Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Oddball Aeronauts

Steampunk alien sailors. No word there I didn't like.

Type: Strategy / Card
Players: 2 (with the expansion, up to 4)
Time to explain to others: About 1 to 3 min
Time to play: About 15-20 minutes
Difficulty: To play 3/10, Game difficulty 4/10
Portability: Very High (see below)
Overall: 8/10

This is a little gem of a game I picked up at Games Expo '15 in Birmingham. I couldn't tell you what drove me, I saw steampunk and airships and bought it on impulse.

I was not disappointed.

Now, if you go to Board Game Geek, this game has quite a low score. And I just about see what they mean, but I truly don't mind. Let me explain.

Oddball Aeronauts is effectively Top Trumps updated. You have a deck of cards, and individual cards have power numbers. You choose one of these powers, and compare it with your opponent. As you can see, typical Top Trumps. But here is where things change.

In this game, you can play one, two or three cards in one go, and you add the power of all of these. So brilliant, I hear you say, I'll always play 3 cards, meaning I'll always win! Well, not quite.

You have to discard the cards you play, so if you keep playing 3 at a time, you'll run out very quickly. And I need to add at this point, your deck is your life, the first person to run out, looses. Also, many cards have special powers, introducing the ever-needed randomness.

When you win the duel, depending on what power you chose (3 per card), the rewards are different, forcing the opponent to discard, recovering cards yourself, etc.

One of the main selling points of this game is that you don't have a discard pile, you simply flip the cards round and put them at the back of your deck. So you technically don't need a surface to play, as all you need is in your hand.

Rui's conclusion: Fast, cheap, quick and fun. Don't expect a hugely deep game, just something entertaining you can play on a plane or a train. Recommended for young ones, newbies and for travelling gamers!

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