Tuesday, 26 February 2013
First Impressions - Bora Bora
"I think they mean boring boring" whispers non-gamer wife to my daughter...
So I'd glimpsed this hiding in David's bag o' games at our previous games night, and we managed to get a game of it played last night with three of us, despite my wife's sarcastic remarks. :)
It's far too early for me to review the thing, and that's probably the best first impression I can give of it. It's a game that will take a while to get to grips with, and not because it's difficult to learn, more that ideas for strategy are only going to come from better experience of how the various mechanics tie together. There are many many choices to make in this game, and there were quite a few moments of silence while we thought through the consequences of those choices. It's definitely not going to work with people who agonise over what to do next.
I don't think any of us found it particularly difficult to learn, there is a certain assault on the senses, partly from the vivid colours in the design, and partly from the seemingly overcrowded collection of mysterious icons. It only took a couple of turns to get the general gist of things though, and I can see this playing pretty quickly if we try a few more times.
So the mechanics?...well it's what...dice placement?...worker placement? I'm not sure what it would fall under, and there are several other intertwined mechanics that make it a little different anyway.You roll your dice, assign them to various actions which can help you perform a number of things, and those actions are determined by the value of the dice. The nice twist though is that to if an action already has dice assigned to it, the next player who wants to use that action has to place one of lesser value than the lowest currently there. This leads to some nice choices on where your dice can best be used, and also where you can block the other player's actions by the use of low value dice.
There is a map of the five islands where you can place your huts, and use actions to expand to other positions on the map. This in itself can gain you some points, and leads to a nice little game of fighting over particular spaces to gain extra points at the end. The placement though, also gains you resources, which can then be used to build on your own player board, which is another source of point scoring.
You have tasks to complete each turn which can score you more points, there is temple mechanism which leads to another avenue of point scoring, and if that isn't enough you can buy jewellery to gain more points, and tattoos which push you up the status track for yet more points, and turn order.
I'm pretty sure I've forgotten something, and I've not even mentioned the god cards and tiles, which can help you in a variety of ways.
Anyway, if you can tell, my initial impressions are extremely positive. It has that great combination of tons of choices, and never enough time to do everything you want to which combine to create some of my favourite gaming experiences. I'm really looking forward to trying this one a few more times, and maybe then I'll write something slightly more focused.
I lost by the way :)