“Grackles” is a new build-your-own board game being developed by Fireside Games. You may know these guys from games like “Castle Panic!” and “Kaiju Crush!”, Or from an article we published earlier this week over another game of theirs titled “Remnants.” Grackles is unlike any of the games mentioned in the sense that it is simple in premise, and yet deceptively strategic. I’m going to break down this game piece by piece to give you a good idea of how awesome it is!
First off, the idea for the game is light and fun. It’s a game that doesn’t hurt your brain by over complicating the premise. The idea is to place your Grackles on power lines, and to dominate the space by the end of the game. The boards maximum size is a 5×5 tile grid with four colored dots on each tile. The colors are purple, blue, green, and black. Each tile is connected by criss crossed black lines to symbolize the power lines upon which your Grackles will perch. Being from Texas (where Grackles are native) this concept is especially cool to me. For those that don’t know what Grackles are, they’re like smaller, dumber crows. During the rainy or cold seasons, hundreds of them will be lined up on power lines as far as the eye can see. That knowledge makes this game much more lighthearted and fun.
There are four possible actions on each of your turns, and you must choose one of them. The board starts with two tiles and expands whenever a player decides to place a tile, which is one possible actions. The others are to place a line of birds from one dot that matches your bird color, to another of the same color, to extend any existing line farther in the same direction, or to rotate an empty tile. A special note is that you only have 5 total tile rotations throughout the course of the game, so make them count! So, with all of the actions in mind, we can explain the building of the game a little bit more. The board will end as a 5×5 grid, so the players can’t extend the tiles past that measurement. Not only does this limit your moves, it forces you to strategize at least a little bit. Any lines that you place cannot intersect an existing line, even if it is your own. One of the beauties of this game is how you have to plan ahead…but not too far ahead.
Now, this game is very straightforward. Unlike some other board expansion games, which can get mind boggling very quickly, Grackles presents an easy to understand and fun to play system that loses none of it’s charm to gameplay. It’s a game that you finish and can immediately go back into for sometime totally new. Because the tiles are drawn from a “deck” instead of dealt and played, the board has a very low chance of ever being exactly the same. This small change on a game to game basis significantly increases the replay value.
Grackles will be available August 1, 2018 through fireside games online store and in plenty of hobby shops! The starting retail price will be 39.95 for some beautiful tiles and sturdy plastic chips to act as your birds. Overall a fantastic value for an awesome game that I suggest you all pick up when it releases! Be sure to visit firesidegames.com for more information.
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