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Subject: Phoenix - Going Fast! rss

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ARTHUR REILLY
United States
New York
New York
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Every once and awhile, a game comes along that catches your interest and for whatever reason, you keep ending up buying something else instead.

Phoenix was such a game for me.

After searching for the game online, everyone seemed to show it out of stock. My search also turned up the fact that Phoenix had, or might go out of print soon, I immediately ran to a store, where I had remembered seeing a copy and picked up their last one.

Before going into details, about this colorful abstract strategy game, I'd just like to mention a couple of things.

A game review like reviews in general, are designed to help the buying public, make an intelligent decision, about whether or not to spend their hard earned cash.

With that said, I can never understand why I often read reviews where the reviewer clearly doesn't care for the particular type of game, they're reviewing, even before playing it.

I for one, don't enjoy Word or Trivia Games.
I'd never write a review on such games, as I'm certain I'd end up comparing them to having a Root Canal. That certainly wouldn't provide valuable information for those who do enjoy such games.

Now on to Phoenix.

The components are made of wood and certainly do their job. The board is one single piece that doesn't fold. The game seems small when compared to other board games but has the advantage of not taking up too much room when you play.

Phoenix is a abstract strategy game that doesn't pretend to be anymore than it is. Unlike many other games, with themes that are so thin, you begin to wonder if the box described another game by mistake.

The rules, set-up and play mechanics are simple.

You randomly pick 6 different colored cubes from a cloth bag and place them on the center of the board, in a row. Next, each player randomly selects 10 colored pawns that they line up on their side of the board. This is how every game will start out.

Now each player secretly takes 5 cards from a 50 card deck. Each card indicates how pawns or even cubes, may be rearranged.

The Goal is simple - the first person that lines up their series of pawns in the same color sequence as the cubes, triggers the end of the round, when scoring takes place. High score, at the end of three rounds, wins.

Scoring is easy as well and both players may score during the round.

lining up your pawns correctly first, wins 5 points. Having all six colors present in your sequence, wins 4 points. You also score anywhere from 2-4 points for three to five pawns, of the same color, in a row.

On your turn, you can either play a card and make the move indicated, then draw another, or you can discard a card and draw another, without making any move at all. Cards will indicate whether you can move, switch, or even swap a pawn with one of your opponents. A few cards will even let you change the position of the cubes.

I should point out an error in the rules and some of the cards, that mistakenly got changed turning the translation of the game into English.
The error is with the cards that say you may swap the two pawns, at each end of your line. The correct use of these cards, is to take a pawn from either end and move it to the other end, while moving the remaining pawns over one space.

Phoenix is one of those games that you can play pretty much with anyone, including children.

For kids, you can play the game as a simple race. On the other hand, trying to play your cards to their best advantage, along with trying to figure out when it might be best, to interfere with your opponents plans, makes for some interesting but light fun. Taking into account the different scoring options though, can add a real challenge, when deciding what to do.

Phoenix isn't rocket science and yet it isn't checkers either. It's the type of game you'll want to play for some quick fun, without having to pull your hair out.

Phoenix is definitely a fun game that I'm glad is now part of my game library.

Should it be part of yours?

Only if your lucky enough to still find one.
 
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J. Green
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I chuckle when I think about Phoenix, which will probably become an expensive grail game due to some predictable circumstances: Good little game gets negative reviews, reducing demand, eliminating the possiblity of future printings. As time goes on, people slowly discover it's a good game, figure out the negative reviews were based on incorrect information (in this case a mistranslation of an important card), and demand goes up, just about the time it sells out.

Now it's hard to find, and more and more people realize what they missed. Voila! Grail game.

Glad I snagged a copy when I read it was going out of print and makes an excellent two-player, wife-friendly game!
 
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Steve Oliver
United States
Alameda
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Hard to find? It's been $10 Canadian for almost 6 months at http://levalet.com/
 
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Greg Berry
United States
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Thanks for letting me know it was only $10 there. I had been interested in it and now have ordered it for $13 US with shipping included. It will be mine 5-10 business days.
 
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Barry Figgins
United States
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MENAREUS2000 wrote:
I should point out an error in the rules and some of the cards, that mistakenly got changed turning the translation of the game into English.
The error is with the cards that say you may swap the two pawns, at each end of your line. The correct use of these cards, is to take a pawn from either end and move it to the other end, while moving the remaining pawns over one space.


Hmm? Expand on this. How do you know it's an error? The cards seem to indicate the 'swap the two pawns' kind of movement. Granted, it'd be more useful the other way, but is this an ooficial ruling?
 
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Steve Oliver
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Yes, on another thread, one of the game's designers said that the game suffered in the translation. I've played the game several times using the card both ways and it does change the way the game plays, but does not "make or break" the game either way.
 
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Robert .
United States
Royal Oak
Michigan
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I agree on this being a "Grail" game. It is sold out worldwide except for Lavalet I believe, and from what I hear, not long in stock there. I'd imagine it will shoot up nicely in price at some point, once it is gone forever.

I cannot believe this game is already ranked 494 here.. When I started trumpeting it up, it was ranked extremely low.

Still the best 2 player game I own!
 
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Penny
United States
Connecticut
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hum. i think many online retailers still have them like thoughthammer and gamesurplus. in fact gamesurplus has it for pretty cheap. I recently got mine from Phantom of the Attic in Pittsburgh for $20 and discovered that it's a great 2 player game.
 
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George Kinney
United States
Bellefontaine
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Over a year later and Gamesurplus still has it, but it has disappeared pretty much everywhere else.
 
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Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
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Gecko23 wrote:
Over a year later and Gamesurplus still has it, but it has disappeared pretty much everywhere else.


Funagain has it for 'pre-order' at $14.95. They say it is reprinting, but no date is given.
 
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