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Subject: Mil05006 Reviews: Rampage! rss

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Erik Miller
United States
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Rampage is a game of town destruction by Asmodee Games, producers of 7 Wonders and other interesting games. It's a lighter game, definitely designed more with families in mind, but is a lot of fun for adults too. It involves some moving, some laughing, some meeple chasing, and some cursing when you can't find said meeple that fell off the table and you need to find said meeple. Costing $60, is Rampage worth it?

It is IMPORTANT TO NOTE that some of the pictures in this review have meeples with stickers on them. You have to buy the stickers separate from the game itself.

How to Play:

The object of the game is to score the most points! Points are tallied when the game is over, which happens when EITHER all the floors in the game are eaten OR when the "runaway meeple" board is full, whichever happens first. During the course of the game, if meeples fall off the board (or the table), they are placed on the runaway board, filling spaces and causing problems if you fill an entire row. When all the rows are filled, game over! Tally your points and move on!

Points are scored in 4 ways. There are 6 different meeple colors- each set of 6 meeples you have (one of each color)is worth 10 points.

Secondly, every monster has teeth. If you knock out a tooth from a monster (by knocking their figure over purposefully during your turn) you score 2 points for each tooth you have.

Thirdly, each floor you eat up (has no meeples on top of or underneath it)during the game is worth 1 point at the end of the game.

Finally, every player has a character card which gives them an additional way to score points, usually related to (but not always)the meeples you eat, whether it is amount or certain colors.

Gameplay is simple. You set up the map by creating buildings, all but 1 of which is a 3 story building. Each building floor is supported by a number of meeples (usually 4) and each tile has little meeple figures on it to show where they go.

Some of the floors look like this:

Each floor is double sided so you have either a roof, for the top level of a building, or some sort of room for a different level. Some of the buildings are longer, some are like these pictured, and one is a huge sports arena that is only 1 story but is held up by a lot more meeples. You also place a vehicle on their associated space on the board (it's easy- news van goes on the big news van, etc) and each monster goes in a color-coordinated corner.

When you're done the map looks something like this:

Now, you're ready to destroy!

Each player gets 1 character card for an additional way to score points:

1 power card, to give you some sort of always-on ability

And 1 super secret power card, kept face down until used ONCE per game to give you some sort of great boost

Now, you pick a starting player by determining who can sound the most like a monster (or the youngest- that's our play) and away you go!

Each turn every monster gets 2 actions. They pick from a list of 4 possible actions and can do whatever they want, including the same action twice. Each action is explained here:

Move: Pick up your monster body, flick the paws disc, then place the body back on the disc.

Demolish: If your paws are on the sidewalk surrounding a building, you can pick up your monster body, drop it onto a building, then collect any floors that have no meeples on them.

Toss a vehicle If you're in a neighborhood with a vehicle, you can pick up the vehicle, place it on your body, then flick the vehicle at a building or another monster. This will commonly result in hurt fingers.

Even while away from sidewalks with no vehicles, you can cause destruction by placing your chin on your monster's body and blowing across the board. This usually makes you look like a total doofus and results in laughing.

If a meeple falls off the board during any of these actions they ran away from the city and get placed on the runaway board here:

If the board is full, GAME OVER! Each time a row fills something bad happens to the monster who filled the row, usually loss of a tooth or two and sometimes giving the other players one extra action during their turn.

there is also a backside to this board that has meaner effects that occur when 3 meeples of a certain color escape. It changes the game a lot more- like causing you to remove 4 meeples from your scoring area, or lose 2 teeth, etc. The side pictured is the more family friendly variant.

Additional effects can occur from powers and if your monster goes off the board during a move action you lose a tooth. If you get knocked over by another monster during an action you stay on your side and they take one of your teeth.

After you've taken both your actions you get to eat meeples. You get to eat 1 meeple for each tooth you have left in your mouth. You have 2 permanent teeth and 4 "breakable" teeth, so at the start of the game you can eat 6 meeples a turn. The board is divided up into neighborhoods, color-coordinated pieces of property surrounded by fences. You can only eat meeples in your neighborhood who are NOT on the sidewalk around a building or in the ruins (bottom space, not a floor) of a building. You put each meeple you eat behind a screen so no one sees exactly how many floors or meeples you eat and only reveal them at the end of the game.

As stated before, when all the floors are gone OR when the runaway board is full, game over! tally your points and see what happens!

Final Thoughts: Rampage is a LOT of fun though it's really not involved at all. We've had some 5 yr olds play with us (we didn't use the cards) without any difficulty. My son (he's 17 months old currently) keeps trying to play but he mostly just wants to eat the meeples. Or knock over the buildings. He thinks they are block towers apparently. Anyways, this game is fun. You feel goofy while playing it, you laugh, you try to catch meeples as they fly off the table when your monster slams into them, and you moan as someone knocks over your monster and steals a tooth. Rampage has some great qualities about it, namely being the fact that it is VERY family oriented and it's quick and easy to pick up, but it does have some.. flaws? as well.

My biggest issue with this game is that some of the character/power cards are VERY good and others aren't. The character cards everyone wants are the ones that give you 3 points for each set of 2 color meeples you have (so for each red/yellow set you get an additional 3 points) or the ones that give you 10 points if you eat the most meeples of a certain color. Others, like the one that gives you 5 points for each vehicle that's on a ruin at the end of the game, are basically useless because it almost never happens during the game.

The same problem exists with the powers- One gives you an extra move action each turn (HUGE!) while another lets you pick up a vehicle from an adjacent neighborhood. Not that huge. I can go on but basically there are some REALLY desirable cards and some not so helpful cards that no one really wants. However, this is not a HUGE problem but just something to be aware of. You can easily use it like we do, to handicap the adults so that the kids have a better chance at winning, or make it so that really desirable characters are teamed with weaker powers, etc. There are a tons of things you can do about it, but just be aware that sometimes someone will get a KILLER card combo and others won't. You'll feel like the rubber Godzilla from the old movies going up against the monster from Cloverfield. It won't be pretty, to say the least. The other problem I have is that while the player screens are a great idea to keep your points behind, everyone will move around the table as their monster moves around so they will see what you have behind your screen. It's not a big deal it's just something to note.

All in all, though, Rampage is a GREAT game for families and for people who want a nice, relaxing, low key game. The wife and I play it against each other after a long day when it's too early to go to bed but we don't want to think. There's not a whole lot of thinking involved here but there is a lot of fun, laughter, and a good time to be had.

I'd recommend Rampage to anyone who has kids who like games, who wants to have some lighter games in their collection to either play with non-gamer friends or to just have different options for, or for someone who wants a game that is goofy, fun, and is different. There aren't many games where you WANT to drop pieces on and cause as much destruction as possible too. This may occur in other games when bad things happen, but in here it's part of the game. I'd caution that if you have pets that like to eat things on the floor indiscriminately this may not be the best game for you since meeples will fly when you play the game. It'd suck to lose one to your cat or dog! Or whatever other pet you have.

Go ahead, though. Buy Rampage. You won't regret it!

Check out my other reviews at Reviews by Mil05006
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