Monday, March 23, 2015

Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension


Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension:1 - 4 players - Ages 12 plus - 20 minutes

Game Play: You play a star ship starting in a singularity trying to be the first to escape to the wormhole. There are other players trying to do the same and there are derelict ships between you and the wormhole. You must collect elements from A to Z that do one of three things. Four propel you towards the closest other ship. A few propel you away from the closest ship. Only two suck everything towards you.

At the beginning of a round you select six element cards. Each person chooses one element and places it face down. Once each person has played, all players reveal their chosen element. The moves then resolve in alphabetical order. Each player gets one "Emergency Stop" card to play per round of six cards. The game ends when someone escapes to the wormhole or when six rounds are complete.

Review: The trick of the game is that the ship's placement is always changing. If red is 2 spaces behind blue and three spaces in front of black, red can play a card to go towards the closest ship which would send him forward. But if black's element was first in the alphabet and sent him towards the other ships only two spaces, that would put black 1 space behind red. Then red's card that was already played to go towards the closest ship, would now send him backwards as black moved closer before red's card resolved.

If the game goes for six rounds, then it takes about 30 minutes to play instead of 20. My game came with two of the ships broken off of their plastic stands so I had to glue them back on. The cards are sturdy and the board looks very nice..

Overall: This game has a very good balance of strategy and luck. It is a good game for beginner table top players. There are several points in a game where someone goes flying backwards unexpectedly completely changing the leader. The game is easy to learn but hard to master. The one player version is not as fun as it takes most of the strategy out and relies on luck.

Who will like this game? People that like puzzles, introverts as there is not much talking required

Who will not: People that like fast-paced games, those frustrated by foiled plans.