Review: Discworld - Ankh-Morpork / Designer: Martin Wallace / Publisher: Treefrog Games / Format: Board Game / Release Date: Out Now
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld has seen a great many spin-off products and games in the past, and one thing they have in common is that they tend to be of very high quality. Discworld: Ankh-Morpork certainly doesn’t break this pattern; it’s a great game, and one that all the family can enjoy.
Imagine Monopoly with personality, engaging mechanics, well thought out complexity and wide variety. Or in other words, a game that’s nothing like Monopoly but is still about becoming in charge of a city through luck and skill. In Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, each player takes control of a character, and this sets their win condition. Everyone has a different way to win, which can make for tense and strategic play.
Each player has multiple options available as part of their bid to gain control of the city. These include assassination, sending in the watch, triggering random events or adding minions or buildings. Cards are drawn, and some these require certain actions to be played to trigger other effects. Cause too much ruckus in an area and the game can end in a sudden riot, play too cautiously and you are guaranteed to lose. Discworld: Ankh-Morpork is easy to master, quick to play and random enough to be different every game whilst still allowing strategy and intelligence to be a real advantage.
The regular edition of the game is very nicely put together, the components beautifully illustrated and the pieces painted and made of wood rather than plastic or resin. Alas, there is a slight problem with some of the cards, as the colour coding used to differentiate them aren’t stark enough to be that noticeable in a quick shuffle. The box also lacks small plastic bags to put the pieces in, which is usually the case. The rules are also printed on thin card, which means they aren’t terribly robust. These, however, are minor niggles; overall a lot of care and attention to detail has gone into the pieces and the artwork evokes the novels splendidly. The game is also reasonably priced and has a broad-based appeal.
Fans of Lords of Waterdeep will find themselves on solid ground with Discworld: Ankh-Morpork. Both are excellent city inspired games filled with politics and chance; however, the Discworld game is more accessible and easier to pick up. Games should take about 40 minutes to an hour, making it an ideal starter for those who like to warm up before playing longer games, or for groups with easily distracted players. This is a great pick for Discworld fans, and though some of the charm will be lost on those who haven’t read the books, it’s still a strong family game and worth a look.