Today we are going to review a unique game called Portal Block. This game is a very abstract game with a unique board that is setup as the first half of the game. The second half is a roll and move with asymmetric players and a lot of power cards.
The game starts with 32 blocks in a bag. Each player rolls a die to see who is the first player. Then the first player rolls the die again and takes that many cubes from the bag. There are three kinds of cubes in the game that make up the game string (What the board you are creating is called).
The first is a portal block this is the one with the circle on it. This cube when connected (via connector cube or another portal cube) to another portal cube scores the player 2 Quantabyte cubes (WB for short). QB is the currency of the game. This lets you buy cards in the second part of the game. In the second part of the game when a player lands on a portal that is connected to at least one other portal the player must move their token to another one of the connected portals. This could be forward or backward. Since we are working with cubes you have to pay attention to all three visible sides of the cubes when you are looking to see that the cubes are connected,
The second cube in the bag is a connector cube this cube has lines on some sides and a small square on others. During the second half of the game if a player lands on a cube with the little square is facing up and a player lands on it they immediately pull a Fate card. When you place this cube in game string then you get 1 QB if the side with the square is facing up.
...the vortex, this one is fun and also scores you 2 QB when placed in the game string.
The third and final cube that gets drawn out is the vortex, this one is fun and also scores you 2 QB when placed in the game string. During the second half of the game if you land on a space next to the vortex you are pulled onto the vortex cube.
Once the game string is complete the players then randomly draw one of the five player tokens. Each come with a unique power that they can use. To start the second half all the players start on the white start block at the beginning of the game string. To get off the start cube you have to roll an move. Every turn after that you can do one of four things roll and move, play a power card, purchase power cards (up to 3) or mine for more QB.
The loser has to go back to the start block and ponder the meaning of life.
So as you progress through the game string you might land on the same space as another player, this means you will battle each other, by rolling dice and seeing who gets the highest number. The loser has to go back to the start block and ponder the meaning of life. The power cards and event cards add a whole lot of fun to this game and can cause a lot of chaos in the game. You don't know who is going to win until they do. The player who lands exactly on the finish block wins. If you roll and the number is higher than the number of blocks to get you to the finish block you have to move backwards through the game string.
This is a great primer game for a game night or if you find yourself needing to get your game fix while you daughter is napping. The game is quick and full of a lot of back and forth action. The game also comes in a cute square box that looks like one of the portal cubes. There is a giveaway contest happening right now at the Portal Block website so enter before the end of the month (November).
Year Published: 2021
Recommended Ages: 14+
Time to Play: 30-90