Monday, March 19, 2012

First Play: Last Will...

Haven't posted in awhile due to time and other things.  Kinda feel like I've been neglecting this here bloggy thingy.   Part of this has been practicing for my driver's test (yes, my name is Eric, I'm 31 and I have no driver's license).

But I have gotten a little bit of game playing in and we tried out Last Will this past St. Patrick's Day.  If you haven't heard, Last Will was one of the darlings of Essen 2011 and a release from Czech Games Editions and Rio Grande.  CGE is known for producing most of the Vlaada Chvatil games so they have a record of fun and beautifully produced yet extraordinarily complex games.

Last Will, designed by Vladimir Suchy, is quite an unusual bird in that the goal is to get rid of your money as fast as possible.  Yes, it's a race to be the first to bankruptcy.  Story goes that your rich uncle wants to leave all his wealth to the person who will enjoy it the most so you're all given a sum of money and you need to be the fastest to squander it all go into debt (Hmmm.....  I should be REALLY good at this one!)  What it ends up being is a very cleverly constructed engine-building card game with some worker-placement and action selection.  It's all rather more complex than I expected, not in a rules sense, but in the way the cards interact with each other and the symbology involved.

And the theme is integrated quite well, I must say, as this game would be dry as a bone without the feeling that you're going on a wild spending spree.  For example, one particularly powerful event card 'Wild Party' costs you an action to bring the value of one of your estate homes down three levels (get it?  You party like crazy and destroy your mansion so you can sell it for cheap later).  In the driest sense, you spend one action to decrease the marker on one of your cards by three but in play we were laughing out loud and scrambling to capture the card.  You see, the idea of buying and selling real estate with real expenses and hired help makes this game a fascinating experience, especially when you have to sell low to earn the LEAST amount of coin.  In fact, this is one of the most integrated themes I've seen since a game like Galaxy Trucker, yet another great CGE release.

It's clear to me that this game has levels and nuances that we haven't even thought of after one round and yet it's all wrapped up in a really enjoyable package.  And now that I've played it once it should be a much easier experience explaining it to others.  Definitely worth a look if you get the chance as spending tons of money has never been this challenging.  At least not for me.  Ha.

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