Friday, October 6, 2017

Will Imhotep break my heart?

What has really struck me about Imhotep is the it follows the Ticket to Ride philosophy. While the two games are quite different, they both offer you three different, simple actions. Everything in the game is built off those choices.

The elevator pitch is that you are masons in ancient Egypt. You load stones on your sledge, load stones from your sledge onto boats and sail boats to building sites. Timing and brinkmanship is a big deal.

I had heard good things about Imhotep from friends but my experiences with it started with Yucata. And I got the basic gist of it but I didn’t quite grok it there. When I finally got to play it in person, that’s when things clicked and I really knew what was going on.

So much the game is physically moving cubes from point A to point B to Point C so actually going through those motions was important to me. Plus, I had the boat positions backwards online :D

And, so far, I have found Imhotep to be a really good game. There’s a lot of brinkmanship and just enough control to make you fight for that killer move but little enough control that you have to sacrifice other killer moves for that one.

It’s not really reasonable to compare Imhotep to Ticket to Ride but I can’t help it. They fit the same need at the gaming table. A family weight game that works with casual and experienced gamers that you can play on a work night.

And there are some interesting differences between the game. Ticket to Ride is more of a sandbox. You can collect cards without limit, claim routes on any place on the board, and get more tickets when you feel like it. In Imhotep, you move each stone in a prescribed order.

There is a lot of variety in Imhotep between the market cards, the double sided site boards, and the different layouts of ships. And there are choices between how you load the boats and where you steer them. I am pretty sure that this shakes things up enough that Imhotep won’t become formulaic and isn’t solvable. 

And with a game like Imhotep, that’s a good question. I can see it becoming a regular for family game nights (you know, when the toddler is older) and replay value would be even more important than usual.

So far, I have been very happy with Imhotep. Happy enough that I hope it’s not a heartbreaker.

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