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Subject: A brief glitchy seafall review after finishing the game SPOILERS rss

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Glitchy Predator
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Finally finished Seafall. Glad that is over.

My final thoughts... SOME SPOILERS-
It is a very ambitious game with a mildly interesting story that never develops due to the nature of the story book. The sites you explore have the same chances of something interesting at the end of the game as at the beginning. Same with finding new islands. You get more powerful but was once cool to find (a spice field, a mine, a port etc) at the beginning of the game are excessively boring at the end of the game. At the beginning you think Wow! Another spice field! Good now I can get enough to make some real money. At the end you think "who cares, another spice field, another pointless field to stock every winter that I will completely ignore."

The new islands are initially very fun to find but then you realize they are just full of more spice fields and wood sources etc. Blech. Boring. You want to buy treasures? Great they only add victory points and are otherwise pointless.

Then you run into the problem we hit, if you happen to not hit just the right sections in the book early enough you find yourself with nothing to do and unsure how to push the game forward. That was really annoying as it cost us a couple of games with absolutely nothing going on. Hope you happen to interrogate the right people at the right time. Otherwise... yeah you are in for a stall in progress.

The light of truth is a cool aspect that added to the game. Really cool. Added way too late and with not quite enough direction at times.

The rulebook is pretty goo, but as the game expands it starts to be more ambiguous. Wording for legacy games needs to be completely 100% clear and this game falls on that front. There are things you get in boxes you don't know the use for for a while with no explanation. Not even "these will be used later if you haven't used them yet."

The rulebook also doesn't add enough about the light of truth as you go forward, so it isn't terribly clear if you put it down for a month when and what you can use it on. Just add the rules so we can reference it. The combat and colonies became a bit convoluted as well, especially in instances like raiding the temple. Not enough explanation there either.

Then the final game it throws everything out the window and you play a completely separate game. Silly. And sure the story kind of builds up to this final game but honestly... it's disappointing that the whole game changes. At the end of the game it basically says you don't have to throw the game away, no worries, you can keep playing the last boring mission over and over again! Awesome! Wait no... that mission is bullcrap. We threw the game away instead.

The game is punishing in random ways. It pushes you to get colonies early on, but then punishes those who succeed in devastating fashion. Awesome. Sure the same mechanism was used in Pandemic Legacy, but the difference is that is a cooperative game so when you all get screwed by the new information you stop and think "Ok, lets fix this together." In this game you get slammed and someone else doesn't, instead of thinking how do we fix this you think "well I just got screwed and now am fighting out of an incredibly deep hole to try and climb up." It's not well done.

The game is swingy with dice beyond reason, it is swingy with the luck of the legacy aspects and what the game will punish next, your ship upgrades are boring and uninspiring, the advisers can be cool but rarely are, and the mechanics of the game are far from interesting. It rests on it's legacy aspect alone, which is simply not enough.

So in summary- the legacy aspects are still cool, and I still want more legacy games. But they can't survive on being legacy alone. We finished the game, but I have to say I only enjoyed the first 1/2. And I never enjoyed the actual game, but rather the legacy aspect of what might come next. It's a slog not an adventure. Do yourself a favor and skip it. Or play pandemic legacy again, you'll get more out of it.

If you enjoyed my review, see my other reviews here.
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gary g
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Meh, to each his own.

Only thing I agree with is the Rulebook could have used another full page of stickers.



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Rowdy Scarlett
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Exactly. Biggest disappointment of 2016
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Becq Starforged
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It's amazing how polarizing this game has become. Some (like myself) enjoy it, while others hate it.

So for those reading this sort of review, keep in mind that its a valid opinion, but only an opinion. While he makes some points (for example about the clarity of the rules), a little homework in these forums can clear most questions up, letting you continue enjoying the game. But if that sort of thing frustrates you, then you might want to look elsewhere for your next game.
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Glitchy Predator
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Becq wrote:
It's amazing how polarizing this game has become. Some (like myself) enjoy it, while others hate it.

