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Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar» Forums » General

Subject: Does this game miss both marks? rss

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J. James
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Hey folks, I am (yet another) potential backer who is on the fence. I have read quite a bit, though I couldn't make it through all of the design diaries. I have watched about two play throughs at this point. Especially after watching this https://youtu.be/2d_6LWg4cN0, I was left wondering if this game might end up being too slow, fiddly, and rules laden for young kids, but also not really enough to hold the interest of adult gamers after a few plays. What do you lucky dogs who have played the game think?

Honestly the first issue is my biggest concern. In the video linked above, I think I timed at several points nearly ten minutes from the end of one of Ruth's turns until the beginning of her next. I realize there are a lot of rules questions and explanations going on, but that is also a bit to my point. Even two thirds of the way through the video J.R. is still answering questions and explaining rules. Finally looking at what players have in front of them (souveniours, action cards, treasures, pictures, snake bites etc.) it seem like a mess of things to keep track of. Again, well into the video, Lillian is asking 'Where do I put this again?' or J.R. (i think) forgets a snake bite etc. I could see kids feeling like this would be a fun game without all rules!

The second issue of whether adults would enjoy it is WAY less important to me. If my kids are having fun then I'm likely having fun. Except for Candyland, I draw the line at Candyland . But as they have obviously made and effort to bring to the previous version a higher level of gameplay. I am curious if this seem like it would sustain more than a few plays by adults without kids.

Again, curious what those that have had a chance to play the game think. Also, perhaps if any kids younger than 9 got to play that would be an excellent source! Thanks for any help.
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Jason Brown
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I played the prototype and "rules laden" and "slow" are the exact opposite of the experience. I played with a 6-year old who had a blast kicking my butt!

The second game was all adults and we were all standing throughout the game and high-fiving by the end. None of us knew each other before we played. That should answer the second question
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Russell Corbally
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I was able to see this in action up close. For children or adults initially you might want to play the vanilla game without all the expansion rules (which add to the complexity that you saw in the video). Even with the expansions, after a few plays, most of it is pretty simple to understand. Children are less likely to overthink strategy (which is what they did during that You tube video). At our table was a 5ish year old who liked to move the pieces but didn't really understand what was going on (so that's too young I would think).
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I do agree that this is not likely to be the go-to game day after day for adults....but it does seem (for me at least) to be the kind of game that I will pull out for an occasional game night and could get a few hours in without feeling bored.... might not play again for a month or two, but I do think it would come out every so often. My kids are now young adults and I know we will be playing once this arrives.
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Adrian Schmidt
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The game in the Dice Hate Me video linked in the OP really was a slog, but keep in mind that they played with everything. It did make me reconsider the expansions though. After seeing that video, I'm pretty sure I won't be getting the Crimson Cutlass and the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bees expansions. I don't think I'll play the game with the same people often enough to want to venture past the base game and the Last Adventurer (possibly without even involving the snakes).
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PK Levine
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It's important to remember that that video was intended to help us adult backers understand the game. From a kid's perspective, here's how it's going to play:

1. I have two action cards in my hand. Which one do I want to play? I probably make this decision based on what I get to do (cataclysm, tiger, etc.).

2. Play the card, move my figure, do the action and watch crazy marbles knock stuff over.

3. Done!

Look for playthrough reports involving kids and you'll see that they don't have any problem understanding this game, because "overthinking it and strategizing" is an option, not a necessity. (But because it is an option, I think this game will hold adult attention just fine as well.)
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Man thinks, the river flows.
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    You might consider waiting until it comes out so you can get more information before spending the money.

             S.


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mortego
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Sounds to me you should wait until it goes retail.
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J Ginsbu
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I share some of the OP’s concerns. It’s unfortunate that both playthroughs have included expansion content. It would be helpful (for me, at least) to see a playthrough of just the base game before the campaign ends to get a better idea of how the game will work for families and with kids. I’m looking forward to seeing revised rules as that should also help me make a decision about backing.
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Albert Riera Gimeno
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Personally, I think that recording a video with all the expansions of the game in the first game is an error, due to the doubts that this generates.
The normal thing is to play some basics and add expansions little by little.
On the other hand I think it's easy to adapt the rules of the original game to this one for younger children. The game allows you to play with small children or with more gamers.
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Chad Gambone
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Quote:
Hey folks, I am (yet another) potential backer who is on the fence. I have read quite a bit, though I couldn't make it through all of the design diaries. I have watched about two play throughs at this point. Especially after watching this https://youtu.be/2d_6LWg4cN0, I was left wondering if this game might end up being too slow, fiddly, and rules laden for young kids, but also not really enough to hold the interest of adult gamers after a few plays. What do you lucky dogs who have played the game think?

