Carcassonne: Board Game Review

There are some games that truly define their times and Carcassonne is one of them. Designed by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede and published in 2000 by Hans im Glück, it made a huge impact on the board gaming industry and brought many people who had lost contact with board games back on track. Now in 2012, after more than a decade, and with dozens of expansions being available, Carcassonne still shines and proves what good games are made of. Let’s take a plunge into its wonderful world.

Game Overview

Carcassonne is a small town in South France, renowned for its formidable fortifications that still stand and is part of Unesco’s list World Heritage Sites. It is encircled by a huge double row of fortified walls that run almost 2 miles long, accentuated by 56 watchtowers.

That was probably the inspiration for this game which evolves around building castles, roads, farms and cloisters in the area of the famous town. Carcassonne is a tile laying game for the whole family. There are 72 land tiles that depict farmland, roads, cities and cloisters. Each player starts out with 7 followers (meeples) which are his supply and can be used as farmers, thiefs, knights or monks during the game by placing them on a newly placed tile.

At the start of the game, each player places one of his followers on the score board to be used as a score marker.

The game begins by placing the start tile (the one with darker back) in the middle of the table. The rest of the tiles are shuffled and placed in several face-down stacks. Each player, in his turn takes a tile from a stack, reveals it and places it on the table, so that it has one common edge with an already played tile. Then he can decide if he wants to deploy a follower on that tile. Followers can be placed on road segments as thiefs, on farmland as farmers, on cities as knights or at cloisters as monks. Whenever a city, road or cloister is completed, the player with most meeples on it scores victory points and takes all meeples placed on the construction back to his supply. That doesn’t apply to farms. Farmers are dedicated to their land until the end of the game, when each farm serving a completed city is scored. In the case that more than one players have meeples on the same road or city, then the player with most meeples gets all the points. When two or more players tie with the most thieves or knights they each earn the total points for the road or city.

The tricky part of the game is that another player can try and take control of your city, road or farm by placing there more meeples than you. Because no one can place a meeple on a city, road or farm with an existing meeple, that can be done only indirectly. That is by placing e.g. a knight on a tile near the city you want to take over, in hope that the two city parts will eventually merge.

The game ends when all tiles are placed on the table. Players score for their incomplete cities, roads, cloisters and last but not least farms are scored. Whoever has the most followers on a farm, takes all the points from that farm and other players that also have followers on that farm gain nothing. If the number of followers from each player is the same, all these players get the same points.

First Impressions

Opening the box of Carcassonne, reveals a nice bundle of beautifully illustrated cardboard tiles, some wooden meeples, the scoring track and a 6-page rulebook. The rules of the game are pretty straight forward and the illustrated examples help clarify any questions. Within a few minutes you can start playing the game, which lasts about 45 minutes. Playing the first few games was much fun for all players and I should note that most of us felt quite addicted and were eagerly inclined to play again (in order to pay revenge or refine our techniques). First impression, thumbs up! Since then I played the game several more times and here is my judgement on our usual scoring categories:

Components

All components of the game are quite fabulous and leave nothing to be desired. The tiles have elaborate designs and as they are placed adjacent to each other and begin to form a greater picture, it really feels great looking at your creation. They are made of hard cardboard, very difficult to suffer from use no matter how often the game is played. The meeples, oh that meeples!! I simply love them. They are your wooden little followers, always ready to devote themselves to whatever task is decided for them. The scoring track is nice but could be a little bigger as for the counting. Score on the track is till 50 points but more often than not, the score exceeds 100 points, something that may be a little confusing. The first time the meeple marker crosses the end of the track, it can be placed on its back so as to know we have reached 50 points. But what about the second time around? 9/10

