Saturday, February 08, 2014

"I'm Gonna Wreck It!"

Do you remember Rampage, the classic arcade game where players become giant monsters in competition to do the most damage to a city? Well, clearly board game designers Antoine Bauza and Ludovic Maublanc do, as this seems the clear inspiration for their game of the same name.

Rampage is a "dexterity" game in which players physically play out the same scenario. The board is populated with wooden people of different colors, supporting multi-story buildings made of thick cardboard levels. Players flick their monster tokens around to move, pick them up to drop on buildings, and even lean over the board to place their chins on top of their pieces and literally "huff and puff" to blow things down.

A few simple rules are included to bring order to the chaos. Each monster begins with a number of teeth representing how many people they can eat each turn. Clashes with other monsters, or knocking people off of the board, costs you teeth. You score points for each level of a building you clear, each tooth you eat from another monster, and for each set of people (one each of six colors) you eat. A small deck of "trait" cards lends some variety for replays: monsters get special powers they can use (some only once per game) and special conditions for which they alone score end game points.

As I'm sure you've surmised by now, this is no brain burner. This is a first or last of the night kind of game, something fast and simple to play when you are waiting for people to show up or trying to tempt them not to leave yet. As such, I find myself comparing it to other fast and easy games like For Sale, and feeling like it's not really going to be my first choice. It's just a bit too loose weave and too random for my tastes. But it certainly is different, meaning it's hard to make a direct comparison. (You're not going to talk a group of people who want to play Rampage into playing For Sale instead!)

So for those differences, I give Rampage a passing grade. It's one I won't seek for my collection, but I wouldn't mind playing it now and again. I'd give it a B-.

No comments: