Saturday, September 26, 2009

As exciting as watching a mountain crumble...

... which is probably the oddest premise for a game I've ever seen. From the description:

"In Erosion, uplift your mountain by eroding those of other players. At the end of each round, gain points for cards in your mountain and delta.

The basic rules introduce the four player actions: Weathering, Hillslope, Fluvial, and Draw Cards. The advanced rules add details: atmospheric change, ice ages, glaciers, flood volcanism, quakes, etc.

Mountains are far more dynamic than the limitations of human lifetimes would suggest. Their growth and death involve cycles that keep the planet habitable. The machinery of these cycles is called erosion: the weathering of rock and its transport to the sea. Once there, it is subducted into the mantle, where volcanoes return the silicates, sulfates, water, carbon dioxide, and oxygen to the surface.

Almost every step of the erosion process is catalyzed by water. For instance, in your turn you may weather rock using crystallization (busting rock by growing evaporated salt crystals), then transport the remains to the River using creep (movement propelled by wet/dry and freeze/thaw cycles). Once plunked in the River, the eroded material is moved as sediment to the sea. Braided rivers carry the maximum sediment load, but they are the least stable (and the trickiest to play)."

Far be it from me to judge this game before even playing it. Other titles by the same publisher include Origins: How we became Human, American Megafauna and Lords of the Spanish Main. Just looking at the titles gives me the impression I'd actually learn more from these games than I would from a Malaysian secondary school education...

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