Honestly the first issue is my biggest concern. In the video linked above, I think I timed at several points nearly ten minutes from the end of one of Ruth's turns until the beginning of her next. I realize there are a lot of rules questions and explanations going on, but that is also a bit to my point. Even two thirds of the way through the video J.R. is still answering questions and explaining rules. Finally looking at what players have in front of them (souveniours, action cards, treasures, pictures, snake bites etc.) it seem like a mess of things to keep track of. Again, well into the video, Lillian is asking 'Where do I put this again?' or J.R. (i think) forgets a snake bite etc. I could see kids feeling like this would be a fun game without all rules!

The second issue of whether adults would enjoy it is WAY less important to me. If my kids are having fun then I'm likely having fun. Except for Candyland, I draw the line at Candyland . But as they have obviously made and effort to bring to the previous version a higher level of gameplay. I am curious if this seem like it would sustain more than a few plays by adults without kids.

Again, curious what those that have had a chance to play the game think. Also, perhaps if any kids younger than 9 got to play that would be an excellent source! Thanks for any help.



They were playing really slowly and having discussions and fun. Which, seems to me, is the point of the game. If you want to take it completely seriously and just keep it moving, you can probably finish it in 20-30 minutes most likely, as each player is going to only get ~10 turns since it's really only 2-3 turns between the snapshots. I think it feels rules laden because they are testing out so many things on the road trip, I suspect the final rule set will be tightened up and be consistent with each other, but in any game on the road trip they are likely to use different rules for the bees, snakes, etc to try to see how all the ideas work.

I played the prototype way back in the beginning of the roadtrip, and we did play just the main game, and it was a lot of fun.

But you have to be able to accept the carnage and randomness of Vul-kar. Someone that gets frustrated/angry because they followed the "perfect" path that got them the most points in the shortest distance only to lose a bunch of them because someone bounces a tiger shot off a tree into a ember marble that knocks them back 25 spaces off a cliff may not be the target audience for this game.
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Travis Hunt
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For playing with kids, it might be easiest to play it with the old rules. Roll the dice, go around the map, pick up treasures and launch marbles when a 1 is rolled. That keeps it real simple. I would agree, the game with expansions is too complex for kids.

For adults, I think there is a lot of cool things going on. Some strategy, but you also have to remember that all your strategy can and will go out the window when fireballs rain from the heavens.

A big advantage of this game is you can really choose your own adventure both in gameplay and in rules setup. I think there will be a TON of variants and house rules you can implement to keep it fresh for many many plays.

My only concern at this point for both adults and kids is seeing the videos with how frequently people knock things over accidentally, player pieces fall or move a lot when a marble hits the plastic, marbles fall off the mountain, etc.
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Justin Jacobson
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Heads-Up: I'll be playing the super-secret second prototype with Tom Vasel and the rest of the Dice Tower crew on their ITTD Eve live stream, starting around 3:00 PM EDT. My plan is to just play the base game (maybe one little mini-expansion thrown in). So, if you want to see how the base game plays, be sure to tune in.

(Feel free to start watching earlier. I'll be doing a D&D session starting at noon, which is always fun.)
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Chad Gambone
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Unless the kid is so young they can't read, I think you are going to make the game way more boring by removing the action cards. The die is 1-3 spaces, the game is going to be really, really slow with that.
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Austin Norris

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I’m just speaking from what I have seen and the rules that I have read. The game seems very very simple and easy to explain. The video seem complicated and long per turn because from what I understand at almost all of these events wait time to play can be hours so it can be assumed everyone playing it is playing for the first time and with all expansions besides the pirates cove. So I’m not surprised people constantly have questions.

Virtually every game I explain to people no matter how simple has a similar number of questions the first play through.

I think if you started with just the base game and nothing else from reading the rules you will have a quick simple game after the first play through. Adding expansions will at first add to the time but once everyone has the rules down the only extra time added will be setting up.
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JustinDJacobson wrote:
Heads-Up: I'll be playing the super-secret second prototype with Tom Vasel and the rest of the Dice Tower crew on their ITTD Eve live stream, starting around 3:00 PM EDT. My plan is to just play the base game (maybe one little mini-expansion thrown in). So, if you want to see how the base game plays, be sure to tune in.

(Feel free to start watching earlier. I'll be doing a D&D session starting at noon, which is always fun.)


What's the link???

I don't know what in the world goes on their site there's so much

http://www.dicetower.com

Dice Tower confuses me enough with 10 YouTube review videos by different people on the exact same game(!) I watch most of them though ;

Is that play thru going to be permanent on their YouTube page after it plays live?

