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Widget Ridge Kickstarter Preview


Quick Look: Widget Ridge


Designer: Ian Taylor
Artist: Matt Burton
Publisher: Furious Tree Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 15 - 45 min.

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of Widget Ridge. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.



Review:

tl;dr: Steampunk deckbuilder with minimal player interaction, opting instead for building devices to earn points.

Getting to the Game: Each player takes the standard starting deck of cards, or builds their own, using numbered starting cards. The main deck is then shuffled, and 6 cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table to form the marketplace. Whichever player goes first draws three cards from their deck, and the other player draws five. Time to get weird.



The object of Widget Ridge is not to reduce your opponent's total <whatever> to zero, but instead reach 100 "spark" (denoted by the number in silver hexes). Spark cannot be lost once gained, and the game ends immediately when someone gets to 100. Your goal should be to balance gaining spark with doing anything else, as "Racing" to 100 is a solid strategy in this title.

Playing the Game: Much like deckbuilders of yore, you'll play all the cards in your hand every turn. Accumulate gold to buy more cards and spark to race to the finish. Widgets, Inventions, Augments, and Accessories all help you build machines, which super-power your turns as long as you can keep them functional. Your opponent is going to be using theirs to destroy yours, so gather ye rosebuds while ye may. 



How does Widget Ridge separate itself from the amazing deckbuilders already out there, and even some of the lesser-known, but still decent ones? The aforementioned inventions feel great. Working towards something other than a discard engine in a game like this feels like a breath of fresh air, even if a lot of the inventions you'll build will help you do just that. It's just the intermediary step that forces a new play style and is incredibly welcome. Additionally, building towards 100 spark and not reducing your opponents life total as previously mentioned is less inventive, but feels like the right choice for this title. 



Artwork and Components: Burton's art does a great job of feeling lighthearted and fun while still maintaining the "cool" factor of building steam-powered juggernauts. The world feels real enough even given the cartoony nature of the art. There are no components to the game other than the cards- not even a spark tracker. It's not necessarily missed, as most deckbuilder games require you to keep track of your win condition on your own (or provide you with an AWFUL way to do it: vis-a-vis Star Realms), but something neat would have felt like a worthy include here.



The Good: Nice take on deckbuilding, art feels nice. 

The Bad: Not earth-shattering in implementation.

Score: Widget Ridge delivers nicely on a new core idea- building a machine that does the work for you. Other than that, it's a feel-good game that doesn't bring anything especially new. I'm giving Widget Ridge a score of Mechanical.


Check out Widget Ridge on:

              

On KICKSTARTER now. Campaign ends April 27, 2019.



Nicholas Leeman - Reviewer

Nicholas has been a board game evangelist for over 10 years now, converting friends and family alike to the hobby. He's also a trained actor and works summers as one of the PA announcers for the St. Paul Saints. He lives in Minneapolis, MN with his board gaming wife and son.

See Nicholas's reviews HERE.

Widget Ridge Kickstarter Preview Widget Ridge Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by The Madjai on April 03, 2019 Rating: 5

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