Gameplay

The heart of each game! Although Carcassonne is a simple game with simple rules, there is a lot of strategy involved in it. At the start of the game, choices are limited and available positions to place your tiles are restricted. But as the game progresses and the map expands, you are presented with ever increasing options and challenges. You will have to think carefully and decide: Is it better to attack an opponent’s city or start building your own? Should you place a farmer or a knight? Maybe you should be more conservative and not place a follower this turn. A big advantage of all tile-placement games is that you get a different map in each game and that eliminates the possibility of boredom due to repetition. The truth is that the game is very addictive. Once you play a few games and get the hang of it, you don’t want to stop. You want to try different strategies, different approaches, explore the multitude of options. And with all those expansions out there, fun is practically guaranteed. Another plus is that the game appeals to gamers and non-gamers alike. The rules are simple and anyone can learn to play within a few minutes but gamers will also find enough strategic elements here to attract them and keep them satisfied. Let’s not forget that a World Championship of Carcassonne is held every year at Essen. That proves how competitive it can be. 8/10

Learning Curve

As mentioned earlier, the game has very simple rules and can be learned within minutes. The 6-page rulebook is very well-written and is actually a 4-page with one page being an overview of all available tles and one an illustrated example of farmer scoring. 9/10

Theme

Well, the game theme is all over the place. As the map grows and expands a wonderful world of medieval castles, cloisters and roads unravels and it really feels you are in Carcassonne. Although there isn’t really a story behind tha game, just a city, components of the game fulfil their role of communicating the sense of developing the area around Carcassonne. 7/10

Replayability

Due to the ever changing layout of the tile-formed map, every game of Carcassonne will always be different. Moreover many different approaches in strategy can be tried out by players. The game is simple and takes no more than 45 minutes to complete. All the above elements guarantee that the game will frequently find a place on your board gaming table. 7/10

Fun:

Player interaction is what makes this game fun. Take control of your opponent’s cities, farms and roads with devious ways. And if you can’t, just make it impossible for them to finish that huge city of theirs, trapping their knights. They will be furious but they will recognize your strategic skills as well. Discussing about the best placement of each tile will also trigger interesting conversations during the game. All in all, not pure, clean fun but you will spend many pleasant hours with it. 7/10

Pros:

  • Beautiful components
  • Easy rules and a lot of strategy
  • Can be played by gamers and non-gamers alike
  • No two games are the same
  • Addicting

Cons:

  • Hardcore gamers may find it a bit simple though it really isn’t.

Our overall scoring system changes from now on so that scoring categories have different weights. Components have 15% weight, Gameplay 40%, Learning curve 5%, Theme 5%, Replayability 25%, Fun 10%. According to this system and the above scoring in each category, overall weighted scoring of the game is:

Overall: 7.8

Maria Panagou is the owner of http://www.boardgamemaniac.com website.
If you liked this article, feel welcome to read more articles about board games, plus find informative game presentations, strategy guides, a comprehensive sleeving guide and more by visiting the above link.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Maria_Panagou/1333024

 

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Video Game Piracy?

How to solve a problem like piracy?

Video game piracy is a beast that the industry just cannot tame. Many different techniques have been implemented to try and tackle this problem yet none seem to work. With pirated video games becoming more easily accessible by the day, it poses a massive hurdle for the industry and one that the industry is determined to crack. This article aims to examine the ways in which the video game industry tries to combat piracy and if those methods are effective.

The main thing that Video game publishers and developers must realise is that in their attempts to combat piracy they must punish the pirate without punishing the consumer. Many companies incorporated anti-piracy software onto the install disks. Consumers were getting the sense that they were being punished for what the pirates do. EA games tried to do this with the game ‘Spore’, they added DRM software onto the disk. It backfired and the game went on to be one of the most pirated games ever. It turned out that pirates could bypass this software protection while consumers were forced to live with it. Publishers therefore must reward the consumer for purchasing the game; this can be done in many ways. They could offer money off the sequel of that game when it comes out, offer free downloadable content or offer free merchandise with every order. One of the main reasons for piracy is that people demand more for their money. More and more games are being released per year and the consumer only has a certain amount of money available to spend on video games. By offering a better value proposition the consumer is more likely to purchase the game rather than pirate the software. Punishing the pirates can be done through numerous ways but the traditional way of fining the odd pirate just does not work. Video games must play to their strengths; just recently EA games unveiled ‘Online pass’ which allows the consumer to enter a code to access the online play, a code is given to anybody who buys a new copy of the game. The importance of this is that people who pirate games will not be able to use one of the most important features in today’s games, online play. Of course people could still pirate these games and use the online feature by only paying $10 to acquire a code; this will allow publishers to get extra income from pirates who would not consider paying for any part of the game. As another bonus Ea games will receive extra income from the used games market. Other publishers such as Activision must take note, Call of duty is famous for its online experience. If they can utilise this same method you will see people purchasing the game rather than pirating it so that they can play online.

