- Dennis Ku(futhee)Canada
Ontario"You can spend all your time making money / Or you can spend all your love making time."
Somehow in this review I've managed to liken Factory Fun to Roborally, Princes of Florence, Age of Steam and Power Grid. Hi praise indeed for a game, if you ask me!
1. The Mechanics - At first, upon opening the box and reading the rules, I immediately divided my game playing friends into the "Going to LOVE Factory Fun people" group and the "No way in hell" group. The former is the group that enjoys Roborally and Princes of Florence, with their puzzle aspects, planning ahead and the placement of pieces. I won't go through the game play, except to say that you basically chose machines, add them to your factory and join machines to one another, all while making sure machines are able to be supplied. More points are scored if you can join machines of like colours (there are 4 different colours). If you grab a machine but can't place it, you lose points.
2. The Fast and the Furious - Every player flips one machine tile over. From there, each player looks at the tiles, and if they want to, snatches (literally) the tile they want as quickly as they can. First come, first served! Be careful though! You wanted that 13 point tile that has a lot of output pipes leading from it? What??? Can't fit it into your factory? Lose 5 points! I really enjoyed this aspect of the game. It's not going to be a hit with people who get nervous in games of speed, but I loved it.
3. Slow as a Turtle - Unfortunately, the game also has a tendency to slow down. I haven't actually experienced this yet, but once you've grabbed a tile, there's nothing in the rules that says you have to play quickly. In fact, sometimes you need a few minutes to sit there and figure out how to fit that darned machine tile onto your factory floor without breaking any of the rules of connecting. I haven't played yet with someone who bogs it down, but if your group has such a person, play with a timer. Maybe give one minute when there's only one person left, a la Roborally.
4. Different Boards??? This is a small thing for sure, but I was impressed to see that each of the four player boards (factory floors) were slightly different in dimension. Some are a little more narrow but longer, and some are more square. Does it make a difference? I'm not sure, but it felt like it did at times, depending on what tiles came up.
5. So Many Ways to Make It - With the multitude of connectors available, you can either keep your machines close to one another and save room on the floor, or stretch 'em out to make use of every corner of the factory! There are probably better ways for each player to place machines, but there are many, many ways to make them all fit. There is a little Age of Steam in it, in the way you can get around blockages by replacing connectors with crossing connectors.
6. Oh My Head - There's math involved, and that won't make some people happy. Sure, if it's at the beginning, it's easy. However, near the end, the adding and subtracting can get to some people. You score a successfully added machine based on the points shown on the tile, but you must subtract points (or money, if you want to call it that) for connectors and reservoirs (output reservoirs that feed into machines, or input reservoirs that are at the end of a machine). Moving items around also costs money! I've had to move huge chunks of the factory around, and the math took some time. Not a big issue for our group, but again, some will dislike that. Reminds me somewhat of Power Grid in the math you do after each round.
7. Oh My Head!!! - At the same time, I enjoy that head-scratching, brain burning type of game. Hurts so good, but when you figure out how to fit that tenth and last machine into your factory, even if you lose 15 points in doing so because you had to shift everything over one space, it feels great!
8. Small Box - Another petty issue, but I know some people must hate this. The box is really compact, making it a game in itself to put all the bits away at the end of the game and still have the box lid close properly. You know what I say? Whatever.
9. Interaction - For those of you who think Princes of Florence is a solitaire game, you might not want to pick up Factory Fun. The interaction is really in the grabbing of tiles, which is very important in this game. I'm not good enough yet, but once I improve, I'll be sure to look at what my opponents need as well as what my factory could use. However, once you have a tile, you don't even glance at your opponents' boards. All your focus is on fitting it into your factory. Is this boring? For some, maybe, but...
10. Laughter - ...interacting in game, to me, isn't just through game mechanics. There's a lot of "What the hell are you doing in your factory? It's a mess!", followed by laughter and head-shaking. It's funny to see how greed can screw up your factory. Don't get too distressed when, for the fifth round running, your Bruce Lee lightning-quick hands have taken a tile you can't lay; just laugh it off, and get ready for the next snatch-and-grab round!
In conclusion, I really, really enjoy this game. Fans of jigsaw puzzles should enjoy it, as well as people who like make factories that have a million connectors branching off in a hundred thousand directions.
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- Tim SeitzUnited States
VALike water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
futhee wrote:9. Interaction - For those of you who think Princes of Florence is a solitaire game, you might not want to pick up Factory Fun. The interaction is really in the grabbing of tiles, which is very important in this game. I'm not good enough yet, but once I improve, I'll be sure to look at what my opponents need as well as what my factory could use. However, once you have a tile, you don't even glance at your opponents' boards. All your focus is on fitting it into your factory. Is this boring? For some, maybe, but...
We found helping each other figure out how to build their piece in - and laughing when it was going to cost them $$ - was half of the fun.
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- Felix RodriguezUnited States
8. Is a positive. When you start piling on the collection of games, a small box is so very nice. I'll take this over the extreme abundance of air that exists in some of these other games (I'm looking at the Motley Fool game with an evil eye).
And, I love Factory Fun too!
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