These reviews were left by users who have played the game. If you'd like to leave a review, you can start by going to the game page.
What an amazing, intelligently designed game. It's quite rare to see some truly new and innovative mechanics in board games nowadays and TMB excells at it. The baddie points and how enemies enter the battlefield are genius. The game is incredibly challenging and rewardig. And OMG, the components. One of the best in quality I've seen so far (pretty much on par with Mechs VS Minions)!The only thing preventing me from giving it a ten is the horribly written rulebook and terrible graphic design choices. This made me mildly furious at times for such a great game being so hard to learn because of bad written rules. Typography is horrible, making the rule book and cards hard to read and understand. No hierarchy of information is respected. Text color and background texture on cards have terrible contrast. I mean - seriously - why the hell a company like Chip Theory Games, which clearly cares about quality in their games and likes to set the bar high, did not invest in proper graphic design?This aside, the game is wonderful to play. But the learning curve is steep simply because the game is complex AND the rule book sucks.
This is a game that requires a dedicated gaming group to fully enjoy. But as a solo player I have beat this with one gearlock and with 4 gearlocks, and I immensely enjoyed both romps. HOWEVER, it has not left my shelf since the last 4 player campaign, and I am not sure it will. There is a lot of upkeep and a lot of things you need to know and do to keep things moving, and I am not sure I am up for that again as a solo player.
The asymmetry is massive, and the game is a blast solo. Once you add more players, the pace slows, but the game is still fun--though you do have to keep it brisk-moving. It is perhaps best solo, though. The customization is very fun, though I doubt you're going to upgrade a given character very differently from play to play. I will say that I find the publisher's attitude towards components to be insufferable. They brag about their components endlessly, and charge a heavy premium for them, but seems baffled and unprepared when people point out their obvious shortcomings--slippery and difficult to read cards (should have gone with normal cardstock), fraying player mats (they're not "supposed" to fray, so all must be well), chips with the tiniest of icons (but... they're chips!)... Come on, guys. Sometimes the paradigm exists for a reason.
The RPG elements just feel like glue to tie a story together but once you are in the encounter it is the team versus the bad guys, where "the team" is each player controlling a chess piece on the 4 x 4 battle mat (chess board). As each turn completes you will likely have opportunity to gain more powers (dice). Each game plays differently because you might play the same character and choose different dice, or play a different character entirely. Each character has their own unique special abilities (e.g. tinkerer, warrior, spellcaster, grenadier, trapper, etc ...). I am sure after you have played a few times you could get play time down to the suggested 60-120 mins, however in our first game with 4 players we played for closer to 3 hrs.