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Jayson Myers
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Please check out my other reviews at:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2728438#it...



Conclusion:

Africana is a light game with the same weight as a Ticket to Ride. Each turn you have an option of three possible actions, but how to do those actions efficiently is the difference between winning and losing. It isn't an economic engine, but one where you move around the board and it always best to kill two birds with one stone.

In Africana, you are moving around the continent and you must travel from location to location to earn coin and victory points. You can purchase artifcats that you need to deliver (pick up?) at certain locations to earn coin and victory points. You will collect cards that allow you move around the board and doing all this in the most efficient manner is going to record you the most victory points.

This is one of those well designed games. Everything works in it and it gives you some tough decisions while giving you limited possible actions which makes the game easy to learn and to teach. There are only three possible actions, but which one to take and in which direction to move is very important.

You can easily play this game with your family or with non-gamers. The game flows in an easy flow and people will instantly understand moving around Africa to go on these adventures. The icons on the cards are easy to understand and the game is a no-brainer to play and/or add to your collection.


Keeper for families and light gamers.




Components:

Wood/plastic: You get some wooden markers for the board. 4 Circles per player and a pawn that moves around the board.

Cards: There are two decks of cards. One is the cards you draw which allow you to travel. They are really just a color and a icon. The icons don't mean anything, they just match the ones on the board that allow you to move. There is a smaller in size and deck of cards that sit on the board until someone accomplishes the adventure. There are also artifact cards which can be bought and score extra VP and coin.

Art: The art is medicore at best. I love the art on the box and it is very inviting. The board is fantastic also. Love the little additions of the elephants, etc and it doesn't distract from the tax at hand. The cards are generic and just have an icon on them. The Adventure cards are nice as it shows a map of Africa and a general idea where the locations are on that map.

Board: The board is fantastic and easy to use. The routes are clearly marked and the art adds a ton to the theme and the game. This is one of those boards I wouldn't mind hanging on the wall.

Type of money/vp: Coins are plastic and very nice. VP is listed on the cards you collect.

Final Grade: The components are top notch and this is a well put together game. I am a little surprised more people don't talk about this game. This may be a hidden gem. More attention should be placed on this game.




Rule Book:

Color/B/W: Color

Pictures of components: Yes

Picture of game set up: Yes

Pictures included: Yes

Example of playing the game: No

How long to read the book: 15 Minutes

Player Aid: No

The rules are simple to learn and teach. The game is the same weight as Ticket to Ride and should be on the shelf right next to it. The rules can be read once and figured out. A quick player aid would have been nice and might be the only thing missing from the game.



Flow of the Game:

Goal of the Game:

The goal of the game is to scor the most VP at the end of the game. There are quite a few things to score at the end of the game that adds to your score.

How it plays:

For the most part, players will move around the board accomplishing adventures and finding artifacts to score VP.

A turn:

1. You have three possible actions on a turn:

A. Draw 2 travel cards: These travel cards have icons on them that match icons on the board. These allow you to move from city to city. You discard a card to move.

B. Buy Adventure cards: It cost 5 coins to buy a card. They are placed in such a way to look like a book. It cost 1 coin to turn flip the card and see another one (the first one is free). There are two decks: one for the North (which requires you to visit a city in the South) and a deck for the South (which requires you to visit a city in the North).

C. Move Explorer: You will discard travel cards to move around the board. You can move as many spaces as you can afford to pay. At the bottom of the board are adventure cards. These will list a city you need to get to and then a city you must end in. If you get to the first city, you get a reward (either coin or card(s)). If you get to the first city and then the second, you take the card and gain coin and VP. This is the main way to score VP and move towards the end of the game.

____________________________________________________________________

It is in your best interest to try and hit as many important cities as possible. The more things you do that click the most boxes is going to help you. There is some luck as to which cards come out and where you happen to be located, but this should be weighed out over the course of the game.

Everything, including the icons, is easy to follow and to play. The game is a breeze to pick up and most people will have fun playing this game. It isn't a game where you have to be overly efficient, but it does help. There is planning in this game, but reacting can be important also.





Should I buy this game?:

This is a solid family game or a game for light gamers. This is the same weight as a Ticket to Ride and can scratch the same light gaming itch. The two games are different enough that you can have both in your collection. I would easily recommend this for families or people who enjoy a game on the lighter side but with decisions.

Keeper. For families or light gamers.


*The images posted with this review are not mine and are images I found on BGG. If you click on the image, you can see who posted it to BGG.
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David Schwenker
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Excellent review, as always. I routinely read your reviews to assist me in determining my future purchases. Keep up the wonderful work! I can't believe you have reviewed over eight hundred games now! WOW!

william4192 wrote:
This is one of those well designed games. Everything works in it and it gives you some tough decisions while giving you limited possible actions which makes the game easy to learn and to teach. There are only three possible actions, but which one to take and in which direction to move is very important.


You have captured the essence of Africana perfectly!

Tough decisions indeed but the player's limited options bring focus and direction to the game-play, leading to a relatively simplistic rule-set without sacrificing some serious tactical play.

A very underrated gem here on BGG with a ranking over 1200+ (as of this response) whereas Ticket To Ride - a game which Africana is easily comparable to in quality, in my opinion - currently enjoys a rank within the top 100.

Everyone I introduced this game to has highly enjoyed it, with many actually preferring this over Ticket to Ride (at least, the base game).
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Jayson Myers
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Schwenkstar wrote:
Excellent review, as always. I routinely read your reviews to assist me in determining my future purchases. Keep up the wonderful work! I can't believe you have reviewed over eight hundred games now! WOW!

william4192 wrote:
This is one of those well designed games. Everything works in it and it gives you some tough decisions while giving you limited possible actions which makes the game easy to learn and to teach. There are only three possible actions, but which one to take and in which direction to move is very important.


You have captured the essence of Africana perfectly!

Tough decisions indeed but the player's limited options bring focus and direction to the game-play, leading to a relatively simplistic rule-set without sacrificing some serious tactical play.

A very underrated gem here on BGG with a ranking over 1200+ (as of this response) whereas Ticket To Ride - a game which Africana is easily comparable to in quality, in my opinion - currently enjoys a rank within the top 100.

Everyone I introduced this game to has highly enjoyed it, with many actually preferring this over Ticket to Ride (at least, the base game).


1. Thanks for the kind words. Just happy to know maybe another set of eyes see these.

2. These limited options but hard decisions are crazy on me. My wife can kill me on these, but I do better with more choices when it comes to games. Which is why she loves these

3. Ticket to Ride is smooth. There is just something about it, but I think this game is right there with it. If I didn't play so many games, I would have missed this game by a mile.

4. 800 reviews. Yeah, too many. If I make it to #1, I may stop one short.
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