Ted Cheatham: First Impressions of Wrong Chemistry

Wrong Chemistry

Designer: Tony Cimino

Publisher: Mage Company

Players: 2-4

Ages: 8+

Have you ever wanted to create your very own elements by manipulating the very core of atomic structure? With Wrong Chemistry you can do just that.

Using seven hexagons, five white discs, four black discs and a deck of 54 cards you will create various patterns of molecules to create elements. If you put aside the cute art work and funny card element names such as, europium, floorine, manganiece, etc. you will find a pure abstract, puzzle style game.

The initial board set up surrounds the blue hexagon by six yellow hexagons. On the yellow hexagons, we alternate white and black discs. For the rest of the game, players will use four action points to manipulate the hexes and discs to match a pattern on one of the four cards in their hand. When you can match the pattern on one of your cards, you put it on the table to score the victory points. The card values run from one to three points and, as you can imagine, the higher the point value of the card, the harder the card is to complete. Play rotates clockwise until the deck of cards runs out and each player scores points for the cards they completed.

Manipulation of the board and actions are very straight forward:

1. Put a disc on or move a disc to an empty hex

2. Take a disc off a hex

3. Move an empty hex somewhere

4. Discard a card (one you don’t think you can complete)

5. Reset the board to the initial set up (you may do this only once per turn)

6. Discard a completed card to get three extra actions for your turn

The game is very straight forward and is very easy to explain. As I mentioned, it is, at its heart, a pure abstract puzzle style game. As such, it will not appeal to everyone. Initially, I had concerns about potential down time. The puzzle aspect of the game requires you to figure out how to manipulate the board with action points to complete one of the four unique cards in your hand. With slow players, there is potential to slow the game down. There is no prior planning ability because the board could change several times before it becomes your time to play. In my few plays, the down time was not significant. Even with little opportunity to prior plan, most players finished their turn in 30 – 60 seconds. And, it gives others a nice opportunity to carry on a social conversation until their turn arrives.

For those people that enjoy puzzle and board manipulation games with a dash of humorous art and card names, you will find a nice focused single purpose game.

Love it –

Like it – Ted C

Neutral – Dale Y

Not for me –

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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