Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain (Green Couch Games)

Winter is quickly approaching, so I thought now would be a good time to tell you about some snowy-themed games. Both games this week focus on the Abominable Snowman, also known as the Yeti. Today's game is called Avalanche at Yeti Mountain, and it was produced by Green Couch Games. It can play 1-5 players, ages 8+, and it retails for $20. In Avalanche at Yeti Mountain, you and your friends are engineering students who invented rocket-powered skis and want to test them out at Yeti Mountain.
1. Shuffle all 60 Mountain Cards into a face-down pile.
2. Deal four cards to each player.
3. Lay out twelve cards in a row in the same orientation. This forms the Mountain.
4. Give each player a Skier meeple and a Rocket Status Card of the same color (active side up).
5. Set out the Speed Limit Card depending on the number of players. (7 in a 2-player, 10 in a 3-player, 13 in a 4-player, and 16 in a 4-player)
6. Place all the Skier meeples randomly at the top of the mountain, the Yeti meeple behind them, and the Avalanche Speed Marker in its stand behind the Yeti.

Game Play - The game is played over several rounds with the following actions performed each round:
1. Select Cards - Each player secretly selects one card and places it face down. The number on the card indicates the speed. (Note: A player two cards if they have the same symbol.)
2. Reveal Speed - All players reveal their cards simultaneously. Add up combined speed, if the speed limit was exceeded, the fasted player crashes.
3. Move Skiers - Each skier moves down the mountain going from fastest to slowest with the number of spaces moved equal to their speed. If you played a card with a symbol matching the card you were on, you Rocket Jump, completely jumping over the next card and then moving your number of spaces. (Note: Each successful Rocket Jump increases the speed of the Avalanche. If there was a crash from Step 2, then you only move one space.
4. Move the Yeti - The player furthest up the mountain movies the Yeti. He has his own path and moves equal to or less the speed of the fastest skier. If the Yeti moves through a space occupied by a player, he damages their rockets for the next round.
5. Advance the Avalanche - Move the Avalanche down the snowbanks on the mountain equal to the Avalanche's current speed. If the Avalanche lands on a space or passes a skier, they are eliminated.
6. Draw Cards - Discard all cards played this round and each player draws one new card.

The game ends and a player wins when they move off or jump over the last card in the mountain.

Like the other games in the Green Couch Games library, this game is tiny but packs a punch! For starters, the box fits in your pocket, so its portable. Next, the cards are multi-use, meaning they make up the mountain and are used to mover your skier. Lastly, the game just doesn't take up a big footprint on the table when playing it. The other thing you will notice about Green Couch Games is their attention to graphics and details. The graphics in this game are visually appealing and the tiny meeples that are shaped like skiers and a Yeti are a very nice touch. They could have easily used generic pawns or meeples, but they went the extra step to add more theme to the game. Finally, and most importantly, the game is just fun. There is little downtime, as players are making actions simultaneously, and it plays quickly, so you have time to play it multiple times if you are unfortunate enough to lose. It's also great for kids, because it's easy to learn and it teaches them risk management (when to go high on speed and when not to) as well as cause and effect (if I rocket jump that avalanche is going to get quicker and might catch me). I highly recommend this game and play it often.