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedicetower

D&D session doesn't involve FBI does it?

I understand the OP. Just like people who wanted more from the game board. Doesn't mean I agree with everything. But I do understand where they're coming from and their concerns are legit from what they've seen so far and yeah you have to wait to see the real thing but yet if you want to back you have to put some trust and use some imagination of what it can really be like. fwiw


I agree basically with what Travis Hunt (pseudoSue) said. And sing a d6 at least. Not the 3 max d6 that comes with the game. And preferably one of the cool fire marble samples I showed in an old thread ; ) although a d20 would be crazy lol and you can houesrules this game all over the place as well as sprucing it up with 3D wargaming grass and such.

I am glad JR showed the expansions!
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Chad Gambone
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Collection 1138 wrote:
JustinDJacobson wrote:
Heads-Up: I'll be playing the super-secret second prototype with Tom Vasel and the rest of the Dice Tower crew on their ITTD Eve live stream, starting around 3:00 PM EDT. My plan is to just play the base game (maybe one little mini-expansion thrown in). So, if you want to see how the base game plays, be sure to tune in.

(Feel free to start watching earlier. I'll be doing a D&D session starting at noon, which is always fun.)


What's the link???

I don't know what in the world goes on their site there's so much

http://www.dicetower.com

Dice Tower confuses me enough with 10 YouTube review videos by different people on the exact same game(!) I watch most of them though ;

Is that play thru going to be permanent on their YouTube page after it plays live?

https://www.youtube.com/user/thedicetower

D&D session doesn't involve FBI does it?

I understand the OP. Just like people who wanted more from the game board. Doesn't mean I agree with everything. But I do understand where they're coming from and their concerns are legit from what they've seen so far and yeah you have to wait to see the real thing but yet if you want to back you have to put some trust and use some imagination of what it can really be like. fwiw


I agree basically with what Travis Hunt (pseudoSue) said. And sing a d6 at least. Not the 3 max d6 that comes with the game. And preferably one of the cool fire marble samples I showed in an old thread ; ) although a d20 would be crazy lol and you can houesrules this game all over the place as well as sprucing it up with 3D wargaming grass and such.

I am glad JR showed the expansions!



RPG: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LYVAQWxcI0 (noon tomorrow EDT)
Board Games: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZXoX9lvPLE (3PM tomorrow EDT)
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Jordan Booth
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I was at the Chicago events. The reason rules are being explained all the way through is because there was no upfront rules explanation. In order to get everyone a chance to play and to show how naturally intuitive the game is JR intentionally waited until someone asked a question to answer it.
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Clanggedin Silverbeard
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The Dice Hate Me playthrough video was hard to watch. After watching Ruth take forever on her turn, I ended up fast-forwarding when it came to her. Everyone else had an idea of which card they would play before it was their turn, but it was like she would space out completely until it was her turn, then spend 5 minutes checking each card and countinig all of the spaces of where the cards could take her..

Sounds like playing games with my wife actually.
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Reg M
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As a kid we played a quick version on the original game. We didn't use the caves or the cards. We just raced to the heart of Vul-Kar, and every time someone rolled a 1 a marble came down, and you rolled again. You got smashed by a marble you had to leave the heart where you got hit after your next roll. A player passed you on the board stole the heart. We had an absolute blast trying to screw each other over. I distinctly remember a game where the heart changed hands about 10 times in the last 3 or so turns we each took. It was anarchy.

I mean, in actuality, if you're concerned about the play ability of this game, and how easy it is to understand you can remove some aspects, and do your own thing. That's the thing about board games, there's no board game police. Whatever makes the most sense to you. It's about having fun.

I think it seems like a lot of moving parts but once you get playing it'll start making sense. Remember; all those play through's are essentially people playing for the first time. So there's going to be moments where rules need to be explained. No one is going to pick the game up the first time and have it figured out immediately. Once you get going you'll pick it up quickly, and the whole game will boogie along.
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Adam K.
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i was actaully starting to lean away from backing this game, but this thread is getting me interested again. You guys are giving me great ideas for how to adapt for my 4yo, but I just went all in on Dino Island! not sure if i'm ready to drop another $85,and I'd really like to have at last the 5p expansion for this which brings it up to $100.

didn't mean to derail. anyway, thanks for all your input everyone.
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Reg M (LUNCHBOX68) = Yep

I think once we have it in our hands we'll do all sorts of house rule things to it. just as long as everyone in your gaming group agrees.

