Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
31 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Unfair» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Just another review of Unfair rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
James E
Canada
Ottawa
ON
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Since the designer geekmailed me asking me about my negative rating for Unfair, I thought it best to just provide a review instead of actually giving him private feedback. Hopefully this will explain why Unfair is a bad game that I'm unlikely to play again.

First the positives about Unfair.

The theme is original and the artwork is very pretty.

Now the negatives.

This is a light game with clunky mechanisms that takes entirely too long. You have blueprints which give you end game scoring points and there are events which changes the basic rules of the game then you have city cards which either hurt or help all the players. It's extra fluff meant to obscure this being a light set collection tableau builder.

There's a ton of randomness, which isn't a problem if the game takes half an hour but this game goes over 2 hours! For a light game with no real deep strategy.

Worst of all is the graphic design on the cards. Whoever designed these should be banned from ever working on board games again. They seem so enamoured with their art that they forgot that the text should be readable across the table. It isn't flavour text on the cards that can be glossed over, it's actually important game information. You shouldn't need binoculars to play the game but that what happens when the cards devote more space to the art than the actual game information. Text is tiny, the icons are small, there's no colour differentiation on the park cards. They just have the same dark red borders. I really loved having to ask my opponents if they had any cards I could attack because of the poor card design.

Unfair tries to create a tableau builder with lots of player interaction but it just ends up clunky with poorly designed cards. If you want a nice smooth tableau builder play St Petersburg instead. If you want a tableau builder in which you can destroy your opponent's tableau play 51st State Master Set instead. If you want a tableau builder with bad graphic design go play the much deeper and strategic Pax Porfiriana instead because as bad as its art design is, its still more functional than Unfair's graphic design.

Unfair is a long light clunky tableau builder with horrific graphic design because it sacrifices game play for attractive art.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Cartwright
United Kingdom
Spilsby
LINCS
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Each to their own I suppose. Just recently played first game of this with my 10yr old daughter and it took about 40 mins. We had no trouble reading the information on the cards and in fact really liked the panoramic card art. We didn't find it to random as the event cards and take action cut down on this. There is only lots of player interaction if you want there to be, we didn't attack each other once in our game as the top part of the event card was far more beneficial.
20 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lawrence
United States
Tustin
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hmm... 2 hours? Games with my girlfriend take around 30 minutes. If you're taking 2 hours with Unfair, then I'd wager there were some missed rules or your group has AP issues. We can see all icons very clearly on each other's attractions. If you stack them as intended, they create a ribbon which can be understood at a quick glance. I think that after 6 games, I asked for clarification on a symbol once.

We enjoy many other tableau builders like Race for the Galaxy and 51st State: MS. While it's definitely not as deep of an engine builder as something like Race, there's definitely still strategy depending on how you build your attractions, what employees you hire, how you manage your income, and whether you think you have enough time to complete just one more blueprint before that nasty Unfair card takes effect.

As medium-heavy gamers used to the likes of Vital Larceda, my girlfriend and I are bored by most light games. Yet, somehow Unfair doesn't bore us in the least. That said, Unfair never marketed itself as anything but a light Tableau builder. Even the art tends to suggest "gateway" rather than "Terra Mystica level strategy". Perhaps it's a case of mismanaged expectations.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pete Wrigley
Australia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I just don't get your review. The graphic design is excellent. There is good gameplay depth which becomes more apparent with further play.
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Finch
Australia
Carindale
QLD
flag msg tools
designer
badge
My hat? Definitely not a mind-control alien, no.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
James, thanks for responding, that feedback is helpful. It's a different take on the graphic design than we've had so far in other reviews.

Park cards are seen in hand, in your tableau, the Market and competitors' tableaux, and we've worked hard on making the layout and iconography work for each of those UX contexts.

The game comes with 2 player reference boards (one for each end of the table) including a large icon key. The icons on each card are substantially larger than the text, and each icon matches the type of the card, the idea being that players can identify the icon easily even if the words aren't legible at that distance.


For example, a Guest Services upgrade uses the "checkmark" icon, and is about 3 times the height of the words "Guest Services" on the card.

We've tried to make information that is needed from across the table visible at that distance. Here's a shot showing a small tableau, to illustrate the size difference between the card type text and the icon:


Thanks for mentioning other games where you find the legibility suitable, we'll take a look.

EDIT: I've assembled a comparison graphic of cards from the games named by James in his review. Apologies to Pax Porfiriana, I couldn't find a sharper source to work with. Cards for St Petersburg show 1st and 2nd edition artwork and design. I've deliberately chosen a card for Unfair that is one of the most visually complex.

UPDATE: added 51st State Master Set and Imperial Settlers as requested.

Without playing any given game, it's difficult to know what information must be readable at what distance, so please note that I am not comparing these cards to criticise any particular design, only to allow people to see the various games under discussion side-by-side at comparable size.

If anyone feels that the cards I've chosen don't properly represent what's available in that game, please let me know and I'll update.

26 
 Thumb up
0.50
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DrProfHazzmatt
United States
West Chester
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Riding the Kickstarter hype train since 2015.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'll need to refute your argument about graphic design.

