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Subject: Power Grid: A quick overview rss

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Giles Pritchard
Australia
Shepparton
Victoria
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Game name: Power Grid

Author/s: Friedemann Friese

Players: 2-6

Playing time: 2 hours

Key elements:

Math skills, addition, forward thinking, double-guessing.

Key Ratings:
= Low
= High

Depth
Strategy
Luck
Player Interaction

This game is actually quite simple on one hand and on the other is extremely deep and complex. An excellent game if you love to strategise and plan ahead.

Short Description:

Power Grid is the sort of game accountants would love to play (presuming they liked their jobs!). I have read that people use calculators during the game as a player aid, and while I can certainly see that this is possible – it’s not a way I would enjoy playing it and is certainly not required to enjoy the game.

Power Grid relies very little on luck, instead it’s central mechanism, or precept, is that it revolves around a very specific procedure or system. The game operates around distinct phases, sometimes played in player order, other times in reverse order. It is this very powerful system that gives Power Grid it’s tantalizing depth, it’s myriad of possible strategies, it’s tempo and pace, and above all it’s building feel.

Power Grid is one of the most highly rated games on Boardgamegeek, and I can understand why, it is a deep game without being a game that is overly complex or mired in detail. It allows players (as ridiculous as it may sound) to garner a real appreciation of its theme – I was certainly one of those people who thought the theme to be less than inspiring, but having played it I am really intrigued and found myself engaged and interested throughout.

Power Grid is an excellent game; heavy at times on the maths-logical part of the brain (my weakest if my win/loss ratio is anything to go by), but not so heavy that it becomes simple number crunching. Power Grid is a game that will reward replaying, it is a deep and engaging game and a tribute to it’s designer. The theme is engaging – surprisingly so given how reluctant I would usually have been toward learning or doing anything about/to do with power demand and supply. All in all Power Grid is set to become a favourite of mine, which is unusual given I am not usually a huge fan of this style of game – which I think speaks volumes to the quality of the package!

By: Giles Pritchard
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