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.

Get in touch by emailing thegameshelfblog@gmail.com

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

It's more of a Juxtaposition in my mind:- Contrast

Game: Contrast

Publisher: Pink Monkey Games

Designer: Julien Percot

Year: 2017

Contrast is a 2-6 player picture-based card game that will immediately make you think of Dixit and Mysterium. You will be presented with a selection of weird and wonderful picture cards that you have to relate to the symbols on the cards in your hand. If you match the same symbols as other players do then you'll win points, but if everyone guesses the same or everyone guesses differently then no-one gets anything!

Each player has a hand of 6 identical cards. Each of these cards have 2 contrasting attributes on them, for example red/yellow or long/short. Each round every player has to choose one of these cards to lay face down with the attribute of choice pointing towards the picture. Once everyone has chosen a card they are all revealed and everyone who played the most common attribute wins the round and gets to take a picture card as a reward. For example if a picture of a giraffe was revealed and 4 out of 6 players chose to play their long/short card with the long side towards the picture then they would all win and be rewarded with a picture card. At the end of the game the player with the most cards is the winner.

Each player has 2 cards they cant use, which can help you decide which cards you should play. If you were a fourth player in this situation you'd never win by playing blue or green!

This is made a little more complex as at any one time two of your attribute cards will be unavailable to you. At the start of the game this is random, but as you progress it will always be the last two cards that you played. This can cause you to miss out on obvious cards, as you might not have your long/short card available when that giraffe comes up! However it can also result in lengthening winning streaks as players stay on the same wavelength for extended periods of time, partially because so long as they keep guessing the same they have the same 4 cards available to them.

Contrast actually works differently for a 2-player game, the game becomes cooperative with players trying to score enough cards from a limited deck. In this mode both players have the full hand of 6 and a card is only scored to a joint pool if both players match their attribute card. If you score enough cards before the deck runs out then you win.

The 6 attribute cards, wide/thin, light/heavy, blue/green, small/tall, round/square and red/yellow, most cards do a good job of having features form multiple cards.

Contrast works well with groups of 4 or more, however with lower player counts the lower number of cards in the game mean that matches become less likely, it can even be a little frustrating when you keep ending up being the player who doesn't have the obvious attribute card for the picture card in play. The picture cards themselves often do a good job of having multiple elements that match attributes, for example a picture of a beach will match both blue (sky/sea) and yellow(sand/sun), but then it has a round beach ball and coconut on it too. It's clear that the images have been carefully chosen for this, though as with most games of this type you could easily replace the cards with Dixit ones to add replayability.

The two-player co-op mode has very limited potential past your first play, we found that half way through a game we had made some unspoken rules that made us nearly guaranteed to win that game and any future ones. The 3+ player game is better, but it really is the case of the more the better. With the right group though Contrast can be a quick blast of fun, it makes for a good filler game for a group of four or more, so long as that it what you are expecting then you will be happy with it!

6/10

Contrast was a review copy provided by Esdevium Games Ltd. It is be available for an RRP of £13.99 at your friendly local game store or can be picked up at http://www.365games.co.uk/.

No comments:

Post a comment