“If however, you are just looking to enjoy a few minutes remembering what it was like to enjoy a few minutes in 1982, this game might be right up your alley… Now if I could only figure out how to get my quarters back…”
Publisher: iello Games
Designer: Frank Crittin
Designer: Grégoire Largey
Artist: Jean-Baptiste Reynaud
Game Type: (Worker Placement, Dice Drafting, Etc.)
Initial Year of Release: 2018
Age Range: 6+
Expected Playtime: 15 Mins
Number of Players: 3-4
Theme and What is it?
If this game didn’t make hear the above sound file in your head prior to pressing play, you are either a different generation from me, or… have lived in a bunker since the cold war. Welcome out, enjoy the sun.
One of the biggest games growing up was a simple affair that I remember first seeing on my brother’s commodore. It was a yellow blob monster, that had an addiction to dots, especially blinking dots. We of course much later know this character as Pac-Man, or with a bow on her head as Mrs. Pac-Man. This game, emotes that feeling of chomping bits in those old digital games, and does so in a purely nostalgic, non-rights infringing way.
You are one of 3-4 colors, aiming to get the white cubes from the table. It is a 1-1 programming game, where each person programs at the same time, and turns is resolved in player order. If you manage to eat dots, you get them as a point, if the other players manage to eat you, they score a cube from the supply.
Ultimately, you play 3-4 rounds, and see who has the most white cubes at the end.
Nostalgia, Nostalgia, Nostalgia.
Just due to the feeling I expected to feel, I wanted to open this game up. The fact that the game is built to also look like a video game cartridge only multiplies that effect.
This is a game the 5 year old in me wanted to like.
Game Build Quality
The game is built into a modular board game, which is fine, due to space constraints of the cartridge style game box. I did not like the scoring edge however. It just did not feel solid to me.
The rest of the 8 bit box, is modular, meant to be used for more than one game, and feels very reminiscent of the components from King of Tokyo, cubes and chunky dice are nice.
Even the “controllers” have ghosts on them. This game just hits all the right notes to keep that nostalgia factor at the front of the brain.
I have to admit, I would not have ever thought to restructure an older art style to modernize a board game, but this artist knew exactly where his bread was buttered.
I do wish there was more give and take on the white cubes. I think there should be an ability for you to chase the ghosts a turn or two after grabbing a white cube. I am sure it was probably play tested, and never worked as it does in my imagination.
Regardless, I like the feeling it gives me, and sometimes in a nostalgia driven game, that is sufficient to be an enjoyable play.
Age Range & Weight
6+. Played with my daughter, she is 7, and she did a pretty good job. I would say the age range is on the spot. I am actually surprised with the smaller pieces, it did not have a HIGHER age range, despite a kid being able to play this with no issues.
If you are looking for a deep programming game, this may not fit your needs. It is a one to one game, that while fun, is not entirely deep.
If however, you are just looking to enjoy a few minutes remembering what it was like to enjoy a few minutes in 1982, this game might be right up your alley… Now if I could only figure out how to get my quarters back…