Customer Reviews: Eight-Minute Empire
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars17
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on June 14, 2013
I saw this product on a Dice Tower review video and had to pick it up. It is an area control game that takes about twenty minutes or so to play. I know the title says Eight-Minute, but it takes a little bit longer than that. What's great about it is there aren't too many fun area control games that can be used as fillers...perhaps there are, but I haven't found too many. I could go into the gameplay and rules of the game, but it would probably be easier to look up a video. I know the Dice Tower has one and I saw one by Drive-Thru Reviews.

For some people I can see a problem with depth in this game. I would definitely agree that this game isn't necessarily a very "deep" game, but I don't think it's meant to be and it is accomplishing what it sets out to do.

The box and components are good quality, you're getting your money's worth with this game. Also something else to note is the board is double sided, allowing you to change it up every once and a while.

I like being able to bring this game to game nights because it's not a dice rolling filler game. Someone always has King of Tokyo, and while that is fun, having a different option never hurts.

I highly recommend this game to anyone looking for something to fill in the waiting times in between games and maybe to have something to play during your lunch break!

**There is also an "Eight-Minute Empire" that comes with an extra board, it costs a little more, but it's probably worth it.**

**Something else to note - at the top it says 2-4 player, it's not; it's a 2-5 player game**
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on October 7, 2013
Eight-Minute Empire: 2-5 Players, Ages 13+, Average Play Time = 10-20 Minutes

Firstly, the components were of fairly good quality. The tokens had a thicker feel about them compared to some of the other games in my collection that feature cardboard pieces. The board is of thicker quality as well, which I appreciate. The cube and disc sets each came in their own plastic baggie, making clean-up easy and organized. The rulebook is only four pages (two pages front and back), but does a fairly good job in explaining the rules. All in all, I was happy with both the size and quality of the game and its components.

In terms of strategic gameplay, there's a few different things going on at the same time. Not only will players be aiming to collect resources of the same type, but they'll need to be managing their armies in ways that ensure adequate board coverage. Since actions and resources are located on the same card, players will often be trying to decide if they should be focusing their efforts on the short-term (very helpful actions) or long-term (resource collection). There's also card costs to consider, since players are limited to the money that they started with.

There is a luck factor at work, considering that the cards are shuffled and come up randomly as the game progresses. However, seeing that players can pick and choose from six different cards which alternate positions as they remain in play, I'm inclined to consider this more of a strategic game than one based off of luck. Cards that were expensive and not as accessible will be less so the longer they remain in play. This ensures that unpopular cards eventually become a subject for consideration, much like unpopular races do in "Small World".

The manual includes a number of variants to help mix up gameplay. For example, players can opt for a longer play experience by playing three games, adding the victory points from each for a grand total to determine the winner. In another variant, goods tokens are placed on regions with a triangle on them. Players who control those regions at the end of the game count them as extra goods when scoring resources. The game is flexible enough to come up with your own variants, which I appreciate. I've been toying with the idea of gifting all players one or two coin tokens mid-game (when players reach half of their card goal) to help them purchase more expensive cards as the need arises. I've also considered extending gameplay an extra round or two, just to give players more time to move their armies around the board. I'm very pleased that the game is able to accomodate creative minds.

Our play sessions were positive overall. Vinnie (12) had the most trouble, though it wasn't due to understanding how the game was played. The game is over relatively quickly, meaning that your time-management skills will be tested a bit. In this area, Vinnie sometimes made moves that weren't the most lucrative. I had no problems with putting on my coach hat however and showing him how best to make use of the limited time in which he had to play. He ended up with the least amount of armies but had the most territories. Anthony (17) was all about controlling the starting continent, giving him a lot of points. Out of the three of us, I was the one who opted for cards that complimented my resource stock. While my territory coverage was average at best, I managed to tie Vinnie for first place due to some carefully calculated card purchases.

In the end, I was very impressed with "Eight-Minute Empire". It's quick and easy to play, but will force you to make some pretty tough decisions. Despite the game's name, our play times averaged at roughly twenty minutes per game. This was due to the learning curve and the distractions that come with a chaotic household such as mine. I have no doubt however that experienced players could zip right through a game in under ten minutes if they tried. There are a lot of small pieces, so I'd suggest keeping the game away from toddlers and pets, if at all possible. This game is easily recommendable for both family game night and as a filler in between longer game sessions.
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VINE VOICEon September 26, 2013
...but that's still an amazing achievement. There is a surprising amount of subtle strategy to this little gem. The two-sided board ensures some variety along with the randomization of the cards each game. Our lunchtime gaming group will play this 2-3 times before turning to something else. It's also simple enough that you could probably introduce younger players to a real strategy game using this.

