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Subject: Shipwrecked - A Mini Review rss

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All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.

Shipwrecked is another solid game from Out of the Box, and a great way for the family to have fun together. The theme of the game is that all players are shipwrecked on a desert island and to survive until rescued they require some key resources - water, food, shelter and friends. Each of these resources is worth various points and the first player to acquire 150 points is the winner.

The game consists of a colourful square board and each player takes an identical set of bidding cards before play begins. Put simply, Shipwrecked is a bidding game. Each round starts by the top resource card being turned over. The resource card is worth a particular value to help players reach the 150 points required. Each card also has an income value and this is how much gold a player can collect when it is their turn to draw the next resource card. This is the card that player’s are bidding to win.

The cards in each player’s hand include strike, pass and stop. In turn each player must select 1 card and play it facedown to the bidding board. This is phase one of bidding. All cards are then revealed and there is a series of rules which help to determine the outcome based on the card combinations that were played. If a player manages to win the bid, they must pay the asking price (based on the bidding phase that was reached), take control of the resource card and all bidding cards are returned to the players. Another resource card is drawn and bidding takes place again.

The first player that can acquire 150 points worth of resources is the winner. But wait there is more regarding bidding. If the combination of bidding cards played results in no one winning the bid, the next phase of bidding takes place and they must use their remaining bidding cards.

Each new phase of bidding that is reached will result in the final price going up, therefore costing the eventual winner more. This element allows for a variety of strategies to be employed by the players, bluffing is crucial and sometimes a victory can be a heavy burden to bear.

If players run out of gold (their income is too low), they must sell some of their resources. Each resource card has a sale value printed on the bottom. Generally speaking the high sale value cards are worth less victory points when determining a player’s total score and vice versa. In this way the game is nicely balanced.

One final twist to the game is that the resource cards come in a set of different colours (based on their type). If a player can manage to acquire a majority of a coloured set of cards then they will earn bonus points to help reach the 150 point total. This can result in some frantic bidding as players seek to acquire or block access to resources that would result in a majority being obtained.

The Final Word

Shipwrecked is another winner for families after some fun. The combination of quality components and game play that is quick to play and easy to learn is just what most families are looking for. Children find it especially fun as winning a bid requires an equal mix of luck, bluff and strategy – so adults do not always have the edge. Children also love the fact that a lost bid is no big deal as there are plenty more chances to win!
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