So, I’m a big fan of Dominion and Dominion: Intrigue, and I’m both excited and nervous about the number of other games using this CCG-style gameplay with a set number of cards. I broke down and bought Thunderstone (link to OgreCave review) yesterday, and am just now getting a chance to take a look inside the box. I haven’t bought an AEG game for a while, but I was a huge fan of their rpg 7th Sea when it first came out.
The rules are in a landscape format booklet on a decent weight paper. Nothing spectacular about the rules layout, but nothing obviously wrong either. (Although the blue headers look a little cramped.)
Under the rulebook are the cards: 6 shrink-wrapped packets (with the nice shrink-wrap with the gold band that helps you rip the pack open). The cards themselves are nice looking–solid, utilitarian artwork. The art probably won’t win any awards, but it’s not ugly either. The font bugs me though–I can’t quite place my finger on it, but there’s something a bit too blocky about it. The card paper is solid, but the kind of paper that definitely needs sleeving. If you rub the edges of the cards together accidentally, the edges get ragged–not a good quality in a game that requires a good deal of card movement/shuffling. (I’ve noticed a trend in card games moving away from traditional playing card material and to this kind of paper–almost as if the expected norm is to sleeve cards. I can barely afford the new games, much less buying additional paraphenalia to keep the game from wearing out.)
The cards are stored in a plastic tray with slots set aside for the different cards. Along with the game are some “extra-wide” divider cards to help separate the different types of cards, but since the tray is ridged, those cards seem to slip into the low ridges and become the same size as the other cards. It’s a workable set-up, but not nearly as nice as the setup in Dominion where each card type has its own slot for storage.
So, on first opening the game, I’m a bit underwhelmed. It’s a decent looking product, but I’m not impressed. Hopefully, I’ll give the rules a read later today; gaming is tonight, so we might even get a shot at giving the game a whirl.