Podcast #72: Climbing Mount London

IS THIS THE END FOR OUR HEROES?! Matt, Paul and Quinns were last seen launching an expedition to get to the top of the Shut Up & Sit Down review stack. They talked about wanting to scale games like Mountaineers, A Tale of Pirates, The Climbers, the second edition of London and the Munchkin Collectible Card Game (which actually sounded… quite good?). They were also talking about getting to the bottom of a thought-provoking reader mail. It’s rumoured that it questioned whether pirating board games became an ethical grey area in some countries. Today we found this recording. It’s the only evidence we could find that they’re still alive. Come home safe, boys. New feeds (if you’re missing episodes 71 and 72 try these): iTunes Google Play RSS for your favourite player

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Review: Gaia Project

Quinns: Everybody, stand up from your chairs! Pull up your pants. Spit out that gum. An esteemed classic has returned.

We reviewed fantasy town-building game Terra Mystica back in 2013 and found ourselves submerged in strategic nirvana. Today 28,000 people have rated it on BoardGameGeek, awarding it in an average of 8.3 out of 10. That’s shockingly high considering just how complicated and odd Terra Mystica is, with its challenging puzzle squished in between ugly mermaids and magic bowls. But there you have it! It’s just that enjoyable.

This week we’re looking at the sequel, Gaia Project, which is a big deal in more ways than one. As well as swapping Terra Mystica’s musty fantasy for a sci-fi backdrop, it’s more expensive, more complicated and demands significantly more table space. All set up, you’re looking at an asteroid belt of iconography.

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Gaia Project

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Gaia Project is a new game in the line of Terra Mystica. As in the original Terra Mystica, fourteen different factions live on seven different kinds of planets, and each faction is bound to their own home planets, so to develop and grow, they must terraform neighboring planets into their home environments in competition with the other groups. In addition, Gaia planets can be used by all factions for colonization, and Transdimensional planets can be changed into Gaia planets.

All factions can improve their skills in six different areas of development — Terraforming, Navigation, Artificial Intelligence, Gaiaforming, Economy, Research — leading to advanced technology and special bonuses. To do all of that, each group has special skills and abilities.

The playing area is made of ten sectors, allowing a variable set-up and thus an even bigger replay value than its predecessor Terra Mystica. A two-player game is hosted on seven sectors.

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