Friday, 29 August 2014

From the Clouds - Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia

Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia

Euphoria is at its core a worker placement dice game. Placement of workers to receive resources and to minimise any negative outcomes, is what you do action to action. However other players workers
effect your options directly and indirectly. 

Themed in a dystopian world and with great art and design.This is a fantastic game and if you like worker placement, an absolute must try. 

Designed by Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone, with the art done by Jacqui Davis and published by Stonemaier Games.

Art, Graphics and Components
Jacqui Davis really captured the essence of the world in the backdrop to this game. You can lose yourself for a few minutes taking in all the details, people working doing specific menial tasks in the different territories, the Icarites in their blimps to the Subterrans in their caverns. Absolutely great job. 

I found the graphics and the layout to really assist in helping learn the game and teach it to others. Its pretty obvious what the graphics mean, I have however had a couple of players mix up the Wastelander and Euphorian cards up. It can make a difference in the game, so I now tell everyone to pay special attention to the letter in the logo. Really helps that the costs of locations are to the side of the placement boxes and the kickback of that location is beneath is consistent throughout.

Components wise I can only discuss what I got in my copy of the game, as in the non-Kickstarter version it is wooden pieces for resources, where as in my version their are gold coloured metal blocks, clay shaped into bricks and stone boulders. The electric is little lightning bolts, water is a water droplet, fruit is orange shaped, these are all wooden. Plus a little head and brain token for each player.

Rules and initial plays
First off, I may be in a minority or minority is very vocal as my gut feeling from Board Game Geek is that the rules are not clear. People had questions about lots of things. I really like worker placement games and I've read hundreds of rule books, I personally grasped what was going on and found the graphics and theme assisted in the immersion of the game and hand in hand the rules. Yes a few different things happen in different locations, but it makes sense and the different groups I've played with have had an easy initial play through. Think the most negative comment was 'I don't understand exactly what I'm doing', he went on to win!

I find every action very engaging and even out of my action, as other players workers can change the output of a location. Particularly rewarding when someones high on the knowledge track and you bump them off a space, at that point they roll their worker and if it comes out high for them, goodbye worker!

In addition you can work hand in hand with players to form a market, anyone that doesn't help will be rewarded with a negative bonus ability. 

You have recruits that reveal at certain points too, you could be inadvertently helping another player. When they reveal you can feel gutted that you have helped them so much and then laugh it off. Great game engagement. even though its essentially a worker placement game.

Decision points
Each turn is a valid decision, only occasionally is their only really one place to go and that would only likely be obvious to you. The one down point I could mention is at the beginning, you have such an array of choices to you. 'Where do you begin?' At this point you should pay special attention to your recruits and see if that helps with your choice. However you are not going to lose the game in the first few turns, so do not worry.

Other options like who should I help later on or who do I effect with this ability is key as each of all my games played have been very close.

In all, this is a game that I really enjoy. Fantastic art, graphics, components, rules and game play. I initially rated this as a 9 on BoardGameGeek, after multiple plays that has been increased to a 10 and is now actually become my number 2 in my top ten games.

As stated in my original post, this isn't a regular review. Just a brief explanation of some(of what I think) key points that people may find relevant as a review shouldn't have an emotional bias. These will have.

Few links regarding the game
BoardGameGeek Euphoria
Stonemaier Games
Official Euphoria page
Euphoria rules

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this review! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Euphoria.