Sun

08

Jul

2012

Critical Review - The Infernal Contraption

The Infernal Contraption is a confounding conundrum. Published by Privateer Press, you take on the role of a Goblin Bodger building, well, a contraption.  This menacing machine of mayhem will be turned on at the end of each of your turns to wreak chaos, havok, and pain on your opposing Bodgers, with the hope that you are the last Goblin standing.  Your hair may be on fire, but standing none the less.

 

Privateer Press is predominantly known for it's minatures games, so seeing a card game with their name on it intruiged me.  Mostly due to having played many of their miniatures games and enjoying them immensly.  

 

So does this one provide as much fun and enjoyment as other chaos inflicting games out there?  Check out our video below to see for yourself.

 

You start the game with a Power Source, which you will then attach more cards to with the goal of making a larger, more menacing machine.  Each turn you can play one card for free, and additional cards, at the cost of discarding another card to play each one.  The goal being to eliminate your opponent's "Parts Pile", their deck, before they eliminate yours.  Once you run out of cards to draw, your're out.

 

To start, after each player has a power core, the entire 170 cards are shuffled and dealt out evenly to all players.  You can imagine, in a 2 player game, that's a big deck.  You each draw 7 cards, and you're off to the junkyard to see what you can make!

 

Each card has a "connector" type on each of it's four edges.  Normally they must be matched to be connected to the machines, but there are universal connectors which act as "wild cards" and allow anything to be connected to it.

 

There are 6 card types:

 

  • Power Cores, which you all start with
  • Power Sources (Multiple different connectors, some being Universal)
  • Contraptions (Blue border, requires power, and affect you or your opponents)
  • Upgrades (Green border, usually impact cards attached to them)
  • Consumables (Rust border, one time use cards being discarded or removed from play after use)
  • Sabotages (Red border, played on your opponent's machines)

 

You play cards in your "main line" which is the horizontal line stemming left and right from your main Power Core. From there, it's up to you to build the machine with your cards that depletes your opponent's Parts Pile faster than they can deplete yours.


You are allowed to play some cards as "Plugs" which can be one row higher or lower than your main line.  Usually these are Upgrades (green) or Consumables (Rust).  There is a bit of maneuvering as some cards need to be connected to a Power Core or Source in order to trigger.  That part of the game takes some getting used to, but once you are familiar with the cards and which need power, it seems to move right along... almost like an assembly line... ba, dum, dum... thank you, I'll be here all week!

 

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the game, two major issues crop up.  First, in a two player game, your decks are huge at 85 cards each! This means a 2 player game takes a bit of time and becomes quite tedious as sooner or later, one perosn has the advantage and it's hard to come back from.

 

In a multi player game, it quickly becomes "Kill the carrier" or "Pick on THAT guy"!  Once one person is at a disadvantage, it's dog pile on the rabbit if you know what I mean.  This pushes someone out early, leaving them to sulk on their own... but worse, wait for the game to end, which on a game night, can kill the momentum.

Additionally, there is a considerable diffreence to the bright, shiny nature of the Power Sources and the rest of the cards. Many of the main cards have a bland, drowned out color border, which is ok as it is a machine with rust and stuff on it you are building... but, why are the Power Sources so Shiny then?  

 

When you have a lot of cards on the table, this becomes "eye shifting" and makes you look at the game with a questioning eye... at least it did for me.

 

Finally, there is what I call "The Phone Factor".  I spoke to this in the video review, but essentially, this is a game that when it's not your turn, it can be pretty boring.  There's not much to do other than discard cards when your opponent's machines impact you... or, jut pick up your iPhone and start playing Summoner Wars or Outwitters.

 

All these things lead us to our Cirtical Review Score of The Infernal Contraption... which is...

 

 

Critical Review Score (Crit, Hit, or Miss):

Contest Information:

So, while this is my opinion, and the first game I've given a Miss to in quite some time, I'm offering you, the fans, a chance to prove me wrong!  From now through July 27th, 2012, I'm offering a contest up for one person to win the review copy of The Infernal Contraption from our video!

 

To enter, take a picture or make a video of yourself that includes something displaying CritsHappen.com with you, and post it on our facebook page!  It could be a sign, it could be a shirt you bought from our store, print out our logo and do something neat with it, it could be a song you wrote and recorded... ANYTHING creative, the more creative the better obviously!  

 

Show us your passion for gaming and include CritsHappen.com in it!  Then, and this is the  most important part, share it with us on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/CritsHappen!

 

Over the weekend of the 28th and 29th I'll review them all, and pick who I feel is the most creative and that fan will get the copy for themselves.  Additionally, we'll ask them for their opinions, and add them into this blog post as an editorial with their thoughts and their rating!

 

Be creative, include CritsHappen.com in your submission, and please remember to stay legal.  Don't do anything that breaks the law!  Good luck and have fun while providing your submission!

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Comments: 5
  • #1

    Tim Norris AKA Greyelephant (Sunday, 08 July 2012 21:01)

    No joke! I do not like this game with a capital HATE. I tried to love it cause I like card games in general, but this game was boring to not only play but even to look at. Too much luck and you are right, with 2 players it overstays it's welcome after the first 10 minutes.

    Larry and I did a video review on it and I gave it a thumbs down myself.

  • #2

    critshappen (Sunday, 08 July 2012 21:22)

    I can see where some people would like it, but it's surely not my cup of tea. I saw InD20s review and you guys did a great job as well, bringing two different opinions on it. Thanks for reading and watching!

  • #3

    Dustin Hall (Tuesday, 10 July 2012 00:34)

    Two things here... I like the tagline at the end of the video which I don't remember hearing before, about keep rolling those dice....

    Also, kudos for posting a full review of a miss. It lends credibility to all of your reviews. There are those of us who wondered if misses were actually possible (although it sounds like this isn't your first).

  • #4

    critshappen (Tuesday, 10 July 2012 07:33)

    Thanks Dustin. They are rare, as I tend to do a lot of research before investing in a game. Being transparent, I don't get these things sent to me for free or anything, it's my dime investing in the games and then sharing my thoughts.

    That said, there are a few misses here and there. I think the last one I gave a "Miss" to (which really was just a low score as I wasn't using Crits and Misses then) was Nightfall. The card game itself, when it came out was something I felt was just over-complicated, but the iOS version of that changed things :)

    Either way, glad you like the videos, and yes, I prefer full reviews, even when it's not all rainbows and unicorns.

    PS - thanks for catching the tag line... you'll see and hear more of it :)

  • #5

    buying facebook likes (Saturday, 07 March 2015 12:14)

    I read this article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work.


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