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Subject: Oss: Pros & Cons rss

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Kirk
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I believe that several of the video reviews and the prior review do a good job of describing the game. So as not to be repetitive, I am posting a + / - review in more of a bullet summary format:

Pros:

- The game is fun to play for kids to adults
- The game naturally lends itself to a "party" type game as it is fairly simplistic in nature
- This would make a great drinking game!
- The art and pieces are nicely made and transport easily thus making the game easy to take on the road
- The game has a lot of potential for expansions or even user made expansion
- The cards include a QR feature that allow players to view instructional videos on how to perform a trick
- The tricks included with the game are fun and creative


Cons:

- The English instructions included in the game are very bad and do not seem to be proof read very well for clarity nor consistency (does deuce mean “tie”?!?)
- The drawings that indicate the dexterity trick to be performed are not at all clear to first or even second time players. Combined with the poor English instructions, this requires frequent visits to the online videos and slows play considerably for what should be a fast paced game
- Some tricks are VERY easy to perform while others are very difficult. This would seem to be a good approach, however it does not seem to work for the game as players choose the trick to perform and can avoid difficult ones all of the time.
- The ability to force a duel seems unbalanced
- A lefty / righty match-up does not work for some tricks


Areas of improvement for the Oss Team:

- Proofread and use the English instructions to play a game before printing another edition!
- Be clear on how a numbered card impacts the trick (e.g. number of jacks versus number of turns) as it is NOT clear in the instructions.
- Videos should also support the above critic
- Trick decks could be ordered to put easier tricks in deck 1, harder tricks in deck 2 and the hardest in deck 3 with bonus points to encourage selection.
- Maybe a rule that you have to outbid to force a duel could add balance?
- Could use more weak-handed tricks
- Blank cards would be nice for player created tricks
- Expansions that address both competitive flow and additional tricks would be nice…
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Charles-Amir Perret
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Thanks for this review.

Concerning the Cons :

You're probably right concerning the drawings but it's really hard to put this on paper ; that's the reason we made videos. We didn't really find a better way.
You think some tricks are VERY easy to perform while others are very difficult. That's what we wanted ; while others told us that the game is incredibly difficult ; and others will tell that it's too easy. It's hard to satisfy everybody ; while in strategy games people (or non-skill games) players that don't understand anything about the game can still "pretend" and play, in games of skill, you can't pretend, you're bad and everyone can see that.
Concerning the duels, we did a lot of different tests with different players, it seems that this rule is the most balanced we found, giving the possibility to duel someone but not too much, letting the opportunity for the players to play alone.

What do you mean by " A lefty / righty match-up does not work for some tricks" ?
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Kirk
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Kat999 wrote:
Thanks for this review.

Concerning the Cons :

You're probably right concerning the drawings but it's really hard to put this on paper ; that's the reason we made videos. We didn't really find a better way.
You think some tricks are VERY easy to perform while others are very difficult. That's what we wanted ; while others told us that the game is incredibly difficult ; and others will tell that it's too easy. It's hard to satisfy everybody ; while in strategy games people (or non-skill games) players that don't understand anything about the game can still "pretend" and play, in games of skill, you can't pretend, you're bad and everyone can see that.
Concerning the duels, we did a lot of different tests with different players, it seems that this rule is the most balanced we found, giving the possibility to duel someone but not too much, letting the opportunity for the players to play alone.

What do you mean by " A lefty / righty match-up does not work for some tricks" ?


First, thanks for your reply! Maybe classifying tricks more clearly would help support the instructions (which really should be re-written in English at least).

My critic isn't that it is too difficult or too easy. It is that there should be a reward for what you consider "harder" tricks vs easier ones. I think a few hours of play testing and trick tweaks could provide a fair consensus.

Your point about a skill game is valid that it will call out folks that just aren't coordinated. Hopefully that is part of the charm for a friendly play group!

Duels can be forced every round so there is the possibility of the weakest player being consistently picked on.

As far as lefty/righty, if I am left handed and my opponent is right handed we cannot really play Bagi well nor Does Bola Bola work without a lot of changing seats. House rule is that the challenger has to play with their off hand if we get that card in a situation where they do not favor the same hand.
 
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Kirk
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Quick thought...

Did you ever consider or test a "play blind" approach where each player has an opportunity to play their tribe card PRIOR to turning over the tricks? This play would be safe from a duel.

It might be a nice way for a player to choose to play without a duel but would run the risk of over-betting a hard trick or under-betting an easy one.
 
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Charles-Amir Perret
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I understand your point of view ; we had dozens of different versions before finally choosing this one. The thing is that this game is a game of skill, so rather a party game. We wanted to make a game that is fun with a little bit of tactic / strategy. Even as it is now, a lot of people consider it too difficult to understand ... So adding for example a reward for the most difficult tricks, it's one more rule. We really tried to minimize the rules and find the best balance between something easy to understand and with a little bit of strategy.
Someone that will choose an easy trick has more chance to be duelled. That's also how it's balanced. And you also can level the difficulty by chosing which card you play.

About the duels, you will be more forced to play a duel if you play first, the last player has more chance to play alone (as there's a duel only if there are exactly 2 cards played for the same trick) ; and the one who plays first is the one that won the collective challenge, so not supposed to be that weak even though it doesn't require the same skill as the other tricks (that was also to give a chance to win for those who have difficulties to do the non-collective challenges).

For the lefty / righty thing, is it a real problem to choose 2 different sides ?

Thanks anyway for your interest in the game.
 
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Charles-Amir Perret
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Quick answer to your quick thought

Yes, we considered that ; but then it's totally random. How come you choose between playing a 1 or a 4 if you don't know the trick ? Some are possible doing once and become a much harder doing 4 times in a row
 
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Kirk
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Kat999 wrote:
Quick answer to your quick thought

Yes, we considered that ; but then it's totally random. How come you choose between playing a 1 or a 4 if you don't know the trick ? Some are possible doing once and become a much harder doing 4 times in a row


That would be the risk you'd take for being safe from a duel...

Also, if the trick decks were split into perceived degrees of difficulty (1- Easy 2- Med 3- Hard) that would curb the risk.

Are there any thoughts around expansions yet?
 
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Charles-Amir Perret
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The good thing about this game is that you can imagine plenty of new tricks and silly rules so we have this in our head but it's too early, the game has only a few months and we're still have boxes to sell We're working with different distributors but still looking for new ones.
 
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