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Subject: Yomi: First Impression After 3 Plays rss

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Andrew E
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Last night, I had the occasion to play "Yomi" thrice with my friend Tracy. We used different decks for each game, thereby exploring 3 of the 45 possible matchups (10 * 9, then divided by 2 because A v B is the same as B v A) and all but 4 of the decks.

Prior to "Yomi", the only other directly adversarial bluffing game I'd played was "Cold War: CIA v. KGB" (unless one adds "Ca$h 'n' Gun$" to this list).

This brief review is more a preliminary reaction than anything else, and will not include a description of how the game works (unless said description is germane), nor will it include photographs. There exist better articles for both of these.

Things That Impressed Me
- The components and artwork are phenomenal. Seriously. Absolutely phenomenal. Even better, it all looks consistent, like it came from the same world and same design sensibilities. The aces, in particular, were quite fantastic, as were the play-mats.

- The Rock-Paper-Scissors mechanic had the potential to be fairly stale, but Sirlin & Co. added all sorts of flair to it and made it quite satisfying. I enjoyed setting up combos, and also using blocks and dodges successfully. Even when said combos were used on me, there were plenty of "Holy cats! That's a lot of damage!" moments.

While I don't know that we got a solid sense of yomi (the mind-reading thing, I mean), the few times when intuition proved correct (or, alternatively, where second-guesses revealed themselves as blunders) were also pretty satisfying.

- The variety of abilities and characters made each match-up different. Clearly, because this is a fighting game, the abilities were all sorts of ridiculous (when looked at from a "could this happen in real life?" standpoint), but that made it all the more fun. Each character clearly has a set of strengths and weaknesses which should be minded, and those strengths and weaknesses were usually pretty apparent (at least on a superficial level) from the cards and the artwork.

- All 3 games we played were close. One came down to 1 Life v. 1 Life. Another came down to 3 Life to 7 Life. That was pretty swet.

Other Salient Gameplay Features
- "Yomi" seemed a moderately random game. I dislike dice game such as "Settlers of Catan" because of their randomness, but in "Yomi", the only real random elements are the card draws. Given that there are 4 of each card (except jokers) in a deck, the probability of drawing a useful one was moderate. I would've liked to see more "Linkers", but that might have just been a function of how I was playing and my expectations of the game. Also: due to the mulitple functions of the cards (and the ability to search for Aces), I did not mind the randomness as much as I ordinarily would.

- The quick pace of "Yomi" means that you can play several games in relatively short period of time. We got through 3 games (including a learning game) in a bit over an hour, and could probably get 4 games per hour in without much issue.

Things I Could Do Without
- The price. This is more a reflection of me than the game (as are pretty much any reviews), but "Yomi"s price-point means that I'd need to plan at least a month ahead before picking this up, as it costs about 1/4 of my monthly housing budget (the joys of living in the Midwest).

- On the topic of artwork: do we seriously need another fighting game featuring female characters with impossibly large breasts and almost no clothing? I understand that it fits within the larger fighting game aesthetic, but really....

Conclusion

When I get the chance (and when it comes back in stock), I'm going to strongly consider picking up "Yomi". It's pretty accessible, in terms of learning (though both Tracy and I suspect that this game rewards experience a moderate amount, though likely less than "Caylus"), and the mechanics are pretty satisfying. I see this hitting the table as a filler or alternate, though it could occasionally merit "Main Course" status.

I recommend this game to people who enjoy directly adversarial games, to people who like a lot of theme and flavour to their games, and to people who are looking to begin overcoming AP (at some point, you simply have to commit and take your lumps). It's not going to win my "Best Game Ever" award, but it's a pretty fun game which doesn't induce brain-drain, and I've thus far got no regrets about playing it.

That said, I also recommend trying before buying (perhaps via the online implementation?), as the $100 investment is a bit steep for a lot of people.
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Kaiwen Zhang
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Yomi does take some knowledge to make it a lot more fun. You need to know what the matchup is, or at the very least, knowledge of your own character. The same can be said for fighting video games though. After 3-4 games with the same matchup, you should be familiar with it though.
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Slava
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Andrew_C_E wrote:
I would've liked to see more "Linkers", but that might have just been a function of how I was playing and my expectations of the game.

Nice review. I would suggest playing with one of those "female characters with impossibly large breasts and almost no clothing" (Val or Sets). They're as combo-happy as this game gets.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Andrew_C_E wrote:
On the topic of artwork: do we seriously need another fighting game featuring female characters with impossibly large breasts and almost no clothing? I understand that it fits within the larger fighting game aesthetic, but really....

