The Downfall of Pompeii
is a cool new family board game from Mayfair Games. It's subtitle "Can You Escape The Inferno?" pretty much sums up this fast-paced and exciting game. Ned, Jared, Joe and I all got to play Downfall at the recent Diamond Retailer Summit in Baltimore a couple of weeks ago... we like it so much, we ended up playing it three times, until the Mayfair demo guy booted us out of the room.
Anyway the game goes something like this:
It's 79 A.D. and each player is trying to save his family members/villagers from the approaching lava from the erupting volcano Vesuvius.
The game has two main phases. During the first phase, you place colorful wooden playing pieces representing people onto the board by playing one of the four cards in your hand. Each card shows a number that corresponds to buildings on the gameboard. Some building are big, some are small, some are close to the exit gates of Pompeii and some are far away. Strategy involves deciding which buildings to place your hapless family members, depending on cards drawn and the situation on the board. If you place a villager into a buliding that is already occupied, you can place extra game pieces equal to the number there. The more victims -er- people you place on the board in the first phase, the more chances you have of getting people OUT in the second phase. A nice twist is that sometimes "OMEN" cards come up on the draw, which allows you to sacrifice an opposing player's piece into the cool plastic volcano located on one corner of the board. Making tiny screaming sounds while doing so is immensely gratifying.
When the second volcano card is drawn, the second phase of the game begins. No more placing family members on the board... it's time now to GET OUT OF DODGE, or rather Pompeii! Each player now attempts to move pieces towards the city gates to exit and count as victory points, while at the same time each player first lays a LAVA tile (sometimes right on top of your opponents pieces) turning them a delicious golden brown, worth no points. Into the volcano with them!Excitement mounts as more and more lava tiles cover the city, closing off exits and funneling panic-stricken wooden pieces towards the exits! Winner is the player who gets the most people out of Pompeii!
Game-play is easy and fun... I played this with my kids Max (8 years old) and Leni (4 years old, with a bit of help) and we all had fun. Each game plays differently, so each game is fresh. Game time is 20-30 minutes and the best part? The high-quality components, including the awesome volcano to throw people in to!
Naturally, this is available at both Comix Connection locations.
Labels: fun and games