Another way to combat piracy is to simply make a good quality game with increased longevity. As stated earlier consumers will not see the value of paying full price for a game that might be great but only lasts 10-12 hours. By making a game of good quality and longevity the consumer is going to see better value and will be more likely to buy the game. If the individual were to evaluate a video game and realise it was not worth their money they are more likely to pirate the game instead of before when they would not buy it and consequently never play it, this is due to the convenience and easiness of pirating in modern times.

Another point to consider for developers is which bit of hardware they should develop for. The Sony PlayStation 3 is notoriously hard to crack and therefore pirated games can’t be used on that system. On the other hand, the Xbox 360 and the Wii can be cracked by any individual who has access to the internet and a decent guide on how to crack the system. The PC needs no cracking at all and has become the pirate’s choice when choosing to pirate a game. Developers should work with these hardware companies to make sure that they are hard to crack or they could look at just developing solely on the PlayStation 3 as long as this trade off is a viable one.

The final point that could help combat piracy is to become a publisher or developer that listens to the community. By having a community that respects the organisation the chances are they are more likely to buy the game and discourage piracy. Ways companies can do this is by regularly communicating with people on forums, listen to their key consumers and by offering incentives. These incentives can be access to Beta’s or money off codes for being a member of the organisations forums or websites. More people will pirate a game if they feel the developer or publisher disregard the consumer’s desires or neglect them altogether. The ability to keep connected with their key audience is a very powerful tool and should be considered by publishers who have a poor relationship with their consumers. The knock on effect could lead to greater sales and thus profit margins. If all else fails and piracy is still too high you could ask consumers what they want to pay for that game. ‘World of goo’ developer’s 2D boy allowed consumers to name their price when purchasing ‘World of goo. Although a lot of people chose to pay one penny for the game it was still a huge success. It could be said that would be pirates who had a chance to pay what they liked for the game would do so instead of pirating it.

In conclusion, there really is no sure fire way of stopping piracy. The old method of fining people randomly for downloading Illegal software is outdated and does not work. Publishers have to be creative and think outside the box, with people having less disposable income more and more will turn to piracy as a way of fulfilling their gaming desires. By using some of the methods stated in this article developers and publishers could start to see piracy for their game falling and their profits rising.

How would you combat piracy? let me know on my blog or on the comment section.

http://gamingbytesuk.blogspot.co.uk/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/James_Foti/709153

 

Battlefield 3: The New King of Console FPS Games?

When people think of First person shooter (FPS) games, Call of duty is almost always the name that is synonymous with FPS gaming. For better or worse, COD has been a juggernaut when it comes to FPS console gaming. However, in February 2011, DICE (EA Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment) revealed they were working on Battlefield 3, and this sent shockwaves through the gaming community. For the first since 2005, they were releasing a direct sequel to Battlefield 2, one of the greatest FPS games of all time. Not only was Battlefield 3 highly hyped, but it was also coming out a week before Modern Warfare 3. It quickly became a Battlefield.vs. Call of Duty competition for FPS supremacy. This became an indirect message to infinity ward that after 4 years,their reign as the kings of FPS games was being challenged and possibly coming to an end. Now after almost a year of both games being released and all the hype is gone, did Battlefield 3 dethrone Call of Duty as the king of console FPS games?

Graphics, Sound, and Setting:

Battlefield 3 is set in the near future. The game is mainly a multiplayer game, but it does have a single player campaign mode. In the single campaign, you take control of various military operations such as a force recon marine, a Russian spec ops officer, an F-18 fighter pilot, and a M1A2 tank operator. The story of Battlefield 3 is surprisingly interesting and engaging. As you progress through the story there are many twists and turns. The main themes of the story are an upcoming war in 2014 which spans from Iran to France. Battlefield 3 does a good job of blending the action and the story together. Overall, Battlefield 3 has a solid single player story.

