Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Big Points» Forums » Reviews

Subject: "Big Points" review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Nathan Trimmer
United States
West Jefferson
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Note: This article was originally part of a college web writing project.

Simple fun or simply a flop?

Back in early 2008, German publisher Schmidt Spiele began releasing titles in the Easy Play line of games. Each is designed with an easy to digest rule set, feature a short play time, and are intended to be a great deal of fun. So far, there's been five titles: Burgenland, Drachen Wurf, Finito!, Los Banditos, and Big Points.

Of the titles in the series, Big Points stands apart as quite possibly the simplest in terms of both components and rules. While that can sometimes lead to a rather dull gaming experience, many time tested classics such as Checkers have proven the formula can work well. So, is this an excellent representative of the Easy Play line, or does it simply fall flat?

In the box you'll find:

Multilingual Rulebook (German, English, French, Italian, Spanish)
60 wooden counters
   10 each in blue, red, yellow, green, purple
   5 each in black and white
5 pawns - blue, red, yellow, green, and purple
1 cardboard staircase (marked with 0-4)


Setup

A stack of five counters, comprised of one for each pawn color, is set aside for the end of the game. The remaining counters are placed in the box lid, mixed up, and randomly placed one by one to form a path of any shape. The staircase is placed at one end of the path, and the pawns will start at the other. Place the stack of counters next to the staircase, and you're all set.

Game play

After randomly determining the who will begin, turns run clockwise. On his or her turn, a player chooses any pawn and moves it forward to the next counter of the matching color along the path. Then either the first unoccupied counter in front or behind that pawn is pulled aside and hidden by the player for game end scoring. The remaining counters are them moved to rejoin the path. This process is repeated until all of the pawns have no more matching counters and reach the staircase. The first one to arrive is placed on the top and each one that follows is placed one step lower. Each time a pawn is placed on a step, the player who moved it collects the counter of the matching color from the pile that was set aside. When all of the pawns have made their way to a step, scoring occurs and is based on two factors. First is the discs each player collected during the game, and the second is the order of the pawns on the staircase. Each stair has a number from 0-4, and the color pawn resting that stair is assigned a matching point value. Players then match up their counters of the matching colors to determine points and their final score.

Adding a little extra to the mix is the inclusion of the black and white counters. When collected, black counters can be cashed in and used to immediately take a second turn. White counters on the other hand aren't used until scoring. Their value is equal to the number of other colors the player has collected.

Thoughts

This German import really deserves to be picked up and published by an American company. While it's quite simple, you really are faced with a number of interesting decisions. As each pawn moves forward and a counter is removed from play, the path undergoes a small change. As a result, you have to carefully weigh not only your gain on a turn, but what you possibly set up for the next player. Also, there's the constant question of whether to push pawns forward to the goal and lock in a value, or pick one based on the available counters.
There aren't many components, but the ones provided are high quality. All of the counters and pawns are wooden and will definitely take a beating. The staircase is made of heavy cardboard and certainly adds a nice touch to the presentation. The only real complaint I have is in regards to the lack of a small draw bag. It'd prove much easier to use when randomly pulling counters to form the game path.

So, if you're looking for a quick game that plays in 10-20 minutes, but crave some depth, and don't mind something a little more abstract, be sure to pick up a copy of Big Points.
7 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Heidenreich
United States
Milwaukee
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
MilwaukeeTEG
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review.

I found with this game that with two players, you can plan and set yourself up to a degree. Excellent little game for two. With four, it's much more tactical (but still fun). It was as good as I expected with four...with two, I found it much better than expected.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Crispin
United States
Wilmington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have tried 3 of the Easy Play games and I think they are a good value. None of them are heavy games but they are all solid games that are easy to introduce new players to and play quickly, without leaving gamers bored. Big Points is my second favorite next to Burgenland.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathan Trimmer
United States
West Jefferson
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gary & William,

Thank you both for your comments! They're greatly appreciated since this is my first posted review here on BGG. I would certainly agree that the game changes in feel due to the number of players. Due to the more tactical nature, it seems to be at its best with two. As for the rest of the Easy Play series, I'd love to get my hands on both "Finito!" and "Burgenland". Steve Oksienik's excellent review sold on the latter, and the concept of the former just sounds like simple fun.

Thanks again!

-Nate
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chef D
United States
US Armed Forces - Americas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After messing up the rules the first time, I found this to be a great tactical game that plays quickly. Lots of fun and super-easy to teach. Thanks for the review.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathan Trimmer
United States
West Jefferson
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi David,

Funguy wrote:
After messing up the rules the first time, I found this to be a great tactical game that plays quickly. Lots of fun and super-easy to teach. Thanks for the review.


I couldn't agree with you more! Thanks so much for your comments!

-Nate
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeffrey Nolin
Japan
Nakamachi, Hiroshima
Hiroshima-ken
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
The only real complaint I have is in regards to the lack of a small draw bag. It'd prove much easier to use when randomly pulling counters to form the game path.

Drawing one by one from a bag seems unnecessarily time-consuming. We just mix them up on the table and look to have some distance between the black and white disks as we're putting them into a line.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nathan Trimmer
United States
West Jefferson
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jeffrey,

While I don't think it adds much to the setup time, you definitely have a valid argument. The rules do state to simply mix the counters and start from the steps. I'm just a stickler when it comes to making things random.

Thanks for your comment!

-Nate
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brent Lloyd
United States
League City
Texas
flag msg tools
Canadian Game Design Award: http://www.fallcon.com/design
badge
Canadian Game Design Award: http://www.fallcon.com/design
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice Review.

I found a 4 player game somewhat lacking...the game changes too much between your turns for any serious planning. The sweet spot for this game is 3 players. Just enough to allow for some turn to turn planning but not as deterministic as a 2 player game.

It can have a bit of an Analysis Paralysis aspect to it with certain players trying to figure out all their "right" moves.

Peace
2 
 Thumb up
0.05
 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.