Today, Adie and I tried Brew Crafters travel edition. Liam adores the full version of the game, so I was keen to see how it would play, even as an abridged version. I have heard mixed views from the travel edition, so I guess I was not approaching the game with the highest expectations, but I must say it was not as bad as some had suggested, and it was a perfectly good little, quick game.
The point of the game is that you run a brewery and are making beer, trying to do it better than your competitors, which are the other players. For a game of 4 you play in teams. Easy game end: whenever a brewery reaches 21 victory points, the game s over. Then you add bonuses to your final score.
The rules are incredibly simple: the draw and turn mechanics reminded us somewhat of Ticket to Ride. You draw two cards in your turn, either from the 5 cards that are faced up, or from the blind pile. You base your card choices on their ingredient value, (hoops, barley, yeast, etc), or their brewery function.
Then you have 3 choices:
-put one card down as part of your brewery: this will give you bonuses either towards the end of game score, or to make yours brewing easier in future turns. You can only have one of each card down in the brewery, and these stay down until the end of the game.
-brew: you have a list of beers you can make and how many points they will give you. All you need to do is collect the ingredients, which are represented at the top left corner of every card, and use them to make your craft beer. These cards then go to the discard pile.
And that’s all there is to the game. There is different approaches which become apparent quickly after you begin to play. You can try score most of your points through quick brews to avoid your adversary building up their business, you can play tp build your brewery with good combos so that you brew less for more victory points, or a combination of both strategies. Cards luck does have some influence in the game, and you will probably benefit from retaining info such as how many of the least common cards are in play, and taking cards away for brewing so that are if interest for your opponent for their brewery.
There is nothing else to the game. It took us about 20 mins to play the first round just because we were learning, and a bit less (I would say 15?) for the second one. Both games were different because of the way the cards turn up and how we built the breweries. So overall, it is an interesting little game. I would certainly recommend it for people who are starting to get into game, or for a starter on a games night with just a few people. In addition, the price is not bad either, $9.95 – in the UK is going for around £7.00. So if you have some money to spare, like beer, and you fancy a quick little game, go try it for yourselves.