Small World

Designer: Philippe Keyaerts

Publisher: Days of Wonder

Readers are advised that this review is based on the “Cosmic Poker” criteria, which appear elsewhere in this blog. I will put in green the characteristics which are favorable for Cosmic Poker, Red for those unfavorable, and yellow for those that are mixed.

  • Luck and Uncertainty: Low: There is some small amount of luck in each turn, and in which armies come up for the draft, but there is very little.
  • Politics: High: Players have a lot of latitude for picking on other players. A key question to ask yourself when evaluating the politics in a game – how much am I rewarded for laying low and not drawing attention to myself?
  • Variety: High: Each army has special powers, and is combined with a special attribute for the current game only. It is a system that provides an exciting amount of variety each game.
  • Hidden Information: None
  • Downtime: High: This will vary from group to group of course, but the stage is set for high downtime with the very low amount of luck and hidden information, and that was certainly true in my group with some players wandering off and reading during other player’s turns.

This games mechanics are similar to the excellent “History of the World”, but the game is much shorter and has a very clever and effective bidding system which introduces a large amount of variety into each game. The flavor of the game is fun and the components are top notch. If you like games with a low amount of luck and hidden information and have a playgroup disciplined enough to either move fairly fast or be really involved in other players turns, you will love this game.

Comments

3 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. In my experience, there is little downtime in Small World. On many turns, a player will be going into decline or only be attacking a few times.

  2. I am curious – did you play mostly 2 player? I was told the two player was quite good and I haven’t tried it, but certainly believe it, and it would have a lot less downtime. If you mostly played more players then you must have a much quicker group than most people I play with (most groups ARE faster), since we had players wandering off when it wasn’t their turn to read and play other games! But it was 5 player games which would be the worst case for downtime.

  3. Агая раньше тоже так думал… Сейчас переосмыслил

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