It had been a week and a half since our return to New York from Gen Con. The return trip was a bit of a nightmare. Putting my ass into the airplane seat, I caught my pants on the armrest and tore my pants in half. When we got to the baggage area, I couldn’t find anyone with a lighter to light my cigarette. While leaving Newark Airport, we got lost and we ended up in no less than two dead ends and when we did finally get on our way we realized we had no cash for tolls or the tunnel. We eventually made it to a McDonald’s to hit the ATM. But somehow, I have no idea how, while pulling out of the parking space at Newark, I ran over my glasses. Great.
Onto business; Epic Resort then. Finally played it through last night and wow, just WOW I’m still pissed off. Angry; just really borderline raging. And I have no idea why. Jenn set the game up on Sunday night and it’d been sitting there smirking at me for two full days. First off let me tell you, this game takes up a lot of space. Even the two player game took up more than half of our dining room table, and we still had cards sticking off the edge of the table. Not a problem we aren’t used to. I’d glanced over the Kickstarter a while back and really didn’t think anything of the fact that this was on Jenn’s Gen Con buy list. From what I remember at ‘glancing’ over the Kickstarter and what I gleaned from the artwork; this can’t be so bad, can it?
To say there is something going on here is an understatement. As I said, Jenn had this set-up, ready-to-go for two full days before we sat down to play. The whole time, I felt it leering at me. It was cursing dead in my face. It was downright mean to me and on Tuesday night I’d finally had enough and I decided to dark-alley-knee-to-the-bowels stand up to this bully.
In a nutshell, you are the proprietor of a medieval resort frequented by heroes of myth. It is your job to keep them happy so that they can heal themselves while relaxing at your resort. While this is happening you are hiring and training folk to work at your three attractions. The heroes arrive as dungeon dwellers do, via boat. These boats are also carrying normal vacationers and sometimes monsters. When monsters arrive you have to defend your resort with the only thing you have at your disposal – vacationing heroes. I’m definitely NOT going in depth with any game rules except to say that gameplay is very close to Power Grid without a board to play on. There are five phases. Did I mention it’s also a sort-of deckbuilder?
1. Get To Work – Deal yourself five workers from your worker deck, and put them to work at your attractions. Attractions have a minimum amount of workers you need to fill up to keep from losing visitors at each venue. Visitors/customers are what drive revenue and buzz (gold/flair) for your Resort.
2. Do Some Actions – Nab tourists/heroes from the dock, upgrade your attractions, or train are your main actions while attraction/discard abilities and sending more workers to attractions are free actions.
3. Boss, Da Plane – The ship arrives with more “visitors”. Refilling the dock is probably the most stressful part of the game. Discard the oldest visitor on the dock and start filling it back up to six cards. Why is it stressful? Because this is where the monsters show up to bite your happy little resort manager ass. Hidden in the Dock Deck are monsters, some cards have two monsters, and they can be brutal. Especially if you don’t have a Hero staying at your resort. If you thought ahead and saved a Peon or two from the first phase you can just throw that lazy bastard to the monster and be done with it.
Anyway, you get the idea. There are probably a billion reviews out now on how to play, so I won’t get into it. However, I will say that this game was the big game for the year for a reason. It not only forced me to think about strategy, it also got me pissed off. Now that’s a good game.
- Publisher: Fever Games, Floodgate Games
- Year Published: 2014
- Designer: Ben Harkins