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 1 April 2021

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- It's a Wonderful World: Corruption & Ascension

Game: It's a Wonderful World:

Publisher: La Boîte de Jeu

Designer: Frédéric Guérard

Year: 2020

We like to think of ourselves as discerning Kickstarter backers. We typically only back games when there's a good reason to do so - perhaps the Kickstarter is super good value compared to retail, or perhaps the game, or parts of the game will never come to retail at all. With It's a Wonderful World we were drawn in by all of the campaign content the game had to offer - campaign content that we have so far never touched!

Like many Kickstarters, It's a Wonderful World came in a huge box, with lots of room for additional content and we have a rather large, air and foam filled box on our shelves as a result. Inside it is a very small drafting and tableau building game that we absolutely love. Its box is far too large, but it deserves its shelf space. The latest expansion, Corruption & Ascension recently got a retail release and we have easily added it to the box for the main game (and could probably do so about 20 times over and still have more space!).


To briefly explain the base game, It's a Wonderful World is a card drafting game for 1-5 players, or 1-7 players when you add the Corruption & Ascension expansion. There are four rounds in the game and in each round players begin with a hand of cards, choosing one and passing the remaining cards to the next player around the table. Once players have chosen seven cards each, they can then choose whether to discard those cards for a single resource of a specific type printed on the card, or to try and build the cards. Cards take a certain number of cubes to build and often use cubes of different colours. You add cubes directly onto cards when you gain them. Discarding cards is a very minor way to gain resources, but the main way is to gain an income from the cards you have already built. There is an income phase for each cube colour, following a specific sequence which is the same in every round.


The key in It's a Wonderful World is typically to complete cards during each round that allow you to gain a higher resource income in that same round. Grey cube income is first, so if you can use those grey cubes to complete a card that then boosts your black income, which comes next, then you create a very satisfying chain of events that keeps your engine moving. Points are available on some cards, some which give you points outright and others that are a multiplier effect on certain card colours.

The Corruption & Ascension  expansion simply adds to the pool of cards with two mechanisms. The first is that as well as improving your production some cards might reduce your production of cubes of a certain colour. If you're cunning you can avoid this being a big penalty either by reducing production in colours that you don't even have positive production for, or making the most out of your production in a certain colour, building some cards and then diminishing the production once it's no longer needed. The second new mechnism affects scoring, adding cards that have a multiplier effect for pairs eg. 7 points per pair of grey and green cards. These are often expensve to build and the scoring is harder to achieve but the reward is much greater.

Corruption & Ascension
is the type of expansion we'll play with every time we play. It doesn't add a lot, but I really enjoy what it adds. The pair scoring really gives dyou something to aim for if you get the cards in the first couple of rounds. There are also some really expensive, but very high point cards that can also give you something to aim for. Once you have a few big ideas in play then everything else you do can be crafted around that strategy, trying to get the right cubes to allow you to build those awesome cards you really want. If you're able to get a couple of single multiplier cards for those same card types during the game, then even better since you're doubling down on the same strategy.

On its own, it's a pretty large box full of air, but throw that expansion box away and you're left with new cards that are easily added to the game (you don't even need to shuffle them together) and a lovely dry erase scoreboard that adds to the utility of the game too. If you've already played a bunch of It's a Wonderful World and want to add something new that is guarenteed to pepper and influence each game you play then Corruption & Ascension is a fantastic expansion! For the Yellow Meeple it's an 8/10.

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

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