Lately I haven’t had much gaming time at the table with my wife, since we have a brand new baby girl to raise. Games that can be played solo a bit more interesting to me, now. This is where Disaster on Everest, a solitaire game that simulates a group of hikers scaling Mount Everest. In this review I’ll let you know how the game plays and if it is an entertaining experience.
Conclusion spoiler (For those who like to get right to the point)
Good, solid solitaire game that is really unlike anything I’ve played. Length of the game is just right. Can be a bit fiddly, but no more so than most euro games.
Brief rundown of the rules (Skip if you know how to play)
Very simple setup. Pick a color of clients to explore the mountain, along with 2 guides. Place all the tokens on the Base Camp space. You then put all the event tiles into a bag or bowl; basically something to draw from. These will be used to simulate different events (both good and bad) that the climbers will encounter on their trip. Then you mark the number of Prestige you start the game with by placing a counter on the 18 space of the Prestige track.
The game is played over a variable number of rounds. At the beginning of each turn you draw an Event tile. At that point you have 2 things to do with that event. You can either “purchase” it, meaning you pay the amount printed on the tile in Prestige, then the event happens (all the different events are listed on 2, double sided player aids included in the game). Like I mentioned above, sometimes events are bad. So why would you want to purchase something that is not beneficial to the climbers? Well, you only have 6 “freebies” before the virtual storm hits. So if you pass on an event it goes on the “Storm Track” and pushes the game towards its end. After all 6 spaces are filled, then there are only 9 rounds left in the game and movement is severely limited.
The next part of the round is really the meat of the game. This is when you move you clients and guides up the mountain. The player has 3 options for movement: Move both guides; each guide can bring with them 1 client, for up to 2 spaces, Move one guide and 2 clients; clients can move the number of spaces printed on their token, or Move four clients. You can also forgo the movement of a single guide, for two turns to give you the ability to draw 3 events and choose the one you want to occur.
I should note that each guide has 2 of 4 different abilities: Fast – can move client 3 spaces, Expert Climber – can move through blocked ridges, Strong – can move 2 clients, Resolute – Ignores storm movement restrictions. Throughout the game you will be decided the most efficient way to get your climbers up the mountain…and back down.
After all the movement there are a few things to resolve like the Hillary Step, where the game intentionally slows the climbers down by putting them in a queue.
The game really fits in a unique space in my collection. Many games claim they can be played solo, but you’re really just dumbing down the actual game. This game is designed to be played by one player, so the rules are streamlined, there aren’t many things to keep track of that aren’t listed on the board and the play time is just about the right amount of time I want to be playing a game by myself
One issue I had was the components are certainly not up to the quality of most of the games I play these days. Now, there are nothing wrong with what’s included in the game, they are very functional. But they feel very cheap and look very basic. After I started playing, however, I was able to look past those things.
So if you’re looking for something you can bring you on long business trips or if you find yourself as the only one awake at night and want to play something, this is a great choice. It won’t win any beauty contests, but it’s definitely a solid game.
If you’re interested in picking up a copy of Disaster on Everest, our friends at VictoryPointGames.com have plenty in stock. So go grab yourself a copy!
You must be logged in to post a comment.