The Fog - escape from paradise by xollox games
‘The perilous FOG is slowly and merciless taking over their island. Nobody swallowed by it ever came back. The islanders have one last chance to escape The FOG. Can you save them?
You play an ancient guardian coordinating the difficult path of your fleeing islanders towards their rescuing boats. The beach is packed, and everyone is panicking. Will you stay calm and make sure that your islanders reach their boats before The Fog reaches the shore. For your achievements you will receive rescue points. But beware: time is not on your side while the FOG is continuously rushing forward swallowing anything and anyone in its path. The player who collects the most rescue points wins the game against the FOG and the other players and will lead the islanders and their boats on the journey to their original home Yamagi. ‘
3 words to describe this game: Beware the fog!!
This game is played over 2 phases. The first phase is comprised of drafting islanders. In this phase, one by one, each player chooses 1 islander and places their player discs beneath it. This is repeated until all islanders have been drafted. In a two player game, you play as two colours whilst your opponent plays as the opposite two colours.
Phase 2 is about moving the islanders. This phase is played over several rounds. In each round each of you has 1 turn in which to move your islanders. To do so, you have 7 movement points available to use on the different movement types. After each round, the FOG marker moves 1 step forward and you check if any of the islanders were taken by The FOG. Those islanders are lost to the FOG and cannot be played anymore. The game ends once the FOG marker reaches the shore.
At the end of this phase, points are scored based on the following categories: reaching a boat, reaching ones own boat, islanders lost to the FOG and preparation bonuses.
1 turn board (this has an interesting way of keeping track of turn order, watch it carefully as some players will have two turns back to back - something we missed in our first game!)
4 player aids
4 movement tracks - used to indicate how many turns of movement you have used - personally we kept track of this in our head. It was easier than using the movement tracker.
1 wall of fog +stand - as well as a fog tracker there is a wall of fog and stand that enables you to be able to visually see the fog moving forward taking out the islanders. Any islanders who end up behind it or underneath it at the end of a round are deemed lost and take no further part in the game.
3 x 5 obstacles - in our review copy we had access to cardboard chits and plastic minis opting to use the plastic minis as they looked nicer.
4 boat scoring
14 preparation bonuses
1 fog marker
1 turn marker
2 hourglasses - these are used when you are more experienced with gameplay to add an element of pace and essence of speed. I think this is necessary as without it, the game can be a little slow and the premise of escaping an impending cloud of fog is lost without this element of time.
For each of the playing colours there are:
10 player discs - on choosing your islanders in the first phase, you place the cardboard chits on your player discs thus indicating which are yours and which are your opponents.
2 player markers
For solo play:
3 nation movement points
3 nation marker
32 islanders in 3 different boat colours. There are 5 different islander types: leader, eldest, warrior, sailor and commoner.
I was intrigued by the concept of this game and I liked the idea of having the physical fog line moving forward indicating the different rounds.
To pick up this game, you have to really understand how the different characters can move. This was initially quite tricky as I didn’t feel the symbols were easy to distinguish between and it was quite difficult in the beginning to remember how many movement each person could move especially given different islanders move differently and at different costs. Once you have mastered this, you need to then understand that movement differs on the beach, in the water and finally when boarding.
The game does have standard rules and then extra add ons like the hourglasses and certain other rules but I think that in particular pertaining to the hourglasses for me this is a must in order to convey the theme of the game. It would also mean perhaps more people are lost to the fog as mistakes might be made and you may run out of time to finish executing your turn thus playing into the overall theme.
I wasn’t a big fan of the drafting stage of the game; it can be a bit laborious at times especially at two players because there are quite a lot of islanders to choose and they have to all be selected before the second phase can be played. Again, knowing the movements well would have made the choices between islanders more strategic but after only a couple of play through a it was difficult to make good choices other than to want to get as many people closer to the boats as possible! I’m sure there is more to it than this but for us this wasn’t the favourite part of the game.
Ultimately, it’s a race to the boats and I do think this needs to be timed. I like the premise and the idea of this game but I think this one will take a few play through a to master and as we only have this review I’m not sure whether we will have mastered it before we pass it on to another reviever
Thought has been given to elements of the game that can be enhanced once you are familiar with the rules and there is solo mode which at the time of writing this had not experimented with. You can also play as a team - again I cannot comment on this as we haven’t had a chance to bring it to the table with our gaming group.
Final thought - it’s different and not like any games we have, the idea of impending fog causing a rush of people to head for the boats and race to reach them first is appealing especially if you like us enjoy a good old disaster movie but it’s definitely one that I thing matures over time the more you play it. The 7 movement points you have need to be used wisely in order to save the most people but you almost certainly will not be able to save everyone. Adding a time element to this game, makes it faster and ties in the theme more.
The fog is now live on Kickstarte, head across today and check it out!
thanks to xollox Games for sending this copy for review.