Word.
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Adam Ruzzo
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sdiberar wrote:
Andrew_C_E wrote:
On the topic of artwork: do we seriously need another fighting game featuring female characters with impossibly large breasts and almost no clothing? I understand that it fits within the larger fighting game aesthetic, but really....

Word.


My main problem was that in some poses, Valerie looks like she would snap in half, almost like a 38, 10, 36 in size or something. It was kind of hideous.


About randomness and draws: the suggested format is a best 2 out of 3 matchup to help alleviate any really odd swings of luck (such as setsuki playing a whole round without ever drawing a Queen, for example).
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Andrew E
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johncraven wrote:
Yomi does take some knowledge to make it a lot more fun. You need to know what the matchup is, or at the very least, knowledge of your own character. The same can be said for fighting video games though. After 3-4 games with the same matchup, you should be familiar with it though.


Agreed. The basic mechanics (Attack/Block/Dodge/Throw) seem pretty consistent, but the variations between strengths are pretty interesting.

You're right, though: the game will almost certainly be much more fun when the players know characters well enough to let that also inflect their decisions.
 
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Michael Basil
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The $100 price tag kills the game for me. It's really a $40 dollar game. I hope with a reprint they can really bring the price down.
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sdiberar wrote:
Andrew_C_E wrote:
On the topic of artwork: do we seriously need another fighting game featuring female characters with impossibly large breasts and almost no clothing? I understand that it fits within the larger fighting game aesthetic, but really....

Word.


Agreed. I'm all for sex appeal, but Yomi's approach (which is indeed typical in the world of fighting games) is so exaggerated, so over the top, so way beyond a level of sass that might give the characters genuine allure. Give me a break.
 
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Alejandro Magno
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I think if you play more, you wont have it as a Non mentally drain game. I play the game and it tires me pretty fast mentally, so many stuff to think about. The other day in the tournament , in the finals, my mind was complexly exhausted.
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Colin Street
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I also find it pretty tiring.
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JohnRayJr wrote:
sdiberar wrote:
Andrew_C_E wrote:
On the topic of artwork: do we seriously need another fighting game featuring female characters with impossibly large breasts and almost no clothing? I understand that it fits within the larger fighting game aesthetic, but really....

Word.


Agreed. I'm all for sex appeal, but Yomi's approach (which is indeed typical in the world of fighting games) is so exaggerated, so over the top, so way beyond a level of sass that might give the characters genuine allure. Give me a break.


Jaina is fine. Val is fine except her title card which is just gross and gets on my nerves, those are impossible tits. Sets.. well, those panties on Q-K-A.. ugh, I could do without. I mean, without those pics, not without panties.
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Stefan Lopuszanski
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basilmichael wrote:
The $100 price tag kills the game for me. It's really a $40 dollar game. I hope with a reprint they can really bring the price down.


You can get it for $67 through CoolStuffInc... probably the cheapest you'll find it for a LONG time. I mean he sold out of the $100 versions and most places seem to be selling out of their stuff. I'm sure if the game is super widely successful, future printings will be cheaper -- but we are talking YEARS down the line.
 
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Daniel O'Connell
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basilmichael wrote:
The $100 price tag kills the game for me. It's really a $40 dollar game. I hope with a reprint they can really bring the price down.


Really? $40? Can you name a game where you get the same content for $40? That's $4 per deck! Aside from out of print CCGs where people are just trying to offload their old stock I have never seen anything that cheap.
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eatspider wrote:
basilmichael wrote:
The $100 price tag kills the game for me. It's really a $40 dollar game. I hope with a reprint they can really bring the price down.


Really? $40? Can you name a game where you get the same content for $40? That's $4 per deck! Aside from out of print CCGs where people are just trying to offload their old stock I have never seen anything that cheap.


There are a couple of ways of looking at it. Dominion has nearly the same number of cards as Yomi, and carries an MSRP of $45.

But Yomi is basically five 2-player games in one box. A pair of Yomi decks is comparable to any Kosmos 2P game, and in fact are probably more complex and represent more playtesting and a longer development time. Yet 5 Kosmos games retail for a total of $125.

I think it's easy to argue that Yomi is reasonably priced, but it's still a huge commitment for one game, and it certainly doesn't carry the component wow-factor of Space Hulk, TI3, or other notable games that have filled those pricing shoes in the past.
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Cynan de Leon
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JohnRayJr wrote:
But Yomi is basically five 2-player games in one box.


technically....it's C(10,2) = 45 2-player games in a box. Sorry, geeked out there for a second.

Regardless, yes, it's a bit much for casual gaming only. Yomi really takes a few games before people start absorbing knowledge and incorporating it into game play...

