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Subject: Story Board's hot take on 4 Gods rss

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Angelus Morningstar
New South Wales
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Synopsis: You are an ancient god presiding over an emerging primordial landscape. You aspire to become the supreme god over this landscape, though you forge its very land with strange allies in your pantheon.

You win if you have the most points at the end of the game. You mostly earn points from controlling the most valuable territories, but also if your native terrain features the largest or more numerous terrains. Points are also gleaned for building wondrous cities, and destroying them.

The game intends to operate with simultaneous real-time action. You have two free hands, and you may use individual hands to perform the various actions; albeit drawing new tiles from the bag requires both hands free.

The land-building elements are very intuitive; with the main limitation being a requirement to place new tiles such they touch two straight edges. This forces the map to grow inwardly from the outer corners, brick by fertile brick. Predominantly, your actions will consist of manipulating various two-sided landscape tiles, attempting to fit them onto the map as it unfolds.

At certain junctures, you’ll need to claim one of the four gods, and begin to user their followers to populate the land with prophets. A single territory is controlled by the god with the most prophets, but its value is comprised only by its empty squares.

Commentary: I went into this game hearing only lukewarm reviews. My expectations were tempered towards a mild response, but I found myself really enjoying the dynamic presented here. While the game does have a turn-based mode, this one is best done at its proper speed.

There are two competing demands, where one is the pressure to keep building and control the emerging landscape, set against the need for this to be methodical more than haphazard. You have to inhabit this careful balance between speed and planning. This is not a game for those with analysis paralysis, as you will be left dead in the water.

I really enjoyed this tension a lot. It created an urgency you had to manage while still allowing yourself to be compelled by it. This made it much more a game of timing as much as it was of planning. Additionally, the various scoring mechanisms are also set in tension to each other creating an intriguing demand to cover multiple bases at once.

Verdict: This game is for those who enjoy a high-level spatial intelligence game. You must keep track of a number of moving parts, but you must do them at speed. This game satisfies a particular niche for me.
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