While the story is solid, a huge question that many people wonder about are the graphics. When DICE showcased Battlefield 3 at gaming conventions, the graphics looked phenomenal. The footage of the tank and the sands of Karkland were absolutely incredible. The level of detail was unseen in any other game before this.

However, all that footage was pre-rendered and expected to look good. When put into a real-time setting with thousands of changing variables, did BF3 deliver the same amount of intensity and rich realism in it’s graphics? It absolutely did. Battlefield 3 is simply put a beautiful game, DICE put $100 million dollars into marketing and it’s apparent they wanted to show off a product they are proud of. Battlefield 3′s graphics are made on a new Frostbite 2 engine and new character animation technology called ANT. The frostbite engine allows the game to create immense details, dynamic shadows, and smooth textures all throughout a large environment while it’s all destructible. The ANT character animation is incredible, every soldier looks incredibly realistic with facial expressions that change when the action heats up.

The single player campaign in Battlefield 3 spans many locations including Iran, New York, and Paris. Most of the areas are urban with many buildings and DICE did a wonderful job adding clear detail to each area. There are a lot of vibrant colors and Battlefield 3 has great distance terrain.

The graphics in the multiplayer maps are also very impressive. There are 9 main maps, not including the downloadable content. These maps are Caspian Boarder, Damavand Peak, Grand bazaar, Kharg Island, Noshahr Canals, Operation Firestorm, Operation Metro, Seine Crossing, and Tehran Highway. Each of these maps has it’s unique elements and style. DICE did a great job of making the multiplayer experience different in each map. Caspian Boarder is a forested map, which is really large. It contains buildings and forests and is excellent for sniping and using vehicles. Damavand peak is set in a dark and rainy market place. Kharg Island is set in a rocky island and has an ocean surrounding it. Noshahr Canals is set in an industrial area with various canals you do battle in.

Seine Crossing is a bright colored map focused in Paris. Tehran Highway is the last main map and it’s focused in an urban area in Iran during the night. Overall, the graphics in Battlefield 3 are exceptional, from the single player campaign to the diverse multiplayer maps, there is plenty of variety in each map graphically.

The sound in Battlefield 3 is some of the best sound quality I’ve ever heard of any game. Each bullet whizzing by sounds sharp and realistic and when you get good enough you can pinpoint where it came from. The tanks, jets, and other vehicle sound effects are all amazingly realistic. The voice acting is superb, and it really feels like your a part of the action. The game also features a 19 track official soundtrack composed by Johan Skugge and Jukka Rintamki. The sound in Battlefield 3 is very impressive. Overall, the graphics in Battlefield 3 are exceptional, from the single player campaign to the diverse multiplayer map, there is plenty of variety in each map graphically.

Graphics: 10/10

Sound/Music: 10/10

Story/Setting: 8/10

Controls and Gameplay:

The controls for Battlefield 3 are your standard First person shooter controls. They can be customized, but the default setting is pressing L1 to aim and R1 to fire, movements done by the left analog stick. The right analog stick allows you to move the camera around. Holding down the analog stick allows you to sprint. Pressing triangle allows you to change weapons, circle is used to interact with objects in the environment, square is used for reloading or picking up a weapon, and the X button is used to jump. The right and left diagonal buttons are used to switch between technologies you have, the up button is used to toggle laser sight, and down is used to toggle between firemodes such as automatic and burst fire. The R2 button allows for a quick knife, while the L2 lets you throw a frag grenade. The controls are easy to learn, but difficult to master. Learning the controls for driving a tank or flying a jet can be confusing at first, and do have a small learning curve. Overall, the controls are fantastic for Battlefield 3.

While the graphics, great sound quality, and interesting story all powerful and set the foundation for a game. None of these things hold a candle to the most important part of games. The gameplay is the heart and soul of games. DICE had a bold task when creating gameplay that would be fast, exciting, and intense enough to knock Call of Duty from it’s throne as console gaming king. The team at DICE delivered in many areas, but also fell short in quite a few.

