Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
 Hide
2 Posts

Power Grid» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Power Grid: A Review in Brief rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Scott Mikula
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm picky when it comes to games, board games in particular. I like games that have little or no luck involved, but rather depend on strategy and planning ahead. I like games that play out differently every time you bring them to the table. (Usually this is achieved by having a randomized starting setup so that the opening moves are not set.) I like games that have a strong element of player interaction, but not those that invite directly attacking your opponents; you should be able to block them as they work towards their goals, but not tear down what they've already accomplished. And I prefer games with an appealing theme to them.

It was this last one that kept me from ever looking too closely at Power Grid. Building power plants and connecting cities to your power network? How much fun could that be? Even the cover of the box made it look boring.

Nonetheless, events conspired to get me hooked on Power Grid. Some friends had the game, an as-yet-unexperienced wedding present, so they co-opted my wife and me into trying it out. I was impressed enough to get it for myself, and I haven't been disappointed with it yet.

Power Grid is a game all about economy. The game is played in rounds, and in each round you have a chance to buy a power plant at auction, buy resources (such as coal or oil) to run your plants, and extend your power network to new cities. Then you burn your resources to power the cities and earn money for the next round. As the game progresses more efficient power plants become available, but resources become more expensive and the cheaper cities to connect to quickly fill up. Using your money wisely is essential, so there are tough decisions in knowing how high to take your bid for a good power plant, or whether to focus on resources that are less efficient but lower priced because other people aren't competing for them. There is a nice built-in mechanism to keep anyone from running away with the game: typically whoever is winning will have access to worse power plants and will have to pay more for resources in the next round.

By and large the game fits all my criteria for a great game. The only luck is that the deck of power plant cards is shuffled, but the way the power plant market works does a good job of mitigating that. Still, on occasion the last person to buy a power plant can get a really good deal (since no one can bid against them) or else have the plant they really wanted bumped out by a new draw, which can be frustrating. Besides the shuffled power plants, the map introduces some variation into the game because you can use different sections of it depending on how many players there are. The level of player interaction is perfect--bidding can be cutthroat, you can drive up resource prices or block people from cities that they want to connect to, but there's always an alternative. (Usually a more expensive alternative...) Even the theme is growing on me--it's very satisfying to build up your power network, trying to run more efficiently than your competitors.

There are a few weaknesses; late in the game you can have hundreds of "Electro"--the game's currency--which leads to a lot of tedious adding when totaling your purchases, and there are a couple fiddly situations in which I still have to refer to the rulebook to be sure I do things just right. Still, on the whole, Power Grid is a winner.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Just call me Erik
United States
Waldorf
Maryland
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Very good review! Captures perfectly what I love about the game. I rate it a 10 and it's still my favorite game, though I don't play it as often as I used to due to my collection's size increase recently. I'm trying to power through all my new stuff.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.