please note – the folks at Out of the Box Publishing generously provided a review copy of this game for review purposes
The latest in the 10 Days series of games is available from Out of the Box Publishing , this time covering North and South America and parts in between. Designed by Alan Moon and Aaron Weissblum, this chapter in the series continues with its simple and strong mechanics and OTB continue to use 1st class production to publish a striking visual game. This game has the players racing to be the first to put together a trip of connected points on the map by picking cards which represent countries and methods of travel. Each card represents one of 10 days either in a country or traveling via plane or ocean cruiser and you must create a continuous connected itinerary, starting and ending with any country card.
A very nice thing about the 10 Days series is the visual approach. You know what to expect with each one of their games and the artwork is great for what the game attempts to do. The game board has a nice, colourful and clear map of the Americas and the connecting points for traveling.
A problem is that it can be a little difficult to see the difference between the pink and peach coloured cards without proper lighting. A niggle more than a major problem as you can work it out. An interesting and perhaps difficult change in the game is that there are a lot of small islands to contend with and unlike the other games in the series which I’ve played, these can be hard to see and find when you pull one of their cards. The board has a magnified section to help you see the islands and the connections between them better.
If you’ve played any of the previous 10 Days series games, the gameplay is very much the same. I really like that you can connect ocean cruiser cards for connected oceans which gives you a sense of a long journey. Traveling through the Panama Canal is nicely handled as well.
The frustration that comes from picking your initial 10 cards which must be placed in a starting order and then trying to pick replacements to eventually work your way to 10 connected journey steps is at the heart of the game and either you enjoy the frustration or you don’t. The luck element of the cards and the initial placement of your cards may not appeal to those who need strategic analysis in their games. In the 10 Days series, you just need to go with the flow and work with the cards that you pick. You do get to see some cards which helps but not always as you pick a number of them blind. And it certainly can be tricky to put the cards in a connected sequence but that’s the charm of the game for me.
Did it work for me?
Overall, I would say that this is an enjoyable game although not as good as the others I have played such as 10 Days in Africa or the USA and this is mainly a visual issue for me. Unlike the other games which are easy enough to see, this game requires you to shift your focus back and forth between the larger map and the magnified map of the Caribbean islands and this can be a bit more confusing and not as intuitive. A larger map would have been preferred but then it wouldn’t have fit the same format as the previous games in the series so I can understand the design choices that were made. Also there seems to be an imbalance in the 4-player game in that there are more Caribbean Sea cards than the other oceans and made it tough to put a run of cards together. More plays may tell a different story. Also this may work better in a 2 or 3-player game. I do like the traveling across 2 continents in this game which gives a grander scope. An enjoyable game, but not the best in the series.
Yes it is and a nice way to increase knowledge of geography. Certainly, a minimum age of 10 is warranted as this will frustrate the little ones.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 6.5 out of 10 – a good, solid and enjoyable game and nice addition to the series
For further information about this game and any of the other 10 days series as well as the other games published by Out of the Box Publishing go to http://www.otb-games.com/
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