martyn poole
United Kingdom
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Build a better Dystopia, Euphoria is a game set in a time where the world we recognise is gone. A City full of order and control is all that’s left, a city that is perfect, or is it?

Euphoria is a dice placement game where the dice represent your workers and the dice faces the worker's knowledge. Being a Dystopia, knowledge isn’t always a good thing. You want your workers to accept what you say, if they become clever (self-aware) they will revolt against you giving you less workers and a cost to retrieve that worker.

Euphoria - In the box

The box art is colourful and as you would expect from a Stonemaier game the quality is exceptional. For this reason, I won’t go into great detail here. You get:

Game board.
Construction Tiles.
Recruit, Artifact and ethic cards.
Worker dice.
Authority markers.
Morale tokens.
Knowledge boards.
Multiplier boards.
Commodity and Resource tokens.
Allegiance bonus and track markers.
Unavailable space markers.

How to shape the future

The look of the board came across quite daunting at first but once you have played a few games you soon learn what each space is for. You have spaces for generating commodities like electric, spaces to dig towards other players commodities and even a market place that will be built.
The commodities are food, water, electricity, and bliss (a kind of stimulant/drug). The areas that give you these are affected from the roll of the dice. The dice do not affect the remaining locations however and allow you to obtain resources like gold or stone. These resources allow you to build markets and as the game progresses more options become available to the players.

Unlike most worker placement games, Euphoria is not played in a given round and only two actions are available:
Place a worker - You place ONE worker on any of the three available action spaces.
Retrieve workers - Take back any or all of your workers.
Your workers have morale and knowledge and these two things are very important.

Morale indicates the hand limit of artefact cards.
Knowledge indicates your workers knowledge. If they gain to much they won’t believe in you cause and will be removed from play until acquired again costing you.

The idea of the game is to place authority markers on to the board by making use of the various actions. Keeping an eye on your workers actions is key to keeping the workforce going and strategic timing of retrieving workers is essential too.

Final Thoughts on Euphoria

When I first opened the box, I was pleased with the quality and number of bits that you get with the game. The art is very easy on the eye and the theme is one that interested me. I was a little put off by the board and how daunting it looked but there are plenty of videos online that got me through the setup and a few turns.
Euphoria flows at a great speed and I must say as a worker placement game, the pace and amount of downtime (hardly any) is great. You are always kept engaged because of this, making the tactical affair a lot more interesting, especially as the board evolves with markets later on.
The theme was one that I thought I would enjoy however at no point did it really hit me as a Dystopian styled game. This would normally put me off as theme is something I always look for in a game. I was left a little bit disappointed that I couldn’t connect with the theme but the game plays at such a good pace at all player counts that I looked past that.

If you play at two players or six, downtime is almost none existent. This makes the game enjoyable and it’s a good game, with more thematic choices it could have been so much better though.
Euphoria is very tactical and I think it takes around three or four full games to fully understand what you are doing, but if you invest that time and don’t mind being patient you will be rewarded. Being a dice game there are some luck elements that may put some off but there is always a choice no matter what you roll.
Overall, it’s a great dice/worker placement game that for me is only let down by the theme not being as apparent as it could have been. Don’t be put off by the board's look and watch a video or two and you will soon be shaping your own Dystopian future.

The Good
Plays mechanically perfect.
Strategic depth.
Component Quality.

The Bad
Theme is lacking.
Luck of the dice may be off putting for some.
Intimidating to learn.
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