Its 79 AD and you are located in Pompeii nestled under Mt Vesuvius enjoying your afternoon wine then you feel the ground shaking. What could it be other than my review of The Downfall of Pompeii This review takes place in two parts. The fist attempt didn't make it too far it was with my wife on a lovely spring day in our backyard. We grabbed some Blood of the Unicorn and hit the patio baby monitor in hand.
This game takes place in two acts. The first act you are trying to get your friends and family to occupy sites within the city walls of Pompeii. You do this by playing cards associated with buildings on the map. if the building is full then you may place the token in a neutral building. The goal is to get most of your tokens on to the board in preparation for the second phase. the second phase starts when you draw the second "79 AD" card from the deck. Just to back track a little bit... The deck building for this game is a little more complicated than you would think. So much so that there are several new cheat sheets out there on the net to guide you through it. I usually get it on the second try myself.
We made it to the second phase of the game before a gust of wind flipped the board for us. Lucky for me it was looking like Mary was going to win this one.
The second phase is filled with panic and lava flows. Thankfully for your tokens there is no pyroclastic flow only the slow march of the lava coming from 7 spaces on the board. Each turn you draw out of the bag a new tile of lava on your turn and play it next to a tile with the same symbol on it. then you get to move 2 of you people. The amount of squares they move is equal to the amount of tokens in the square they started in. so if there are 4 tokens you get to move the first token 4 spaces but the next token only gets to move 3 and so on.
Pompeii is a walled city with only 8 gates in which you can usher your tokens through. So you must hurry as the city fills with lava. If your token should happen to get covered with lava your token ends up in the stylized volcano that has a nice build in spot on the board. At the end of the game the person with the most tokens out of the city wins. In case of a tie (this happens more often than you think in this game) the winner of the tie is the person with the least amount of tokens in the volcano.
A few days latter my gaming group was looking for a game to play and since i had just attempted this we decided to go with it. we completed the game a lot faster than we thought it would take. In the end Rick won this one by a slim margin. In the end we had a fun time with this game. Its a good one to have in your collection to play as a light weight fun game that wont take your whole evening or perhaps as a gaming aperitif before the main event.
Designed by: Klaus-Jürgen Wrede
Published by: AMIGO Spiel + Freizeit GmbH, Mayfair Games, Asmodee
Year Published: 2004
Recommended Ages: 10+
Time to Play: 45 minutes