Battlefield 3 uses the Frostbite 2 engine. This engine allows for fully destructible environments, advanced physics, and real-time radiosity. All of these things basically mean that the physics and graphics of Battlefield 3 are vastly improved for every pretty much every game before it. Bullets are able to penetrate through walls seamlessly, the front wall of a building can be blown open from a tank shot, a grenade can send debris flying everywhere when it explodes. Battlefield 3 is one of the most realistic FPS games out there. So many things can happen, but the frostbite 2 engine streamlines them and allows the game to run smoothly by rendering textures at a fast rate. This allows the action and excitement to happen without any lag. There are 3 modes of gameplay in Battlefield 3: the single player campaign, a co-op mode, and multiplayer mode.

The single player campaign looks great and has many different locations, however it can get a bit repetitive. The fact of the matter is that Battlefield 3 is primarily a multiplayer game. The single player campaign is a good way of learning the basics before you go online or in co-op, but it offers no real replayability. It would have also been nice to see the offline map mode from Battlefield 2, where you can play with bots. However, Battlefield 3 does not offer this.

The co-op mode allows you to team up with a player online and complete 6 missions. There are a variety of objectives that you and your partner must complete in each mission. Co-op can be a lot of fun when your playing with a friend, however Battlefield 3 doesn’t offer any split-screen co-op. This can really suck if you have friends over, as theres no way to play together unless you have 2 PlayStation 3s.

The multiplayer mode is the main attraction of the game. In Battlefield 3, there are 6 multiplayer gamemodes: Conquest, Rush, Team Deathmatch, Squad Deathmatch, Conquest Domination, and Squad rush. Each gamemode has a different objective and playing each one is a different multiplayer experience all together. Some gamemodes require precise teamwork, while others can be every man for himself. The Conquest gamemode is the classic Battlefield 3 gamemode, in which two teams fight in a large scale map for control of various bases. This gamemode is best suited for teamwork and vehicle warfare. In my opinion, conquest is still the best gamemode. It’s exciting and you have a variety of ways to gain points.

In Rush, there are two teams. One team tries to attack and destroy an M-COM station, while the other defends it. Squad Rush is essentially the same, but in a more confined environment. Team Deathmatch is another classic mode where you are part of 12 person team vs another 12 person team. The objective is basically to kill as many enemies as you can and reach a certain amount of kills as a team. This mode doesn’t have any vehicles and is all about just going out with guns blazing and killing as many people as possible. Squad Deathmatch is the same as Team Deathmatch, but instead of 2 teams of 12, there are 4 teams of 4 people battling each other to reach a certain amount of kills. Conquest Domination has two teams of 8 people fighting in a close quarters location. It’s similar to Conquest, essentially the same, except for it’s more confined and has more tactical planning when attacking a base.

When you select a gamemode, you are given 4 classes to select.There is the Assault class which are the infantry soldiers but also the medics. Selecting Assault allows you to rack up kills and also revive dead teammates. The Engineer class is able to repair vehicles and carry rocket launchers to take out other vehicles. The Support class is a class that provides others with ammunition and also carry heavy guns that are able to kill many enemies. Recon is the last and final class, and they are the snipers in the game. Recon is useful for taking out opponents from a distance.

Battlefield 3 puts a huge emphasis on teamwork and squads. Each class has major strengths and weaknesses, and to succeed and win being able to utilize each one is essential. Upon joining a conquest game or any other gamemode you are placed into a squad. Being able to come up with tactics and choosing the right classes for the right situations is what makes Battlefield 3 stand out from other First person shooter games. Battlefield 3 has VOIP support meaning you can communicate on a headset with your teammates, it also includes ingame messaging. Battlefield 3 is a solid game if you play it without any other friends, but with friends it’s quite simply one of the best games ever made. This game thrives on teamwork.

