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C02-- A few insights

Marguerite Cottrell
United States
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Every time I mention having played CO2, I get very interested looks from gamers. It seems that it interests exactly one person in any given game group but never hits the table. Here are a few thoughts after my fourth game.

Overall score? 7/10

CO2 is a game in which players are tasked in saving the world from pollution. Each decade the world will build nasty fossil fuel-powered power plants unless we have collectively proposed, installed and constructed plants that use cleaner energies. I ACTUALLY REMEMBER THE THEME TO THE GAME YOU GUYS. IT RESONATES REALLY WELL, EVEN THROUGH MY THICK SKULL.
The catch here is that a player may only take one of those large actions on a given turn. The plants do not belong to a given player until they are constructed. So Player A proposes, Player B installs and Player C constructs, taking the victory points and possibly control of the region.

I have decided that it is attempting something like Roads and Boats. Roads and Boats accomplishes the incentivizing/semi co-op goal better. I will certainly encourage playing CO2 as it has something unique to say about cooperative and semi-cooperative game design. Decisions can be made murky and tense. Players will have to make a worse move for the greater good. You do not need a horde of things befalling on you to make you work hard, but it can happen.
It is also in this point that the game falls over. One player at the table can go rogue, diving after any open points and not helping. Archipelago had an interesting Trend card that gave players endgame points for being helpful. This type of incentive is needed and CO2 is found lacking. To fully enjoy the game my group had something of a gentlemen's agreement to play the game as I believe it to be intended.

I love the action selection here. You do need to plan a few turns ahead to ensure the correct plants are built at the correct times. Leveling up in the experience tracks is an interesting long-form decision. Two of the tracks are better end-game and three are better mid-game. Adopting the end-game tracks early will give you fewer plants and bigger income.

Between the beautiful graphic design, smart decision-making and quick turns... I would recommend it for the experience-- but I don't know if it will last more than 10 games.
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