...but that's why you can try out the game for free first on fantasystrike.com/dev.
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Alejandro Magno
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Yep, I dont think Yomi is a good filler, I think Flash duel does a better work for it.
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Alan Kwan
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Why are people so bothered by the price? There are the 2-deck-for-$25 and the print-&-play versions.

If you buy 2 decks, you get a game which IMO is no less than most Cosmos 2P games (e.g. Hera & Zeus, Heave Ho) or 2 pre-con decks for any CCG.
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JohnRayJr wrote:
and it certainly doesn't carry the component wow-factor of Space Hulk, TI3, or other notable games that have filled those pricing shoes in the past.


I can't agree with this at all. You get 10 different high-quality decks of cards (with top-notch art, too), two very nice playmats, a rulebook and then several mini-rulebooks for each deck, and a really nice-quality box/packaging as well.

No, I'd say this offered every bit as much "wow factor" as Space Hulk 3rd did when I first opened that box. The pricing is just fine as is and very reasonable. A good solution to those finding the larger price unwieldy is to just pick up the 2-deck deal or use the PnP.
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Nice impressions.

You're right that the game begins to feel more deep once you get to know the characters and their decks. I don't fault you for playing with 3 different decks each, but I feel that players get a better feel of the "end result" of Yomi play if they stick it out with the same decks for a handful of games first. You begin to see how the decks interact with each other in ways you can't really see the first time you play. Your strategy in the third game is much different than the first, and you begin to realize the gravity of some of your decisions. When you switch decks, it kind of just feels a bit like you're constantly "button mashing". If you get a chance to play Yomi again, I recommend you each pick a character and play 3 consecutive games with them and see how that affects your impression of the game.

I will agree that the price is too high, though. I'm aware that Sirlin probably has to charge this much to try to recoup some of his long-term losses on the game, but... $100 is still a pretty bitter pill to swallow. In order to justify that cost, Yomi kind of has to escalate itself into "one of the best games of the year" status. Maybe it will and I won't feel guilty picking it up at that price. We'll see.
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Some Donkus
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Infil wrote:
In order to justify that cost, Yomi kind of has to escalate itself into "one of the best games of the year" status.


http://www.thedicetower.com/thedicetower/index.php/top_ten_l...
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Brooks Rudolph
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$10 per high quality deck plus play mats is a perfectly reasonable price to me. It even feels like a steal. I just don't think people like to pay that much all at once. Go ahead and buy it one $25 dollar deck set at a time but it becomes even more costly that way. There is a ton of value in the game and I don't get why people keep balking at the price of a game they can play for free online, as well as get a drastically reduced cost print and play version. Sirlin's practically giving this game away.
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ChampChunge wrote:
Infil wrote:
In order to justify that cost, Yomi kind of has to escalate itself into "one of the best games of the year" status.


http://www.thedicetower.com/thedicetower/index.php/top_ten_l...


Yeah, I'm aware that there's a lot of love for the game now. I'm not even a big "general" board gamer, so "game of the year" isn't really even that important to me. I'm more or less just talking about my expected return for spending $100; I'm hoping to enjoy it for a long time to come and not just play it a few times, like it, but not be able to find local players to play with, etc.

Anyway, about the cost: you could say "hey, you could have this $250,000 car for $150,000! it's a steal, I'm practically giving it away!", but if I don't have $150k to spend on a car, I won't be buying it. $100 for a card game is certainly much higher than average and, as has been proven, many people are hesitant to pick it up because of its cost. What you get for that money is almost irrelevant if the initial barrier is too high.

But the conversation about the price has been discussed to death in numerous threads and I don't want to derail further discussion about the OP's impressions into another debate about Yomi's price.
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Brooks Rudolph
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It's almost too late anyway, even if the price weren't a barrier. Sirlin's website is all out. There's a few copies around on some online stores, but the game is virtually gone until a second printing.
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BRudolph wrote:
It's almost too late anyway, even if the price weren't a barrier. Sirlin's website is all out. There's a few copies around on some online stores, but the game is virtually gone until a second printing.


Fortunately, I picked up a copy before they got sold out. Still waiting for it to come in the mail, though. It's been about two weeks now. Hopefully early this week it arrives. My comments about the price are basically pre-emptive buyer's remorse, hoping that I actually do enjoy it enough to justify the money I spent. I enjoyed the online game, though, so hopefully the print version is just as fun.
 
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Brooks Rudolph
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Yeah I get that with virtually every game I buy, always some guilt until I get some plays in and love the game. I always heavily research my game purchases and haven't felt like I wasted my money yet. The exception being Dominion which I bought on hype and just fell so flat for me.

If you like the online game though, you'll like the physical edition. The tactile sense is great and I feel it actually plays faster without the automation of the client which has to stop at every little phase to see if you want to play something. It proceeds more smoothly in person.
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