I bet kids will teach their parents how to use free FBI SG app just fine
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Eamon Daly
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I played in one of the Chicago demos. We only got to play three rounds because of the number of people there, but that's all it took for me to buy into the Kickstarter. It is an exceptionally pretty game: there were a couple of kids there who were begging their parents for a copy of the game immediately, so I think it's an insta-win for the younger set before the first player even hits the helipad-- I reserved a copy for my god-daughter (and her siblings) as soon as I got home. To answer your questions more specifically:

- This game is definitely not slow. You only have one of two Actions to take on your turn, and if you're poisoned you don't even have that. There are combos to be made with some of the souvenirs, and sometimes effects that need to be added in before making a move (speed penalties, for instance), but otherwise turns are quick and I honestly don't see choice paralysis being a worrisome part of the game. Plus, they've already unlocked the "Fun Run" app add-on, so if that's really a concern you can just play the game with a timer.

- Fiddliness is in the fingers of the finger-holder, I suppose: there are absolutely a lot of pieces and it does require some setup time. The prototype board was pretty solid, though, so things generally stayed put when they should and moved when they should, and since most of the gameplay is removing things from the board it all seems pretty manageable once you start. I will say that with all the rolling and flicking there's definitely the chance for... overexuberance. I had the last move in my game and once it was clear I'd won and had a chance to add insult to injury with an ember ball I might have knocked a bunch of stuff off the board in my enthusiasm.

- Rules laden: nah. The cards are pretty obvious and the instructions are precise. Once you get into a rhythm of move/take/flick/collect it's not particularly onerous. Jordan had the same observation I did: JR didn't give us any of the rules until we started playing, and then just filled us in as we went. I imagine that would seem complicated to the outside observer but in reality it's as straightforward as any other collect-stuff-run-home style boardgame I've played. I agree that the bee stings and poisons were often overlooked, but someone mentioned in the Kickstarter comments that putting those markers on top of the action cards themselves as a reminder would easily mitigate that issue.

Now, as for adults. I'll say it up front: hardcore strategy gamers who don't play games under four hours long probably aren't going to get a ton of value out of this. That said, the guy I played with is a Twilight Imperium/GoT/Battlestar kind of person and we agreed that there's enough in there to keep most folks invested. You can do some great stuff with combos if you plan it right, and there's so much marble madness in the game you can't just decide X at the start and expect to nail it: you're going to have to re-evaluate your actions and movements every couple rounds. And as a (very) casual gamer myself, I'm always on the lookout for how to turn every game into a drinking game, and HOO BOY does this thing have hooks for that in spades. Players are constantly being moved, knocked down, jumped, bit, poisoned, stung, and sent flying, and people got super rowdy during every game we watched.

In short, I really liked the game. It seems designed in every way for maximum silliness while still allowing for some skilled decision-making, and I can't wait to get my copies.
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Ken
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JustinDJacobson wrote:
Heads-Up: I'll be playing the super-secret second prototype with Tom Vasel and the rest of the Dice Tower crew on their ITTD Eve live stream, starting around 3:00 PM EDT. My plan is to just play the base game (maybe one little mini-expansion thrown in). So, if you want to see how the base game plays, be sure to tune in.

(Feel free to start watching earlier. I'll be doing a D&D session starting at noon, which is always fun.)


Any chance you'll be at Cool Stuff Hollywood for ITTD on Saturday?
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Justin Jacobson
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Ken at Sunrise wrote:
JustinDJacobson wrote:
Heads-Up: I'll be playing the super-secret second prototype with Tom Vasel and the rest of the Dice Tower crew on their ITTD Eve live stream, starting around 3:00 PM EDT. My plan is to just play the base game (maybe one little mini-expansion thrown in). So, if you want to see how the base game plays, be sure to tune in.

(Feel free to start watching earlier. I'll be doing a D&D session starting at noon, which is always fun.)


Any chance you'll be at Cool Stuff Hollywood for ITTD on Saturday?

I am indeed! Just got clearance from the wife.
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eamondaly wrote:
I played in one of the Chicago demos. We only got to play three rounds because of the number of people there, but that's all it took for me to buy into the Kickstarter. [...]

In short, I really liked the game. It seems designed in every way for maximum silliness while still allowing for some skilled decision-making, and I can't wait to get my copies.



It'd be a good idea if players such as yourself added reviews to the Reviews Forum. There's one by Manfred v2.0 (manfredv2point0)


https://boardgamegeek.com/forum/2302448/fireball-island-curs...


(The Sessions forum would be for when people actually get the game imho)



It's gotten a 9.0 rating so far with some comments (but a lot that look like they haven't demo'd it yet ; )

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/233020/fireball-island-c...
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