$60.00
$20.00
Eric Gergotz
United States
Ohio
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Disclaimer
Hello, BGG! Just to warn everyone upfront, I decided to do this review a little differently than I've seen on here before. I tried to write this as though you are reading my thought process as I take a look at things. Therefore, you will not be able to find out how to play this game completely from this review, nor will you know every little thing that comes in the box.

I wanted to write this so you all can see how it feels to play this game and to understand the experience rather than just get a boring overview of a product.

Please leave any comments or criticisms if you feel inclined as I would love to keep writing reviews in this style. I would like to see if this style helps other BGG users make informative decisions as well and if you would be interested in more reviews like this. Thank you in advance!

Introduction
Board.

Game.

Dude.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Boardgame, to be exact. I wonder if it is most triumphant or totally bogus. So let me sit here and philosophize with all you gamers and tell you about my trip through time…

Artwork/Components
I take a look at the box. It reminds me of the movie’s cover, albeit it with cartoony artwork similar to Calvin & Hobbes. The box itself is nothing bad, but nothing exciting. I open it up.

I’m greeted by a stack of 60 cards. They reek of the 80’s, but in a good way. I shuffle through them. They are all very clean. Symbols in the corners. No text. The pictures depict scenes from the movie in the same cartoony graphics as the cover art. It brings me back to the days of my childhood when I watched the movie over and over again. Quotes from it immediately fill my head.

I see what else comes in the box. Tokens depicting all of the personages of historical significance from the movie are there, including the medieval babes. I smile when I see So-crates and Mr. The Kid.

Then, I see cardboard standees. There are four telephone booths, a sheriff, and a knight. The same art style is used for these as well. They are decent quality. Nothing bad, but nothing fancy.

Next, a square fold-out board with a grid is in my hands. It looks a little busy. There are circuits of time depicted as well as a few numbers and symbols. It’s quite sturdy, though.

Finally, I can read the rules. They seem short. I learn the phases of play. I learn any special nuances to some of the mechanics. I learn my objective and how to achieve it. There are not that many things to remember. After reading the examples, I feel like I can put the rulebook away and play without consulting it.

Setup/Gameplay
I lay out the board. Everyone places their phone booth on the designated starting space and their player token in front of them. The personages of historical significance are placed in designated spots on the board as well. Each pile is filled with a unique character each. I shuffle the cards and deal five out to each player. It’s a full game of four. No cards are removed from the game because of this.

We start by planning our moves. We will have two actions each turn. Whoever has the lowest numbered card that was played this turn will go first and take their two movement actions, then the next lowest player, and so on. After each of our movements, the sheriff and knight will also move on the board according to the cards we just played. We must try to avoid them at all costs. We draw two cards at the end of the round.

The next round begins. Last round, I managed to move my phone booth to pick up a historical character. This round, that character adds one action movement that I must do before my cards take effect. I realize that if I go first, I will be forced to move into a spot with the sheriff. That sets me back. I decide to play a higher numbered card so that I will go first. I play the 69 card. The person next to me plays a 5. Shoot, even though my 69 is the highest numbered card, I go first because someone else played a single-digit card. I take my turn and move. I drop my character, but manage to pick up another one. The knight moves. This causes another player to move into the spot where the knight currently is. Looks like his plans were ravaged more than Oshman's Sporting Goods.

There are no more cards for us left to draw this round. The game is now over. Wow, only five rounds went by. That was a pretty quick game. Well, except for a couple times where we took a little longer to plan because we had so many characters affecting our movements before our cards took precedence. I win the game because I collected the most characters. I feel a weird mix of satisfaction mixed with a lucky feeling. I’m also filled with nostalgia because I may have quoted the movie 20 times in the past 20 minutes. Excellent!

Final Thoughts
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Boardgame appeals to me in many different ways. I am a huge fan of the movies, so the theme was automatically a hit for me. It’s very light on rules and also plays in about 30 minutes or less.

Now, this is the first time I have played a programming game. I was unsure how I would feel about these mechanics at first, but after playing this game, I can say that I enjoy them.

There are some moments that are a little frustrating, though. Many times during a game, you will feel like you have a great strategy down only for it to be messed up by picking up characters or how other players cause the bad dudes to move. This does combat the problem of analysis paralysis, however, because I am aware this could happen, so I will not always take too much time to devise a plan. There are also times when confusion comes into play because you have to make sure your phone booth is pointing the right direction. A quick bump might bring about a short stoppage in play. Also, sometimes you just have too many characters affecting your movements, so you’ll really have to stop and try to figure out your movement path. Nothing ever affects the game too bad, though.

My love of the movies affects my enjoyment of the game. I have fun quoting the movies while I’m playing. I put the soundtrack on as background noise while I’m playing. It brings me back to my childhood. When I lose, I ask to play a best two out of three. If I lose again, it’s best three out of five. One more loss and it’s…Best of seven? DAMN RIGHT!!!

The MSRP of this game is $25. Personally, I picked this up at my FLGS for free using the in-store rewards program. At that price, I can’t be mad. I would’ve paid $25 without a problem, though. I think that’s a great price for a filler game that brings me a lot of enjoyment. And my love of the movie makes it infectious to others playing who may not have seen the movies.*Cough* Girlfriend *Cough*

As a game, I see myself playing this occasionally when I’m feeling nostalgic and want to play a quick game. I find it better as a two-player game because I can play more strategic and plan things out better, but it does lose some of the fun and randomness with fewer players. It’s enjoyable at all player counts.

Overall, the gameplay is above average and I would rate it a 6 on the BGG rating scale. However, because I am a fan of the movies, I give it out 7 on the BGG scale.

Station!
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BC Wendel
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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When I hear "programming game", I think of Robo Rally, a game I have suffered through twice, desperately hoping for it to end.

I'm sure this game is not as long as that, but I'm sad they didn't pick a more fun style of game for Bill and Ted. Not a big fan of the cartoony art, either.
 
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Eric Gergotz
United States
Ohio
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KevinMask wrote:
When I hear "programming game", I think of Robo Rally, a game I have suffered through twice, desperately hoping for it to end.

I'm sure this game is not as long as that, but I'm sad they didn't pick a more fun style of game for Bill and Ted. Not a big fan of the cartoony art, either.


You know, I asked myself why it's a programming game in the first place as well , but then I thought about it. In the game, we are programming our phone booths to travel through the circuits of time to pick up historical figures. That's exactly what they did in the movie, so after I realized that, I didn't have a problem with it.

However, the whole "you play as parallel versions of them competing to see which one will give their history report" was a little weird. That could've changed things a little.
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