Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Thursday, 24 August 2017

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- World's Fair 1893

GameWorld's Fair 1893

Publisher: Renegade Games & Foxtrot Games

DesignerJ. Alex Kevern

 It seems like we're talking about Renegade Games a fair amount at the moment, and I confess it's because I've been sucked onboard the hype train a little bit, by listening to other reviewers who seem to think that they can do no wrong as a publisher. World's Fair is a slightly older game in Renegade's range (although probably not much older than 1 year) that seemed to be talked about very briefly when it was released and has quickly faded away. I was really happy to pick up our copy in a trade at the UK Games Expo this year and I was interested to know if World's Fair is another strong title from Renegade.

World's Fair 1893 mixes the mechanics of area control, card drafting and set collection into a euro game themed around the sights, sounds and inventions at the first World's Fair in 1893. The board is a ferris wheel in 5 different coloured sections, each representing different themes in innovation.

The game plays over three rounds and each round has a placement phase and a scoring phase. In the placement phase, each player places one of their tokens in a zone of the board and takes all of the cards currently in that zone. Cards are either cards of a certain colour which form part of the set collection, famous people, who each give different special abilities that you must use next turn or tickets, which act as the timer for each rouns. As you take tickets, the carriage moves around the ferris wheel - there are a different number of spaces in a 2, 3 or 4 player game, but when the carriage has done one full circle the round ends.

The game setup for two players
Tickets not only time the rounds, but the person with the most tickets will get bonus points at the end of each round for attracting the most visitors. Each of the five zones of the board is then scored. The player with the most tokens in a zone gets to cash in sets of the same coloured cards for coloured tokens. If there's a draw, both players typically can cash in just one card each. At the end of the game you score for your tokens based on multicoloured sets.

The mechanics all gel really smoothly and make for a fast paced game. With two players, we've been playing World's Fair in about 30 minutes - a good quick length for a game that has a fair amount of meaty decisions. I enjoy that the game has a fixed number of rounds and that collectively you are in control of how long those rounds last, meaning that you can really plan each round out as you're playing it.

Although there isn't much theme in the game besides the ferris wheel, there is a lot of flavour text on the cards, which for interested players is a nice touch.
Those who read our blog frequently will know that area control is probably my least favourite mechanic, so I'm really surprised that I like this game as much as I do. I think the key to my liking the game is that where you place your tokens isn't all about area control, it's just as much influenced by the drafting of the sets of cards at each location to help you collect the right sets. In terms of area control, you need to be wary of your opponents and the sets they're collecting, but with two players it's quite easy to keep track of this and allocate your efforts accordingly.

I really respect World's Fair 1893 as a small box game with good production quality, great mechanisms for scalability. For me to enjoy a game with area control is quite an achievement. However, Worlds Fair will probably be leaving our collection. I suppose overall it's just 'fine'. There's nothing exciting about the game and there's other games of a similar length that give me more enjoyment. I definitely recommend trying this board game, but it just struggles to have something that makes it a 'favourite game' kind of game.

For the Yellow Meeple, World's Fair 1893 gets a 6/10.

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