The games Trails of Tucana, Santa Maria and The Magnificent from Aporta Games have always been very well received by players. No wonder that Revive is the fourth title from the Norwegian game publisher this year Pegasus Spiele was published in German. With a 3.41 on BoardGameGeek, we get what is nominally the most difficult title from Aporta Games. You can find out in this review how well reviving civilization plays on a completely destroyed planet.
A good 5000 years have passed since the end of humanity. The survivors gathered underground as the world above them froze and lived in isolated tribes that developed differently and told their own myths about the end. Now the great ice age is over and the ground is beginning to thaw. The tribes emerge from their caves and want to shape a new world according to their ideas, because the mistakes from the myths must not be repeated.
A rough overview
The aim of Revive is to explore the map on the game board part by part and populate it with buildings and population figures. To do this we need the resources gears, books and food, which must be managed skillfully because these are in short supply.
At the start of a game, each player receives a set of 6 citizen cards, a tribe board and a game board. Of the 6 citizen cards, 3 are placed in the active area and 3 in the rest area. On our turn we either perform two actions or we hibernate. The possible actions available to us are playing cards, activating the switch, exploring, populating and building. Each of the actions can be carried out twice if necessary.
The actions are briefly explained
In the Play cards we push a card from the active area into one of the 4 card slots on our game board (5 after unlocking the associated technology). If we push the card into one of the upper slots, we get the resources or the effect of the upper card area. If, on the other hand, we push it into one of the lower slots, we get the resources or the effect of the lower area. If there are additional so-called slot modules in the slots that match the color of the card, we receive additional resources from the slot modules. We can obtain further resources through the Switch action gain. Here we get a resource of our choice when we press this button.
We can spend the resources we receive when exploring, populating or building. This is where the distance to existing figures becomes important. At the Explore we pay the required resources on a territory tile to get victory points and a new card. We can then turn the tile over and place it back on the game board in any orientation.
Go to the Populate we pay the number of books specified on the tribe board to place a population figure on a small or large location. Large locations give us additional victory points at the end of the game, depending on the tile's abandonment. In addition, we unlock old technologies with our characters that give us special abilities until the end of the game.
With gears build we build small or large buildings on desert fields. Depending on which areas we place our buildings next to, we are allowed to move further on our machine tracks (1x per terrain space for small and 2x for large buildings). We also receive one-time bonuses if we place our buildings next to a lake.
In addition to these actions, we can activate machines on our game board at any time. To do this we need energy, which we place on an activated module on our machine strips. We can then activate the effect of the module.
With these actions we spread ourselves across the game board, step by step, until we decide to do so overwinter. Hibernating is like resetting our tableau. We put all energy tokens from the machines back into our energy storage; take all cards from the rest area and place them in our active area; take all used cards from their slots and place them in the rest area; push our switch to the unused position and move our hibernation marker one space forward and receive a reward. In the following move we have all the options again.
Important artifacts mark the end of the game
The game ends as soon as one person takes the last large artifact above the world map and thus also the game end tile. We receive artifacts as soon as we reach certain points on the victory track, progress track, machine tracks or on our tribe board. The round is then played to the end - if one person receives artifacts during this time, they receive a small artifact - and the final evaluation takes place.
You score points for the lowest free space on the progress track, all unlocked technologies on the tribe board, the tasks of each large location where you have a population figure, the last space on each machine track, the game end tile, small artifacts and remaining resources. You also get points for the artifact card and the large artifacts you own.
The artifact card is given to you at the beginning of the game and sets three quantity goals that you can fulfill. Each quantity target is assigned to a color of a major artifact. At the end, the target's quantity is multiplied by the number of large artifacts of the color assigned to the target. For example, if you had the goal of collecting energy and it was assigned to the yellow artifact; you have 5 energy and 3 large yellow artifacts at the end of the game; You get 5 x 3 = 15 victory points.
A campaign game?
Revive heavily advertises that it offers a campaign in which new elements come into play with each game. Personally, however, this didn't convince me at all. The campaign texts are well written and better reflect the individual tribes and their motivations, but they could have been conveyed in a different way. The 5 chapters are simply expansions for the game that can be added if necessary.
For example, in the second game, a special rule for the switch was added, which allowed us to activate the effect of an already played card in the upper area of an opponent, instead of just getting a basic resource. This feature would have been welcome in the first game. It also felt like something was missing while playing. It would have been nice if we had simply had the freedom to decide from the start which expansions we would like to play with, instead of slowly unlocking them game by game. In my opinion, the story in conjunction with the expansions simply did not offer any added value.
Information about Revive
|Number of players: 1 – 4
Age: from 12 years
Playing time: 90 - 120 minutes
Difficulty: Expert game
Long-term motivation: high
Classification: civilization game, campaign game
Author Helge Meissner, Eilif Svensson, Anna Wermlund, Kristian Amundsen Østby
Illustrations: Gjermund Bohne, Martin Mottet, Dan Roff, Jessy Töpfer
Publisher: Pegasus Games, Aporta Games
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2023
Cost: 79,99 Euro
Revive is a game that cannot easily be pigeonholed. With exploring the world, placing workers, activating machines, managing your own resources, etc., it has many different elements that together create a completely new feel. Peacefully spreading out on the field and unlocking new modules for your own machines was a lot of fun, no matter how far you were in the campaign and which expansions you used. Based on our test games, I would say that you can play the first game with the basic rules to get started with Revive. If you don't necessarily want to play the campaign, you can then remove all expansions from the campaign and adapt the game as you wish.
In terms of gameplay, Revive was largely convincing. However, we would also have liked to see double-layered tableaus for the tribal tableaus, as the material on them always slips a bit. In addition, the card slots would have required recesses for the cards. Kosmos' new game Lacrimosa or Asmodee's The Witcher, for example, does an excellent job of this. Why there isn't something like this in Revive when we constantly have to push cards under the tableau is a mystery to us. Instead, we constantly raise the game board slightly. It's also a shame that there are only 4 card illustrations for all cards, a little more variety would have been nice. It's also a bit annoying to turn over the area tiles, as things can easily move around here. However, all of this is complaining at a very high level, because Revive is great in terms of play!
However, at a price of around 80 euros, we find Revive to be a bit too expensive for what it offers. Other games offered at least as much content for a much cheaper price. Nevertheless, I would like to recommend the game. Because Revive creates a completely new gaming experience, everyone who plays a lot will certainly find it fun, as the game offers a lot of space for reflection and, with its expansions, a high replay value.
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