Travel Blog: A Review

Today, a quick review for a game that Chris came up with for the Youtube show to review, Travel Blog from Czech Games Edition.

I don’t have any pictures or notes, so this is off my memory. We played it to start our night on Saturday, taking about half an hour to get through the game on first play. The components are generally pretty good, though the two large maps would be better being on slightly heavier stock. The money is the best I’ve ever seen in a game: though small, it’s of superb quality, and the euro bills are beautifully designed to mimic the real thing. The cards are of good stock, and are designed with some lovely art.

The concept of the game is one of knowing your political geography: you are tasked with picking countries to minimise or maximise a path, in one of two maps provided: the US’ collection of states, and the EU’s collection of states (using both meanings of the word). We noted that it would easily be expandable, with Asia, Africa, or Brasil all being reasonable possibilities.

The game runs seven rounds, with the rules changing slightly between rounds 2 and 3, and again between 4 and 5, and lastly between 6 and 7. The dealer sets out a group of seven cards, each corresponding to (in our game) a European nation. When an eighth card is played, the players must each choose one of the other seven as being as close as possible without sharing a border. When all players have chosen, they must pay a fee for each border they cross getting from the start place to their chosen card. Two rounds like this, before a small change: now the players must pick two cards to satisfy the same conditions, again paying a fee for distance to their choices.

Another two rounds follow, this time with a pair of goal cards; players must choose two cards, making the shortest possible route with all four cards involved.

The above all represents the learning experience: the travel blogger (the player) is travelling around on a small budget, getting to know the area. In the seventh round, the blogger comes into their own, and is now paid for the travel: the goal changes to maximising the route by picking countries as far apart as possible from the goal cards, and the bordering-each-other penalty becomes a bonus instead.

Player with the most money wins.

We found the game to be very close, with Chris winning from Craig and I by only 10 Euro in 340.

Overall, it’s entertaining and educational, would be quite suitable for a family game night. Time runs maybe half an hour, would be useful as a filler game in a games day, while you’re waiting for new players to roll up, for instance. Small footprint on the table.

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