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Subject: Scuttle - Bound for the Black Pearl or bound for Davy Jones Locker? rss

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Lee Schmitz
United States
Cumming
Georgia
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I received my copy of Scuttle!this afternoon and decided to give my oldest son (10) a break from swabbing the decks to test this game out. I had backed it on Kickstarter with the expansions and have been waiting patiently, with a bottle of rum and a parrot on my shoulder, for this treasure to arrive.

Packaging
I must say that I was really surprised by the quality of the box. The art is sweet, simple, and fitting to the theme. The gold lettering is a really nice touch. Yet, the box itself is the pearl in the oyster. Shiver me timbers, this box is thick and solid. I could probably throw this at a stow away and knock them out. I must honestly say that I did struggle a bit trying to get the lid off of the box but please don't tell my wife. I think I'm already embarrassing her with all the pirate references in this review. If she finds out about my struggle with a cardboard lid, I may be sleeping with the fishes before the next full moon.

Inside of the box is a well done cardboard insert with a spot in the middle to hold the cards, and I was able to fit the base game, the Kickstarter exclusive cards, and the 2 expansions perfectly in to the box.

Packaging Rating: 5 out of 5 frosty ales.


Art
During the Kickstarter campaign, I honestly wasn't really drawn in by the art. A pirate never lies... Oh wait...

Anyway, I just wasn't really connecting with the water color and pastel look on the screen. Not that the art was bad, it was nice, it just really wasn't my style. HOWEVER, when I opened the box and actually started to flip through the cards my ship completely turned around and the wind was put into my sails. The art is PERFECT for this game. It completely adds to the theme, and it looks really great. I couldn't have been more pleased on how it all looks in person. I'm ashamed that I didn't like it from the beginning. It's fun, it's cute, it's thematic, it tastes like chicken.

Art Rating: Five out of five bottles of rum.


Components:
Well, here is where me beard be getting a little gray what does that even mean!?. The rule book is nice, good quality, glossy and well laid out. No complaints there. The cards feel really nice in the hand. They have a great linen finish, slide well, and will definitely never get scurvy and stick together with wear like cards from Catan other games. The cards feel a tad thin though. I wish they would have went up in thickness just a hair (yours, not mine... mine is getting thinner... I feel we need the opposite effect on the cards). As if to subconsciously prove my point, while playing the game with my son, he was bowing the cards in his hand. You know, the action where other people apply pressure to your cards juuuuuuuuust enough to make them bow out, but not quite bend. You know, the action that makes the OCD side of me want to make other players in the game walk the plank... until my wife reminds me "It's only a game, they are meant to be played". At which point I turn bright red in agony while shaking uncontrollably with the desire to waterboard the person messing up my components agree with her completely and get back to enjoying the game.

I know some people will suggest sleeving the game, but to me, most games just aren't meant for that. I can't see my kids really getting into the game with sleeves, my wife would tease me, and my friends who game casually with us would think I've completed the transformation from GEEK to NERD (not that there is anything wrong with that) and I'd never hear the end of it. I feel like sleeves are good for CCG type games or rare games, but for a game that you can easily go out and get another when you wear one out, it just isn't worth it. We don't even sleeve Dominion which kind of breaks my heart I am completely fine with.

Component Rating: 3 out of 5 shiny gold doubloons.


Gameplay
This game plays well. It is super easy to learn, easy to teach, and simple to play. My 10 year old picked up on it from the first play. Even though the box says Ages 6+ I haven't tried this with my younger kids because there is a little bit of reading that is essential to playing, and my 6 year old isn't the reader my 10 year old was at his age. Just be aware of that if you are picking this up for younger kids. I don't find this a determent at all, but keep it in mind if you want to play with younger kids.

It has a simple approach where you either draw a card or play a card (unless there is a permanent card in play telling you otherwise). While it is comparable to a game like Fluxx in theory with the added permanents or draw/play 1. It really doesn't feel anything like Fluxx, so if you don't like Fluxx, don't let my poor attempt at comparison sway your opinion like the Black Pearl in a rough storm.

The game plays super quick. The first game I played with my son was over in just 3 card plays by me (so 6 "turns"). This was a few minutes at best. The average game does last about 5 minutes. It's a great length though because it makes it that much more fun when you have the ability to play a card that completely messes with everyone else's cards giving you a quick win out of nowhere. There is a variant in the rules for extended gameplay called "War of the Pirates" which is a great way to extend the game, and probably the way we'll play it with a game group the most, although there is nothing wrong with the quick games. I quite like it because if you play with someone who doesn't like to lose (did I mention I have 3 kids?) the game moves quick enough that no one seems to get sour about it.

I played the solo game one time and I enjoyed it. I'm not usually a big solo game fan, but I can see playing this here and there. It's surprisingly more interactive than I expected it to be. Who needs friends?

The expansions are really fun and add a lot to the game keeping it really fresh. The Curse of Black Jack adds a fun "press your luck" type element that really is a lot of fun, and Scurvy! really mixes up the gameplay by adding perils that change the game pretty drastically mid game, so you never know what to expect.

"I'm about to win!"

"No you're not."

"No I'm not."

Bottom line, this game is fun. Short and sweet, but packed with more entertainment than I have pirate references expected this little game to have.

Gameplay Rating: bagbagbagbagbag 5 buried treasures out of 5.

Conclusion
While I'm a tad tipsy from the card thickness, this game does NOT have to walk the plank. The game is super fun and really fast. Families and casual gamers should really enjoy this, and it has enough buried treasure for even seasoned gamers. I really enjoy this game, and for the price it was WELL worth it.

I rate this game arrrharrrharrrharrrh 4 Jack Sparrow's out of 5 walk the plank you thin cards!


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Daniel
Germany
Freiburg
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Hi Lee, this is an awesome review. I feel the same about the game, I just don't have those wonderful words for it. Thanks a lot for this entertaining text.
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Lee Schmitz
United States
Cumming
Georgia
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Hey thanks! Glad I could entertain! I think I over committed myself and ran out of pirate references quicker than anticipated.
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Peter Hayward
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Thanks so much for the kind words, Lee!
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Lee Schmitz
United States
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Georgia
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My pleasure! Thanks for making a game that everyone can enjoy! I actually just pulled this out with the family this afternoon for a few quick games. arrrh
 
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