Continuing the crossing-off of games from The List today’s article provides blurbs from A-Game with approval from J for Cube Quest, Progress: Evolution of Technology, and 7 Wonders Duel.
Cube Quest was quick, silly, and pretty fun. The way it uses dice as the elements in a dexterity game is really cool, with the face determining what happens to your die when it lands in an opponent’s territory. There are different dice that do different things, but on the whole, I didn’t find those abilities all that useful. It felt like a strategic element in a game that just didn’t have time for a lot of strategy. It was over much quicker than I anticipated, which meant that setup took about as long as playing the game. So while it could be a good 2 player filler, it ends up feeling like a lot of setup with only a little gameplay. Component quality was below average, with hollow-stickered dice and a 3-piece mat that didn’t quite lay flat. 6/10
Progress: Evolution of Technology
Progress: Evolution of Technology was a great distillation of tech-tree mechanics from a lot of civ games. Technologies fall into 3 categories: Engineering, Science, and Culture. As you build technologies, you get resources and abilities that make future technologies easier to develop. Later Technologies build on earlier ones, with 7-wonders style combos allowing you to play a card for free if you built its predecessor already. The game uses an interesting time mechanic that allows you to develop a technology for no cost, but you need to wait several turns for it to come into play. On the negative side, I thought that the upkeep felt a little fiddly at times. There was a lot to remember each turn, with development timers to maintain, action points to track, rewards from newly played cards to adjust, etc. It was easy to forget something. I didn’t pay too much attention to my opponent, so it was essentially multi-player solitaire. And in the end, the winner was determined by the fact that I ended the game on my turn, robbing J of another turn, even though I had gone first in the game. Having one extra turn at the end of the game is a big deal. I think it could have benefited from being slightly shorter, and I don’t think I would want to play with more than 3 players. 6.5/10
7 Wonders Duel
7 Wonders Duel was fantastic. It’s exactly what I want a 2 player version of 7 wonders to be. The game preserves the feel of the original, but tweaks it in a way that makes it work tremendously well with 2 players. I think I like it even better than 7 Wonders in some ways. Where 7 Wonders suffers from a lot of turns where there’s only one obvious choice, I never really felt that way with Duel. Each turn had multiple possible plays that would help me, hinder my opponent, or both. I thought A LOT more about blocking and counteracting my opponent than I ever have in 7 Wonders. So in that way, it feels more interactive than the original game, but with the same interesting choices and combinations. I would change nothing. 10/10