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Subject: First Test Run rss

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Chef D
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I got an email from Chris that the games were available. Since I lived near by he said it was fine to pick it up. I arrived with my young son yesterday afternoon and picked it right up from him. First off the bat, the box is great. I got it out and set up last night. The game feels a lot like GTR (in the sense that you can use the cards in multiple ways and each ones have different powers, or dogmas in the case of Innovation). But unlike GTR it is more streamlined and functional. Whereas my wife was confused by GTR, Innovation had a different response. It was really smooth and straight forward. Unlike in GTR, where most of the cards are put under the mat, in Innovation, only the scored points and achievements are put under the mat. This makes it so much easier. In GTR, you are constantly fiddling with your cards making sure they are fanned in the right way. The cards had different functions, but I really like the mechanism of "splaying". One of the actions that you have is to use the dogma effects of the cards. This not only leads to a bunch of interaction, but it allows you to alter the icons on the cards to suit what other affects you have. But it is not static, you can alter them depending on other dogma affects. While there is some planning involved, several of the dogma affects "I demand" can really swing the game back and forth. While there might be some naysayers that don't like this because you are not able to plan well enough in advance, I really thought that this was a great evolution of how to use cards for multiple affects (in the genre of SJ, RfTG, and GTR). While I thought the icons might be a put off, they really don't play the same role as in RfTG. They are there simply as markers that allow you to use or counter the dogma affects of your cards or those of others.

While I was a bit concerned at first about the price and the quality of the cards, I was pleasantly surprised. The print on demand cards are fairly decent. I am looking forward to the better cards once the full print run comes out this summer, but for now I have no complaints about the quality. My only minor issue is with the backs of the cards. They used a slightly different number font to go along with the specific age. Unfortunately,the backs of these cards are public knowledge, so when trying to see what number cards people have, it is hard to read because the fonts are different for each of the numbers. I know that the testing copy video here on BGG had very distinct numbers that seemed much easier to read. I guess it will take a few games to be able to read them with ease. I know others have complained of the price. While I agree that it is steep for a card game, I have no problem supporting a small independent company trying to get a great game out. I think that Chris has helped produce a quality product that I hope will be in demand for years to come.
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Chris Cieslik
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Thanks David, for the feedback, and I'm glad you had an enjoyable first day of play!

The issue with the card backs being distinct (or not distinct) is a difficult one. In the demo video, as you mentioned, each of the 10 decks had a different solid color for a back(arranged from 1-10 as a rainbow, going in ten shades from red -> violet). This did make it easier to identify cards. The problem, however, was a lot of confusion with color. Some dogma effects refer to 'red' cards, and some players misunderstood that as meaning a [1] (which has a red back). We are trying to think of a better way to make this clear again in the final print run, possibly with a splash of color around the number.
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