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Subject: No review? ---? Find one hidden in this post! rss

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MS-06 Zaku II
Canada
Vancouver
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The (non-English) game has been out for a month, and I am surprised (disappointed) there is no review posted in BGG.... surprise

What's wrong with game?

(Updated the SUBJECT)
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Hector Rosario
Puerto Rico
Toa Baja
Puerto Rico
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Re: No review?
Hello. I have never reviewed a game but I will give you my opinion about it.

First of all I live in Puerto Rico, full of castaway stories from the tales of the Golden age of Piracy and Caribbean sea traffic. I felt like I needed to own this game. So I ordered from Spain, I paid more for the shipping than for the actual MSRP, and as I told the creator of the game a few days ago, I would have paid double.


Concept

The concept of the game is to fulfill various story line requirements to semi cooperatively or cooperatively, attract the attention of a passing vessel and being rescued from the island.

When I say Semi or Full coop depends on how the players wanna go. For my first game with new players I always opt to go full coop and make the goal of getting out of the island our coop priority, if we all get out, we all win as a group.

If I have seasoned players, we opt to go with the intended semi cooperative rules. If we get rescued from the island, we go to a point system and the ones with the majority of story points, get the win, thematically, this person gets to write his memoirs and gets rich in real life.

Theme

Right out of the box this is a very thematic game. If you have read the adventures of Robinson Crusoe or the story of Juana Maria, Ernest Shackleton, Tom Neale, Gerald Kingsland to name a few, you will feel right at home.

Alberto Corral have the ability to submerge you into a dire situation with the use of great art and easy going mechanics. If you are able to read the setting and all the event cards aloud, this will surely is a game that will make you hearth warm, its a theme game with soul.

Art
From the box to the player event cards the art is excellent and evocative, its an idea plastered in colors. Relevant and illustrative. Some cards have repetitive pictures, but they are not many.

Components

The components of the game are not of Top Quality like Fantasy Flight or any of the big companies. But let me go into a defense stand here in favor of the game. Please understand that Spain, from where this jewel comes from, is in a deep economical crisis in which almost 4 million of the able workforce is not working. They might have need to go for a more affordable option.

This does not mean are bad component. The board is sturdy and the meeples are plastic. sometimes I wish they have made different counters for the different marking actions instead of sharing the same cubes to mark food, wood and crates. But is a minor complaint. One that can be easily solved by buying a $10 dollars box of colored wood cubes from Amazon or to use some of your other games.

The board is really nice drawn, I found no faults in mine. Is not glossy or highly finished but it does the job.

The cards have a miss print on the class of each player, I hope they fix that on the English version. The quality is not top but regular. I did sleeved mine, because I know they could get damaged by my friend's Troll hands and beer spilling habits.

Plot
As your players start the first day on the island, the plot immediately thickens, there is a sense of "What we do know?" and then if that happens, you as the owner of the game knows that this group is gonna really love this game. This is the time to talk, insinuate and prepare them for the ordeals to come. There are tasks on your beach camp that can make your stay better, there is a weather element that is brutal to you, there is a constant food search and very minor wood resource management that will keep your group on their toes!

And then...there is adventure! Once your castaways solve their live comfort on the beach, they will start exploring, and this is when most of the game shines. You will have events that will be discussed and remembered by all. It can be a group thing or a solo thing. But adventuring must be made to discover not only the island but even artifacts that you will need to get out of it.

Some players tell me that they remind some 90'ties books of select your own adventure, no matter what card you get, you have a say in what to do, and even if the roll of the dice affects you, there is a mechanic that might let you roll again if you pay with story points. This adventures are the meat of this game.

Interaction

For me, the most important about any game is the interaction between players. It what makes it fun. You will have characters and ideas clashing each time, or if everyone is cool even better. You can even resolve any problem with fistfights!

Players will need to talk, they will need to coordinate and there is very minimum space for that Alpha player or a bossy player to irritate others around, because if he does, the group will shun on him and that is not good. (We even lynched a guy on a game, each player beat the crap out of him and produced his 4th wound...killing him instantly...it was kind of a house rule we allow...the game was just sleeping and writing his memoirs)

Gameplay

The game goes by turns, you select actions or adventures and is very smooth even for new players after the second turn. Expect lots of interaction and fun.


Game Length

The Game last about 4:00 for newcomer groups of 4. That is explaining the rules and taking it easy. If they play a second game as seasoned players they might minimize it to 3 hours...but even with Veterans it might take you 3..because of the fun and arguing.

Setup and Clean Up

Make sure to setup the game before your players arrive. Because it might take you 10 minutes to set up all. If not remember to organize your game in a way for you to be efficient. There are numbered and not numbered cards that go to different decks. This might take those 10 minutes to setup. Once the game is done the clean up is a bit hard. If you are going to play again, it might take you a bit to re organize the decks and clean up all the pieces and tokens. I usually only play one game and when I finish I pull everything n the box, close it and deal with it later.

Rules

The rules are not family friendly. They are adult friendly. Lucky for us, the BGG and for us who understand spanish the labsk site provides enough info from the beta testers and the game creator itself to clarify all the doubts.

Note:
The solo version of the game is Brutal to you...you might probably die, but you will never have so much fun dying

Price

The game is marked at 27 Euros. I paid 31 for shipping. I would have paid 60 for this game, and the only change I would make are the family friendly rules with lots of examples and pictures.


My final thoughts on this game is that, if you like coop and player interaction, its a must buy game. It has lots of replay ability due to over 20 plot cards that are random. I hope this comes to US shores soon and at an affordable price. Feel free to send your thoughts to Alberto, he is very active and passionate on this game.
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MS-06 Zaku II
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Re: No review?
humm... 4 hours, probably it is a longer game than Robinson Crusoe...

Thx for your excellent info!!
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doom 18
Spain
Can Pastilla
Illes Balears
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¡¡¡A por el próximo!!!
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Re: No review?
now change the title of the post to something like:

No review? Find one hidden in this post!

:p :p :p
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Ron Balla
Canada
Windsor
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Re: No review?
Thanks you Hector so much for the synopsis of the game.

It sounds much like the Zman game (I own Zman's Robinson Crusoe) but I really like the competitive aspect as an option.

I will certainly buy this game as I think both seem really good and jsut different enough to warrant playing both depending on the group and mood/competitiveness.
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Linae Foster
United States
Washington
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Re: No review?
Passport Game Studios is bringing the English version to North America this summer. It's releasing under the name "Castaways" with a release date of August 9th - just in time for Gen Con.
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Jesper Hansen
Denmark
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You should post the review as a review, it'll earn you GG
 
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