Epic Resort Review

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Epic Resort is a game by Ben Harkins, published by Floodgate Games. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players will be trying to build the best resort possible to attract fantasy heroes and tourists. They will be hiring and training workers to help them do just that. Sometimes monsters will attack and it will be up to the player’s workers to try and convince the relaxing hero to fight off the monster and save the tourists. The player that can keep their tourists alive and build the best resort to score the most points will be declared the winner.

To begin, players will set up their player area by placing a beach and tiki hut tile beside each other. They will also place 2 tourist meeples on the leftmost squares of each tile. A resource track tile is placed near their resort with a flair and gold marker cube close by. They will also take 7 apprentices, 3 street performers and 3 lazy peon cards. These cards are shuffled and placed face down in their play area. The main play area is set up by separating attraction tiles by tier. Each tier’s tiles are shuffled and placed face up in a row. The top card is placed below the stack to allow for 2 tiles from each tier to be visible. 6 day worker skilled worker cards are placed in the worker draft area below the attractions. Depending on the number of players, a certain amount of extra skilled worker cards are randomly added to the worker draft area. There are normally 4 additional piles added. Hero, tourist, Attack and Double Attack cards are shuffled together to form the main deck. Cards are dealt face up from the main deck to form the dock, depending on the number of players. Attack and Double Attack cards are shuffled back into the main deck and replaced if drawn at this time. Monster cards are separated by tier and each pile is shuffled. The piles are stacked with tier I cards on top and tier III cards on bottom. Damage markers, tourist meeples, lock markers, health markers and gold tokens are separated into piles and placed within easy reach of all players. The first player is chosen and they are given the Harbormaster card. Play now begins.

The game consists of several seasons which are divided into 5 phases. Those phases are Get to Work, Actions, A Ship Arrives, Hero Rewards and Clean Up. The first phase is the Get to Work phase. In this phase, players perform their actions simultaneously. Players will draw 5 cards from their worker draw pile. They will then choose any number of workers to send to an attraction at their resort to work by placing them under the chosen attraction. Tourist meeples are returned to the supply for each unit of work symbol that is not supplied by a worker. The player then gains flair and money equal to the corresponding numbers on the attraction. This is marked on the players resource track.

The next phase is the actions phase. In this phase, players take turns performing actions until all players have passed, beginning with the Harbormaster. Players are allowed to take one main action and any number of free actions. The main actions are attract tourists, attract season pass holders, attract a hero, train a skilled worker and upgrade an attraction. To attract a tourist, the player selects the desired card from the dock and pays it’s flair cost. They will then gain the number of tourists indicated which are distributed to any of the player’s attractions filling them from left to right. To attract a season pass holders, the player pays 4 flair and gains 3 tourist meeples to add to any attractions. This option is only available in 4 player games. To attract a hero, the player chooses a hero and pays its flair cost. The hero is then placed in front of an attraction that does not already have one there. A health marker is placed on the hero’s health bar. To train a skilled worker, the player removes a worker with a train ability from their hand, removing it from play. The desired worker is selected from the worker draft piles. The player then pays the gold cost. The new worker card is then placed in the player’s hand. A lock marker is then placed on the selected worker draft pile. To upgrade an attraction, the player pays the gold cost and places the new attraction in one of the 3 available slots including already existing ones. When doing this, the attraction’s tier must be higher than the one that it’s covering. Tourist, lock markers and damage markers are sent back to the supply. The attraction draft area is then filled from the draft pile.

The free actions that are available are to send workers to attractions, use a workers discard ability and use an attraction ability. A player may send any number of workers from their hand to an attraction to supply units of work that may enable an attraction’s ability. The player may perform any number of worker discard abilities as dictated by the card’s text. These cards are discarded from the player’s hand to the worker discard pile and then they may resolve the worker’s ability. The player can also perform any number of attraction abilities. To do this the attraction must be fully staffed and it must not have a lock marker on it. They may then perform the attraction’s ability but must put a lock marker on it afterwards. Once a player has performed one main action and as many free actions as they’d like, they may pass. Once a player passes they may not take any longer actions. If a player passes first and they are the Harbormaster, they will remain the Harbormaster and will add a gold to the Harbormaster card. If they are not the Harbormaster and they pass first, they immediately become the Harbormaster, gaining the Harbormaster card. They also gain gold equal to the number of gold tokens on the card. The gold tokens are then placed back into the supply.

