Tiago Perretto
Brazil
Curitiba
Parana
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Thinking about my next move.
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So, if my only options are these, then I shall...
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The Downfall of Pompeii is a simple, interactive and fun game: the goal is to save as many people from the fury of the volcano as possible.

There are three phases in the game: in the first, only one people at a time is placed, accordingly with a card used (each player has a number of them in hand, and each has a number correlated with places on the board). In the second phase, people are added faster, as extra markers are put for each other people already in the same place a player adds her own. Finally, in the third phase, the volcano detonates and starts to kill people - no more markers are put, and players, now, try move the ones they have out of the city, as volcano tiles are constantly placed, killing and/or blocking the people and putting pressure in the players. Killed people goes into the volcano, and serve as a tie breaker at the end of the game. The person that saves the most people, will be the winner.

The Downfall of Pompeii has two parts with loads of luck built in - the draw of cards and of volcano tiles. Still, is normally more important to recognize and seize opportunities and they appear, both for the placement of people and with the timming of moving them - as the rule of movement is pretty clever and gives importance to planning wisely the placement of people: when a marker is moved, it can move a number of squares equal to the total number of markers in the spot it started. Simple and efficient in creating tension, interaction and in requering a sharp eye to seek the best opportunities, be for gain more movement, be to reduce the movement of others.

There are, however, two problems with The Downfall of Pompeii: the first I already mentioned, which is the luck factor. It is present in the draw of cards, that can put a serious limitation in what places you can add people, both in phases one and two; and there are also the Omen cards, that let you kill one people of other player - just like that. Also, the draw of volcano tiles can harm or help a lot one or more players. Nonetheless, The Downfall of Pompeii doens't present itself as heavily strategic, nor with great control or perfect information. It is a light game, with direct attacks, and fun due to all the destruction, running and tossing with satisfaction markers inside the volcano. Thus the random elements serve to increase the replay value, as new paths to place and flee must be taken in each play.

In the end, The Downfall of Pompeii pleased me a great deal, with its uncompromised nature, giving entertainment coupled with tatical decisions in search of windows of opportunity to overcame the others. It isn't perfect, nor will work for everyone, due to luck elements and agressive interaction. For me it worked in allowing some easy, quick paced and effective fun. Recommended.

Regards,


Image credit: W Eric Martin
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Duo Maxwell
United States
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Good review. I played the game also at Gen Con and I enjoyed it immensely. It had just the right amount of take that for me (a heavy does of "take that") and I like how it has a plastic volcano and you throw the poor citizens into the volcano.

My biggest complaint with the game was the look of the game. It looked drab. The art on the cards was not very evocative or inspiring. And instead of little wooden cubes/cylinders as citizens they should have been meeples (imo).

I walked away from this game at Gen Con thinking it was in the top 10 games I played at the Con.

I went to the booth to look at the price and they wanted $44 for it (approx). I liked the game but not sure it was worth that much to me. If I stayed and played all of the games from this publisher, I could have gotten a half off coupon on a game but I didn't have the time or inclination to play all of their games. I did play Costa Rica which I believe is also in their line of games.
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Eric Moody
United States
Grand Rapids
US-MI
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Spend the money. You will never regret it. It has never lost it's replay value for me, tossing people into a volcano never gets old. Along with Kingdomino it's a game where you can get newbies & serious gamers playing together with no one being a) bored or b) overwhelmed.

Be sure and trick out your game by putting a tea light in the volcano so it flickers while you play - extra atmosphere!
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