You have inherited a distillery from a long lost relative. What spirits will you make in your distillery will you become the Master Distiller? In Distilled from Paverson Games you will get your chance to run a distillery deciding along the way what spirits to make, how long to age them and a whole lot more. Distilled is a 1-4 four player game that should take about 30 minutes per player to get through this mid weight euro featuring press your luck and resource management mechanics.
As part of setup you choose your persona you are dealt two cards and pick one. Your persona will give you a special bonus and the reverse side of the card will give you your starting resources and a signature recipe. As you progress through the game you will get plenty of other items like barrels to age your spirits in or upgrades to your distillery like spring water or coopers that will give you on going bonuses.
As you are making your spirits you can sell them for cash to get more ingredients or the aforementioned upgrades. Or you can age your spirits to give them a more refines flavor and thus giving you more points on your way to become a master distiller. This is defiantly a game of resource management so be careful not to run out of what you need to make your fine spirits or moonshine if you prefer.
I thought this mechanic was so interesting when I played the game, it really felt like the actual process.
The part of the game that I found very interesting and very true to the theme was the process of making the spirits. I have toured several distilleries and was married at one so I have the basics of distillation down (read as I know about it but not enough to actually do it). When you are doing a run of spirits the first bit off and the last bit off are very poor tasting and potentially poisonous. This is called the head and the tail of the batch. The head and tail are normally put back into the next batch you are distilling (don't worry its distilled again and no longer bad for you).
In Distilled you add the ingredients that you have purchased to your washback, this is where the magic happens. You will also add in an alcohol card for each water card you add. Then you take all the cards in the washback and shuffle them. To represent the head and tail you take the top card and the bottom card an place them back into your pantry. I thought this mechanic was so interesting when I played the game, it really felt like the actual process. So now with the cards you have remaining you will create your spirit based on the recipes that you have acquired. The trick here is to add enough into the washback to make the spirit you want knowing that two of the cards will be removed, but not to waste a bunch of resources.
The game has a lot of other aspects like the vessel you age your spirits in to the bottle you sell them off in each giving a certain bonus to you. This add a lot of flavor to the game, oh yea there are flavors you can add to your spirits too for bonuses. This game has it all and I thought I was distilling actual spirits or it could be the whisky talking.
Distilled has launched its kickstarter on July 6th so go on over there and check it out. There are a couple of upgraded levels of pledging that add more content to the game so defiantly look into that if your interested. There are 9 recipes in the game and if you check out the kickstarter there are some more added at different pledge levels as well as more ingredients and upgrades. As of the publishing of this review they have already met the pledge goal in 23 minutes, so congratulations to Dave Beck and the team over at Paverson Games. I recommend checking out this kickstarter before the campaign becomes a spirit.