First off this is not a review. It would be silly for me to review my own game, but I want people to get a feel for what they are getting into before they decide to purchase. I would rather people who will like the game get it, and people who wouldn't like the game save some time and get something they would like.
If you don't like co-ops, you can stop reading now. Salvation Road is a co-op. No hidden traitor or anything else. If you like Pandemic you would probably like this game. Yes it is a bit more complex, and a little more gritty theme, but at the end of the day it is an hour long co-op with tough decisions about what to do with your precious few resources every turn.
People think it looks a lot like Dead of Winter. See above. Salvation Road is not a 2-3 hour hidden traitor game. It is a 45-60 minute co-op. If you like gritty post apocalyptic theme in your co-op than this may be the game for you.
Salvation Road is hard. No question about it, 95% of people who play their first game will lose. It is a game with skill, that you can improve with repeated plays. You need to learn to maximize your Hero and Location abilities while minimizing the Survivor negative traits. Skilled players will win over 50% of the time on the basic difficulty, but you have to put in the time to learn how to beat the game (then we have harder scenarios after you master the basics ).
I have heard a lot of people saying it feels like a Euro. I would totally agree. While there is a lot of theme in the game with the Actions you can do and the tension you feel, at the end of the day (like Pandemic) you are maximizing your turns to squeak out 1-2 of the resources you need. There aren't 100 even cards with stories to read, the events are there to create a story for you ("do you remember that one game we all starved to death" just got that email today ). The story is not spoon fed to you, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. You create a new story every time you play.
I have heard questions about replayability. That depends what you mean. If you expect 100 different event cards with different stories on them each game then you will be disappointed. If you are looking for a tense game that will feel different each time because you constantly have different threats coming at you, and different ways to deal with them (again, like Pandemic) then you will be very satisfied. There are 16 different characters each with different powers at most you use 8 a game. There are 11 Locations, at most you use 5 in a game. There are 8 different Scenarios (some easier, some the same difficulty just change things up, and some harder). But the biggest variable to me are the Road Cards (think of these as your victory condition). The combination of these that will come out vary greatly from game to game, and each set will have you spending, and saving resources differently.
Salvation Road has some cool, unique mechanisms like the Hero/Survivor dynamic. The wound mechanic, where they take up the same spots as the resources you are carrying. The Apocalypse Cards, there are only 16 on purpose, so you can predict the threats you will be most likely to face soon (if you haven't eaten in a while famine is probably coming soon). But it also feels familiar, with simple action like moving, searching and gathering.
Is Salvation Road for everyone? Absolutely not. If you like a good, tense co-op, with story driven by you actions (not the cards you read) then I think you will like it. If not, there are 10,000 other games out there that will fit what you are looking for. I hope this helps you decide if this game is for you.
- Last edited Thu Sep 1, 2016 3:58 am (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Thu Sep 1, 2016 3:49 am
If I can add to the above. From someone who has only played Salvation Road once, I have thoroughly enjoyed losing, and I bet I will continue to do so. Not that I look forward to losing, but I can forsee it happening a lot even though I had a great time playing.
I went into game #1 understanding that I will need to talk out the rules and read my way through Hero/Survivor/Location abilities multiple times before being comfortable with using them. All that said, many of the Location abilities weren't used on my first game because I set out to get the "Action, Threat, Apocalypse, Refresh" loop down before I would dig too much deeper. As mentioned, the rule book has a bunch of different scenarios which change the difficulty, and each game tells a new story.
One of the things I can't wait to do is show this game off to people. Playing solo is and will be fun, but creating your own story every time with friends is something I look forward to most. The game is designed to look super tense. You don't just get bland meeple for enemies, you get actual mauraders who drive up and swarm your compound. The detail of the board and locations add to the fun of the game. As for replayability I don't see an issue. Not to compare apples to oranges, but as someone who loves Pandemic and has only played 10 or so times, I question Pandemic's replayability over Salvation Road. That may just be me, but that's where I am now.
As for first impressions of what I would want more of? At this time, nothing since I'm still fresh but I can totally see expansions in the future, adding locations and possibly new Heroes or Survivors that stumble across the camp. I know there is a small expansion you can buy from the dev's site which I intend to do, adding a couple locations and road cards.
So for those who need convincing about this game you can keep an eye me for some more videos and a review. I'll try my best at a full review when I get the rules down and play some more.