Jayson Myers
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Please check out my other reviews at:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2728438#it...


Conclusion:

I really want the perfect theme park game and Unfair is one of the best on the market, but won't be the definitive theme park game. First off, it is a card game which will limit the appeal. It has screwage included which some gamers will not like. I feel like the screwage works in this game and is necessary to balance it out. There is a variant to play without, but I don't feel the game pulls back the leader if they start to run away. There are also decisions to be made. You don't just draw a card and have to screw someone over. Each event card has a positive for just you and a negative (that hurts one person but helps everyone). This is a decision you will make depending on how far ahead someone may be.

The game has limitations that are artificial. You may build only 5 attractions and 15 guest is the most you can be paid for (you can get more, but it doesn't do you any good unless you randomly get an increased capacity card). These are just "game" rules and you need to go with the flow. Otherwise, the game flows fairly well and things make sense as you move forward.

The game allows for interesting decisions. Do you build one mega attraction to max your score, but by doing so you become a target? Or spread out your attractions over a few scoring less points but not making yourself a target? Money can be limited (although there are ways to get a lot of money) so you just can't buy all the best cards. Not only can you not do this due to not having enough money, it won't promise you a win as you are now THE target.

I find Unfair to be a fun game I've found myself going back to over and over. The components look great and the colors and art bring it to life. As someone who goes to theme parks monthly (at a min), I have to say the game gives me that feeling. It doesn't have the 3D effect of Roller Coaster Tycoon or Steam Park, but it does feel like I have a neat little park when I'm done. The inclusion of staff members really pops for me as they give you VP and powers to use during the game (keep in mind they can be targets for attack also).

Some things don't make sense for the theme like how can how players sabotage your theme park, but they are just events that happen and in the theme not something someone did to you. The base game comes with 6 different decks that all play differently (you usually 1 per player). I have to admit I don't like screwage games, but it works in this game. I highly recommend Unfair and I strongly suggest you give this one a play.


Keeper.




Components:

The components are very good. I love the roller coaster turn marker. The game is mostly cards and they are very well made, they have beautiful art work on them, and are very bright. Everything is easy to read and find on the cards. There can be a lot of information on the different cards but they are very easy to use and read. Also, the board is double sided to your preferred method of play (really just cosmetic).




Rule Book:

The rules are pretty clear and they took a lot of time to explain all of the cards and how they work. This is appreciated, but I like this sort of information at the back of the book (but where it is doesn't matter much). There are a few little rules that are included to make the game work (only 15 guest, 5 attractions, etc) and these are printed on your main gate card for easy reference.

Flow of the Game:

I'm gong to go over a round of the game:

1. Everyone draws an event card.

2. Flip over a city card: one for each round (8 rounds to the game). The first 4 help everyone, the last 4 hurt everyone.

3. Players take turns playing event cards in turn order. This ends when everyone passes in a row. Event cards always have two options: help you or hurt someone else.

4. There are 3 rounds (sometimes 4 if someone gets a bonus) of card play. On your turn you have the ability to draw cards (2 from any deck and choose 1 to keep, or discard a card and draw 5 Park cards keeping one). You may also add a market card to your hand. You can play a card from the market by paying the cost or play a card from your hand by paying the cost. You can choose to get loose change (1 coin per attraction you have built) or you may demolish something from your park (normally to make room for something better).
5. Then you get paid for each of your guest up to 15 (unless you get a card that increases your capacity).

6. You then perform clean up which is mostly discarding all the market cards and putting new ones out and setting up for the next round.





Should I buy this game?:

For fans of theme parks and card play. You must be okay with "screw you" cards and game play. Maybe not for non-gamers, but people can easily be taught this game. One of the better "theme park" games so if you love the theme, this may scratch that itch.

Keeper.
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Pete Wrigley
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Hi Jayson, nice review. Just wanted to point out that the game comes with six decks of cards.
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Jayson Myers
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pwrigley wrote:
Hi Jayson, nice review. Just wanted to point out that the game comes with six decks of cards.


It is quite possible I ran out of toes to count on. I'll edit.
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Kim Brebach
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Thanks for the detailed and insightful game run-through and review Jayson.

I think you covered some of the strategic nuance in playing for particular build strategies, and the challenge of deciding whether to play effects that help you or hinder a competitor well.
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Jayson Myers
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kbrebach wrote:
Thanks for the detailed and insightful game run-through and review Jayson.

I think you covered some of the strategic nuance in playing for particular build strategies, and the challenge of deciding whether to play effects that help you or hinder a competitor well.


You are welcome. Unfair is a very god game and one some may pass by due to the take that.
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Kim Brebach
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Thanks yes. When distilled down to a simplistic analysis with minimal context that label can bite.

But most players who play a few times are finding a much more subtle strategic decision space as Joel has identified so well graphically.

And we thank you for highlighting that.

But every game has its core and peripheral audiences. If people absolutely detest rivals trying to mess with them then Unfair has less to offer them. If they enjoy exploring and playing between building, goal chasing, amplification and disruption strategies then Unfair has much to offer.
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Kim Brebach
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We took a deeper pictorial look at some of Unfair's strategies and nuances around event play here too.
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