Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Pan Am

Product-Pan Am

Producer– Prospero Hall

Price– $34.99 here https://www.target.com/p/funko-pan-am-board-game/-/A-79396299?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Toys%2BShopping_Local&adgroup=SC_Toys&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=1019378&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1248099&gclid=Cj0KCQjwgJv4BRCrARIsAB17JI5zgkskI0QJnO50_tOBEn0Zb9Q8dDmcrs18o43fB6wHDQrQisGabAoaAkyCEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 30 to 60 minutes (2-4 players)

Type- Euro

Depth-Light

TL; DR– Strong euro with a good, strange theme.  94%

Basics- Who’s ready to fly?  Pan Am is a game all about owning enough of Pan Am to be its leader.  The basic flow of the game is worker placement with an outbid mechanic.  Each turn an event is revealed, players place and replace workers called engineers, actions happen, and finally Pan Am buys routes and players buy stock.  Events change the stock price and set new things in motion from free planes to giving extra actions.  The options for placing engineers on the board are: build airports, win location cards, build planes, claim routes, and get directive cards.  These all factor into routes.  To claim a route you have to have an airport at the start or end of a route, have a location card of a start or end of the route, discard a card in the the same area as the route, or discard two cards from the same area that isn’t where the route you want is.  This makes airports and location cards key.  There are four types of airplanes with each being able to fly farther and farther.  Claiming a route gives you money every turn as income as long as you control the route.  Directives are wild cards that give you powers from free end game stock to extra planes and everything in between.  The key in this game is bidding.  Each airplane airport, or location space has different money amounts.  You can choose any location, but if a player is willing to pay more, you are bumped and you get to redeploy that worker.  The last part of the turn is Pan Am buying routes from the players.  When Pan Am randomly buys a route by following a marked flow on the board from a random die roll, it gives the player money based on the size of the route, but reduces your end-of-round income as you no longer control the route.  Lastly you get income based on the routes and airports you control. Income can be saved or spent to buy stock.  The game lasts 7 rounds.  In rounds 4 and 6 the options to buy bigger planes are revealed as action spaces.  Once the game is over, the person with the most stock is the winner!

Mechanics-If you want a euro that you can give a friend to show them that there is more to life than Candyland, this is a great game for that!  You place workers, maybe get outbid, but then you gain the actions.  The whole game is lightning quick.  Reading rules to punching out cardboard to play was 15 minutes for me.  And I felt like it was playing a decent game!  Now, will I bring my hard core, “twelve hours of thinking for each move” europlayers to this one?  No.  It’s pretty simple.  But simple isn’t bad! 4.75/5

Theme- Huh.  Had you told me a year ago that I would go to Target and buy a game about an old airplane company, and I’d feel like I was building a transportation empire in the 60s, I would tell you that sounds horrible.  But, it’s honestly a ton of fun.  You feel like you are making smart choices.  You feel like you are buying stock and making company choices.  I felt like I was a good businessman.  Art and colors also make this a phenomenal experience. 4.5/5

Instructions–  Solid rules in this one.  Now, it’s a simple game so I don’t have lots of edge cases to sort out, but I honestly understood what was up and didn’t need to consult the oracle of BGG to find how to play.  Well done rules that make reading a snap! 5/5

Execution–  I loved this game!  Check out all the pieces here: https://youtu.be/Tm3uREbgkc4  The planes are amazing.  The art style is the right kind of retro. Color looks old school.  Text is nice and easy to read.  The one thing that bugs me a bunch is give me extra bags for all the cardboard.  Bags prove you love me!    4.5/5

Summary-This is a solid, entry level euro that is well done.  The rules don’t scare away new people.  The aesthetic all look amazing. Actions feel like they should.  I just wish I had a few more bags and maybe make things a tad heaver for the hardcore.  But for the intro player, amazing.  It’s not bad by any means, but if you want a deeper than an hour experience, you will be disappointed.  If you want a solid intro to euro style games, then this will be a phenomenal game in your collection. 94%

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