All text provides good contrast between the text and its background in both color choice and color value. All text is either white text on a dark blue (blueprint cards), dark green (Flavor text for event cards), or dark red background (Park and Showcase attraction/upgrade type text) or is black text on a solid white background (All rules explanations on any cards). All text is also serif to help avoid confusion with letters such as capital I's and lowercase l's.

Expecting to be able to read text on a card from across the table and upside down is unreasonable. Using that argument, Magic: the Gathering, King of Tokyo, and Betrayal at House on the Hill also have awful graphic design. Any questions about rules information within the text box can be solved by simply asking a player "What does that card do?" or "Can I take a look at that card for a moment?" much like you would in any of these games..

The solution to difficult to read upside down text for attraction/upgrade type is the iconography on the card. Each attraction and each upgrade type have unique symbols that help a player identify necessary information about a card in regards to whether your opponent has any cards you can attack. The cards in the demo tableau provided by Joel above me are a 1 to 1 in size to the real cards. What you see there is an accurate representation of what will be seen on a physical card.

I do not write this expecting you to change your mind. As you said, it's very unlikely that you'll ever play this game and no amount of convincing from anyone is going to make you change your opinion. I write this rebuttal in the hope that someone who is considering purchasing this game is not driven away by your review.
27 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steve T
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I find the graphic design amazing.
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bobby Clark
United States
Frisco
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I guess I need to round up some other players and give multi-player a shot.I have played 36 games so far (most with the PNP copy I made not the HIGH QUALITY KS copy recently received) and while they are all 2 player I cannot disagree more with this review. I guess more players makes this a really bad game because we love it 2 player.

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Y P
United States
Mississippi
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thumbs up to the reviewer for coaxing well-reasoned responses in defense of the game out of players who enjoy the game. It's always good to have both sides of the story.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Y P
United States
Mississippi
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Joel,

Thanks for the comparison image, but you included a 51st State card instead of a 51st State Master Set card. Master Set has better graphic design IMO.

If you make another comparison, could you put up an Imperial Settlers card as well? One recurring complaint about Imperial Settlers is that the card text is too small to read from across the table.

Please continue this enlightening discussion. It's very helpful for somebody on the fence like me.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Désirée Greverud
Sweden
Stockholm
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MisplacedWorker wrote:
... For a light game with no real deep strategy.

... I really loved having to ask my opponents if they had any cards I could attack...


Well, this was an easily dismissed review and these 2 lines highlight why. If you are ever asking if someone has cards you can attack, then you are playing wrong (i.e using the wrong strategy). Basically, looking for things to attack because you can is simply a dumb way to play. It demonstrates to me that the person hasn't thought much about the game, so any claims of "lacking strategy" are without merit. The player playing stupidly is entirely on the player. Trying to blame the game is ignorant at best. And this review strikes me as ignorant. Ignorant in that the reviewer decided early on that this game required no thought, as if it were some version of Fluxx or Munchkin when in fact this is a strategy game that requires planning, foresight and concentration and when the game demanded more of him, he blames the game for his own inability to strategize.

The graphic design is, of course, awesome; with all the relevant info easily seen and suburb artwork.

I sincerely hope that anyone on the fence about this game, take this review for what it is: the review of someone not prepared to play a strategy game but thinking this was Amusement Park Fluxx.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Finch
Australia
Carindale
QLD
flag msg tools
designer
badge
My hat? Definitely not a mind-control alien, no.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MentatYP wrote:
Thanks for the comparison image, but you included a 51st State card instead of a 51st State Master Set card. Master Set has better graphic design IMO.

If you make another comparison, could you put up an Imperial Settlers card as well? One recurring complaint about Imperial Settlers is that the card text is too small to read from across the table.

Thanks for letting me know, I'll update the graphic shortly.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Finch
Australia
Carindale
QLD
flag msg tools
designer
badge
My hat? Definitely not a mind-control alien, no.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The image is updated now in my original post above, and repeated here at tiny size for ease of reference.


5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
joe sedita
United States
New York
flag msg tools
He's right though, about the time. It takes almost two hours for a two-player, competitive game, especially factoring in all the strategy work-arounds you need to account for!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Désirée Greverud
Sweden
Stockholm
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ghettoimp wrote:
He's right though, about the time. It takes almost two hours for a two-player, competitive game, especially factoring in all the strategy work-arounds you need to account for!

I played a 4 playyer game with 2 first timers in 2 hours. 2 player game with people who know the decks is 60-90 minutes
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Cartwright
United Kingdom
Spilsby
LINCS
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DragonsDream wrote:
ghettoimp wrote:
He's right though, about the time. It takes almost two hours for a two-player, competitive game, especially factoring in all the strategy work-arounds you need to account for!

I played a 4 playyer game with 2 first timers in 2 hours. 2 player game with people who know the decks is 60-90 minutes


Yep, 60 mins in our house for a two player game of Unfair.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DrProfHazzmatt
United States
West Chester
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Riding the Kickstarter hype train since 2015.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ghettoimp wrote:
He's right though, about the time. It takes almost two hours for a two-player, competitive game, especially factoring in all the strategy work-arounds you need to account for!


