Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Board Game Review: Stone Age

I had the whole first week of January off from work.  Thought I'd get all of my board game reviews written then.  Boy, was I wrong!  Anyway, I've got time now, so here's another review.

Stone Age, by Bernd Brunnhoffer, and released by Rio Grande Games (and others), is not a new game, but I got to play it for the first time the other day.  It's a full on Euro-game, and really fits the Euro criteria to a T.  It's small, simple, takes little time to explain, has no in-game text at all, and all players compete until a set completion time at which point everyone adds up their points and they see who is the winner.

The game play is done by managing your resources.  You have only so many workers, and need to divide them between collecting food, wood, bricks, stone and gold in the wilderness, and also between creating farms, crafting tools, and having children in the Love Shack.  With the gathered resources (besides food, which you spend each round to feed the workers), you can purchase huts (worth certain amounts of victory points and costing various amounts of resources) and cards, which provide certain bonuses at the time of purchase, and are worth victory points at the end of the game as well.  Fairly simple. 

There are always 4 huts face up that can be purchased, and four cards with escalating costs.  When a hut is bought, the next one on the stack is turned face up.  When one stack is exhausted, the game ends.  Cards move down the price track as others are bought, so a card that seems too expensive at 3 or 4 resources might be worth it next round for only one or two - but someone else might claim it first.

For me, the strongest point is the "no in-game text" bit.  That means I can easily buy the game here in Korea.  Then I can just download and print the rules in English for reference.  It will likely be the first Euro-game I play with my son, since he's just beginning to learn how to read.  Anyway, as you can see, I'm planning to actually buy a copy.  It's not the most fun game I've ever played, but is a nicely done Euro-game and seems like it will have fairly good replay value.

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