- Designer: THEKI
- Publisher: Korea Board Games / Cheeky Parrot
- Players: 1-4
- Age: 10+
- Time: 10 – 15 minutes
- Played 4 times with review copy provided by Korea Board Games
World Changes has been on my radar for nearly a year now. Korea Board Games has had plenty of teasers of the art in their newsletters for quite some time now. In this quick playing game, players are the captain of an interstellar spaceship (because Earth is no longer inhabitable), and they are trying to assemble a crew of historical figures to allow humanity to best thrive on their new home….
Yeah, that backstory makes no sense to me either – but no matter – it’s just the backstory. In gamer terms, draft cards with special abilities to have the best set of cards at the end! There are 32 historical figures in the game, each with their own card. (There is also a thick booklet which devotes a page to each figure as well as a short bio and description of their special action in the game).
In each game, a random subset of the deck is made, drawing 6 cards at random per player in the game (so 24 cards in a 4p game). These are shuffled to make a draw pile, and then each player draws two cards for their initial hand. Then, the next 3 cards are flipped face up to form the Void. Each player takes a Player Chip, each has an Active side with their player color and an Inactive side with an orange background.
At the start of a turn, the player flips their chip to the Active side (The side with their player color). Then, the player can either Invite or Pass.
Invite – to Invite, you choose one of the cards in the Void and add it in front of you – this historical figure is now part of your spaceship’s crew. If this card has an “Invite effect”, resolve it now – this is denoted by a blue circular icon. In general card effects are not interrupted. If the current effect causes others to happen, use a Reminder marker on the card so that you can later resolve the subsequent action. If an effect affects multiple players, this is resolved in clockwise order from the active player.
Pass – the player flips their chip back over to the Passive side. Apply any crew effects that are predicated on passing.
Regardless of the Invite/Pass choice, once all card effects are resolved, refill the Void back up to 3 cards (it’s OK to have more than 3, you simply wouldn’t add more). Also, the player draws their hand back up to 2 cards, if needed. Then, the next player clockwise goes.
The game continues in this fashion until either all players have passed in consecutive order OR when the Void and the Draw pile are both empty. At this time, each player calculates their final score. Each card has a base Legacy Point value and many cards have criteria on them that either alter the value of other cards or have specific scoring criteria printed on them. The player with the most points wins. Ties broken in favor of the player with the most Crew mates.
My thoughts on the game
The game is a quick little tactical game that has felt different each time due to the small-ish subset of cards that are used in each game. As you always make a new little deck to play with, you’re never quite sure what cards and interactions will be available to you in any given game. So, you are constantly evaluating what your best strategies are or what new combinations you can exploit.
The varying abilities of the cards is nice, and thus far, I am finding new synergies with each successive play of the game. I will say that I wish that there was a bit more explanation or clarification on a few character abilities. The game includes a nice thick booklet with a capsule biography for each historical figure (about 200 words written at a middle-school level) – and while the text of the character’s ability is reprinted in the book, there is no further explanation or examples provided on that page. Luckily the majority of the cards are straightforward, but it does feel like in every game so far, our group has had to chat for a bit to decide how a card works or how it combines with another.
There is a little bit of take-that in some of the card actions – but not excessive. Just good to note that it’s possible in case you have some gamers with delicate sensibilities. There is a little bit of character stealing and/or moving them back into the Void – but it generally doesn’t feel too mean spirited.
Games go quick – usually only ten or fifteen minutes; so it definitely doesn’t overstay its welcome. By the time that you have figured out how many of the cards work, the draw deck is depleted and you’re well into the endgame. Scoring can be a bit complicated, and we have found that sometimes it is nice to have each player double check the scoring of their neighbor to make sure that all the points are correctly computed.
World Changers is a neat tactical filler that can be a nice way to start or end a game night. It’s quick to set up and play, and each game thus far has been challenging and different due to the specific card subset drawn for each game.
Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
- I love it!
- I like it. Dale Y
- Not for me…