One of problem of this game are the maps. The same maps that are very detailed can become annoying, because they are very large. You can go minutes without any combat, and also health is lost very easily. It’s very easy to die in this game when you first start out. Another major problem is all the downloadable content. You’re not obligated to buy DLC, but the game does feel empty without having all the maps and items. The DLC can bring the $60 price tag of Battlefield 3 all the way up to $125. One huge problem in BF3 is that this game requires you to have an online pass. New games come with an online pass, but used games don’t. An online pass can only be used once, and buying a new one costs $10. This was done to boost sales, but it really does hurt the resale value of Battlefield 3.

Controls: 9/10

Gameplay: 8/10

Is this game worth buying? Final Thoughts:

Battlefield 3 does a lot of things right: the graphics are incredible, sound quality is outstanding, and the multiplayer is very diverse and exciting. However, it also misses in a lot of areas. No split screen co-op, no replayability in the single player campaign, no offline maps, expensive DLC content, and gameplay that can become repetitive after some time leave so much to be desired. Battlefield 3 is ultimately not the revolutionary game that it was hailed to be when the first few minutes of footage were revealed. At the same time, it’s by no means a bad game. When you buy Battlefield 3, you’re getting a solid, finely made First person shooter. It’s similar to Call of Duty in the FPS aspect, but the squad based system, vehicles, and large maps make it a very different experience. I would highly recommend buying Battlefield 3, it is one of those games that you can find yourself coming back to over and over again. Battlefield 3 is a solid game and a definite buy for PlayStation 3 owners. I give it a 9/10.

Breakdown:

Graphics: 10/10

Sound/Music: 10/10

Story/Setting: 8/10

Controls: 9/10

Gameplay: 8/10

Overall: 9/10

Did you enjoy this article? Read more quality PS3 reviews here: [http://www.alpharage.com]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tim_Khan/1393946

 

World Without End: Board Game Review

Game Overview

World Without End is a traditional Euro-style strategy board game, thematically built around events taking place in the fictional village of Kingsbridge, from 1337 to 1361, nearly 200 years after building of the imposing cathedral known as The Pillars of the Earth. Players take the roles of merchants, farmers and builders striving for wealth and prestige while living a pious and loyal life. The object of the game is to gain the most victory points. These are gained mainly by taking part in various building projects and by taking care of the inhabitants of Kingsbridge that are strikken by the plague, known as Black Death. However, life in Kingsbridge is not an easy one. Players have to continuously struggle to gain enough food, show loyalty to the church and the crown, pay taxes and deal with sudden misadventures that occur randomly during the cource of the game.

The most important component of this game is a huge, four-panel gameboard of superb quality, depicting Kingsbridge and its surrounding lands. On the game board there are several locations such as:

  • production spaces: the Quarry (producing stone), the forest (producing wood) and the fields (producing grain)
  • various building sites in which players can contribute with stone or wood and gain victory points
  • the village of Kingsbridge with its houses and market. Some of the families fall ill during the plague and can be healed, granting VPs and various bonuses. In the market, players can trade wool and cloth for money.

The game takes place in 4 chapters (time periods) each consisting of 6 rounds.Each chapter represents a time span of a few years, during which players take part in various building projects, thus gaining precious victory points while also having to deal with several unexpected events. At the end of each chapter, all players have certain obligations. Failing to meet them, costs victory points and additional penalties occurring at the beginning of the next chapter. In each round the same sequence of actions occurs:

  1. The active player (the one who has the active player token) reveals an Event card. Events can be immediate or have a lasting effect till the end of the chapter.
  2. After resolving an immediate event, the event card is oriented on a special city council space on the top edge of the game board. The active player chooses an orientation that fits his current goals, as it affects two elements in the game: each player’s personal income as well as a special bonus for the active player only.
  3. Players receive their personal income according to the card’s orientation.
  4. The active player receives his special bonus as he has the favour of either the Prior / Prioress, the King / Queen, the Guild Master, the Merchnats, the Earl of Shiring, the Bishop or the Outlaws
  5. Beginning with the active player, each player plays an action card. All players have the same set of 12 action cards. These actions include: selling wool or cloth at the market, exchanging wool for cloth (which is more valuable), building a house that provides a bonus when rented, rent up to 2 houses, getting a grain, getting a resource (wood or stone), getting piety from the cathedral, taking care of ill people, taking part in a building project contributing wood or stone, or repeating the action chosen in the previous round. In this phase, players choose a card to play and they discard another one. This way, during the whole chapter, they will play 6 actions and discard the rest.