I expect you will be able to find new maps created by players at boardgamegeek or other sites. Even without additional boards, you will get a lot of play out of this game. Very nice design.
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on January 5, 2016
Wow. What an absolutely brilliant name for a board game. Yes, I am sure there are some out there that will scoff at the idea of a quick board game. But, man did my family love this concept from the moment we heard about it. With six kids, we generally have a lot going on in our home. So much so, that it feels like there is rarely enough time to sit down to spend a couple of hours on a game. Instead, we are constantly find ourselves in positions where it is 15 minutes until we are about to do something and we all scramble to squeeze in a quick round of this or that.

Eight Minute Empire is so perfect for just such an occasion.

At its heart, Eight Minute Empire is a area control game in the vain of risk. However, because of its short nature, it removes all of the heat and anger from the game play. This is a major plus in my house where Risk has often ended in tears, lol. When you lose in Eight Minute Empire, you simply think, “Oh, I didn’t think of that. Next time I’ll do that differently.” That being said, there is a surprisingly high level of strategy to be had here. Each turn, you are faced with many decisions (usually 6) that all seem pretty close to on par with one another. Invariably, you will make some great and terrible decisions within the course of each tiny game.

Speaking of surprisingly high levels, the components of this game are all top notch. They are on par with what you would expect from a full $40 table top game. The box in particular just feels and looks high quality.

I have seen some people say that they have never had an actual 8 minute game play, but I would argue it is totally possible. Once people become familiar with the game and are on spot when it is their turn to play. The game can easily be completed in that time frame. The insane thing is that it feels like you just played a major board game when you are through!

My family absolutely loved this game. Even my 8 year old who is notoriously picky about playing anything that does not involve running and a ball, sat down and really enjoyed this one. All in all, I look forward to many more eight minute empires to come (especially with those awesome looking sequels and expansions already out there!).
Get it here on Amazon!
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on August 25, 2014
Publisher: Red Raven Games

Game Designer: Ryan Laukat

Artwork: Ryan Laukat

Players: 2-5 players

Ages: 8 and up

Playing Time: 30 minutes

Game Mechanics: Area Control, Set Collection, Card Drafting

Contents: 5 sets of 14 wooden cubes and 3 wooden disks, 1 double-sided mounted game board, 42 cards, 44 coin tokens, 10 goods tokens, Rulebook

Suggested Retail Price: $24.99

Parental Advisory: Safe for children

Awards: 2013 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee, 2013 Golden Geek Best Print & Play Board Game Nominee
If you've read any of my reviews you know that I have a special place in my game bag for micro games; those fun games that fit in your pocket (sometimes you need bigger pockets) and bring pithy goodness in a petite package. Eight Minute Empire from Red Raven Games offers a quick playing and fun take on set collection and area control, using card drafting to dictate the moves you make and goods you earn while building your global empire in less than ten minutes.

The game concept is simple to teach and play, you draft the card you want, collecting a set of goods as you go while taking the action directed on the card. The actions allow you to add or move armies to control different regions, build cities and in a few instances, remove an opponent's army. There is no combat in the game; you win the region by having more armies there than other players, think Risk without the dice rolling. The player who has the most victory points from regions owned, continents controlled and goods collected from these cards at the end of the game wins.

The idea of building a world dominating empire in eight short minutes is an ambitious undertaking and Eight Minute Empire lives up to the task. A two player game will run about 10 minutes or so and with the maximum of five players you're looking at around 15-20 minutes. You can play the game in eight minutes with two players once you are experienced and take your actions with minimal downtime, but that's only if you want to rush it. With the playing time so short, you will likely find yourself playing more than one game in a row so no need to rush it.
Each player is given a set amount of coins depending on the number of players along with 14 cubes, representing your armies and 3 discs for your cities. Everyone places three armies in the start region and then bids, from the coins they have, for the opportunity to go first.

Adding the blind bid to see who goes first is a great touch. Immediately, you are tasked with deciding how much money you're willing to risk from your limited funds to have first crack at the cards on the top row. That gold must be spent wisely to attain the cards you want, lest you leave armies off the table or unable to move without getting the right movement orders.

There are six cards placed in a row across the top of the map, these are what drive the game since they are the action and goods cards that you draft and collect. These cards will let you place your armies, move them, build cities (allows you to place armies on future turns) and even have slight offensive capabilities in removing one or more units of your opponents armies from play permanently.

The cards in the row each have a cost associated with them based on their place in line from 0-3 coins and you decide whether you pay the cost for it or wait and see if it gets to the free slot. Do you grab for army movement, placement or city building or do you snatch up goods to garner victory points? As cards are removed from the row, the remaining cards are moved to the left dropping to the next lowest cost slot and a new card is placed in the highest cost slot on the right. Since the coins you have do not get replenished you need to spend wisely!

The goods you need to collect are also listed on the cards and you need to gather varying amounts of each to be awarded victory points at the end of the game. A handful of these cards are `wild' cards that can be used to boost up your goods collections.

