Sunday, September 11, 2005

Plunder: First Impression

Today I played Plunder for the first time. This is a card-based game with a piracy theme. Perhaps the most distinctive thing about it is that the entire game is packed tightly in a small box shaped like a treasure chest. The box measures only about 3"x5"x2" but they've managed to cram a whole bunch of stuff in there.

I played the game with Kray (13 1/2) and Michael (10) which generally makes for a lousy first impression because I end up spending more time trying to teach them the game than I do actually playing and enjoying it. Also, it's a little hard to evaluate strategy against them because they often make choices on a whim instead of actually thinking them through.

Still, we had a pretty good time. I don't feel like I've really played it enough to make a verdict yet but initial opinions are pretty favorable.


The theme is pretty well done. I liked the way the game mixed exploration and trading with attack and plunder. The mechanics seem pretty solid and well thought out. And for coming in such a small package, the bits are really nice. It's all cardboard and paper (it pretty much has to be to fit in that tiny box) but still, it's really quite nice.


Sometimes the production gets in the way of the game. For instance, most of the cards have quite a bit of text. That by itself wouldn't really be a problem except that the cards also tend to have artwork behind the text which makes the text a little difficult to read.

The rules were pretty good but in places they seemed to be a bit more confusing than necessary. At heart, this is a pretty simple game but I still had to read the rules through a couple of times before I really felt I understood what they were saying.


Like I said, I haven't played the game enough to really review it properly. These are just my first impressions. I'll try and get in a few more games so I can form a better opinion. Then I'll go back and write a proper review. Still, initial impressions are quite favorable. I think I like it.


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