At the end of the chapter, players have the following mandatory obligations: Show that they live a virtuous and pious life by paying 2 piety, show that they have enough food to sustain themselves by paying 2 grain, and pay a tax. In order to determine the amount of tax, the active player throws a dice. Upon failing to fulfil one or more of the above duties, players lose victory points and suffer additional penalties which occur at the beginning of the following chapter such as losing their income in the first round of the next chapter or playing one less action card. It is possible to avoid the additional penalty by paying 1 Loyalty.

At the beginning of the third chapter, the plague hits the village and certain plague counters are placed, face down, on each house of Kingsbridge, Each round, a family in one of the houses may fall ill and can be cured, using the appropriate action card to give victory points plus other bonuses to the players who choose this action. In order to take care of the ill, players must have enough medical knowledge.

Now let’s go through our usual scoring categories:

Components

All components of the game are very beautiful and of high quality. The game board is visually stunning, with the village of Kingsbridge and its surrounding lands beautiful drawn, making the players get the feel of England in the 14th century.

Resources (wood, stone, grain, wool, cloth) are made of wood, appropriately coloured. They also have shapes that resemble their real form, especially grain and cloth. That is somewhat rare in a standard edition of a game. Houses are also made of wood and have the shape of houses, in each player’s colour. All other components: piety and loyalty markers, cover markers, money and medical knowledge are made of thick cardboard with attention to detail and with appropriate shapes as well. Action and event cards are made of thick paper and they deserve a special mention. Their are elaborately designed and their background has the visual feel of paper used in the Middle Ages That apllies to the players’ screens as well. All in all, components will satisfy even the most demanding gamer. Thumbs up to Michael Menzel, responsible for the game’s artwork and graphics. 9/10

Gameplay

World Without End has rich gameplay and depth that will challenge strategy game lovers. Luck plays a role in the game but not in a way that can spoil a player’s strategy (at least not entirely). After all, life is full of surprises and things cannot always go as planned. I think this is the concept the designers had in mind when they decided to incorporate the Event cards in the game. Some of them are really frustrating and can mess up your plans but think of it as a challenge to your mental skills. Plus they enhance the replayability factor. The are eleven event cards for each chapter and in each game you choose randomly which six of them will be included. This way, each game is different from every other. The game is all about maintaining an, often fragile, balance between catering for food supplies, money and piety, which are the duties all players have at the end of the chapter. And between all these, struggling for resource gathering and gaining victory points by taking part in building projects. A design element that some people may object to, is the way personal income is determined: by our opponents. It could be regarded as another element of luck but I think it makes the game more interesting and unpredictable. Never during any of my games, have I felt that my fate was in the hands of random events or luck. Each player takes their turn in orienting an Event card which is a good opportunity to get what he needs plus the additional bonus of the favour. Moreover by manipulating action cards as well as houses, it seems that you can be in control of your strategy. That is easier in 2-player games than in 4-player because in 2-player games you will be controlling your income 50% of the time, whereas in 4-player, only 25% of the time. As for player interaction, there is not much of it in this game. Opponents’ resources are hidden behind special screens so you must pay attention to what other players get and need. The only way you can interfere with their plans is by orienting an event card in a way that they don’t get something they need. However in most occasions you will be consumed in your own problems and orient the card so that you get what you want. In fact you don’t reallly have the time or the urge to bother with what other players do, you have enough troubles of your own There are so many things to do in this game, that you can’t easily get bored of it. I am always willing to play a game of World Without End at any given board gaming night. 8/10

Learning Curve

Though the game is not very complex and there is really not much to do in every round, it takes a little time to get accustomed with all game components and with the game’s strategic elements. World Without End is rather easy to learn but difficult to master. What will especially puzzle you at first is what your priorities must be. There is so much to do that decisions about orientating the event cards and playing your actions will be hard. After playing your first game, you will probably get the whole picture and you will start doing much better and appreciate its depth. 7/10

