There is little better than sitting down at a table with a bunch of friends and spending several hours playing board games, drinking sugary drinks and eating various unhealthy foods. I tend to do this whenever I can. Maybe that’s why I am a fat man…but I digress.
I recently had the pleasure of trying out a new game. ATGN was contacted by X-Axis Productions to see if we would review their forth-coming board game. The answer was, of course, yes. I put my hand up for it and a short time later, I received the game in the mail, all the way from Hong Kong.
I could get all wordy on explaining what and how the game looks, quality and such, but I won’t. Instead, I made a video, easier that way.
So as you could see, all over it’s pretty good. Now to the game itself.
Obligatory box info:
Each player is the Chief Executive Officer of their own mining corporation, entrusted with singular goal of maximizing annual profit. The rules are simple; strategically task your personnel with their varying strengths and limitations to adapt to changing market situations, out think the competition, buffer treats of sabotage and crisis, all while preserving the bottom line.
The basic premise of the game is to gather as much money as possible over 12 turns by hiring workers, mining and selling mineral resources, all the while trying to anticipate the market movements, dealing with good or bad incidents and working against your competitors. Over all it is pretty simple; the 4 of us who played it caught on very quickly and understood the rules easily. Only minimal reference to the rule book while playing was needed, and that was generally for the mine exploration step of the players’ turns. It was all fairly well streamlined, and flowed quite nicely once we all had it down pat. We did sometimes forget steps in the player turns, but when we did notice that, it wasn’t much of an imposition, and those forgotten parts could be done without any hassles there and then. Certain parts of the game reminded me of other games. The characters with their abilities are reminiscent of Discworld, and the player turn with their choice of actions is very similar to Eldritch Horror.
There were a few things remarked upon by my friends while playing this game. The game uses a six sided die to reveal the mine area, a 3 x 3 grid, 1, 2, 3 are the rows and 4, 5, 6 are the columns. One friend mentioned they could have used an eight sided die and included diagonals, but I don’t think this is too big a deal. It is fairly easy to tell that the rules have been translated from a different language, or written by someone whose first language is not English; it has a slightly wrong air about it. It is still perfectly understandable though. The player reference cards are a bit basic, giving the order of a player turn, but no info on those steps, and I think could be expanded. Usually those cards are for either new players or those that can’t remember, and if they don’t really provide enough information for those players, then there is little point in having them.
My friends thoroughly enjoyed Mining Maniac as well. One said it was easy to learn, another said it was a good, light game, being easy to set up and not having an overly long play time. One even thought it might be able to be turned into a drinking game, but was not exactly sure how as he was pretty tired at the time.
Originally, at this point, I was meant to link to the Kickstarter page, but unfortunately that has been cancelled. It was mentioned to me that the developers were in communication with a US-based production company to move the game further along. What you can do instead of looking at the Kickstarter is go to their Facebook page to follow news and so on.