Mole Rats

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kiwetin Review


Quick Look:

Info:

Designers: Gary Paitre & Thomas Filippi 
Artists: Gary Paitre & Natalie Dombois
Publisher: Flyos Games 
Year Published: 2017
No. of Players: 2-6
Ages: 7+
Playing Time: 10 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
WARNING: This is a preview of Kiwetin. I was sent a prototype version of the game, and as such, certain elements I received were unfinished. These details did not influence my review, as they will be modified for the final version. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.


In Kiwetin, players take on the role of forest creatures competing to reach a sacred flower high in the treetops. Along the way, they must brave gusts of wind, rotten tree branches, and powerful whirlwinds that can change the course of the game in an instant. The first player to reach the sacred flower is the winner!



Review:

Rules and Setup:
The rules are quite simple - on your turn, you roll the movement dice and add the result to your character's natural movement. After applying any token effects, you roll the grabbing dice to maintain your place on the board. The specific details are listed in a half-fold pamphlet, including the rules for each of the tiles and characters.

Kiwetin in all its glory

Setup takes just under a minute. After shuffling the tiles, the movement dice is rolled and the tiles are placed along the board according to the rolls. In keeping with the nature theme, the order if play is determined by who has last been in a forest most recently. After everyone chooses a character and is dealt a Rüne card, play begins!

Runners, take your marks!

Theme:

The theme of nature is prevalent throughout Kiwetin. The game's main concept of climbing trees aside, all of the game's packaging and artwork is covered with nature imagery. Each of the tiles that effect the gameplay have some nature-based explanation, whether they be gusts of wind, bouncy mushrooms, or spider webs. Even the characters themselves are featured holding and wearing leaves.

An example of the tiles and Rüne cards

Mechanics:
Kiwetin is an interesting mix of strategy and chance. Each of the three character types has a different level of natural movement. Ki, the largest of them, only has 1 space of natural movement; We sits in the middle with 2 spaces of natural movement, and Tin brings up the rear with a blazing 3 spaces of natural movement. The trade-off is that with more natural movement, the more difficult it is to stay on the branch you climb to. Tin may get farther faster, but he also falls much further if he fails.

The character tokens and the movement dice. There will be two of each token in the final product.

The race to the top can change in an instant, and because the tiles are placed randomly each game, you never know what madness may occur. Perhaps several gusts of wind propel your character further, or you bounce off a mushroom... directly into a spider web. What's more, a whirlwind forces players to trade their characters, causing the person falling behind to suddenly find themselves ahead of the pack! And finally, each player has a Rüne card that can either give them an early lead or save them at the last minute.

Artwork and Components:
The box, board, tiles, and Rüne cards are beautifully detailed with artwork that captures the feel of the game perfectly. Each of the characters has its own unique design, something that sets it apart from other games that use simple colored tokens to differentiate characters. Even the movement dice is uniquely designed and fits with the theme and feel of the game, something I very much appreciate.

...and Ki wins by a hair!


The Good:
Where do I begin? The art design is amazing, one of the best I've ever seen on a board game. The board, tiles, characters, and the box itself feel like artwork that belongs in a museum. The gameplay is very easy to pick up, and each game is unique and exciting. Every mechanic feels like it's been playtested thoroughly. I can see myself playing this game hundreds of times and never having the same experience twice. Overall, this is one of the most fun tabletop experiences I've had for some time.

The Bad:
In all honesty, it was hard for me to find something negative to say about this game. One thing worth mentioning is that while the rules are quite concise, some of the wording choices were a bit confusing to me. I was able to make sense of them after a few reads, but it did cause some frustration early on.

Final Thoughts:
Kiwetin is exactly what I tend to look for in a board game: quick to set up and teach, provides fast and fun content, and allows for endless replayability. I'll If this is Flyos Games' first game, I can't wait to see what else they have in store for us.

Players Who Like:
If you're a fan of Tsuro's mixture of strategy, luck, quick gameplay, and cutthroat competition, then Kiwetin is one game you won't want to miss.

I am giving Kiwetin 8 out of 10 super meeples.

8 10

Check out Kiwetin on:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/216357/kiwetin  http://www.kiwetin.com/  https://www.facebook.com/kiwetin/  https://twitter.com/FlyosGames  

Kiwetin is on Kickstarter now through February 17, 2017.

About the Author:
David Jensen has tried his hand at everything from warehouse work and washing dishes to delivering pizza. Now, he's trying his hand at writing creatively and working as an editor for a start-up literary magazine. When he's not busy procrastinating, he's running tabletop game sessions for friends and family.

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