Home > Games > Carrots and rubies and trees, oh my!

Carrots and rubies and trees, oh my!

November 12, 2012

I feel a little bit sheepish about this one, as Eight-Minute Empire is a recent Kickstarter project that we only got to try out (via a print and play version) in the dying hours of the project, so by the time this post gets out there you’ll have missed the opportunity to back it. Still, in a few months it should be available through some other path.

Seriously, how many games allow you to move armies and collect carrots at the same time?

Being a print and play game we had some work to do before we could play, so while I assembled and laminated the board and scavenged counters and wooden cubes from other games, Miss B stuffed the cards (and some other cards to give them some bulk) into sleeves. As this wasn’t too much preparation and didn’t take too long, it all went well and added something of a sense of real ownership to the game.

This is a simple area control game with a bit of card set collection thrown in for good measure and it is, I must say, a cracking little game. According to the designer it’s playable in about eight minutes (hence the title). That’s possible, I guess: even given that it was our first game and playing with Miss B always takes longer than the box predicts, we still managed to play in about half an hour. That alone makes this solid gold in my books. Miss B took to it very quickly (correctly predicting a couple of rules before I had explained them) and we both had a great time playing.

Of course, this being a print and play prototype, not everything was perfect. Probably our biggest issue was that the cards were slightly too large for the board so they didn’t properly line up with the cost markers on the board. I assume the final version should be tidying up this sort of thing.

The verdict from Miss B (aged 5¾): “It was hard moving the cards so we could have just put it in a line across the table and then shuffled it up each time. I thought that collecting carrots was really fun because I could have said that I was hungry and I wanted a carrot as a joke. I liked the rubies because one ruby was one point, two rubies were two points, three rubies were three points and four rubies were five points. And I got up to three points for the rubies.  It was a very close game.  Daddy got 18 and I got 17.” (Hmm, these dictations are rambling sometimes, but Miss B is starting to get into having opinions, which is really cool.)

The game: Eight-Minute Empire (Red Raven Games), 2 to 4 players aged 8+ (I think).

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