Friday, August 11, 2017

CVlizations (Passport Game Studios)

When I first got into the world of modern gaming, CV was one of my first experiences. It was like combining Yahtzee and The Game of Life in order to have the most well-lived life at the end. It had everything I wanted in a game - familiar mechanics, fun theme, and great artwork. The only "complaints" I had about the game were that it could only play four people and that I wish there were more cards to choose from. There was an expansion released for it called CV: Gossip, which solved the problem of more cards, but it was a little too mean for my group. However, when I heard about the sequel, CVlizations, being released, I knew I wanted to try it. In CVlizations, you are no longer trying to build the best life, but instead your a tribal leader trying to create the most advanced and prosperous civilization. CVlizations is a game for 2-5 players, ages 10+. It takes about 45 minutes to play and retails for $35.
Setup
1. Put the board in the middle of the table.
2. Put the wood, food, and stone tokens in piles on their places on the board.
3. Place the crown on the age track of the first age.
4. Put the happiness tokens near the board.
5. Sort the cards into decks according to their backs. Shuffle each deck separately and place them on their spots on the board.
6. Draw four cards from the first deck and place them face up onto the idea track on the board.
7. Give each player a set of eight order cards in their chosen color and one wood, food, and stone.
8. The last player to hold a tool is the starting player and received the leader helm token.
Game Play - The game lasts 3 ages with 3 rounds each and each round has the following 4 phases:
1. Order Phase - The starting player chooses two cards from their order cards to play. One is played face-up and the other face-down. In clockwise order, each player does the same. After all players have played, flip the face-down cards face-up.
2. Action Phase - Players resolve the orders in the following order - Thieving, Logging, Hunting, Quarrying, Cunning, Slacking, and Trading. (Note: The doubling cards doubles a player's order, and is not its own order.) When several players play the same cards, go in clockwise order. The effect of each order card is determined by the amount of people who played it. In some cases, you might get nothing for the card.
3. Development Phase - Starting with the first player, each person can use their resources to buy one idea card from those available on the board. The card is placed face-up in front of the player, and a new card replaces it on the board.
4. Cleanup Phase - Pass the starting player token clockwise. After turn 3, the first age ends. Players gather all their order cards into their deck. After turn 6, the second age ends. Players gather all their order cards into their deck. The Age I and II idea deck is no longer used, but now Age III deck is. After turn 9, the game is over.

Add up happiness tokens you received throughout the game and any happiness symbols on the idea cards you purchased. Highest score is the winner.

Review
Anyone who has ever played CV before will recognize the familiar symbology and hilarious artwork present within CVlizations too. The game mechanics, however, are vastly different. Instead of rolling dice and pressing your luck, you are practicing hand management. By reading your opponents and reading the board, you hope to gain an advantage over them. I am glad they added an option for a fifth player to this game, but now I find myself wanting a sixth player too. (A gamer is never satisfied, I guess.) Like CV, I did find myself wishing for more cards in this game. Hopefully, there will be an expansion soon that adds some to increase replay value in the game. What I like best about this game is the theme. There is nothing more satisfying in a game (to me) than to build a glorious civilization that reigns supreme over all the others. Unfortunately, most civilization building games take hours to play and my group won't play a game of that length. CVlizations is the perfect length, gives you the same satisfaction of building a civilization, has great artwork, and doesn't take itself too seriously. Highly recommended!

This game was provided to me by Passport Game Studios in exchange for an honest review.