semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action
I solemnly swear I'm up to no good
I stumbled across this game on my seemingly never-ending quest to find fun two-player games to play with my wife and this seemed to fit the bill. I’d rather not get into the rules too much as the other reviewers have done an excellent job explaining them. I’ll assume the rules are known and focus more on the review.
1. Components. The production value was about average for a Fantasy Flight game. I was a little surprised to notice the differences between the components of Minotaur Lords and its sister game Scarab Lords. The Scarab Lords cards have a nice waxy finish which gives them a more durable feel. The Minotaur Lords cards (at least in my version) were standard thick-stock paper cards. This would not have been disappointing at all had it not been for the inevitable comparison of the two. The instructions in Scarab Lords were full colored thick-stock paper, whereas the instructions in Minotaur Lords were thinner and black-and-white. Again, not a real concern, but why not give the games equal treatment? The solid wood Minotaur supremacy pieces are nice. And the curse counters are nice, thick punch-outs. Being uber-anal about my cards, I really would’ve liked the waxy coat. But for about 13 bucks, my complaining will stop here.
2. Gameplay. The mechanics of this game are very interesting and, usually, very enjoyable. Basically the two players are fighting for two-thirds “supremacy” in two different regions. Once a player has claimed this supremacy, and the other player cannot dethrone her (I say ‘her’ because my wife often wins), the game is over. There are some games where I feel like the game is playing me as opposed to me playing the game. Sometimes there is only one obvious set of moves to play during your turn and you don’t really feel like you’re given a chance to strategize. There are other games where strategy comes into play and you really feel like you need to outwit your opponent. It all depends on the draw of the cards. I’m not against card drawing games by any means, and the luck factor of this game is about on par with others I’ve played. Victory is often not very rewarding in this game when strategy doesn’t sneak in. Although, for me anyway, that really isn’t the point. The game itself is inherently fun to play even when the cards do seem to be playing you. Something about the mechanics is just appealing.
3. Fun Factor. As I said, the mechanics are very enjoyable. As you progress through the game, gaining and losing supremacy, you are given the opportunity to use your supremacy against your opponent in different ways. So there is incentive to have supremacy during the game. There are three different supremacy types (economic, religious, and military) each with its own reward. This keeps the game both interesting and enjoyable. The endgame can be a little anticlimactic at times, but the journey there makes it worth it.
4. Overall. If you’re looking for an overly strategic game that will constantly keep you on your toes, this may not be the one for you. But if you’re looking for a quick, light game that you can enjoy with your wife or significant other, then this probably fits the bill. It’s well worth the price of admission.
Fun Factor: 8/10