Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Micro City

Product-Micro City

Producer– ThisTroy Games

Price– SOON!

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 30 to 60 minutes (1-2 players)

Type- Euro

Depth-Light

TL; DR-Packs a punch for its size 90%

Basics- If you build it, they will come!  MicroCity is a simple building game that almost has a rondel and worker placement feel to it.  Each round you play a card from your hand.  This card moves your one worker on the map to different locations that give you resources, let you trade resources, or even spend resources to build.  The card also gives you a second action that can let you get more resources or removes investment tokens from the board.  Thus, the cards really shape your play.  Alternatively, you can pick up all your cards and not do a card action and just move one place.  In addition to the cards, each round you roll two dice.  These dice can be spent, if they match the location or the card, to make the action more powerful.  Or if neither is used, you can use them to gain extra money.  At the locations you take your actions then place an investment token.  These tokens block future uses of that location until they are removed.  The goal of the game is to spend different combinations of resources to build different parts of a building within a number of turns (in the cooperative or solo mode) or earn victory points in the competitive mode.  If you run out of turns or can’t place an investment marker, you lose!  If you have the most points or complete the buildings before time is out, you win!

Mechanics-MicroCity is a simple game.  You just read most of the rules above.  It’s pretty simple.  However, it does have some meat on its small bones as the game’s timer can be brutal if you don’t plan ahead.  However, much like my problems with Scythe, you can end up just doing the same action multiple times in a row.  That’s not as much fun.  The game limits this as investments can stop you from just doing the same location actions again and again.  MicroCity isn’t the most complex game I’ve played, but it does have some depth despite it’s small size.  4.25/5

Theme-Did I feel like a builder?  Solid kind of!  The locations in the city where you send your one worker have a feel like you are picking up wood or steel.  The pieces make you feel like an engineer.  Was it the most character driven game I’ve played?  No.  This game can’t be that involved given its small size and small run time.  Overall, this is the most solid building experience I can expect from something the size of a large matchbox. 4.5/5

Instructions-The rules are the weak point to the game.  They work, but the flow is honestly weird.  Parts and their meanings are explained  before the flow of the game so I felt like I was lost until I saw the flow.  There are multiple versions of the game which is amazing, but the way they are separated in the rulebook feels off.  You won’t need YouTube or Board Game Geek to play, but learning all by yourself is a bit hard given the flow of the book. 4/5

Execution– Honestly, for a small game the pieces are nice!  Check out our unboxing here-https://youtu.be/pAvDwAu_lCQ   Art is solid, tokens are good, and the cards are good quality.  There are lots of extra pieces given the different game modes, but there is enough here to make that happen and make you happy to get the kickstarter copy.  Good pieces do come in small packages! 5/5

Summary-This is a fun game that feels like a few other games I own with some good and bad.  I did feel like I was building, but some goals made me feel like I was just doing the same thing over and over again.  The rules are hard to start, but get you through decently at the end.  The game itself is pretty to look at and solid to play with.  If I want a good less than one hour co-op building game, I think this will hit my table again. 89%

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Call to Adventure

Product-Call to Adventure

Producer– Brotherwise Games

Price– $30.00 here https://www.amazon.com/Brotherwise-Games-BGM018-Call-Adventure/dp/B07JN6XY6Z/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2N3XFUONODGO9&dchild=1&keywords=call+to+adventure+board+game&qid=1593728170&sprefix=call+to+adventure%2Caps%2C173&sr=8-1

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 30 to 45 minutes (2-4 players)

Type- American

Depth-Light

TL; DR-Set Collection Your Own Adventure!  95%

Basics- Who will you be?  Call to Adventure is a character building game of set collection and dice rolling.  Each character at the start of the game will be given three cards: a background, a motivation, and a destiny.  The background and motivation cards have rune symbols representing traits that your character will use to attempt to adventure, as well as powers that your character can use each turn.  Each turn your character must choose either an adventure or trait from the tableau.  Traits are cards you just take, but adventures are events you must choose to encounter.  Each adventure has two traits associated with it.  You see if you have any matching traits on the cards you currently have, you add one of those trait’s runes to your “dice pool” (which is actually a rune pool) for each symbol your character has.  Then you choose on the adventure card if you will attempt the encounter on the bottom or the top section.  Each one has a different story AND different rewards/challenges.  You then take the three basic runes that either give one success, no success, or draw a hero/antihero (one time use card) as well as the runes you gathered before based on your current cards, and you may spend experience to add dark runes to the pool.  These either add one success or two success and make you more evil!  You then cast the runes (instead of rolling dice), and you count your successes.  If you succeed you gain the card and place it under your current one to show the challenge you overcame.  If you fail, you lose the card, but gain an experience.  Play continues until one player has three cards under their background, motivation, and destiny.  All other players get to finish the round and have one additional round to catch up and then you add all victory points from any cards you played and sets of icons you collected, and the player with the most destiny points is the winner!

Mechanics-This game sneaks up on you as you might only have nine turns if you are lucky!  It’s very quick, and it’s easy to forget that you are collecting sets of icons and points.  But, man is it fun!  It’s quick enough to not wear out its welcome, but it’s also deep enough that you will have to think a bit.  Experience is a great way to fix the luck of the dice issue, but dice/runes can absolutely ruin your fun here.  But even then, you will still not have a bad time as it’s not a long game and some traits are won by losing.  Overall, it’s a dice rolling and set collection game.  4.5/5

Theme- This is a solid story game.  When you are done, you will be amazed how well the story of your character emerges.  I FEEL like I am this person playing a year long campaign forging this hero in an RPG.  If you are a story gamer like me, YOU WILL LOVE THIS!  5/5

Instructions–  The rules here are good, but you will end up on BGG.  There are some corner cases where I have to check exactly what the game rules mean.  Even without board game geek, you can figure out enough to settle on house rules to get you playing.  The rules are written well enough that you will get running fast enough to play in about 10 minutes.  These are solid rules, but a few flaws keep them from being the gold standard. 4.5/5

Execution–  This is a fantastically executed game!  Check out all the pieces here: https://youtu.be/n0OI0_nS1e8   YOU CAST RUNES!  It feels like every druid fortune telling scene in a viking movie.  That right there is amazing.  The cards are excellent.  Everytime I teach this game players want to stare at the cards as the details are amazing and tell a story themselves.  The box is amazing.  It has great compartments to keep things organized.  Honestly, more games need to be built like this game!   5/5

Summary–  This is a game you will either LOVE or HATE.  If you want a 12 hour euro game where each move is planned six moves ahead, then this is not the game for you!  If you, like me, played eight games of RPGs at the BGG virtual con AND have two play by post games going at the same time, then I have a board game for you and for you to woo your RPG friends into.  It’s light enough to be a blast to play quickly, but deep enough for you to find a story to dig into with enough mechanics that you can enjoy your choices.  Like all dice games, you can be wrecked by the dice, and I would like a bit more in the rules to elaborate.  But, this game is a blast to play and one that any RPG gamer and board gamer needs in their collection. 95%