Friday, March 18, 2011

Early impressions of Innovation (or, Lucy, you've got some splayin' to do...)

When I first heard about Carl Chudyk's Innovation it was in an article by the other Eric Martin, comparing his confusion during the card game to the confusion he felt studying Rudin's Principles of Mathematical Analysis.  Having been a university math student for over a decade, that was more than enough for me.

But times change, prices drop, and as other more positive reviews came out, I gave in.  I've played two rounds now of this neat, little card game and I have to say I think I like it.  Which is weird because it's a bit long for a card game, there's lots of text to read, and it's chaotic as all hell.  Ha.  But there's something deliciously nasty about activating one card to splay a big pile of yours out (spreading the cards in a certain direction to reveal more symbols), overpowering your opponents in a symbol, and then promptly demanding they give you all their points.  And it's all rather clever the way, unlike Race For The Galaxy which also has shared actions, your actions are only shared with the players with at least as many of the corresponding symbols showing as you.  And as the game progresses and players move through the deck, the actions get pretty damn cool and way too powerful.

I definitely need to play this a few more times to get a feel for it but I'm surprised at how much fun I've had.  In defense of the other Eric's review, I think there's tons of strategy there somewhere, too, but after two games I've yet to discover it.   Thank goodness the game is fun....


  1. I've played twice.. the first time I didn't like it.. too chaotic for me. I gave it another chance... and my friends were so pissed at what I did to them, that I refuse to play it again. lol I mean come on, don't make me play a game where you have to be a dick and then get mad at me for using the cards I have. I get that it's more the players than the game, but it's only half of the problem, it's just not my favourite style of game play.

  2. It's a great little card game. Definitely different, but I enjoy it quite a bit. They're coming out with an expansion sometime later this year, I believe, which should introduce some more long-term strategy to the game.

  3. Yes, my early games of Innovation were confusing, but I recall my first review (after eight games) being generally positive due to fun tricks you could pull off and the sheer cleverness of the game design.

    Now I've played Innovation 130+ times and at the end of 2010 in my interim blog after the death of BGN, I named Innovation my game of the year. (Article: I'll pull this game out to play over any other, and the expansion currently being beta-tested only adds more to do, more to explore, more to discover. More more more...

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