So for those reading this sort of review, keep in mind that its a valid opinion, but only an opinion. While he makes some points (for example about the clarity of the rules), a little homework in these forums can clear most questions up, letting you continue enjoying the game. But if that sort of thing frustrates you, then you might want to look elsewhere for your next game.


Obviously it's just an opinion. I don't know if people need reminding of that. It's inherent in any review that it's just an opinion.
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Steve Hope
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I really enjoyed it, despite the fact that I thought there were lots of problems with the game. I liked the narrative, though the foreshadowing was a little heavy and I wasn't sure of the point of the last game (you already have a winner, right? We decided not to play it, so I guess we'll never read paragraph 282).

The big problems for me:

1. Tomb locating is grossly underrewarded versus tomb exploring. It makes no sense to find tombs, just to hang around waiting for someone else to do it. This should have been found out in playtesting.

2. Somewhat related--milestones and other glory awards are too large/swingy IMO, mainly because they push every game to be over in 5-8 rounds so that there's not that much time to DO stuff and it's just a mad scramble to fulfill the easiest milestone. Games didn't develop much.

3. It should have been made much clearer given that there's a part of the rules that says NEVER to open to a paragraph unless you are told to that once you have the tablets to identify a paragraph on the tomb sheet you can go there. More generally, I have no idea how they thought all of the tablet-requiring paragraphs would get triggered. It's too hard to raid/steal each other's tablets. We finished the campaign with only two of those special trinities examined. Maybe three?

So, I guess I can live with most of the imbalances and luck, etc., in the interest of a fun legacy game. But the above seemed like eminently fixable design flaws which annoyed us throughout the second half of the campaign.

Things they did well--I thought the enmity system was clever though I was wary of it as overkill in the early part of the game (game basically goes through trading-exploring-raiding and exploring arc, or at least did for us). The catchup mechanisms and awards for winning individual games are nicely balanced--three people had good chances to win the whole campaign in the last game, and the guy who did win had basically not been the Prince for more than maybe 1-2 games in the whole campaign and wasn't the person who found the island of the damned. I liked the light of truth idea, though it's pretty painful to cycle through the whole deck of advisors until you find the ONE that tells you to look on both sides. We could easily have gone through 2-3 games of cluelessness except that one guy who was in another campaign where they'd come across the Librarian or whoever it is Guild Halled a million times to find/interrogate her when the rest of us were restless.

Anyway--overall fun, very ambitious, and a lot of imperfect design and a surprising lack of attention to FAQ/rules issues which is really frustrating in this kind of a game. I think they should really think about putting links to more comprehensive rules section on those cards so that the players don't have to try and tease out all the rules implications from two paragaphs--so many ambiguities...
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Johanna Swanson
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This game will not be your cup of tea if you dislike attacking other players, random luck swings, having a huge disadvantage playing people who have already played the game, long downtimes where you cannot plan your turn as too much randomness upsets plans, unclear rulebooks, same repetitive actions over and over, few actions as most games last 7 turns.
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Kevin Walsh
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chrisoc13 wrote:

Then the final game it throws everything out the window and you play a completely separate game. Silly. And sure the story kind of builds up to this final game but honestly... it's disappointing that the whole game changes. At the end of the game it basically says you don't have to throw the game away, no worries, you can keep playing the last boring mission over and over again! Awesome! Wait no... that mission is bullcrap. We threw the game away instead.

I think the big problem with the last mission is that it's too easy. Anyway, if you do want to keep playing after the end, you can play a regular game to 18 glory. The rules are on one of the cards.
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Glitchy Predator
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Amaranth wrote:
chrisoc13 wrote:

Then the final game it throws everything out the window and you play a completely separate game. Silly. And sure the story kind of builds up to this final game but honestly... it's disappointing that the whole game changes. At the end of the game it basically says you don't have to throw the game away, no worries, you can keep playing the last boring mission over and over again! Awesome! Wait no... that mission is bullcrap. We threw the game away instead.

