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Subject: Mt Fuji has erupted and now you have to get out! rss

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Robert Arroyo
United States
Salt Lake City
UT
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Premise:

This is a pretty fast co-op game (plays in 30 to 45 minutes) about a group of hikers trying to outrun an eruption on Mt Fuji and escape the park before being consumed by lava. The path out of the park is made of cards with several options for setup laid out in the rule book. Each player gets a character that has a unique character ability and a one-time-use tool or two that can help you or another player out of a tight spot.

Game Play:

First, every player rolls a bunch of dice in secret and without being able to talk about what you have rolled everyone decides where they want to try and go. All the locations have different dice effects (color, number, even/odd) and combinations of effects that qualify for moving to that location. Once everyone has decided where they are trying to move to, everyone gets to re-roll some dice in secret some number of times based on how far they are trying to go. The farther you are trying to go the less re-rolls you get. Some of the tools and abilities can be played before you re-roll and some can be played after to help you if you remove a dice or re-roll a dice if you think you need it. After all of the re-rolls, abilities, and tools are used everyone reveals their dice and compares with their neighbors. If your qualifying dice are greater than your two neighbors qualifying dice then you succeed in moving to your new location. If you fail to move then you take fatigue damage and eventually start loosing re-rolls, tools, dice, and character abilities. At the end of the round the lava advances down the path. At certain places along the path you could get and extra item or possibly trigger an extra lava flow. The game ends when someone dies or when everyone escapes the park.

Thoughts:

The cards are pretty and the game mechanics are unique as far as I can tell. There are a lot of locations cards that can be arranged into a lot of different path options. There are also a surplus of characters and tools to choose from/get assigned. All of this leads to a lot of replayabilty. On top of that, this is a very inexpensive game (around $20). However, most of the game is based around artificial and contrived restriction of not being able to share specific details of information but instead just vague statements such as 'I am pretty strong in blue'. As such it is easy to break this game by playing a few rounds in a row with the same people and developing a coded way of speaking. Additionally I didn't think that the mechanics matched the theme very well; why wouldn't you share as much information as you could with your group if you were all trying to escape a lava flow together?

Conclusion:

If you like co-ops then this is a unique one to add to your collection.
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