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Subject: Initial impressions after my first couple of games yesterday rss

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I received my Kickstarted copy of the game 2 days ago, and yesterday evening my wife and I found a few minutes to give it a try. We played 2 games: in the first my wife played Bigfoot, then we switched roles for the second.

We played using the regular game rules. (The rulebook includes a variant called "Family Mode" which looks terrible. Playing that way would strip away much of the strategic fun and turn the game into little more than a random, card-flipping exercise.)

My response to the physical components was somewhat mixed. The artwork on the cards is delightful, but the text on the cards is minuscule (even wearing my reading glasses, I was struggling to read it). Likewise, the cardboard feet tokens are rather the opposite of big, but the wooden foot tokens provided by the Kickstarter are pleasingly chunky. The whole thing could have come in a box that was about half as thick as it currently is, but it's still quite a small, portable package.

The game itself is a very clever little mash-up of "I divide, you decide" with deduction. The whole Mr. Jack family of games is collectively my favourite game design of all time, and Bigfoot presents a 2-player deduction game that plays much quicker and with much less brain-burning agony than the Mr. Jack games, while still providing a fun challenge to the players. After the rules explanation, we knocked off 2 games in roughly 45 minutes and we both enjoyed ourselves. My wife, who is not as naturally inclined toward deductive thinking as I am, was quite pleased with how well she played the cryptozoologist, and that she was able to deduce my last hideout based on cards I had chosen to discard through my action card play.

My major concern with the game after our first crack at it is that it might be too easy to win as the cryptozoologist. In both of our games, the cryptozoologist player won in turn 4 of 6 without any anxiety over wrong guesses. But before I start crying "IMBALANCED!!" after just 2 plays, I'll go with the assumption that playing as Bigfoot presents a more challenging learning curve (the opposite of what I would have expected based on how the game is structured). And until we learn to be better Bigfoots... Bigfeet??... we can use the other variant provided in the rules ("Elusive Bigfoot") and perhaps even reduce the total number of game rounds to 5 instead of 6 at the same time. Even if further plays do reveal a bit of an imbalance, I enjoy asymmetrical play so much that it wouldn't bother me a great deal, and should be easy enough to work around using these simple variants.

I've become quite impressed with Scott Almes as a designer, and think that he's one to keep an eye on in the next little while. Kings of Air and Steam has been one of my favourite (and most played) releases of the past couple of years, Tiny Epic Kingdoms was obviously hugely successful, Harbour looks quite intriguing, and Bigfoot is further proof of the diversity of talent that Mr. Almes has demonstrated thus far.

Well before these quick thoughts grow into a full-on (and minimally informed!) review, I'll leave it at that, and hope to be hunting Bigfoot again soon!

Cheers, and happy gaming! meeple

-Josh
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Scott Almes
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Thanks for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed your plays, and thank you for the kind words on my other games

Yes, the Bigfoot character certainly has a steeper learning curve than the Cryptozoologist has. But, a very rewarding one. (Much like playing Jack in Mr. Jack, I'd say) Also, as you mentioned, there's the Elusive Bigfoot variant that really helps out Bigfoot. (It's nice for experienced players, too)

I look forward to hearing about your further plays.
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Major Havok
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We put in 3 games last night and Bigfoot lost every time. Since clues are coming in to the Cryptozoologist based on Bigfoot's _current_ set of lair cards, it "could" get confusing for the Cryptozoologist if they don't properly interpret older clues.

Any tips for the Bigfoot player? Obviously the choice of path needs to take into account everything the Cryptozoologist already knows so as to the path with the most "new information" in it.
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matthewabair wrote:
Since clues are coming in to the Cryptozoologist based on Bigfoot's _current_ set of lair cards, it "could" get confusing for the Cryptozoologist if they don't properly interpret older clues.


After our first game, we realized that it was best to play all cards (including both sensing equipment and hideout cards) in a row in chronological order of when they were played. So for example, there might be a few sensing equipment cards with the appropriate foot tokens on them, then a revealed hideout card, then some more sensing equipment cards, then another hideout, etc. In this manner, it was easy to keep track of when exactly each hideout was revealed in relation to which clues were discovered.
 
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Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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squash wrote:
My major concern with the game after our first crack at it is that it might be too easy to win as the cryptozoologist. In both of our games, the cryptozoologist player won in turn 4 of 6 without any anxiety over wrong guesses. But before I start crying "IMBALANCED!!" after just 2 plays, I'll go with the assumption that playing as Bigfoot presents a more challenging learning curve (the opposite of what I would have expected based on how the game is structured). And until we learn to be better Bigfoots... Bigfeet??... we can use the other variant provided in the rules ("Elusive Bigfoot") and perhaps even reduce the total number of game rounds to 5 instead of 6 at the same time.


Just to follow up on this, my wife and I played 2 more games while out at a cafe for lunch yesterday, this time using the "Elusive Bigfoot" variant that reduces the cards played each round from 6 to 5. Even without also reducing the total number of game rounds to 5 (which I was previously thinking of doing), this proved to make the game quite challenging for the cryptozoologist.

I lost the first game, playing as the cryptozoologist, very quickly and without discovering even a single Lair. blush In our second game I managed to squeak out a very close victory playing as Bigfoot.

I think we'll try playing that way again next time, and if we find that Bigfoot is now winning all the games, perhaps we'll do something like draw 5 cards in rounds 2, 3, and 4, and 6 cards in rounds 1 and 6.

And we still had a fun time of it!
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