xtreme_takeoverI recently had time to sit down with Curtlin Toys and Games’ Xteme Takeover as Curtis Paul, the designer, was kind enough to send me a copy for review.

Let me start of by mentioning the box and board. The box is pretty big, but pretty empty.  Inside is a plastic board that is a bit smaller than the box, player pieces, a rulebook, and two dice. The reason the box had to be big is because the plastic board does not fold. It’s one solid piece full of holes for the player pieces to “wedge” into.

The cover of the game looks pretty exciting, but that’s where the visual appeal ends. The board itself is pretty plain. I can’t speak to the quality of the sticker that overlays on the plastic board, or the Xiacon (player pieces) themselves, because I have a production copy, and Curtis points out that these things have changed in the final version of the game.

How does it play? Not very well, in my opinion. There’s a lot of hype on the website and videos for the game, but the game itself unfortunately falls flat. It’s sort of a glorified football without a ball.  The goal is to get your Xiacons into the opposing player’s bunker.

You roll two dice to move, and you can take this number and move 1 or more Xiacons. You can move 1 Xiacon the total number of moves, or split the number of moves across multiple Xiacons. Xiacons can battle each other, but their fate is decided by a roll of the die plus a modifier based on the type of Xiacon in the battle. There are also certain “safe zones” on the board where a Xiacon can go and not be engaged in battle.

The whole game seemed VERY based on the die rolls.  There’s very little strategy in there, and I found that upgraded Xiacons rarely were defeated by lesser Xiacons in battle. The board is big enough where it’s even possible to avoid many battles and make your way to points at the end of the board that will blow the back of your opponent’s bunker wide open. It’s then easy to just march your pieces right in.

Who might this game actually appeal to? I really don’t know. Older children (maybe 8 – 10 year-olds) might get a kick out of the theme. Anyone who doesn’t mind endlessly rolling 2 dice over and over again may like it also.

The designer compares Xtreme Takeover to all sorts of other popular classic and mass market games, but I really don’t see it. Unfortunately I think the game just isn’t very good, and you’re probably better off spending your money on something better.

A copy of Xtreme Takeover was provided for free to review by Curtlin Toys and Games.