Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A new idea

I just played Akrotiri for the second time, and I think that I should write a review of it.

Akrotiri: 2 players, about 30 minutes

This game combines multiple mechanics: tile laying, pick up and deliver, and secret goals. During the game you are playing as ancient Greek explorers who are trying to discover the locations of forgotten temples based on clues that you were given in ancient maps.

I first played the game right after it came out, and told myself that my wife would enjoy it. I never saw it in a store, so I never got it until a recent BGG math trade.

The game starts with a large tile (the island of Thera) being placed in the center, and everyone receiving starting maps and goals. The maps are cards that give you requirements for building temples (I will explain more about that later - it is the coolest part of the game to me).

Goals are things like "Score 2 points for each of your Temples that are on an island with a volcano", or "Score 2 points for each of your Temples that are on islands that are not completed". Throughout the game you will gain more goals, and you don't reveal what goals you have until the end of the game.

The points associated with goals can give quite a few points to players: You can get 78 points from perfectly completing the best goals in the game, however you can only get 42 points from discovering all six temples using the most difficult maps. Since the only other source of points in the game in having lots of money, the max score possible is 126. That being said, you can't really expect to score over 100 very often because the right combinations of secret goals cannot be guaranteed.

The map mechanic of the game is by far the most fun part of the game to me. The maps define where the temple has to exist relative to what terrain icons. For instance: if a map had a temple with a volcano above it, a tree to the right, and a lake below it, then that means that you have to place your temple on the map south of a volcano, north of a lake, and west of a forest. This boxes you into a specific place on the map, and often makes it impossible to place a temple unless you add new tiles to put the terrain icons that your map requires on the side of the map that you care about.

The game is a competitive game for two where you are not directly attacking each other. It is an excellent game for a couple that likes multiplayer solitaire games, but it also has a fair amount of player interaction. On BGG I have rated this game an 8 of 10.

End of review.

In other news: I just opened up the copy of Temporum that I got at the math trade and played it for the first time today. We had a pretty fun time, but some players too way too long for their turns. After we have a game that moves at a reasonable speed, I will probably review that one as well.