Four-Headed Dragon Review

Power Grid: The Card Game

From BoardGameGeek.Com:

In Power Grid: The Card Game, the players represent CEO’s of mighty power companies producing electricity.

During the game, the players bid for power plants at auctions and supply them with resources. Their income depends on the amount of electricity produced in each round. At the end of the game, the player who produces the most electricity wins the game.

Power Grid: The Card Game offers all the tension and tactics well-known of its two big brothers — Power Grid and Power Grid deluxe — without using the different maps (underline added by me). You get the full Power Grid emotions in an intensive playing time of sixty minutes!

Mark's ReviewsMark

  • Pro: The game certainly feels like a Friese and for anyone who’s a fan of the Green Haired Wonder, then this may be right up your alley.  The game is also most assuredly Power Grid Lite.  It plays like Power Grid in the auction and resource grab and in the shiny new time of an hour.  You purchase the power plants and judge which you’d like to go for based off of what others have purchased.  The resource market is also available before the auction phase, just like in the original game, so you can plan accordingly.  And much like with Power Grid there’s a helpful catch up mechanism where the first go last when purchasing the resources insuring that the lowest man on the totem pole won’t get entirely boofed.  Of course the best part of the game is the length.  Normal Power Grid can clock in at nearly two hours or more with a full compliment of players.  In The Card Game you’re looking at a solid hour.  If you want to play Power Grid but don’t have the normal time commitment for the full game, then this is your game.
  • Con: Aside from the quicker play time, this game adds nothing to the original Power Grid.  As a matter of fact, it takes away a vast portion of the game by nixing the board.  Half of the fun of Power Grid is the board and without it, the game plays about as expected.  It still feels like Power Grid, but if I’m being honest, it feels like I’m playing half a game of Power Grid then deciding to call it a night.  The other glaring issue with the game is that it can, at times, be really fiddly.  Of course this isn’t that big of an issue considering how fiddly big brother base game can be, but with a game that prides itself on a speedy play time, the card management can be a bit of a pain.
  • Summary: My expectations may have been a little higher than they should have been and that might be a little unfair on my part.  I love the original Power Grid and it’s Deluxe counterpart just in case you’ve never listened to our podcast before.  To take away the map seems a little short sighted.  Let me put it this way.  When you shop at your FLGS and you happen upon Power Grid, what do you see stacked next to the base game?  Maps and more maps.  There isn’t just 1 map.  There are something like 9 or 10 original maps and you know your FLGS has multiples of them.  The map is important enough that even the publishing company and designer have made it a point to bring out new and fresh boards.  That says something about that function of the game.  To take it out and sell it as a shorter game… sure.  But aren’t we losing something along with the time?
  • Rating: Compared to Power Grid which I give a 10 I’ll give this game a 6 out of 10.  It’s certainly not up to the level of the original game, but the game delivers what it promises.  You get a shorter game without the board.  If you’re cool with that, then try this one out.

You probably noticed the other guys absent from this review.  At the recent BGG.Con I was the only one to play this game.  Sten and Brian were busy play testing Techno Bowl and Lee was getting his beauty sleep.

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Power Grid: The Card Game – An I, Geek Four-Headed Dragon Review

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