The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Alien Artifacts Orb Game

The Orb Expansion strangles Race. No, it waterboards it — instead of squeezing the life out it just dunks fun for 2-3 minute bursts. It takes a simultaneous psychological tableau builder, and demands that you get to wait for each player to take their turn. It adds map building and visualization. It makes Race a fixed fun game, and mercilessly fixes the fun at “Not enough.”

A full first arc game is faster than this. Non-orb for me.

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Written by taogaming

January 13, 2014 at 8:33 pm

One Response

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  1. I so wanted to like the Orb game, but you’re totally right about the pain it inflicts on the game’s pacing. We tried it with 5 and it was not pretty. It’s a shame, there is an interesting subgame in there with more players, but it just takes too much time.

    OTOH, most of my Race is 2-player these days, and in that context the Orb game is fine, the time it adds isn’t terrible. Unfortunately it’s also not that interesting, as it seems to just boil down to the two players going their separate ways and not interacting much. The 5-player version was much more interesting, but absolutely unacceptably long.

    I think I’ll keep enjoying the total package for a little bit (as long as we keep the player count down) because it’s something different and because it’s Race, but I can’t imagine it has any legs.


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