Base Game Review
Play Time (Box): 90mins
Play Time (Goof): 90mins
Producers: Z-Man Games & Ludonaute
Designer/s: Cedric Lefebvre & Fabrice Rabellino
Why do I love cooperative games? Is it working together with my friends? Sure. Is it how the theme usually comes through more in coop games? Yeah. But mostly – it’s the challenge.
When people think about challenging games, I’m sure they often think about matching their minds against other players who are equally skilled and do whatever they can to take you down. I love playing some intense competitive games. But sometimes it can leave a bad taste in my mouth. It feels sometimes like you’re more interested in how best to break the mechanics, or if you’re getting badly beaten you feel a little down and the fun slips away.
That never happens to me in a coop game. No matter how badly we’re losing we’re all standing together to try and make a desperate push. If we lose, we talk about what we can do better next time. We collaborate. And when we do win, there’s such a huge comradery.
Playing Yggdrasil over the weekend cemented these feelings for me. Let me tell you why.
Every player at the table is important. Every action you take is vital. There’s still a bit of luck there, and it is a game, not an exercise in perfection. But when your group comes up with a bad strategy there’s no way you’re going to get lucky and pull through anyway. I adore this.
Oh My (Norse) Gods Yggdrasil is pretty. The board could be a poster on my wall. It’s stunning. If I was told someone painted this first and someone else decided to craft a game over the top I would not be surprised.
The strategy is Yggdrasil does boil a little bit down to making sure a portion of your team just gets souls and beats on bad guys, while the others support them. The support usually being thinning bags, getting souls to who needs them and hitting a Frost Giant or two. While this simple strategy is fun, after a few games it starts to feel very “samey”. You pick a path and rarely deviate from it. So while you might have a weekend or two with Yggdrasil, you’ll burn out of the game and it’ll sit on the shelf for awhile after (or at least it’s what happened with us).
I don’t know if I covered this enough in this glance at Yggdrasil – this game is hard. If you’re looking for the challenge then you’ve found yourself the right game. If you’re looking for the artwork to gawk over then buy the game and frame the board. I’ve seriously considered it.
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