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Evacuation Earth by Phillip Peterson

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Evacuation Earth by Phillip Peterson

Theme: (10 points) Evacuation Earth is a game in which players do their best to get their groups of refugees out of the city limits and on to a space shuttle before the governments of the world nuke the planet from orbit in order to thwart an alien invasion. Are the players and the persona that they enact within the game doomed? Most definitely. Is it about a civilization that is doomed? Fairly… This game actually encompasses the end of the world entire rather than strictly a doomed civilization, and so deals with the topic in almost too broad a sense. Still pretty close to the mark, I’d say.
8 points.

Originality: (10 points) Evacuation Earth is truly a standard ‘roll the die and move your guy’ board game, but with several additional levels of played tacked on to add depth to play. Tile-laying is an important (although random) aspect, as is the playing of cards (also random) and the choice of movement – not just path, but which of your groups should move as well. Frankly, and not to put to fine a point on it, I found the mechanics aspects of the game somewhat pedestrian (from an originality standpoint), although the combination of various random aspects was to some extent unique.
3 points for this unique use.

Cohesiveness: (15 points) EE was fairly simple to learn, although there are several important strategic aspects to every turn, and to every decision made on the part of a player. All of the rules were highly reflective of the topic area (were a good ‘fit’), and there were no dead spots during play. The turns were fairly complex, and player boredom while awaiting ‘their next turn’ was a minor issue… but only minor. It did cost Evacuation Earth a couple of points.
13 points.

Components (5 points): This game, for a prototype, was also quite a piece of eye candy, and was of similar quality to professional proposals I have seen, without standing out as exceptional. Still I must say that the quality of the prototype exceeded my expectations, and certainly showed that a great deal of time was invested.
4 points.

Fun (25 points): This is the section of the review that will most probably get me lynched, although I will say that objectively speaking, this game is not bad. Our gang of old and jaded gamers, myself included, found that this game depended far too heavily on random elements, and that player choice had only a minimal effect on the outcome of the game. It is entirely possible that we ‘just didn’t get it’ as we only played twice, but the lack of player determined outcomes within the rules bothered most of our 7 play testers. (By the way, the proto was set up for four, but was easily expandable with the addition of some matched sets of four ten-sided dice. I am lucky enough to have an ‘in’ with Don Rentz of Chessex Manufacturing, and so we always have extra dice of most configurations lying around the office).
From a more objective and less personal point of view, which is the least of what is owed to Phillip here, this game is a fairly standard issue along the lines of Careers or Life (although it is, in fairness, more complex), to use two examples that we might all recognize, but didn’t make the Desert Island list of anyone in our group. Replay value was not great, although I’m not sure that such would be the case with the rank and file of consumerdom – it might actually fair quite well in that environment. I may be less than thrilled, but I’m pretty sure that “Careers” has sold a few million copies, so please don’t be upset at the comparison. I think that this game suffered as much from the fact that I and my group are hobby gamers rather than mainstream consumers as it did from a lack of player determined outcomes. The average from myself and those who played:
11 points for fun.

Side Note: If you have a group of ‘non-gaming friends’ that you’d to play Puerto Rico or Settlers of Catan with someday, this wouldn’t be a bad introductory game… It DOES have strategy, and it is fun watching folks get buried under collapsing buildings, fried by aliens, and such… those interested should probably inquire with Phillip as to the availability of a ‘home game’ :D .

Personal Prediction: Hasbro might buy it… Mayfair probably wouldn’t. …and those having read this scoring/review that are now feeling that I am a jerk are probably more correct than incorrect… so I’ll take my lumps.

Total score: 39 points

Evacuation Earth by Phillip Peterson



Well Phil, if it's of any condolence to you, I wish that folks who reviewed my stuff did so with such scrutizing eyes. It goes a long way towards helping you improve on the areas that you're weaker in for a given field.

...And here, Chris - you can use my trench. You'll need it more than me. ;-)

- Ender

PS - After reading this review, I REALLY wish I'd got something in to you guys. Sincerely.

Evacuation Earth by Phillip Peterson

I don't like to post reviews like that, I truly don't... (not that it was terrible, or anything, just that I know that a lot of effort went into this game).

BUT, this is a contest... and an honest opinion is necessary for fairness to the contestants.

I AM NOT, 'God's gift to gaming', and I could be way off base in my opinions. Those who feel the need to take me to task should fear no reprisal... although I will most probably defend the opinions expressed as well as I am able. :twisted:

I do wish I could have said what was necessary without it seeming to bash the game... 'cause thats how it reads to me, and I'm not happy about that.

Evacuation Earth by Phillip Peterson

First of all, don't feel bad about an honest review. I like honesty, good, bad or otherwise, and, like you said, it is a contest (regardless of how much work went into the game).
In my defense, I usually write RPG's and am fairly new to the boardgame scene. I actually toned down some of my obscurities to make the game more simplistic and mainstream (and to fit the rules on a single sheet of paper). So, based on your ratings, I'd say it was pretty close to the mark.
All in all, as this was my first actual review, I'm 39 points closer to a perfect score than I've ever been :D
Personally, I can't wait for the next contest. Thanks.

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