I would invite you to try Incubation if you are looking for a game that everyone, of all ages will love.
Publisher: Synapses Games
Designer: Carl Brière
Artist: Katy Grierson
Game Type: Set Collection
Game Type: Dice Rolling
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 8+
Expected Playtime: 30-40
Number of Players: 2-5
Theme and What is it?
On top of one of the highest peaks on planet earth a discovery is made. At first it seems magical and unbelievable. There sitting against the driving snow are colorful dragon eggs. Creatures of legend are now real and your team of explorers has just made a discovery that will change human history. As the unbelief and celebration subsides, the realization kicks in. We are going to be so rich! Let’s figure out how to hatch these things and breed them and sell these amazing creatures for huge sums of money.
Incubation is dice rolling/set collection game for 2-5 players.
The game is played around a circular board that has dragon egg cards and objective cards around it. On the board itself are the different types of dragons, along with a treasure chest for each dragon.
Each player had a special dragon egg incubator. Players select eggs from one of the three piles. Each egg has fire and water requirements for it to hatch, and it will be a certain type of dragon. When a player hatches a dragon, they can collect the treasure from that dragon’s treasure chest on the circular board.
Players take turns rolling two dice to gain fire, water, coins (victory points) or add to the treasure chests. During this process, players can discard a dice to acquire another egg to place in their incubator. Each hatched dragon is worth victory points at the end of the game and can also be used to complete objectives. These objectives also add victory points.
After all objectives are taken or when two of the three egg piles are gone, the game ends and the player with the most victory points wins!
I had hopes that Incubation would be a game that I could play with my kids. After having it for a full weekend, it definitely lived up to those hopes. We ended up playing it four times over the weekend.
Incubation is very easy to teach and with just a little coaching, the kids were able to find a strategy that helped them play competitively. The games go by very fast because each player’s turn moves quickly and you can start your turn as the last player is finishing theirs.
I enjoyed the game and found it a great way to spend time with my kids.
Game Build Quality
I was very impressed with the quality of Incubation. From the box to the insert to the cards and the dice, just about everything looked great. One component that I was a bit disappointed in was the circular game board. The way it folds to go back in the box makes it fold out and sit funny on the table. Since it does not sit flat the cards that you place on it are always a little off kilter. Not a huge deal, it just meant I spent extra time keeping the middle of the table looking clean since stuff would shift around.
Other than that (and it is not a huge deal), I really like what I saw. It will hold up well and that is very important since my kids like it so much.
Incubation is very vibrant. The color selection is bright and the colorful dragons look awesome. Each type of dragon is unique and the kids loved checking them out as they hatched their eggs. The game board continues the theme of brilliance and bright colors. The whole theme works very well and allows players to interact with the game.
What I enjoyed most about Incubation was finding a game that I could play with my kids. There are a handful of games that I enjoy playing and are also easy enough for my kids to play and have the chance to win.
The dice allows anyone to stay in the game. It comes down to the luck of the roll, yet there are ways to counteract the dice. This allows for strategy and forward thinking.
The game also moves at a fantastic pace and keeps everyone engaged. There is not too much down time.
Age Range & Weight
Incubation has an age recommendation of 8+. That seems like a fair evaluation. My 11 and 7- year-olds both enjoyed the game and were able to understand what they need to do to win. As far as adults go, Ally and I both had fun with it. I am not sure I would take Incubation to an adult game night, but it is perfect in a family/playing with younger players situation.
It is a game that is very easy to teach. Players should be up to speed in a round or two and should have a chance to win without everyone going easy on them.
I was hoping to find a game that worked well for my kids. I am totally willing to play a game that I find just OK in order to spend time with my kids. Incubation turned out to be more than that. Not only did my kids love it but I also enjoyed playing it too. It provided a meaningful way to spend an evening as a family and it was great not knowing who would win because the game is wide open.
I would invite you to try Incubation if you are looking for a game that everyone, of all ages will love. The colors are bright and the dragon art is great. The fast play and the dice rolling make the game feel spontaneous and fresh. You might really enjoy it and be surprised at how often Incubation makes it to the table. Just like I have been.
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