The third phase is A Ship Arrives. This phase begins by taking the card farthest away from the main deck and discarding it, sliding the rest of the cards over. The top card is drawn from the deck to refill the row. This continues until as long as the cards drawn are not attacks or double attacks until there are 6 cards in the row. If the card drawn is one of those types, it triggers a monster attack. The top card is revealed from the monster deck and it attacks the resort as indicated by the card. If a hero is present at the attraction that is attacked, the player can choose to use the hero to defend against the attack or dodge it by moving to an empty attraction. If there is no hero present, the player can choose to move a hero from a different attraction to defend. A hero can only move once during this phase. If there are tourists but no hero, the attraction loses tourists equal to the monster’s strength. If there’s a hero present, the hero loses 1 health. However if the monster’s strength is greater than the hero’s strength, the attraction loses tourists equal to the difference. If there are no tourists or heroes present, the monster attacks the attraction by placing 1 damage marker on it. Lazy peons can be thrown at the monster to end the monster’s attack by discarding the card from a player’s hand and then removing it from play. Once the attack is over, the dock can continue to be refilled. If the monster deck is empty at any time during this phase, the game ends after the current turn.

The next phase is the hero rewards phase. In this phase, heroes at a player’s resort with full health are moved to that player’s scoring pile. Any time a hero is moved in this way, the top monster of the monster deck is moved face up into the discard pile. 1 health is given to any hero still at the resort.

The next phase is the clean up phase. In this phase, any workers at a player’s resort are placed in their discard pile along with any unplayed workers in the player’s hand. Lock markers are removed from worker draft piles, season pass holders, and attractions. Flair is rest to 0 on a player’s resource track and a new season begins. That is unless the end game condition has been met by emptying the monster deck. Scoring then takes place. Players add up all the victory points from heroes in their scoring piles as well as from their attractions. They also gain a victory point for each hero at an attraction. The player with the most victory points is the winner.

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COMPONENTS
This game has some truly amazing looking components. The large attraction tiles are very nice and the artwork is great. The resource track looks good and is that same size. It shows that beach that all the tourists and heroes will be arriving on. The tourist cards as well as the season pass holders look really nice as well. I get a bit of a Gilligan’s Island kind of feel when I look at them. If they only knew that they might be monster food in the future. The worker cards are really well done and each one has a very distinctive look that I really like. The same is true of the heroes and monster cards. I love the art on these. There are lots of different markers and tokens from damage, locks, gold and health. These are designed excellently. The resource markers look really good and are brightly colored to keep everything clear. The tourist meeple are all really nice quality as well. I really love how good everything looks. The art and theme definitely come through in every piece. I really get that island resort feel when I look at what’s included with this game. Fantastic job of design and art.
10 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is extremely high quality just like the components. Everything is explained really well and the flow of the game is outlined beautifully inside it. There are lots of great pictures and examples on pretty much every page. The rules even include a quick gameplay summary to help you jump right into the game. There are lots of clarifications listed to help you understand everything and clear up any questions that might arise. There is quite a bit to read, but it’s simple and easy to understand. You might have to refer back to things a bit as you play but everything is easily found with no problems. Overall, I’m really pleased with the look and feel of the rulebook. It’s really great.
9 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
This game is pure fun. As I’ve stated on more than one occasion, I love deck-builders and I love worker placement games. This one takes a little bit of both mixes them together with a Fantasy Island/Gilligan’s Island feel meets Dungeons and Dragons. Needless to say, I love it. Both mechanics give me just enough to make me happy. I like the great sliding mechanic between Flair and Gold, if your Flair is high on an attraction then your Gold will be low and vice versa. It’s really well done. The game also has a nice city building feel as well with the attractions. It’s like Walt Disney made a Dungeons and Dragons theme park instead of Disneyland. The heroes and workers all feel unique and fun. I love how simple the game is. The game is fairly light but has plenty of strategy to it. It plays in about an hour and a half, give or take. It plays well with any number of players. This is a really great game that hits every mark for me.
10 out of 10

OVERALL
Epic Resort is a medium weight game of pure Epicness. The game plays in about an hour and a half. The artwork, theme and design are all completely amazing. The game mechanics of deck-building and worker placement are highlighted really well. The game has plenty of strategy to keep you thinking. The game is super fun and is one that I really enjoy playing. Fans of deck-builders as well as worker placement games should really enjoy this game. Fans of fantasy games as well as city builders will like it too. Everything about this game looks great and the fun is exponential. I highly recommend it. The game has lots of replayability with the number of various attractions and workers included in it. Each time is a new experience that will leave you wanting to play it more. This is a truly great game.
10 out of 10

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For more information about this and other great games, please check out Floodgate Games at their site.

http://floodgategames.com/

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About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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