I think the big problem with the last mission is that it's too easy. Anyway, if you do want to keep playing after the end, you can play a regular game to 18 glory. The rules are on one of the cards.


Sadly the base game was beyond boring at that point too. Once the legacy aspect wore thin that was it for me, just a very bland boring game at that point.
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Matthew Burgess
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milotha wrote:
This game will not be your cup of tea if you dislike attacking other players, random luck swings, having a huge disadvantage playing people who have already played the game, long downtimes where you cannot plan your turn as too much randomness upsets plans, unclear rulebooks, same repetitive actions over and over, few actions as most games last 7 turns.

Wow - way to sum up every reason I quit the game after four rounds!
 
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Becq Starforged
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mattpburgess wrote:
milotha wrote:
This game will not be your cup of tea if you dislike attacking other players, random luck swings, having a huge disadvantage playing people who have already played the game, long downtimes where you cannot plan your turn as too much randomness upsets plans, unclear rulebooks, same repetitive actions over and over, few actions as most games last 7 turns.

Wow - way to sum up every reason I quit the game after four rounds!

To be fair, though, there was no secret that the game involved attacking other players, random luck swings, having a huge disadvantage playing people who have already played the game, a limited set of action choices, and a long-ish duration, both per game and overall for the campaign. If you dislike those elements, you should never have bought the game (or decided to play a copy someone else bought) in the first place. The unclear rulebook was less evident (until legacy material was experienced) and the small number of turns directly contradicted the stated game length estimate, so feel free to complain away about those -- as for the rest, you were warned!
 
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Joseph Cochran
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Becq wrote:
To be fair, though, there was no secret that the game involved attacking other players, random luck swings, having a huge disadvantage playing people who have already played the game, a limited set of action choices, and a long-ish duration, both per game and overall for the campaign. If you dislike those elements, you should never have bought the game (or decided to play a copy someone else bought) in the first place. The unclear rulebook was less evident (until legacy material was experienced) and the small number of turns directly contradicted the stated game length estimate, so feel free to complain away about those -- as for the rest, you were warned!


To address the bolded: it was heavily implied that attacking other players would become an option later in the game, but until that actually unlocks you can't really tell how important it might be to the game. With some context (Risk being the first Legacy game) you can definitely infer that it will be central to the game, but if all you have is a euro background you might think that it could be a side aspect rather than a central one and not realize that it crosses into "not for you" territory.

I also don't think the random luck swings were something you could predict. Both Risk Legacy and Pandemic Legacy have huge mechanical and plot shifts, but nothing like the milestones' effect: sometimes even mid game. And even without rules shifts, the random luck of point swings from milestones and hidden choices is more than one might expect (and clearly more than the community really wanted given the number of house rules halving the points earned).
 
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Matthew Burgess
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Becq wrote:
mattpburgess wrote:
milotha wrote:
This game will not be your cup of tea if you dislike attacking other players, random luck swings, having a huge disadvantage playing people who have already played the game, long downtimes where you cannot plan your turn as too much randomness upsets plans, unclear rulebooks, same repetitive actions over and over, few actions as most games last 7 turns.

Wow - way to sum up every reason I quit the game after four rounds!

To be fair, though, there was no secret that the game involved attacking other players, random luck swings, having a huge disadvantage playing people who have already played the game, a limited set of action choices, and a long-ish duration, both per game and overall for the campaign. If you dislike those elements, you should never have bought the game (or decided to play a copy someone else bought) in the first place. The unclear rulebook was less evident (until legacy material was experienced) and the small number of turns directly contradicted the stated game length estimate, so feel free to complain away about those -- as for the rest, you were warned!

To be fair, I'd never heard of it. This was a purchase of someone else in our game group, because he wanted to play it. Rather tellingly, they still haven't played another round since I quit.
 
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