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E.T.I.: Estimated Time to Invasion» Forums » Reviews

Subject: With semi-official variants rss

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Piotr Konieczny
Poland
Katowice
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Not only I am a big fan of any space-theme games, but I love tech trees - so when I saw the game at GenCon, I knew I had to pick it up. Having played it 6-7 times in the past two months, I am certainly not disappointed.

Pros:
* well balanced: in all the games I've played, there were no balance problems: sure, a player can get ahead of others, but then he will be the primary target of the alien - in no game I've seen the "leading human" actually win. And the chance for running ahead are small, so it's not easy for the alien to do so. And if the alien does - well, it is supposed to win the game every few games, after all
* innovative mechanic - a game centered around a tech tree, after all, is pretty rare
* good quality components
* humor: flavor texts in this game is among the best I've seen; there are even jokes hidden in the legal text on the box
* decent price (that said, the developers are not making any $ from it - apparently for them, it's a hobby... so if you can, buy some T-shirts, or other game of theirs, so they can get their $ back and release the 2nd edition )

Cons:
* rulebook: funny, but confusing. I had to read it twice to even get an idea of how to play the game, and I needed to play the game twice to get a good grip on how it works. I bet it is a text book example (for a text book ) when the rules were compiled by people who already "knew how to play the game" and weren't betatested on some newbies
* the game is not the most intuitive (although part of the fault may be in the textbook) - expect the players to be confused UNLESS one of them is really experienced in the game and can explain what's going on
As a sidenote to the cons, they are rather serious: I've seen players "turned off" the game because after half an hour they still couldn't figure out what is going on Thus, advice to new players: get a mentor, or, before playing with others, make sure you REALLY know how the game works and can explain it.

Other:
* the updates and revisions, also available on BGG, tweak some elements and make them better; it is highly recommended to use them. I have played 3 games using the newest rules recently (with a developer at a local con) and the game went from good to excellent thanks to those tweaks!

Conclusion:
* now that I know how to play it, I do like this game, and I am unlikely to refuse an opportunity to play it. But if any developer is reading this - please, make sure your rules are easy to understand for the newbies!
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