Theme

World Without End is a thematic game. This element is strongly supported by the text printed in italics on event cards, that descibes a particular event from the book and by the formidable gameboard that brings the book’s world to life. All the mechanics are also tied to the theme, from selling wool in the market, to healing ill people and the sudden occurrence of events that influence life in the village. If you have read the book, you will appreciate the game more but even if you haven’t and you are looking for a Eurogame game with a strong theme, this game is definitely for you 9/10

Replayability

The game’s depth and versatility guarantees that you will not easily lose interest in it. The random event cards as well the way personal income is determined ensure that no two games will be the same. Ι am, personally, more than willing to play World Without End at any given time. 7/10

Fun:

It’s not fun, in a way that you will laugh while playing it, nor will it trigger humorous comments between players. But I consider it being fun by challenging one’s mind to overcome obstacles and manipulate the mechanics of the game in the most resourceful way in order to win. However, whining about misfortunes due to event cards can be kind of fun, don’t you think?. 7/10

Pros:

  • Beautiful components
  • Challenging gameplay
  • Nice theme
  • Equally good with any number of players

Cons:

  • Some may be annoyed by the luck factor or the way income is determined

According to our new scoring system, scoring categories have different weights. Components have 15% weight, Gameplay 40%, Learning curve 5%, Theme 5%, Replayability 25%, Fun 10%. According to this system and the above scoring in each category, overall weighted scoring of the game is:

Overall: 7.8

Maria Panagou is the owner of http://www.boardgamemaniac.com website.
If you liked this article, feel welcome to read more articles about board games, plus find informative game presentations, strategy guides, a comprehensive sleeving guide and more by visiting the above link.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Maria_Panagou/1333024

 

Why We Need Gaming News?

People watch and listen to the news daily because they want to be updated. The news consists of information about events and happenings in the country and around the world. Those who are huge fans of the gaming industry often want to hear and read about the latest updates. These people who enjoy playing and wish to improve their level of skill always want to be updated. Even those who are only mildly interested will learn a lot from reviews as well. If the news is unavailable, they will not be able to learn anything new about the industry and this will be a huge disadvantage for him.

Types of Gaming Updates

In gaming news, there are soft, feature, and column news. If focuses more on the soft news category wherein the subject is not exactly serious in nature. Compared to news of war or political events, gaming news is not that “hard-core” but they are no less important. Gaming news may be the soft news in category but have a hard impact to gamers. Feature news focuses on the fresh gaming companies that are on the rise, as well as new gaming products or techniques to try in a particular game. Lastly, the column news is basically composed of a certain writer’s personal opinion about a gadget, game or topic relative to the gaming industry.

Benefits of Gaming News

Being updated is beneficial to those involved in the gaming industry. Gaming companies, game developers, publishers, distributors and media companies get fresh information from gaming news. Most importantly, fans will be able to know about new tips or tricks in playing a particular game and know which latest gaming gadgets are going to be out in the market or are worth trying.

As you probably know, gamers are very dedicated. They willingly patronize a device or game that is said to be excellent. A particular game that is featured in the gaming news will immediately experience a surge in sales because most die-hard gamers want to give it a shot. If there were no gaming news, these products and games would remain unsold and unnoticed.

Where to Find the News?

News for gamers is not like typical news that can immediately be seen on television or read in the newspapers. But it is still available periodically. You can find news from magazines that are published monthly or quarterly. The news from this source is in-depth and includes news about the latest games releases and prices of gaming devices, among others. Some updates are sometimes featured on television especially when a company releases a new device or if there is a significant event happening. But the one place to find reliable and up-to-date gaming news is through the Internet. If you are looking for the latest gaming update, there are several gaming news sites and blogs filled with valuable information about the gaming industry. You can also see reviews and even win gaming gears when these sites offer promos and giveaways.

Find out more about the latest gaming news and game updates at BeatzGaming [http://beatzgaming.com]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Francis_Fernan_M._Salenga/370621