Bottlecap Vikings Tasty Minstrel’s Big Hopes in Small Dreams
|Game: Bottlecap Vikings||Age: 8+|
|Publisher: Tasty Minstrel Games||Time: 15 minutes|
|Players: 2- 4|
Bottlecap Vikings Tasty Minstrel Games
I’m going to briefly TL DR our Indietabletop story in 2 sentences in order to prepare you for this review. We began Indietabletop in May 2015; back then, we played no more than a handful of games and got a board game to the table every few weeks (Ticket To Ride, Pandemic, and Smallworld– Grandparents to our shelves now). That being said, we now have the privilege of being able to get a game on the table every night and are able to select from a great span of board games rather than a select few (We thank each and every developer for these awesome games you create for the world). So that leads me to my point. With all the gaming we’ve experienced over this year, our reviews and taste for gaming can only get saltier. A harsh truth in deed, as we play more games we begin to see a slowing halt with innovation, theme, thrill, and all around effort. Bottlcap Vikings’ effort is there, we see it in the artwork, the balanced game play, the impressive consolidation of big game components into a little box. However, I feel the game may be missing some of the other elements.
For me, Bottlecap Vikings early 2015 release had my expectations shy behind the excitement of seeing the Viking theme being used. While the viking theme has seen it’s fair share of gaming, I have yet to own one myself. I have to carefully select my board games because I have to compensate for both my hardcore gamers and my novice gamers ( I know I have such a tough life). I have already seen positive reactions coming my novice gaming group when it comes to TMG games, so it only made sense that Bottlecap Vikings will suffice as my first viking themed board game. Bottlecap Vikings design is very simple and makes for a very portable experience. However, I’d think the game is a bit too simple. The minimizing of big box elements translated into a bit of a repetition, as you circle your ship around the bottlecap only to experience a growth or loss in wood, gold, and glory. The game boils down to moving 1, 2, or 3 spaces around the bottlecap to spend or raise the collection of wood and gold on your city in order to eventually turn it into glory or leveling up. This sounds standard to most resource management games, but what falls short is the leveling up system. Your city will develop in a few ways as you develop (raise your city token up the city board piece). Being a small game, the board suggests just a few options for leveling and doesn’t leave much room for strategy. While the city development was pretty and a fun concept, I felt it lacked in integrity. While I played, my strategy eagerly translated into spin around the board until I’ve got enough gold and glory to level up (which is pretty much the only strategy). I’d flourish in riches only to spend it to move my city token 1 more level higher than the last–then repeat.
All that being said. Bottlecap Vikings is a game that does what it’s development was meant to do–create a small box big game. It took the fundamental elements of a big board game and condensed it into a little experience. The pieces are cute, the art work is solid, and the game is balanced (a little too balanced). I enjoyed that the board is modular as you are able to randomize the tiles around the bottlecap in any fashion or order you choose. The board offers 2 sides to a city, a easy difficulty side (where everyone’s board is the same) and the unique side (which gives each player a unique side). Final thought, The game consolidates big game components into a small box experience and over simplified the engagement to a repetitive race around the bottlecap.
You will like this game if you’d like a euro style board game in a size that fits your pocket. It’s a worker placement viking themed game.
You will not like this game if you’re interested in something a little heavier, or offers a bit more to do. This game may seem repetitive.