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Subject: Einfach Genial: Wer zu viel riskiert... - A Randomgame Review rss

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Florian Woo
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Einfach Genial: Wer zu viel riskiert, verliert! - A Randomgame Review

Our gaming group is playing each two weeks a random game from our collection, which we maybe bought as kids or got as a present and hardly played before.
This is the review for "Einfach Genial: Wer zu viel riskiert, verliert!".


Objective
You have to collect a specific number of token (depending on the amount of players) of all six different symbols/colors which exist in the game. If you have all of them, you win.
Conclusion: ehm, ok, doesn't sound very tense but we will see

Game contents
126 cardboard tokens – 21 of each of the six symbols/colors: yellow (sun), orange (hex), violet (donut), blue (star), red (star with more beams), green (filled square). Quality is fine.

1 game overview reference card – explains the rules on one view


1 manual

Conclusion: the cardboard pieces are ok, you can clearly differentiate between the symbols, even if you are colorblind. The game overview reference card is useful, well done.

Manual
The manual is b/w. The structure is clear, if you search for a specific rule you will find it fast (ok, it is not even three small pages of core rules, but anyway).
They give many example for all cases and we didn't find a question which is unclear, even during game situations there is no FAQ needed.
Conclusion: It would be excellent in color, but very good anyway

Flow of play
The game is divided in three zones: the public zone, the unassigned zone and the score zone. The game starts having three token in the public zone. Player one starts by drawing a random token putting it into the unassigned zone: if it shows a symbol in the public zone, but not yet in the unassigned zone, he may continue or quit and score. If not, he has to put all token from the unassigned zone into the public zone and the next player continues.
If one player wants to score, he takes all token from the unassigned zone AND the public zone into his score zone. If he draws the fifth (for a four player game) token of the same color, he may say “ingenious” and take an additional turn.
Then there is another tactical turn method: if you have not drawn a token yet and you are the player having the fewest token of a specific color, you may take ONE token of that color from the public zone to your score zone (and quit your turn).
If there a fewer then three token in the public zone, fill it up until three.
If you have collected all 5 token of all six colors you win.
That's it (and that's why the manual has just a total of 7 really tiny pages).

Sounds very tactical and strategic?
Actually it isn't. At the beginning a few players will advance so much because of pure luck that you think you can never win. But you can. The more token the player already have in their pool, the less they will score. Meaning all games (and we really played it a couple of times) will end the same: it's a heads up of all players just missing a total of 1-3 token of one or two colors.
Another point of critisism: let's take the assumption that you have three different colors in the public zone. The probability of drawing one which is already in the middle is around 50%. Ok, this will increase if there are more token in the middle but you will have dozens of turns where you just draw a token, but it into the middle and your turn is over.
Another strange aspect is that situations can occur where two or more players just cannot end the game. This is the case if they have the same (fewest) amount of token of a specific color and all other tokens of this color are in the public zone. Then, no matter what they will draw, no one will ever get access to these last token.
We were discussing after our sessions about strategy of this game. Yes, there is one: calculate how many token are left and how high is the probability to draw one which you can use. But most of the time when you play this game you do not have the feeling that you play this game but you are making a manual Monte-Carlo Simulation with the same winning probability for all participating players. There is nearly no player interaction.

You can compare this game best with “Somethin' Fishy”, which is also a draw and set collection game. But the difference is that you have 2 or 3 times more strategy aspects in “Somethin' Fishy” than in this game (e.g. size of fish, opponents stack, remaining hungry fish), even if the former is a childrens game.

So, what happens while you play this game?
- every second or third turn you will just draw a token and put it in the middle, then your turn is over
- you will discuss about probabilities but it will hardly matter
- the game will always end close, while the final winner is random

Conclusion: the mechanics of this game is poor and the flow of play is monotonous

The Good
the prize, the size, the game overview reference card and the manual
The Bad
no theme, no player interactivity, many turns will be skipped because of symbol mismatch, luck dependend
The Ugly
nearly no tactics, all games end the same, random winners, monotonous

Personal rating: 2 / 10 because it is one of the most boring games we've ever played because of the bad game mechanics
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Laszlo Molnar
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Budapest
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I can see you like writing reviews about games you don't like more than games you like.
Also I can see you play thematic games almost exclusively - which isn't a problem but it seems to me this game (genre) is really not your style at all.
 
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Florian Woo
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I must admit it makes fun writing a review about a game that just did not make fun :-)

But the objective is more about reviewing games which nearly have no review until now.

Mecanix is e.g.a game I really adore even if it has no theme. I think the most important aspect is that you want to play a game until the end and then maybe are even willing to play a re-match. And this one here doesn't do either.
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