Keep in mind, you have few turns to make the critical decisions on cards to take or buy. A two player game last thirteen rounds, decreasing with each player added down to seven rounds for five players. So you can see how important your card choices will be especially with more players. You have limited time to make the maximum choices and these decisions can make for some tension but not many should suffer from AP.

With a low number of rounds, bad cards on the top row may offer little movement choices or a lack of prosperous goods to grab but keep in mind that everyone is dealing with these same misfortunes. Victory goes to the player who chooses wisest and takes the calculated risks of judicious use of those limited coins at the right time.

Eight Minute Empire is a very simple game to learn and play but there is a good amount of strategy here. You will need to balance snatching up goods to earn VP's while at the same time getting cards that allow you to place armies on the board, move them and build cities. You don't want to be grabbing up all the goods cards that allow you to move armies but not place them and vice versa. Without armies you cannot take advantage of movement, without movement you have no expansion and no empire.

From all the games I've played thus far, I find everyone is within a few points of each other most of the time, so it's rarely a one-sided affair. This balance is another reason I find the game to be an excellent strategic game, there really doesn't seem to be any way to `break' the game with an uber strategy.

With an ambitious title and clever gameplay, Eight Minute Empire is a game that gives a much more rich experience than you'd expect from most filler games of this size.

Club Fantasci Scoring (Based on scale of 10): 8

Artwork: 8

Rules Book: 8

Re-playability: 8

Component Quality: 8

Club Fantasci Overall Score: 8

This game is Club Fantasci certified!

I am giving Eight Minute Empire 8 out 10 stars because it offers a good level of depth in a very short period of time. The game isn't a brain burner but it does make you contemplate your steps ahead as you study the cards, plotting your picks as you wait your turn. Do you want to grab up resources for VP's or do you pick cards that allow you to drop more armies on the board and move them to take over the surrounding regions? Simple and effective, the game wraps up some interesting strategy in a small and quick game.

The components are very nice, from the dual-sided map board to the tokens, cubes and cards this is a quality game. With easy to learn and teach rules, you can go from opening the box to playing in about 10 minutes the first time out which I really like in a game.

If you're a fan of micro games as I am, this is a must have for the game night rotation. For those who may overlook the game due to its size, judge not the game by its cover but by what it offers you. Red Raven Games is offering up quite a tasty dish in a moderate size plate and I suggest at least a sampling or two is in order.

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on December 28, 2015
Bought this game because I had seen it on YouTube. Liked the reviews and gameplay is not difficult at all. Just found out that there's also new expansions for this board game which I will definitely be looking into and adding it to my collection! Great little game!!
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on May 30, 2014
This is a fantastic little game. I play loads of games with my kids. One of the biggest struggles I have is finding games that appeal to several ages. My seven year old understood the game immediately yet it provides plenty of challenge and excitement for my 13 year old. And after you play it a couple of times, it really does go fast. Our games typically last about 15 minutes. So many different paths to victory that it provides a high level of strategy.
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on February 18, 2016
Eight-Minute Empire is a quick playing game for 2-5 players focused on area control and set collection. It has quickly become my go-to game for many reasons, as shown below.

It plays in about 20 minutes and doesn't take up too much room on a table. This makes it perfect to play on my lunch break.
It is so easy to learn! There are only a few actions players can take. No player has unique abilities. I even played it with my 4 year old daughter.
There are multiple paths to victory. Players can choose to focus more on map control or specific resource collecting to acquire victory points. It is hard to do both well.
There is a definite end to the game. The game lasts 7-13 rounds (depending on the number of players). This makes the decisions players make ultra important, but also allows experimentation because games go so quickly.
There are two game maps and also a variant to play to spice things up.
The take-that mechanism is not too powerful (removes an opponent's army).
The box and component quality is top notch!

Controlling a continent should be worth more than one victory point, maybe 2.
The city discs are smaller than the armies.
The board does not quite lie flat, even after multiple plays.
Some players might not like the take-that actions available on a few cards.
The title can be misleading. I haven't had a game under about 12 minutes (but that's not a bad thing).

Eight-Minute Empire is so good that it is my new favorite game. I play it almost every day (out of a collection of about 60 games)! The cons are nothing to prevent a person from buying the game but I wanted to list as much as I could think and am very picky.
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on August 31, 2014
More like "18 minute", but superb nonetheless. All those massive, long empire building games? This scratches that itch perfectly but can be taught and played in a reasonable amount of time.

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on January 5, 2015
This is a fun, easy to learn game that will easily entertain. As the name correctly details - this game is not a very long one. Each game is over in a matter of 15 or so minutes (not eight, as the box says). It feels a lot like Risk with less direct conflict... it's just a matter of moving assets around the board.

I like the play style, aesthetics, and the simplicity (as well as complexity) in this game. You can learn to play in a matter of minutes but will take a long time to truly master.

So for a nice, quick game - this is definitely a great option.
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