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Beasts of Balance Review

Quick Look:

Designer: George Buckenham, Alex Fleetwood
Artists: Time Burrell-Saward, Lyall McCarthy, Chris Shaw
Publisher: Sensible Object
Year Published: 2016
No. of Players: 1-5
Ages: 7+
Playing Time: 15-30 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com


Rules and Setup:
Setup is very easy, as you open the box you will see all the cool animals and other objects that you will be stacking on top of the platform.  The game is a dexterity game where you will stack the pieces on top of each other anyway you can on top of the platform.  It comes with a free app where another game is played.  The game is 2 parts, stack the pieces and don't let them fall, and also use the pieces in a certain order to help you score the best points on the app.  When you add a piece you will scan it on the platform area and the app will sense what piece you are using and add the outcome to the screen on the app.  The animal pieces will add that animal to the area it belongs, either water, land, or air.  When using other pieces, some will either make a certain type of animal stronger, or you can cross breed and cause a new animal to appear.

To play you simply turn on the base platform with a button on the bottom.  This will sync with your device so you can
use the app.  Turn the app on and follow its prompts.  You now can try to get the highest amount of points by balancing the pieces and determining the best order to place the pieces on so they can balance on the platform, and so they use their powers to benefit you the most.  If the tower of pieces fall down, you have a timer to get them back on, but hurry because if you don't get them back on in time, the game is over.

Theme and Mechanics:
Beasts of Balance is a co-op party dexterity game where you strategically make the best world you can by adding animals, evolving them, and nurture them before the tower falls down.

This game is so amazing because it is a hybrid board game and digital game.  This game is just the beginning of these types of games that will be popular for those who enjoy table top games and those who enjoy digital games.  The combination helps bring more imagination, more visual art, and a different type of entertainment to the players.

The mechanics of the game make you think which object to use in what order to help your animals progress and develop before they go extinct.  You will soon add artifacts that add distraction to the mix, or add a time frame to add the next piece onto the tower.

After playing many times I figured out a decent strategy was to add a piece onto the tower, and when adding the next one I could quickly rearrange a couple items I had already added.  This helped me use the objects in the order I wanted to, and later moving them to fortify the base more or to make the tower flat on top in order to get more pieces on top.

Your tower will evolve from a few animals to a small skyscraper of animals.

Artwork and Components:
The Components are just amazing.  The animals are very fun to just touch and play with by themselves.  They are shaped very well to challenge you to balance other object on them, as well as not make it impossible.  The components are very clean built well with plastic that doesn't scratch when the components all fall.  There is an area on each piece that you scan on the plinth.   Each piece has an action and once scanned it appears on your device as to what you scanned.

The app is done very well as it teaches you how to play the game for beginners, and is easy to start up when you are ready to play on your own.

The app includes a section called the bestiary, where it stores all the different types of animals you have made when cross breeding the base animals.  The animals you haven't completed have slots and as you complete them they will appear.  This will be fun for those who like to "collect them all".  As you purchase add on expansions, once you scan them, it will update your bestiary and add the appropriate slots you can now have.

The game comes in a large box that has a nice insert to put all the pieces.  Sometimes its hard to know which of the pieces goes into which space when putting the game away.  But you realize where to put the smaller pieces and the larger ones so that everything fits after a couple of plays.

The Good:
Nice hybrid tabletop game and digital game.  Very fun to play for kids all the way to adults.  When playing this game, almost everyone will stop and watch because its very eye catching.  The game doesn't get old due to the digital aspect of the game. You will play it many times changing the order of items you stack on the plinth, or by getting further being able to stack more pieces on the tower.  The pieces are color coordinated which makes it easier to learn the game and what each piece does when added to the tower.

The Bad:
The game is expensive.  If you are a completionist, you will have to get all the other cool pieces which can be hard on your bank account.  Everyone has favorite animals, and it seems like none of mine made the list for this game, chances are yours didn't either, maybe next expansion. After playing it so many times, you almost need new pieces to keep it fresh, or a new app that changes the digital game.

Final Thoughts:
This is a must have game for board gamers who also enjoy digital games.  The game seems to pick great animals to use with some even better ones you can add on with expansions.  If my little girl sees the box to this game is immediately wants to play it.  The game is better than other apps because it adds a more hands on element, and offers a chance for more than one person to play at a time.

Players Who Like:
If you like dexterity games, you will love this game. I recommend it to families who need a game for little kids that is also enjoyable for others.  This is also a great party game as many people are completely fine just watching because it is that enjoyable, and I wouldn't say just watching someone play is an aspect that I have found fun about any other game.

I am giving Beasts of Balance a 9 out of 10 super meeples.

9 10

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About the Author:
Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up.   He continues his love of games by teaching his family, local gaming guild, and friends about new and exciting games.  Brody believes that board gaming keeps your mind healthy while also having fun interacting with others.
Beasts of Balance Review Beasts of Balance Review Reviewed by Brody on September 21, 2017 Rating: 5

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