SeaFall: A Legacy Game
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- For 3-5 Players
- 90-120 minute playing time
- High replay value
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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SeaFall is a 4X game (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) set in an "age of sail" world reminiscent of our world. In SeaFall, the world is starting to claw its way out of a dark age and has begun to rediscover seafaring technology. Players take on the role of a mainland empire that consults with a consortium of advisors to discover new islands, explore those islands, develop trade, send out raiding parties, take part in ship-to-ship combat, and more. SeaFall evolves as the game is played, setting their grudges into the history of the game and building a different narrative at every table as players open up the world.
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|Item Dimensions||3 x 12 x 15.5 in||4.19 x 1.16 x 5.74 in||4.19 x 1.16 x 5.74 in||5.51 x 1.96 x 5.51 in||0.75 x 4.12 x 5.62 in||2 x 2 x 2 in|
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Set Sail for Adventure into the Biggest Kick in the Teeth a Game Has Ever Given You
I highly recommend playing through the Prologue on this game, because it will give you a very good idea of how mercilessly this game will mock you, cut you down to size, burn you, beat you, and occasionally drive a stake through your heart and make you scream and want to throw things. Did I mention this game is frustrating? I don't want to give anything away, but I can tell you this. Seafall does NOT want you to get ahead of anyone else, despite this being a competitive game centered on acquiring victory points. So really, anyone who is getting ahead by any method across multiple games is going to be cut down to size by built-in measures the game takes to punish you winning. Even more striking is how "playing dirty" will get you punished even more. You think you'll playing well, messing with the other players, dominating. And then the game laughs in your face and takes aggressive measures to punish you into the ground.
The Thirst For Defeat
As others have pointed out, this is a game that forces you to pick and choose actions for strategies that take a while to play out over and hour and a half or more, and the nature of the delayed rewards for actions means that you will often want to play again immediately after a game finishes because you were ABOUT to see the fruition of 2 hours of hard work when SOMEONE got that last victory point (excuse me, "Glory"). This is a double edged sword because on the one hand you get excited to keep playing, but on the other you often have your plans frustrated.
Ultimately it's frustration that usually wins out, because this game has a lot of complex mechanics that just get more complicated as time goes on, and you will find repeatedly that your carefully laid plans are frustrated at the last second because you misinterpreted a rule, or someone forgot to label something, or the game chooses that exact moment to kick you in the teeth.
The Agony of Victory
It cannot be overstated how much Seafall punishes you for winning. The farther behind you get with each passing game, the more excessive the bonsues and elaborate the punishment to try to even the odds. On the one hand this is some brilliant game balancing and it ensures that it's almost impossible to have run-away victory game after game, but on the other it makes the game frustrating for the underdog who is outplayed by a better player (much like playing Risk with the same person winning over and over), AND it makes the game frustrating for the winner, who is going to have more than a sneaking suspicion that Seafall is giving him a J.J. Abrahms style beat-down every time he starts to pull ahead.
The Call to Glory
Seafall has some serious shortcomings. The artwork is dull. For all the hype on the story and captain's log it's plain looking and the text could use a LOT more flavor and personalization. Seafall feels like a game that could use a lot of refinement, streamlining, re-writing, and some much better artwork. I'm glad I bought it, not for the game itself, but for the hope that games like will come out which refine its concepts into something much, much better. I'm especially disappointed in how poor the instructions are. Game after game we keep finding rules that were are applying wrong (despite multiple watches of videos on the rules and constant referral to the written rules). In a game like this that has and adds so many rules, clear instructions are a must, and they just aren't clear enough (even simple things like what counts as an encounter, how to add glory points, and how to remove enmity CONTINUE to confuse three seasoned board game veterans [I'm talking a board game reviewer, a man who writes on the game with a quill pen and paints the ships, and a man who creates his own board games]).
Ultimately, people like me who are in it for the long-haul and want the EXPERIENCE of Seafall are going to enjoy this game (even when it isn't fun), because of the personal growth and memories involved. This is not a game for playing once or twice. This is a LIFESTYLE game that takes time to get to the payoff, but ultimately is worth it for those with patience and enjoyment of being punished again and again just for playing.
Would I recommend it for casual players? For people looking to expand their boardgame experiences? For fans of Legacy games? Heck no! I would only recommend it for nuts like me who want new epic experiences, no matter how painful (I'm talking people who enjoyed Mass Effect 3 and Banner Saga and Descent:Freespace, watching planets blown to bits, favorite characters die, their choices destroying all they love, and their mother ship exploding, and cried out "More! It's too easy! Too happy! I'm not suffering enough!"). If you can wrap your head around all that stomach the price, this is your game. Just prepare to lose, and lose hard. Even if you're winning.
It will be interesting to see how I feel at the end of the game, but right now, the most enjoyment comes from the plot twists and sudden turns the game takes. Because just when you're getting the hang of it, it's a whole new game all over again, and it's wonderful. I'm looking forward to the next game. There are still boxes to open, and adventures to be had.
The game has been completed!!!!!
Yes, it's true, we finally completed this monster, and neither of us three wants to see another Legacy Game any time soon. Well? Was it worth the anguish? The arguments? The horrible defeats? Heck no! If I had it to do over again I would never have played this game!
While SeaFall had a good core idea (Colonial discovery! Adventure! A narrative that YOU decide!), actual execution fell very flat. There's some fun things in this game, but timing was sometimes off (we discovered a secret during the final game and it was almost too late), the artwork is dull and bland, and the story...just isn't very good.
Spoilers! Don't read past here if you don't want to know how it ends!
Yeah, I was excited to open that final box. I wanted an awesome crazy plot twist! I wanted something epic! But in the end, the final game ended before things got very desperate, and the final plot twist was incredibly disappointing to say the least. All this time I was hoping there were aliens, or Cthulhu, or a dimensional gateway, or SOMETHING cool, that would blow my mind and allow for lots of cool new things to keep me playing beyond the end. No such success to be found. Instead the gates to heck opens and all heck breaks loose and you could hear me groaning at my incredible disappointment that this game turned out to have such a lame formulaic ending.
In the end our highest scoring player single-handedly won AGAIN and there's were no fun plot twists or last-minute hurrahs. All my hard work in the final game was completely pointless as he cake-walked through the final challenge. No team-work was needed. No cooperation. He got over 30 "glory" in the final game and my trying to be a team player and help accomplished nothing. Bad game design. Ultimately, that's what I'll remember about this game. It's brutal to the players. It's competitive. It's not fun. And it's badly designed.
So the feeling after HAVING BEATEN THE GAME?
AVOID. Ye have been warned.
Definitely NOT a game to introduce anyone to "legacy" games, it is nonetheless very entertaining if you can get past the need to use the Internet as a resource to clarify the rules.
Most recent customer reviews
Factoring in the price, this is probably the worst game I have ever played.Read more