So, on the Friday night at UK Games Expo, Sam, Kevin (from the excellent Kevin and Games), Tim and Myself went for a very nice meal over at TGI Friday and by the time we’d finished eating and talking we hadn’t left much time for gaming.
We came back to the hotel and squeezed in a nice light game of Race for the Galaxy and after burning our brains out with that game, which I lost only fractionally, we decided to learn something new. After all it was 11 o’clock at night and we’d all been travelling and filming all day, what could be better than learning something new?
Well, we went to the game library and plumped for Tigris and Euphrates, however after several attempts at reading the rules we discovered we were missing pieces and gave up.
Sam and Kevin vanished to find a different, more complete game while I stayed behind to guard the drinks. When they returned they were accompanied by the team from Imagination Gaming (if you don’t know about Imagination Gaming you should really check them out.) and a new game out of Gigamic…
I believe that Steve from Coiled Spring was the man who sat down to teach us the game and the concept is very simple. You either want to collect lots of cards the same or none at all. The scoring goes something like this.
- 0 = 5 points
- 1 = 1 point
- 2 = 2 points
- 3 = 6 points
- 4 = 10 points
- 5 = 15 points
There are 61 cards in the game, 10 of each character and one Alice Card. The cards all depict characters from the Lewis Carol novel Alice in Wonderland and each card is double sided, one side depicting the character the other showing the character inside a mirror.
The sixty character cards are shuffled and 20 are dealt, the cards are alternated so that there are 10 cards that are character side up and 10 are mirror side up.
Players then take it in turns taking cards from the centre of the table. They can usually take upto three cards as long as they are connected either orthogonally or diagonally. All the cards taken must be in a straight line.
You are aiming to collect 3 or more of a character across the three rounds, or to have none. A mirror character cancels out a standard character and vice versa.
The player with the most points after all the cards have been claimed (3 rounds with 20 cards each round) is the winner.
It’s a nice simple game that forces you either to think four moves ahead and account for what the other players will take or to react cleverly to the adapting situation.
It has nice bright artwork and very simple rules. It’s not deep by any sense and it’s probably not something I would want to play, certainly not for an extended period of time, but it’s a nice filler and really simple and easy to teach to the age group it’s aimed at. And it does have some nice strategy and tactics as you try to either add to your groups or cancel them out, an option that is not usually available in a set collection game.
If you are looking for a light, set collection game to play with younger gamers then this is probably a nice game for you. However, it’s not a hard-core gamers game and the Alice in Wonderland theme does not extend beyond the artwork.