Second Look—Gravwell

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Newly released from Cryptozoic Entertainment, Gravwell is a simple spaceship racing game—simple, but not easy. It’s not difficult to understand Gravwell; it doesn’t even take long to play. But the game will make you think.

You see, Gravwell is a racing game with a twist. To win, the players must pull and push their ships off each other in order to escape a gravity well. The idea is that the spaceships have lost their engines and must rely on tractor beams. The beams are represented by cards, which played simultaneously, once per turn, six turns per hand, each contain a unique letter, number, and direction combination. Each turn, after the cards are reveled, they’re executed in alphabetical order, moving the players’ ships a number of spaces either toward the next closest ship or away from it.

Gravwell BoxAt the point each turn of choosing which card to play, a player knows whether the closest ship is ahead or behind. The problem is that because the cards are executed in alphabetical order, by the time a player actually moves his ship, the relative position of the other ships may have changed!

Now at first, this may make Gravwell seem a bit chaotic and random. But with a little practice and careful attention to the cards that the other players have drafted and played, a person is usually able to develop better control and keep the general progress of his ship moving forward.

Of course, there are surprises, as well as some luck in drafting a new hand of cards for each round. But for me at least, that’s what keeps Gravwell exciting and fun. It’ll make you cringe when you miscalculate and your ship ends up moving backwards. And it’ll make you cheer at amazing come-from-behind victories. Just remember to keep your eye on the other players as much as on your own hand of cards.


Gravwell Closeup

I received a copy of Gravwell free from the designer.

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The Walking Dead Board Game

The Walking Dead Board Game: The Best Defense from Cryptozoic Entertainment is a cooperative game based on the television show. Designed for up to four people, this game addresses the main problem of cooperative games by making it part of the design. Each turn, one player takes the position of leader and actually orders the other players where to go. Those other players then have the option of defying the leader but at a cost.

The Walking Dead Board Game The Best Defense

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DC Comics Deck Building Game Heroes UniteFollowing sneak peaks offered at Gen Con, Cryptozoic Entertainment made official today its announcement for the first expansion to the DC Comics Deck-Building Game. Heroes Unite will include over 200 cards at a suggested retail price of $40 and can be played by itself or in combination with the original set.


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WoW TCG Finished

WoW LogoBlizzard Entertainment has announced the end of the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. Timewalkers: Reign of Fire will be the last expansion set. The game is going out with a bang, though—the final set contains every Loot card from the previous 20.

Both Blizzard and the WoW TCG licensee, Cryptozoic, are moving their focus to online collectible card games, Blizzard with Hearthstone and Cryptozoic with Hex.

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