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Subject: This game rules!!!! Sue me!! rss

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nathan hayden
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Before I begin, I must admit this game hits a certain sweet spot for me. I have a weird gaming kink and I hope I'm not alone. I really love board games based on books! Okay I said it, but it's true. I just really enjoy seeing how a game works with the ideas from a book, and how it translates it to mechanics. I'm a big fan of Beowulf the Legend, many of the LotR games, Pillars of the Earth interested me as a book idea but was a little flat, the many Camelot related games. I'm not a big fan of videogames turned into boardgames, that ain't my kink.

Another thing I must mention before I review this game is I really like Rudiger Dorn's games, but hadn't tried one of his family games, except for maybe Arkadia which I found to be a little dry.

Anyhow I picked up this game not really expecting too much, but I knew I liked both of the above qualities beforehand. Journey to the Center of the Earth is a family game, so if you where expecting a gamer game Goa this is not. BUT as a family game this is fantastic.

It is just as easy as Ticket to Ride to teach, and turn wise just as intriguing. I give Ticket to Ride a higher rating because it has fantastic tension and that tension is so graspable to people who don't usually game. What makes Journey so much fun is that it's sort of the same draw cards play awesome card combos type game, but it is about an adventure. The game is very evocative of the adventure into earth theme.

At the beginning of the game all players use the same three explorers to travel into the caverns deep inside a mountain. By playing matching explorer cards a player can move a matching figure deeper into the earth. With the help of tools players can pick up fossils, move about and search easier. Fossils are your victory points throughout the game, but many of them are divide into several parts. You may pick up half a skull, but you need to find the other half to really score victory points.

The first part of the game takes about 30-40 minutes. Players will move about collecting fossils, event cards and water droplets. I think the droplets add a great subtle goal. Players will need water to save their fossils from being destroyed by the end of part 1. It's a great little detail that makes the cavern searching even more interesting.

Just as this part of the game gets old the journey leads the explorers to a Petrified Mushroom Field!!!!... The second part of the game begins. All the explorers board a raft and travel across the underground ocean. The second half of the game last around 20 minutes and is similar to the first part except now every one can earn fossils at the same time. The boat sails from one end of the ocean to the other and there's many fossils to be found, BUT every time the boat moves a sea adventure occurs. Cards are drawn from a sea deck and more points can be made by possibly anyone. Lightning bolts can also zap you and steal fossil cards. It's fantastic.

When the explorers find land it's time for the final adventure. The explorers must hold tight and pop out of the volcano. This takes about 2-5 minutes. Every turn is one that can take away your fossils if you don't have the correct tools to save them. After the volcano the game is scored.

Journey to the Center of the Earth is the best family game I've played in a long time. I've played it 5 times now and it gets better every play. Figuring out how to collect the fossils and keep them is a fun challenge. It really is a great adventure that has all the take cards/play awesome card combos ideas but so much more somehow. To me, as a boardgame it has a certain magic quality that many family games lack. It seems like it's getting lost amongst the massive amounts of new games coming out which is a shame.

I should also stateagain this is not a gamer game in any way, if it was approached as such it'd be a real let down. Nope it's a game you can teach in 5 minutes and be off adventuring deep into the earth, figuring out great card combos, picking up fossils, and dodging lightning bolts.

Any true fan of Goonies may enjoy Journey to the Center of the Earth. It has nothing to do with the guy from Encino Man. It's a great Rudiger Dorn adaptation of the Jules Verne adventure. Pick up this game if you want some excitement in your family games.
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E J
United States
Tucson
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"This game rules!!!! Sue me!!"


Um...my lawyer WILL be in contact with you soon. See you in court.


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Steve R Bullock
United States
Palm Coast
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I won't sue you! I would rather join you playing this game! I agree it is very exciting and not at all dry. I love the theme, and it feels like you really are on a journey to the center of the earth (as much as a boardgame allows, anyway.)

I, too, highly recommend this game to all gamers AND non gamers. It is very user friendly, and a lot of fun when as you set out collecting fossils and quartz.

It really is underrated and seems way below the radar of BGG.

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David McLeod
Canada
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I've never thought of myself as a person who likes games based on books but enjoy all the games you mentioned. Still looking for Around the World in 80 days.

Great review! I also love the game and am surprised to see so few people owning this game. I always thought the card play reminded me a little of Blue Moon City. I like playing the card combos and how turns play quick. Draw cards or move an adventurer. Works great and is easy to teach!

We always get a few laughs when going through the Sea Adventures! Nothing like when chain lightning causes someone to lose a prized fossil.

Thumbs up!

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Eric Evans
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Port Angeles
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This is a really great review. My favorite game adapted from a book is here:




Based on the "Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser" series by Fritz Leiber, the books were far better than the game but I enjoyed the game too. I love the "Adult Fantasy Game" label on the cover. When I bought this at the hobby store it made me feel just a little "naughty".

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Paul Kreutzet
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I'd like to see or set up a related cooperative "From the Earth to the Moon" game based on the two Verne novels. Yeah it's not modern science, but the vision and coincidences of the moon journey are compelling.

Probably have three stages- the cannon casting, the launch, and the voyage 'round the moon. Mainly 3-player for the astronauts but could also add Gun Club leader Maston and astronomer Belfast back on earth.

Players would need to accumulate tiles of various scientific and physics items to advance. And, in the Round the Moon segment, the three astronauts might either be able to land on the moon, return to earth on a parabola, or miss the earth on a hyperbola.


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