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Paradise feedback

Page history last edited by Dan Roth 10 years, 11 months ago

A critique of Paradise, a game by Noah

Dan Roth 09/05/09 


Noah admirably attempted to create a strategic move and caputre based game using roll-and-move mechanics. No easy task by any stretch, especially where strategy in movement at first depends largely on the result of a dice throw. This to me is really cool, because I think chance mixed with strategy is something that is both engaging, and unpredictable!

The basic setup is a simple 7x7 grid, in which opposing players set up thier bases in oppisite corners, and attempt to control the most of the board, and have the most captures when the game ends.

The other corners not used by players have a line of squares joined diagonally that represent a neutral zone between territories. The game has 24 tokens, divided by colour, black and white. The players toll a pair of dice and place thier tokens on the board in accordance with the roll. For instance a roll of 5 would place a token 5 spaces away from the start. If they end up in an impossible move (Like offboard or an uncapturable peice, the player simply rolls again until they can make a legal move. If a player token lands on an enemy token while in thier own territory, it is captured, and added to thier final score. If they land on an enemy token while in enemy territory, there is no capture, and the player must roll again. The higher score after both players tokens have been fully placed is the victor.

Now myself, I played it just using backgammon tokens (black side for black, likewise for white) on a drawn up grid so I wasn't expecting the aesthetic to really enhance the game at all, but after playing it, the simple aesthetic actually turned out to be one of its biggest strength! A game about territory taking, and that's exactly what you see. It's just one colour overtaking another, and it's all it ever needs! What became the immediate best strategy to both players very quickly, was to attempt to buildup friendly peices to get multiple re-rolls to get enemy territory quicker, which always lead to some interesting strategies. Myself, I lined as many as I could around the neutral border to jump in from anywhere with a potential free re-roll. My opponent tried placing peices throughout his side, trying to accomodate any die roll to give him another free roll. Made for a lot of second guessing and unexpected moves when a die roll didn't go according to plan. If I could make only once change, it would be to make players only able to move away from thier homeside, instead of toward it as well. With another playtest and this change, this made the game move at a far more brisk pace, leading to rematches. This game was really well put together, and as is, is extremlely simple, approachable, and tight.

Great Job!

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