The Love Boat ... in .... space! This one has the potential for an endless array of gags.

(+) The combination of aliens and tourism makes for a truly staggering sight gag potential. This has comedy gold written all over it. Combining the gold track with the roll of a twenty-sider is a strong implementation of the required mechanic.

(-) Round movement and player set up is not clear to me. Strategic options are poorly implemented, and player interaction is also unclear. I think this game would benefit from a more conventional setup involving a combination of bidding and player sabotage cards.

disaac
Offline
Joined: 02/26/2011
Aliens on Holiday feedback

Interesting and unique theme. Very light and somewhat humorous.

It seems that the tie-breaker condition almost exclusively depends on who wins the first bid. (Assuming that they get an alien on board to ensure a tiebreaker win.) Seems odd to have this condition decided so early in the game. (I do understand that it is for tie-breakers only, but...) Perhaps I misunderstood though, as one of my atlernate suggestions would be to total their seat positions and the player with the lowest total would win. (The average seat position of their aliens is lowere, and thus they were on the ship earlier.)

The game seems almost too light since there are only two turn options (get gold, or an alien). But then again, there is the secret bidding and whether to board one of your aliens or not. Perhaps there is enough to it that will make this game apealling to a target audience of families with kids, or just as a fun diversion.

I wonder how this would play out if instead of odd vs even for the alien/gold cards, there was a different dynamic such as higher cards for gold, lower cards for aliens. (Or perhaps some other specific mix. Perhaps even something like a 4-wild which could be used as either. Or what about a 0-both card?)

As this was more of a complete game than some of the others, and I did think that it could be fun in a goofy sort of way, this game did make it to the Bronze spot on my list. Congratulations.

bike
bike's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/08/2012
Good suggestions. Average

Good suggestions.

Average place as tiebreak is more fitting. Options with cards, other numbers, different categories, or ditch the bidding and make action/sabotage cards, those ideas I take towards the playtest. I do think the game is suitable for a bit more fun, and sabotage is... fun!

richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Unfortunately a good example...

Aliens on Holiday didn't score so well, I think, not because the game isn't promising but because the description didn't do it justice. I found it hard to find the flow of play in the description, and I think it might be because the mechanical end-game goal wasn't stated until the end. After I knew that gold was being placed on a track causing the pilot to move up and subsequently get closer to a game-ending roll, I could go back and see how every action affected this.

Still, particulars over the gold economy are questionable (as posted by others earlier). I quite enjoy the combination of gold + card value bidding, and would like to see how it works in practice.

richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Wednesday, November 20: One Clip Wonder

Once again, I'm impressed with the feedback for bike's Aliens on Holiday game. As we reach the mid-point in critique-week let's make sure to give the same great level of responses to the rest of the entries.

Tomorrow, Wednesday November 20th, will see critiques for One Clip Wonder by Corsaire.

bike
bike's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/08/2012
One clip wonder - critique

This one has the best rule ever:

Quote:
If you refuse to die peacefully, the runner up wins.

The theme works good in the game. The luck factor is high (you can play if your neighbours card is good for you, the end is suddenly reached when a player has enough points). That suits the theme.

I am curious how the linking of cards can work practically. It is impossible to list all allowed link-cards on a card.
It could take a lot of work to make a decent set of cards that work well enough together, and are fun to play.

Two reasons why I did not vote for this one, first is I am not convinced that there could be 216 funny cards making the game could. Second is personal, I prefer games with less luck.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut