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Subject: Robinson Crusoe? rss

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Cory Yates
United States
Pekin
Illinois
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Help me decide if I should get this game. My wife doesn't like co-ops but I do. What sets this so apart from other co-op games? Is it really that much better? Why? Seems like a lot of dice are involved. Does that decide the difference between winning and losing most of the time?
 
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Warren Zdan
United States
Council Bluffs
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I think theme is what sets it apart the most, along with maybe challenge. Every bit of this game can feel like it's something you would actually go through or have to deal with if you were stranded on an island. Each time you play is like a new story unfolding, with a completely different narrative each time. It also balances very well with any number of players (1-4) - it doesn't feel decidedly easier/harder with a certain number.

The dice determine whether you succeed at different tasks you attempt, and if you get hurt or encounter an adventure when trying to complete them. You can commit extra resources (workers, this is essential a worker-placement game) to auto-complete the tasks so you won't have to deal with dice, but you won't have enough workers to do everything you need to do, and will eventually need to do some risk management and try tasks reliant on the dice. I don't blame the dice for being the difference between winning an losing, and dice hate me. Instead I try to figure out how I might have done things differently, and if there was a way to commit more workers to the tasks so that I wouldn't have had to roll dice as many times.
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M M
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New York
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It's the only pure co-op that I like. I find most of them are overly formulaic, subject to the alpha player takeover, and feel more like a puzzle than a game.

Robinson Crusoe, through the variety of events that come up, feels like a story. Things are happening in unpredictable and different ways that represent more than just a min-max situation. The level of detail on the events (you got a bee sting, your left leg is swollen) and the continuation/follow-up of those events (unable to medicate your leg, you need a crutch today and can only do actions around the camp) really drive something different.

It also somewhat keeps the alpha player at bay because people become invested in their characters. The soldier is always looking to hunt. The explorer is always looking to explore. So on. So people talk about what is best for the group, but everyone stays engaged and pushes for their own character's role.

If you're looking for a situation which you can totally control, RC is not for you. The dice are generally not what determines winning or losing, but the draws of events and adventures can sway it one way or another. But you don't play RC to at the end say, "I won." Like all co-ops, winning is a bit of a hollow victory. You didn't beat anybody; you beat the game. You play RC because it provides a great game experience. You play for the 2-3 hours that you play it, not the 5 minutes that you absorb the win/loss. Someone who plans well and adapts to the situations presented is definitely going to do better than someone who doesn't, but it's ultimately not a 100% guaranteed thing. It might cap out at 70-80%. If that's going to bother you, you should get something else. But you would be missing a great game.
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r0t1 prata
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What games does your wife like to play? And did she ever mention why she doesn't like co-ops?

In my opinion RC is similar to other co-ops, but it provides a bigger variety of actions to choose from.
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