Friday, March 28, 2014

Last... But Least?

Last Will is a game that might well have been called "Brewster's Millions: The Board Game." Players are each heirs to a small piece of an eccentric relative's vast fortune, and must be first to completely spend all their money to win the game and claim the entire inheritance.

Each round, a board is filled with various tiles, representing different bad investments. There's rapidly depreciating real estate with high upkeep costs, enormous yachts to rent and sail around the world, well-paid servants, and the like. You also draw a number of cards each turn to use in conjunction with your tiles. There are lavish nights out for dinner and theater, dates to take with you on your wild adventures, and more.

There's a lot of flavor here, but there's something about the gameplay that feels a bit lacking. The cards, drawn randomly from round to round, seem to have a bigger impact on the game than the tiles acquired openly and in direct competition with the other players. In other words, the random element often feels like it's louder than the non-random element. And while there are certainly many different cards and tiles to work with, not many of them truly feel like different strategic approaches to the game, so much as different flavors of the same strategic approach to the game. That is, the game looks like it has more tactical variety than it seems to actually have.

The game played fairly quickly, and I think I liked it at least well enough to try it again and see if there was more "there" there than I was suspecting. But the people I played with didn't seem to care for it as much. I'll be surprised if this one ever makes the rounds again. I might have called it a B-. (Maybe, with further evaluation.) But adjusted for the general opinion of the group, I think I'm going to give it a middle of the road C. If it's not already in your game collection, it's probably not worth picking up.

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