Thursday, 25 June 2015

Game Review - Wrong Chemistry


Sometimes you’ve been looking at a game for quite some time before you pick it up, and the anticipation of the game is often more than the game itself can live up to.  Sometimes you just pick something up and it turns out to be enormous fun...

This certainly falls into the second category...



In Wrong Chemistry, each player tries to manipulate the playing board to form new elements, working from the position where the last player left off.  There are various different levels of element, the lower point values being easier to build from the base structure, the high point values requiring far more planning to make them work. 



In turn, each player gets four moves, these moves can be used to move the place of an empty hex, reverse the polarity (flip over) and empty hex, and remove, add, or move a white or black counter in the formation somewhere.  They can also make use of two special abilities that are not unique to any player, being the Restartium and Extramovium options, the first resets the structure back to the starting position and the second allows the player to give up one of their already scored elements in return for three extra moves.



Very simple, nothing to learn, and given that the elements you’re trying to build are clearly shown on the cards, it’s a game that appeals to a broad age range.  For me, part of the attraction was that while you want to score the big cards, you also don’t want to hold on to them because in keeping them in your hand, you neglect the possibility of getting more cards to score.



This was the mistake I made on the first game, got a couple of high scoring possibles that looked like they wouldn’t have been too hard to score, three turns later with the other players having scored another few single pointers, I threw the cards to the discard and got back into the game.



There are a number of alternative rules that can be used, from the addition of scientists that give individual players extra abilities, to the high scoring dark matter elements, and the ability to choose between which elements you want to go for, rather than the usual random draws from a unified deck.



The game takes between thirty minutes and an hour, depending on which version you’re playing and how many players are in the game, and because you can’t plan your moves in advance due to the nature of the board changing with every players turn, it’s far less mentally taxing than many games where you spend the entire of the other players turns trying to figure out what you’re going to do next.



All in all, an excellent game, not expensive (base set around £15), and good for any age range, well recommended...

But a word to the wise, avoid playing the game with Nuclear Engineers and Molecular Biologists, they seem to have the basics hardwired...


That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it... 

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