Free shipping on all orders over $100, all other orders $9.99 flat rate shipping.

Akrotiri, a Puzzle Game That Feels Like Homework

There's often a lot of talk about why you don't see negative reviews often enough, how it's all one big positive sphere of love when bad games obviously exist. There are many theories, and there's likely truth to all of them, but at the same time, few of them apply to me. Then again, we're hardly some big time reviewer so take it all with a grain of salt.

Some say it's because reviewers are wary that being too negative will take them off that publishers list. Well we aren't on anyone's list to begin with.
Or maybe it's because you can't give a fair review without playing a game multiple times, and who wants to play a bad game multiple times? That's fair, so I'll try to be clear that nearly all my negative reviews are 1 or 2 plays, rarely more. Take them with whatever grain of salt you want to add to balance.
You also tend to get people telling you why you're wrong when you malign a game they love. That's ok too...my review reflects my own experience, if you want an aggregate rating, check out BGG, Amazon, or watch/read other reviews. Your world won't change if not everyone likes your games.
Or perhaps they don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, we tend to be part of a community and the designer is a gamer too (usually). Again that's fair, but trust me when I say I'm not wasting time on games that aren't generally well accepted to begin with, so my review by default is an acknowledgement that others like your game, and I just happen to not be one of them.

Whatever the reason, the point is that you can expect me to be fairly honest. The one reason I shouldn't be honest, is because when I inevitably link to the game, I linked to a game that I just told you I didn't like.....but then again I also just told you that many people do. So consider it a challenge, buy the game, write a review, prove me wrong. We all win :)

In any case, that brings us to Akrotiri, a game that was recommended to me by my partner Dan, and validated by a 7.3 rating on BGG. It's a 2 player game that I proceeded to play with my wife, and then put on the trade pile. I have no regrets playing it, it's been a long time since a game was that bad, but I also have no interest in playing it again.

The basic premise of the game, is that using limited actions, you are trying to "discover" the locations of various temples, while paying for your expeditions along the way. Game end is triggered by one player building their last temple, at which point you score based on the value of your temples, plus various objectives on where/how your temples are located.

My main problem with it, is that while the premise and gameplay are solid, the actual process of finding your temples feels like homework. Based on various symbols on the developing board, you have to match up your temples, which meant my wife and I spent 50% of our game time just looking back and forth between our cards and the board to see what worked. Gameplay was great, play time was good for what you get, basically it was an all around good game....except for the important detail that half of our game was just spent on forced analysis paralysis. Not true AP in the sense of optimization, but just work. Although the real AP was also exasperated by this problem, since finding a better spot for your temples just meant further time staring back and forth.

I'm not the first person to have this problem, but based on other reviews this was more of a minor frustration then a reason not to play. For us, we're firm believers that we already don't have enough time to play everything we want, so anything that isn't amazing gets traded. Akrotiri showed promise, but it gets bogged down too much in it's own premise.

Related Blog Posts

From Avoiding Zombicide, to Avoiding Zombices in Zombicide: Black Plague
From Avoiding Zombicide, to Avoiding Zombices in Zombicide: Black Plague
I never played the original Zombicide games. I don't know what exactly led to that decision, but I had a general awar...
Read More
Endeavor: Age of Sail, A Fantastic Game and A Fantastic Reprint
Endeavor: Age of Sail, A Fantastic Game and A Fantastic Reprint
This past Memorial Day our group played Endeavor Age of Sail for the first time. We then got back together that eveni...
Read More
Too Many Bones: Undertow, An Adventure in Rolling Dice and Killing Baddies
Too Many Bones: Undertow, An Adventure in Rolling Dice and Killing Baddies
Those of you who've been reading every week know that I've slowly been adding a healthy dose of solo gaming to my mix...
Read More