Game Glimpse #7: Innovation

8This new game by Carl Chudyk is a journey through innovations from the stone age through modern times. Each player builds a civilization based on various technologies, ideas, and cultural advancements, all represented by cards. Each of these cards has a unique power which will allow further advancement, point scoring, or even attacking other civilizations. Be careful though, as other civilizations may be able to benefit from your ideas as well!

To win, you must score achievements, which you can attain by amassing points or by meeting certain criteria with the innovations you have built. Plan your civilization well, and outmaneuver your opponents, and with some luck you will achieve victory!

LINKS: Innovation | Asmadi Games




7 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Willi B,

    I did give up on Innovation after 2 plays… not because I couldn’t see the depth and potential, but because I knew that there was going to be a steep card memorization curve and a greater requirement attention to the other players’ cards.

    This wouldn’t be so bad if it had individual artwork (which I am sure was a cost decision). With that level of table information, specifically with some of the players I game with, the art would be a must because they aren’t going to dedicate the number of plays to enjoy it the way that many will.

    However, the stacking and splaying of cards makes it hard to get too much use of icons or art (beyond the splayed symbols).

    This makes it tough to break in with the Euro board gamers (that and the luck factors) who are used to simplified presentation of rules… maybe CCG players will appreciate it more because they are more willing to read text, but I don’t know. Until I change game groups, I can’t see picking it up.

    As far as the iconography thing goes, I always try to push manufacturers to work together for a universal symbol set. It would help each new game we learn easier to grasp, teach and play. If we already had a universally recognized symbol for drawing a card, maybe games like Race for the Galaxy wouldn’t be quite the imposing figure that it is… and maybe Innovation could have benefited from that.

    But there doesn’t seem to be a will to do that. And I don’t think companies will agree on what translates “draw a card” to all people. Let alone, take the time to work on it.

    • I didn’t mean to imply you shouldn’t give up on a game after one or two tries (which my post could be interpreted as saying). If you are not having fun with it and don’t anticipate having fun for some reason that is reasonable. But one should be cautious of that reason being things like inability to catch up, or ‘optimum’ strategies being found in a game with as much going on as innovation.

      I guess text on cards is a matter of degrees. Innovation is very very text heavy – even a game like Dominion which relies (quite nicely I think) on text supported by a limited number of icons is much text lighter because you have only 10 to deal with in a game.

      Your concept of a universal iconography is bold!

      • Willi B,

        I knew what you meant and didn’t imply incorrectly, I really just wanted to pass along some other perspective as to why I (and maybe others) did have to give up on Innovation prematurely. Though I know you have a higher tolerance for luck than I do, maybe I might have jumped the gun on that issue.

        That being said, games that require me to pay attention to what I am doing as well as knowing everything that my opponent is doing is ten times easier with an illustration. I can’t read your card text when its upside down and far away. I can recognize the illustration for a Magic card after 2 plays. It would probably take me 5 or more from hearing a title and looking at text… especially, if like you said, it’s not a game of 10 cards like Dominion and a game of 100+.

        Thanks for the podcast and games, Richard. I’m really looking forward to your podcast on King of Tokyo!

  2. Zomg,

    You guys should consider making youtube videos for game reviews as opposed to audio only casts. It’d make it a lot easier to follow explanations. =)

    • Thanks for suggestion, in time I may do this. I am trying to keep the talk at a high enough level the details don’t matter, but, I agree, occasionally things get a little technical for just audio.

      In the short run I am going to attempt to discipline myself so you don’t need visual, because I am too lazy to get camera stuff together.

  3. Thanks for the podcast! You’ve put together a very thoughtful discussion of the game and of gaming in general — especially the tendency of many to give up on a game after a short period. We did indeed consider iconography versus text during the development period, but in the end, using icons restricted us too much and took away some of the fun factor of the game.

    As for Skyscrapers, the loose idea there was that you’re buying a tall building with a clock on top of it (the stack of cards) — the former owner gets a small cut (the scored card), but loses out for the most part. Calendar…I have no idea. You’d have to ask Carl :) Every card has a story, but I don’t remember them all on the fly.

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