Saturday, September 1, 2012

Review -- EPIGO

There are certain games which so far exceed expectations you are actually amazed by what you discover.
Epigo is one of the games.
Open the box from Masquerade Games and the components look rather mundane; a square gridded board, and game pieces made from thick, serviceable cardboard. Neither is outstanding but are completely functional.
Where Epigo, from designers Chris Gosselin and Chris Kreuter, really shines is in its game play.
Epigo is at its core an abstract strategy game designed for two-to-four players. Players have a set of epigons (play pieces), and then a set of Order tiles.
Order tiles are held in-hand and are used to move epigons around the board. Players may only three epigons on a turn, and use the orders by selecting three and piling them in front of them. Orders range from a high of seven to a low of one, with players flipping over their top orders at the same time with the higher value moving first.
As you may imagine by the time you have played all three orders the board may well have changed in terms of epigon placements, making your expected move out-of-date with the new realities of the game.
So for abstract strategy purists there is an element of luck to Epigo. That said, there is added strategy to consider in deciding what values to assign a particular move, and guessing at what direction an opponent will take in his order/moves.
Where Epigo really shines is that it comes with rules for 21 variants. Each adds different twists to the core rule set, so if you grow bored with one, or don't happen to like a particular variant there are many more to explore (more are also available at the aforementioned website).
The variants keep Epigo fresh and add a huge level of re-playability to the game. Few games of this sort come to mind in terms of diversity, and that Epigo is breaking fresh ground in that regard is a good thing.
In terms of play options compared to the amount you might invest in a game Epigo is excellent. Few, if any, games have the sort of value Epigo has in terms of the rich variant options players have to explore.
The unique movement rules using orders, and the variant rules really set Epigo apart, and make a somewhat mundane looking game a top drawer find.
Check the game out at 
If anyone is interested in this game, or other boardgames feel free to contact
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper May 2, 2012 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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