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Subject: Played at the UK Games Expo 2007 rss

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Chrees M
United Kingdom
Wolverhampton
West Midlands
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I had the pleasure of playing this game with it's creator, a child and his mother, and my friend who got pulled in for the ride.

The game seemed simple at first, having two "tile effect" actions (flip 1-2 tiles face up, or face down, and/or rotate 1-2 tiles), then you are allowed to move as far as the "path" allows you, all while trying to pick up the four cheeses, and move them to your fondue pot.

The hazards of the game, other than the other players, are the 'cheese thieves', which can be moved one space a turn by everyone (not onto any square that has a fondue pot or cheese on it), and if it moves onto a space with a player in it, it will steal a cheese from them. (I did think it would be more amusing to have mice as the cheese thieves, the idea of thieves targeting cheese is a little surreal)

See? Simple.

Or not. You see, you set up the pathways so you can score that last cheese, and your opponents change it around. There are chance cards which can be extremely evil (I got two "take another turn" cards in a row!), and it seems that with enough vindictiveness you can effectively put other people out of the game. One example was, me moving the game creator's piece to the corner, with a cheese thief.

All in all, it was interesting. It started off pretty dull, but as the tiles become face up, it gets more and more interesting as you plot and plan which way you want to go. However i found that towards the end, the game became a little too chaotic (and i LIKE chaotic normally), and became more of a luck thing. You could be in the lead, and then a chance card takes it from you. You could be "out of the game" so to speak, and yet cycle between two chance card tiles, picking up a chance card each turn, hoping to screw over your opponent enough so they give up. For a game designed (it feels) for children, there are alot of actions that seem positively spiteful (turning tiles around so they can't get to places, moving the cheese thieves to block in or steal from the other players, running through the chance cards to find one that hurts the opponent etc).

Other than that, yeah, it was interesting. Would i play it again? I dunno. I really only wanted to know a bit about it, while passing on to one of the stalls and got roped into a game. I'm glad i took the opportunity to play it though.
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Mike Collins
United Kingdom
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I played this at the Expo too. I only got a 2-player game with the designer, which wasn't ideal - a lot of the tactical options to hinder your opponent become useless, because they can immediately undo them in their go.

The game, as you say, has a very chaotic feel, with quite a few different ways to stitch up opponents (changing the layout, hiding tiles, chance cards, cheese thieves etc). The movement rules seemed a bit free-wheeling - it seemed that as long as you have an unobstructed route, you can move as far as you like in a turn, jumping through trap-doors to move freely around the board. In the game I played, the board was mostly pretty connected, so it seemed as if you could get anywhere on the board in one go. Maybe with more players, the board is more likely to be fragmented (by players working to screw each other over), so this might not be the case.

I'm not quite sure who the game is really pitched at. The look and feel is very much that of a children's game, but there are quite a few things to keep track of each turn (board pieces, cheese thieves, player moving), and as you say, it's rather confrontational for a kids' game.
On the other hand, it's way too chaotic and potentially frustrating for anyone who takes their gaming seriously. It's basically a lightweight party game, and would probably appeal to gamers who enjoy games like Fearsome Floors/Finstere Flure.

Still, I enjoyed it, and would like to have a chance to play with several players, as a 2-player game probably isn't a fair demonstration. I wish the company the best of luck - this is their first game to be published - but I don't think I'll be rushing out to buy it any time soon. (Especially not with recent purchases Colosseum and Incan Gold sitting on the shelf waiting to be played for the first time ).

Mike
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