A micro-reviewHatsuden is a portray of a typical board game designed by the Japanese: minimally designed, wrapped in a tiny size, yet concealing a stunning and fun game inside. The compact size makes Hatsuden a very good companion for travelers to fill the gap between journeys. Simple and easy to learn, it only takes 30 minutes to play a session of this two player game. The theme is actually quite unique yet urgent to be discussed, even by the board game community. In Hatsuden, two players compete to take control over five sustainable energy resources available: solar, biomass, wind, water, and geothermal. Each player must manage the electricity produced by these five energy resources and deliver it to the two cities in order to achieve the optimal current. It is easy to set up this game. You just have to place all five energy resources horizontally, followed by the two cities that you have to run the electricity through vertically. This setup will build a 5×2 playing area with 10 blocks for each player. Shuffle the power plant and technology cards separately and then set it on the side of the playing grid, making it easy to be drawn by both players. On their first turn, each player will draw five cards from the deck. These cards consist of sets of number from level 1 to 4 for each sustainable resources. Each turn, players need to pick one out of the available actions:
- Construct a power plant by playing a card from hand to the space corresponding the energy resource.
- Power plant upgrade by placing a card with greater number or value over an existing card according to the responding energy resource.
- Construction of pylon by playing a card face down on any empty space, especially useful when you think you have delivered enough (and optimal) electricity to the town.
- Revision of power line and scheme when players do not want to play any card. The player needs to discard a card from the hand to the discard pile.
OpinionWhen you catch a glimpse of the outside, Hatsuden offers an interesting minimalist design. The artwork on each card is kept at a minimum but with enough awe. The theme is also unique, raising the urgency for public to pay more attention to renewable energy sources. From the mechanical side, Hatusden is simple to play, but still requires enough complex strategy since players have to be able to manage the cards on hand and on the playing area to steal points. The top and bottom limitation pushes players to be careful when arranging the cards they are playing. The presence of the technology card features adds richness to the strategies that can be used by each players to gain points. Behind the complexity of the strategy, Hatsuden is still a micro game considerable for newcomers.
An avid board gamer; I am a hardcore Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) LCG player from Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). Current hobby: buying board games. My shelf of shame’s list is getting longer every damn time.