My first recorded games are as follows:

1) A 4 player game with the "First Date" game changer (so only 6 rounds) and went for 1 hour. Some player interaction and 3 people learning the game. Taking subsequent turns while a player decides which blueprint (or other card types) to take.

2) A 2 player game that went 1 hour. Minimal player interaction. Taking subsequent turns during card decisions.

3) A 2 player game that went 1 hour. Minimal player interaction. Waiting for the other player to finish their card decisions.

4) A 3 player game that went 1 hour 50 minutes. Heavier player interaction. Waiting for players to finish their card decisions before taking turns.

Depending on how much time you allow for people to agonize over decisions, this game can be completed quite quickly.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Vermont
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My 14-year-old daughter and I played yesterday.

The game ran about 60 minutes, but both felt like the game really moves - fast.

We screwed a few things but, we were smiling.

In short, we had a lot of fast fun with it!
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Désirée Greverud
Sweden
Stockholm
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ghettoimp wrote:
...for a two-player, competitive game...

translation: for us to ignore fun and every action count potential points for every possible card we drew before deciding what to discard and what to play
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robin Hassgård
Sweden
Göteborg
flag msg tools
mbmb
I honestly don't see the issue with the card text. Especially not when comparing it to Settlers or 51st state (or any of the other games in the image). I think it looks great! My only personal complaint with the games art are the re-using of it for improvements and event cards. Especially the improvements like seating and quality improvements should have at least had different color schemes for the seats and art instead of a textlogo for quality ones.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel Finch
Australia
Carindale
QLD
flag msg tools
designer
badge
My hat? Definitely not a mind-control alien, no.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rombie wrote:
My only personal complaint with the games art are the re-using of it for improvements and event cards. Especially the improvements like seating and quality improvements should have at least had different color schemes for the seats and art instead of a textlogo for quality ones.

Glad to hear you like the card design!

One of the challenges with the artwork is that we want the cards to be recognisable when they are the same card - the image is as much a signature for that card as its title, and completely different versions of a card with the same title cause confusion and recognition problems. In many cases, where an item is repeated, we've made minor alterations in what I hope is a fun way (e.g flags on flagpoles come in several colours, cinemas have different marquee signs, lockers have different titles, freak shows feature different acts, etc) without changing their overall recognition profile.

Quality upgrades are virtually impossible to illustrate when the same upgrade can go on any attraction. Quality improvements might mean a new coat of paint, a better dishwasher in the kitchen, thicker canvas on the sideshow tent, replacement carpet in the entry foyer, better signage, new lights, etc. If we had chosen any one of those things to illustrate as the example of a Quality improvement, some people may have thought it should apply only to the specific type of item shown. Having the Quality upgrades as a circular gold seal also allows us to tie several different levels of Quality into an obvious series (currently 1, 2, and 4 stars) so that if you're looking for a Quality upgrade, you can easily recognise any of those three cards as suitable.

The Event cards don't re-use any artwork, they're all illustrated individually for each different type of event. A set of 9 Event cards is repeated in each theme pack - this is because they're the core utility cards the game offers to ensure that a base set of options are reliably present in any game. We could have had a set of "common" cards that needed to be added in to each game, in the right amount for the number of players, but that would have meant a lot more attention required during packup. Repeating the cards in each pack makes the setup and packup simpler.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
DrProfHazzmatt
United States
West Chester
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Riding the Kickstarter hype train since 2015.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Rombie wrote:
I honestly don't see the issue with the card text. Especially not when comparing it to Settlers or 51st state (or any of the other games in the image). I think it looks great! My only personal complaint with the games art are the re-using of it for improvements and event cards. Especially the improvements like seating and quality improvements should have at least had different color schemes for the seats and art instead of a textlogo for quality ones.


Now, I know nothing about what decisions Joel made for the art, but I have a co-worker who's putting a game together and he was interested in trying to have unique art on all of his cards. The problem he's running into with publishers is that fully unique art can get really expensive really fast and that causes some publishers to lose interest.

Consider that there are 400 or so cards and if you need to commission a different art piece for each one that's going to become very expensive very fast.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kim Brebach
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Cost is certainly a factor.

But the overriding factor is the usability of having common cards be recognisable at a glance because they are consistent. It smoothes cognitive recognition loads AND shifts the focus onto the more unique cards. It's actually a benefit having common cards generally look the same.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Rudolph
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I am actually kind of shocked to see all the comments on the site about the poor card art. I think the cards are some of the best I have ever seen and have found no issues with reading the text. To each his own. I guess you will either like the game or hate it.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kim Brebach
Australia
Sydney
NSW
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Putzmanrudy1 wrote:
I am actually kind of shocked to see all the comments on the site about the poor card art.


"All the comments... about the poor cart art"... no I don't think I've seen a single critique of the art, and only this piece has critiqued the graphic design, and that seems to be an isolated view.

Like you, the vast majority of people are lauding the game's art and graphic design. So we aren't worried about such critiques. Although we are always looking for ways to improve and listening carefully.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.