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Nerdy Inventions» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Nerdy Inventions: Straightforward yet complex, and quite fun! rss

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PK Levine
United States
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We played this game for the first time last night, and definitely enjoyed it. I'm not a professional reviewer, but I'll do my best to explain why.

1. The rules are straightforward

Every turn, you roll three dice, use your existing inventions to modify them (this is 90% of the game), and then "spend" those dice to acquire inventions from a row of six and/or recharge your used inventions.

For example, let's say you want an invention whose cost is "2, 3, 3" but you rolled a 2, 4, and 5. But you have the Binoculars (reduce any die by 2) and Clock (reroll any die) inventions. You might use the Clock to reroll the 4, getting a 3, and then use the Binoculars to drop the 5 down to a 3. Now you have a 2, 3, and 3, and can acquire that invention from the row.

Each invention has a victory point value; whoever ends up with the most victory points wins. Pretty simple.

2. The gameplay is complex

As should be obvious, the interaction of inventions allows for some impressively complex moves, all of which are derived from simple logic. Basically, you learn to pull off "combos" to acquire as many inventions as you can. Use a Balloon to split your dice, a Tool to inflate a die's value, a Camera to shuffle and redraw the invention row, and so on. It's entirely possible to acquire two inventions on a turn -- and theoretically possible to get three, though it'd take a lot of luck (and charged-up inventions).

If you enjoy using a series of "building blocks" to achieve a wide range of results, you'll like this game.

3. It's fun

Nerdy Inventions takes about 30 minutes to play and is fairly engaging throughout. There's not much "player vs. player" except for the Gun invention (which allows you to steal a Tool card), but each turn tends to be over quickly enough that we never felt like we were waiting around. However, if you have players who insist on taking 10-15 minutes every turn to study and map out every possible combo, I'd advise against playing this game with them.

The components are high quality and the illustrations have a cartoonish steampunk style. At first, keeping track of what each invention can do can be confusing (though there are four "quick reference" cards that do a great job of listing all abilities), but by our third pass around we were all completely familiar with them.

Basically, I'd say that if you like a deck building, logic chains, and a touch of randomness, you'll like this game.
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