Today I would like to talk about Chaos and Alchemy by Michael Iachini. The first I heard of this game was on Reddit a thread by the designer. It was enough to get me interested and back his kickstarter that was being handled by Game Salute. Now, after some delays, the game is in my hands so let's see how it goes.
|The Magical Box|
|The Laboratory Setup|
There really isn't much to say about the rules of the game. They are incredibly light, easy to read, and easy to teach within a 5 minute period. The 10 minute per player estimate is pretty accurate as well.
The Chaos and Alchemy box has a wonderful look to it. The cover art is wonderful and really depicts what the core of the game is, the theme and what you will be undertaking as the player. However, the contents of the box are very small, not enough to warrant the size of the box. The insert is also Game Salute's generic folded cardboard, it really is almost like not having anything inside. That being said, Chaos and Alchemy comes with 2 great card boxes that hold the base game and both mini expansions, but the dice float freely in the empty box space.
|The Alchemical Contents|
That brings me to my next downside of the game, the dice. The dice are wonderful to look at, they are colorful and the starburst pips are a nice touch. However, the Experiment dice are very small. On the smaller dice with the translucent swirl pattern, the yellow pips find themselves fading into the background, especially on the sides where some of the bursts are bigger than others. It would have been nice to see the Experiment dice as the same size as the Fortune die. A little bit chunkier and easier to read would have been really great. Another thing would be to have 4 more success cubes, maybe of various colors. Sometimes players will forget to pass over the success cube when their turn ends, this is a minor problem with an easy fix (just go buy more of the generic clear cubes), but for the price and lack of box contents 4 more success cubes would have been nice.
Now on to the good news. The art is wonderful. I love the card art and find it intriguing to look at.
|The Card Types|
I also want to briefly talk about the expansions: Substances and Apprentices.
Substances adds Substance cards which can be played for free (without success cubes), but cost a success to mix together. When 2 or more Substance cards are mixed they produce new abilities and Innovations for the player. The abilities and Innovations are great. It is a new way to score points and gain advantages in the lab. The expansion isn't hard to grasp and blends seamlessly with the base game. Substances basically adds more of the goodness and variety to extend the game life.
The Apprentices expansion is also easy to learn and add in, however, it doesn't add anything to the game play. It basically gives you abilities that the innovations, substances, and other cards already give you. The Apprentices seems more like an afterthought than an actual expansion. That being said both expansions keep the game's time limit the same, they do not extend past the base game's limit in timing or scoring.
All and all the game is very basic, but holds a wealth of variety and fun. It is a great gateway game and can be used with players of all skill levels and ages. If the option is available, I say that Substances should be picked up as it adds to the base game while The Apprentices can be skipped as it doesn't really add much more to the gameplay value.
I really recommend this game as a quick filler and gateway game, however, if you are looking for something with more substance and game to it then this is not what you are looking for. Its fun and I say check it out.
Thank you all again for reading Daemonic Teutonic. As always, I hope you enjoy the review.