Publisher: Art of Steel
Designer: Jack Casdorph
Year Published: 2022 (Live now on Gamefound – Link at bottom of review)
No. of Players: 2-6
Playtime: 20-30 minutes
This campaign is active and over halfway funded on Gamefound. I was sent a physical prototype and was pleasantly surprised when I opened this small box game from Art of Steel. It was listed as 2-6 but I’d personally play it as a 2-4 player game. This is a light, dueling game with simple rules and quick decisions.
The size, quality and functionality of the custom wooden player boards (ships), pegs and counters exceeded my expectations. For example, the peg and board compatibility were perfectly done – not too tight that you had to struggle with it, but tight enough you could knock into the board, and it wouldn’t move. I did receive a prototype so the final product may change. That said, the components were on a whole different level than the box and rulebook which I found looked unprofessional. They functioned fine and were alright qualitywise but the images, resolutions, graphic design, etc., was off. Given how impressed I was with the wooden pieces, I’m going to let it slide and give a pass in this category.
The custom cut wooden components, easily, but for the gameplay itself, I’d say that I enjoyed the ability to Scan for enemies and choose to save (thematically – pursue/target) an enemy ship. This gave some level of control over the outcome of your battle.
This is a very light game, and it fits well in that category, but I do prefer more strategy over chance. Your success in battle is ultimately decided by the roll of die instead of your ship’s stats. I know it would complicate the game, but I would have liked to see where the game would go if it was made heavier.
This game is a light, quick filler that you can play with little cognitive effort which makes it ideal for when you are burnt out from your day but are entertaining or if you are looking for something on a time crunch. I would take it out for a best two out of three with someone popping by to visit. As a side note, my wife is not a gamer and wants nothing to do with most of my suggestions but got a lot of enjoyment out of this because it was simple and required very little decision making. It goes to show there is a huge variety of players out there with different tastes and reasons.
Areas they did well:
– Extremely fast setup
– Can read rules and play in minutes
– The quality of the wooden components was great.
– Small box, portability with impressive table presence for its size
– Game length and weight (short and light)
– Pleasing theme and tie-in
– Nice suggestions on game variations in the rulebook
Areas they could have improved:
– Less chance element.
– Gamebox design
– Rulebook wording and design
– A lot of enemy ships images and names didn’t belong. I didn’t enjoy bringing humor into the game which otherwise wasn’t in that genre. For example, one ship was a MTWTFSS pillbox container. I’m not sure why.
– Too light for my taste and felt a bit bare.
I’d recommend this to new gamers or fans of lightweight games. The few categories that I break my reviews down into cover all I got to say on this one. Click on either of the two links provided by the publisher below to see more.
I‘ll see you next time, back here at The Game Table,
Here’s a link to their gamefound campaign and promo video on youtube:
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Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”, is a construction project manager and electrician by trade who was the owner of a 6-time award winning electrical company. His passion for board games has led him from playing hundreds of original titles to creating a design and publishing company of his own, Convivial Games. As an up and coming collaborator on many projects, he is always eager to try new games and meet new people.
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All of Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”‘s reviews can be found HERE.