The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits


I’d never heard of Euphoria, until I played it today. Then I saw that Alex Rockwell had a review, and I read it and felt bewildered that someone could accurately note all the points of the game and still rate it a 7.5. As he says (emphasis mine)

Loved: Components!
Liked: Theme of the market buildings (funny + mechanically cool). Character cards with wide varieties of powers. Factions and hidden characters. Replayability. Humor.
Disliked: Low player interaction. Die rolling knowledge mechanic wasn’t very interesting and mostly just provided variance.
Hated: Doubles free move mechanic giving out random free turns in a racing game.

He also pointed out (correctly) that it’s a “Worker Placement” game where you can bump someone for free (well, you give them a tempo where they don’t have to return workers). And you can bump yourself to gain a tempo! I did like the dystopian theme and the idea that buildings you build hurt those that didn’t help.

I must weigh the dislike / hated more than the positives. (Agree on the components. A beautiful game, although the graphic design could be improved. The humor worked well, but apart from the characters you probably only get the effect once).

Minor Nit #1 — The game was anti-climatic, I could see a player was going to win. If I had rolled doubles the turn before, I would have won, because I would get two actions. If I had draw a matching card symbol earlier, I could have won (because the you can spend 3 cards or two of a kind to activate certain spaces, so I’d have one more card left over, also one space would let me spend a single card of the right type). So I had to use an ability to draw a 3rd character card, hope that it would be one of the two (at that point) useful factions and provide me an ability. This did not leave a good taste in my mouth.

Minor Nit #2 — You pick 2 characters at start from a hand of 4 (from four possible factions). Each faction has a different trigger for when you can reveal characters. In our (four player game) the “E” faction raced early, hit their reveal, and three people flipped up….both of their characters. Obviously wildly rare and horribly unlucky for the 4th player, who now spent half the game having no special abilities.

Rating — Avoid. A race game with extra turns given out randomly, and where you can randomly lose workers by bad rolls. (I lost a worker a few turns from the end as well, which cost me a tempo). Really, do I have to say any more?

But many of the people who played in our first game played again, and it’s ranked in the Top 250? So make of that what you will. Me? I weep for humanity. In general, though. Not specifically about this game.


Written by taogaming

May 25, 2015 at 10:52 pm

Posted in Reviews

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3 Responses

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  1. I would normally agree. But in this case – you are wrong 🙂
    I did win Euphoria at least twice with a single worker (in the first of those I bought one and it got lost immediatly. In the second I didnt buy any). So even losing a worker should not be a big deal!
    The extra-turn-rule is overrated. Normally its better to keep workers on the board and let them get dumped off by other players (so you are in a lower risk to loose some). That results in having only one dice in your pool most of the time. The double-Roll-Rule counters that and actually encourages playing more risky.
    What I like about Euphoria is that it playes quite different everytime, depending on the group think and the special cards (agents) the players have. “Reading” the game and playing accordingly is what normaly determines the winner.
    Of course – as in settlers there is a risk of having an off game, but its quite small imho.

    peer sylvester

    May 26, 2015 at 3:46 am

    • I guess I’m glad Euphoria plays differently every time, Peer, because I sure didn’t care for my first game.

      Brian addressed most of my issues. The WP mechanic felt tired to me and the parts of it that were different seemed more annoying than innovative. The random factors Brian cited were not well received. The components are attractive, but there were several cases in which the graphic design made things more difficult than they should have been. It’s like the artist is skilled, but isn’t a game player. And while I love dystopias, I didn’t feel like the theme came through at all. It’s not a terrible game and I guess I could be talked into trying it again, but on Brian’s scale, I’d say I’m Indifferent at best.


      May 26, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      • I agree on the theme and the graphics. But I was surprised how different my second game turned out from the first and since them I realised that a lot of the game is decided by group think. Digging and building buildings are only working if several players do it. So if these elements are ignored by the players, the game focused on other things (like the green city – forgot the name). If all players decide diogging is cool, its done quickly.
        Im not a big fan of WP but I do like this game (probably because your worker pool is relativly small)

        peer sylvester

        May 27, 2015 at 1:45 am

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