Thursday, July 15, 2010

Power Grid review

(hopefully to be cross-posted to BGG)

Ah, Power Grid.
One of the top 10 rated games on boardgamegeek, it must be awesome, right?

So when my 2-year-old son (with mommy's assistance) got it for me for Father's Day, I was excited and eager to play.
Unfortunately, it's not well-touted as a 2-player game, so my wife and I played lots of Dominion (the other gifted game) and we had to wait until an appropriate time to play this one.

For the July 4th week, we were fortunate to be renting a beach house with another 2 couples, both very gamer-friendly. One of the couples was experienced in playing Grid, so that was good.
So then we all sat down for a 6 player game.

Russ insisted that we play with the "alternate power plant deck" (the official expansion that he brought) because it was somehow better; being my first time playing, I said fine that's OK.

Immediately upon opening the box, I noticed something mildly disappointing: the components.
The board is great, the instruction book is great, the power plant cards are great.
The paper money is annoying and makes it feel like Monopoly, but tolerable.
But the wooden bits were of awful quality.
Aside from one of the Green houses being "flat-roofed", none of the pieces seemed to be symmetrically cut. Houses with uneven rooves, octagonal nuclear fuel which was completely lopsided.. easily ignorable when not looking closely, but sloppy!

The basic rules involve auctioning off randomly-drawn power plants, buying cities to power with those plants, and getting money back from your powered cities. As the game progresses, things get more expensive, and the game ends when a certain number of cities are owned by a single player, but that doesn't necessarily mean that player wins; you count how many cities you are powering instead.

I really didn't know what was going on at first, so I bought too many cities early instead of focusing on better plants. Pretty much as a direct result, I came in dead last.

Overall I enjoyed the game and I would like to play again now that I have a better idea of how it works. And I will try to ignore the poor-quality wooden bits.

From one play, I'll give it a GRRR.


  1. On boardgamegeek, this post has spiraled into a discussion of the money components of games.

  2. You should (obviously) have a link to that BGG thread here.

  3. OK, John. I pretty much have to do whatever bgg-related thing you say, since you personally funded my avatar :)


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