Tuesday 30 March 2021

A Corrupt Dystopia!?:- It's a Wonderful World: Corruption & Ascension

Game: It's a Wonderful World: Corruption & Ascension

Publisher: La Boîte de Jeu

Designer: Frédéric Guérard

Year: 2020

It's a Wonderful World is a 2019 engine building game which has you draft and build cards in order to create an efficient dystopia capable of making bigger and better projects and attracting the bravest and brightest to your shores. Corruption and Ascension serves as a 'Bigger and Better' expansion, with new cards that produce humongous amounts of resources and points, assuming you can afford the damn things! Should your budget be more limited then you might want to veer more towards the corruption side of things, these cards tend to be far cheaper to produce, but some of the more crooked people involved might happen to wander off with some of your existing resources. You weren't using that anyway right?

A brief explanation of the base game: Every round each player will be given a hand of cards. From this they choose one to keep and pass the rest on. This repeats until everyone has seven cards, at this point each player can decide which to try and build and which to throw away for resources. Then each player's base will generate the five resources of the game, with a bonus token going to the player making the most in each category. This continues for four rounds at which point the game ends. Corruption and Ascension adds a new deck of cards from which players add a number of cards to their card pool for the draft. This gives them more options, including the new cards which either have ways to altar your production both positively and negatively, gain huge production boosts at huge costs, or tremendous end game points with ridiculous construction requirements.

Building up a good engine will help you build cards rapidly, but spend too long engine building and you'll never get enough points!

All this serves to make the game bigger, but does it make it better? The new scoring mechanisms introduces are a little more dynamic than those seen in the base game, often giving bonuses for having pairs of buildings of certain types. The huge projects are a great way to set an end game goal that you can slowly work towards if you draft one early, or a challenge to build if you get one late. While not breaking the mould, they are a solid enhancement to the existing gameplay which helped me gain some early structure to my game plan. The corruption cards, when used well, can allow you to tweak your production phase. Letting you spend a couple of cubes to change one type of production to another, certainly handy if you realise you invested too heavily in power plants, but they also serve to prevent competition for the resource bonuses going stale when one player got an early lead. 

Add up those scores in style, let's hope you made use of those dual scoring cards!

Corruption and Ascension might not be a complete game overhaul, but it is a fantastic expansion that adds more choice and strategy to the game without an increase to its complexity. This is an expansion which you'll never need to play without, as the only extra playtime involved in including it is sorting the cards out at the end of the game (and they have a different back so it's super easy). Finally, and believe me I've saved the best 'til last, it includes a dry-erase score pad! If you've been looking for an excuse to get It's a Wonderful World back on the table then this is it. Corruption and Ascension helped remind me how much I love this game, which is exactly what I want from an expansion.



It's a Wonderful World: Corruption & Ascension was a review copy provided by Asmodee UK and Lucky Duck Games.

1 comment: