- Jason Funnell(JasonF)Australia
Although Cogz is designed by a West Australian I hadn't met Wez before being introduced to the game. However I feel I should point out that he is both a local and that he requested I write this review.
As a keen gamer and manager of a games store I get to see and hear about quite a few prototypes, and frankly they are usually flawed and fairly amateur. So when I heard about another locally designed wannabe game I sighed and steeled myself for the process of sitting down and muddling through. It had received a fair amount of playtesting prior to my play but even so, I arrogantly considered that once my weight of experience had been brought to bear its flaws would instantly become clear.
Well, there aren't any flaws. In fact I think Wez has created a game that bests Ingenious in comparison. This is a laudable achievement given that I scored Ingenious an 8/10.
It is very much like Ingenious in that a player has a hand of tiles and on his/her turn plays one of them into the grid of preplaced tiles and then scores points in a colour category according to how many other identically coloured tiles link to the one just played. Every tile has two sections, each of which is of one of the four colours in the game. Some of the tiles have identically coloured sections but most consist of two different colours. Normally you will try to score both sections of the tile you lay, but sometimes it is best to only score one. The clever part of the game is that the tile that you draw to replace the one you just played is the tile that you have just displaced from the grid. Thus not only are you looking to score as best you can but the placement needs to be made with a view to which tile you replace and take into your hand.
Just like Ingenious (and some other games) your final score is equal to the lowest of your colour scores, with tie breaks running to your next worst colour and so on. Also, just like Ingenious, if you achieve a certain score in a given colour you get another turn.
There are a couple of rules that differentiate the game from Ingenious. A series of linked colour sections are 'locked' if they either form a closed circuit, or if they run from and to an edge of the grid. Once locked that particular series cannot be scored from again. The tiles that form part of that series can be replaced however, but only by making sure that any new tile played doesn't change the colour of the locked series. The player who creates the lock gets to take a +2 scoring token for that colour.
There is a handy 'game gadget' provided, which both summarises the grid size according to how many players there are, and also keeps track of how many turns are left to play. Both the grid size and number of turns vary according to the number of players.
I've enjoyed all of my games of Cogz, and as I mentioned at the beginning of this review I prefer it to Ingenious. The added nuance of being able to choose your replacement tile is a clever part of the game. And it has a neater and more compact feel to it. Although the art and colours do not stand out for me, the fact that the pipes also feature different textures for colour blind players is a thoughtful touch. Furthermore, Cogz can cater for up to six players, something I always appreciate in a game.
I don't normally give fractional scores but I need to mark it better than Ingenious 8/10 because I prefer it.
- [+] Dice rolls