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Stephen Hall
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Tucson
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I'm Gonna Wreck It!
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Kickstarted this, and we just played our first round of it. I ended up winning by a noticeable margin, but I didn't feel that it whetted my gaming appetite. It was fun, but not terribly memorable.

The basic game involves 7 hexes, initially laid out so that 6 surround one central hex. On the hexes are black or white markers, and players move markers and hexes around to try to create a certain setup, as shown on one of the four cards in their hand, thus achieving points. On players' turns, they have four actions, which can involve moving empty hexes, picking up or placing markers, replacing the current layout of hexes and markers with the initial, basic layout, or spending acquired points on extra actions.

The game ends after the deck has been exhausted, supposedly, according to the box, in about 25 minutes. Our 4-player game took closer to an hour, but, to be fair, we were talking and enjoying some drinks while playing, so that may have had something to do with it.

The game is fun and silly, and there is a bit of a screw-you element, where, if a player has an extra action, they might just move a hex to be a jerk, in hopes of the following player needing to spend one of their own actions to undo it. The art is nice, very cartoonish, and the "elements" have punny names that will give chemistry buffs a chuckle.

The biggest problem I saw in this game was that it is near impossible to think long-term. In Catan, you may spend the entire game working toward longest road. Maybe you spend 5 turns trying to get that precious ore that no one has for trade. In Puerto Rico, you have to think a few turns ahead about how you want to manage your board; where should the buildings go? What buildings should they be? How will I acquire the necessary workers to fill them? In Wrong Chemistry, it all comes down to what the guy to your right did. Basically, if you can't complete any of my elements in four actions, you can't well do half the work this turn, and complete it next turn, because, after one to three other people have moved stuff around in between your turns, you can be sure the board will be completely different than you left it. Thus, you either have to sacrifice earned points to get more actions and hope to complete more complex elements for more points, but, if this isn't an option, your turn is somewhat wasted. You can certainly mess with the following player by giving them a tough setup, but, in one action, they can completely undo your messing it up, restarting the board at neutral.

I understand that the game is not Catan nor Puerto Rico. It's Wrong Chemistry. It is its own game. That being said, though, it does leave much to be desired. If I found it for $10, I would pick up a copy, but any more than that, I'd pass on it.
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Kim Williams
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We made a Print and play copy, when this was running as a Kickstarter, and our experiences of playing were pretty similar to yours -it ran for too long, and it was frustrating that you couldn't plan towards your next turn as everything would have changed. I found the downtime to be quite frustrating as well - it just wasn't that interesting watching other people mess around trying to create something, knowing that it would all have changed before it got back to me.

I'm not sure if someone posted this or whether I'm remembering my own idea but it might be interesting to experiment with a variant where you could yell out midway through your opponents move if they'd created something useful to you (and you'd then get some points for your element)- at least that way there'd be a reason to pay attention to what they were doing.

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Wesley Fechter
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Downtime is indeed a major issue when playing with four players. That's quite logical since every player only starts thinking which molecule to build when it's his turn. Before that he just has to watch what others do.

This problem, in my opinion, isn't as big when playing with only two players. Downtime is minimized to only waiting for one player, which isn't an issue for me. So we only play it with two players :-)

As for the comparison with Catan or Puerto Rico, I understand what your point is, but as you yourself said in the end of your review Wrong Chemistry isn't any of those games. There are a lot of examples of games which don't have long-term thinking in them. I for one enjoy these kind of games as long as they don't take to long.

But I agree, if you want a game were you can think ahead then this probably isn't the best game.

Good review!

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