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Subject: REVIEW: Is this For Sale or Category 5? rss

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Andrew Rae
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Wellington
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Tide of iron had me thinking this was a war game of some sort …turn the tide of the battle so to speak, so I was bewildered when I discovered I was playing a game with lighthouses and waves. Tame theme, tame game? However I was thrilled to find the game play was a combination of Category 5 and For sale, both of which are excellent games.

But to my viewing this game behaves badly. It is entirely too easy to score points with ‘bad’ hands and entirely too hard to score points with ‘good’ hands. This actually makes one think that a bad hand is actually a good hand, and that a good hand is actually a bad hand. Fortunately the game saves itself since its redeeming feature is that the game mostly evens out since you play all the hands at one stage or another.

The game does not excel for its theme or its art. Lighthouses, lifesavers, tides and waves, I am a LUNARtik to be playing this game? Everything is functional and of reasonable quality but it just doesn’t stand out. Category 5 (C5) is similar in this respect though not quite as attractive, yet For Sale (FS) is the standout for its smart and classy application of the theme is an attractive setting. No one, at least no boy, can resist getting a space station after all. Turn the tide will not wow you with its art, but don’t worry it won’t look like the black sheep in your otherwise beautiful gaming collection.

The gameplay combines elements from C5 and FS. The cards that you play are numbered from 1 to 60 and in any one round each player play one card. This exactly the same as the cheque phase of for sale. The number on your card determines what lighthouse (if any) you will get. The key twist of the knife is that the second highest card gets the higher value lighthouse and that the lower two cards get nothing. Lighthouses may be good or bad for you depending on position and the game rolls on from there.

After allocation one player will lose a lifesaver according to who has the highest lighthouse in play. It is the lifesavers at the end of the round that determine the score and they are the key complexity in the game. Each card provides an allocation of life savers for the round. Hence the more you have the higher your potential to score. ‘Worse’ cards give more life savers, and more potential for scoring. Yet they also provide a greater risk and are more likely to cost you points. But in reality with all the uncertainties and changing priorities, a card with a lifesaver could and often will earn you a point at the end of the round. So the ‘bad’ hands score better on average than the ‘good’ hands. A quirk you must become familiar with. This is evened out by each player playing every hand once, but the result is a far extended game. For some, this rotation of hands will appeal as it completely balances the fairness of the game, but for others it will just take a good filler and make it drag.

There is depth here, and will be more than enough for your considered gamer, yet its like a good cartoon movie in that it can be played simply and quickly as well. Although it’s nothing special, it is a light-hearted non combative game that will appeal to a wide audience. Perhaps the second edition could give this a war game theme …
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Billy McBoatface
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Lexington
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Re: REVIEW: Is this For Sale or Category 55?
Bad hands score better than good hands? Expecting a war game?

If you were American, I'd advise you to lay off the turkey for a bit...
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David
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Re: REVIEW: Is this For Sale or Category 55?
Good review, but Andy, Andy... you really need to edit your work... it's "Category 5", after the classification system for hurricanes (northern hemisphere tropical cyclones, which in fact rotate the same way as our southern hemisphere anti-cyclones, or something...) not "Category 55"!

It's really funny how your reviews often indicate that you really enjoyed a game immensely. This often comes as a total surprise because you moan and complain so much during the game anyone would think you hated it!



 
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guttedgeek
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Re: REVIEW: Is this For Sale or Category 55?
citylife wrote:
but for others it will just take a good filler and make it drag


Yup, I'd agree on this. Best played with no more than 4 to keep the playtime in check.
 
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