Nemo Rising is a relatively easy adventure game with incredible artwork. I can see this being a great family game for an evening of fun.
Theme and What is it?
Nemo Rising: Robur the Conqueror the board game is the first in a series of cooperative games produced by Wizkids. They are based on the Nemo Rising novel by C. Courtney Joyner. The adventures are carried out by Captain Nemo and the crew of the Nautilus.
This is a cooperative game in which players must explore locations, battle enemies, and accomplish missions. There are two adventures in this base game. One is based in a steam punk type city and the other is undersea.
Can you and your crew explore and reach your goals before your run out of mission points? Will you be able to defeat enemies or will they overpower you? Don’t dawdle, you just might not make it.
Players use a point action system to play Nemo Rising. The action tokens, which look like little lightening bolts, are used to move, reveal locations, attempt tasks, and battle the enemy. Characters typically have 6 action tokens per turn but this can be altered by certain effects.
At the beginning of each players turn they are allowed to choose an action card. These cards are played face up at the beginning of a round in a number equal to the number of players. Since the game is cooperative it can be discussed who should take which action card.
The symbols on the action cards either help in accomplishing tasks, moving, or battling enemies. They can be used only on that players turn and are replaced when the next turn comes around. There are three symbols in the game. These include a light bulb for brains, a dumbbell for brawns, and a knot for skill.
Whenever there is an enemy or a task to confront players need one or two of the correct symbols. It may be that their action card has the correct symbol. Or, players may roll one or two dice, depending on their action card, in order to attempt to get the needed symbol.
There are, at times, consequences for attempting tasks and not having the right symbol. These can include mission points loss or other game effects. Attacking an enemy and failing is an immediate point loss.
Mission points are set at the beginning of the game based on the two missions that were randomly selected from the adventure deck and the level of difficulty players want to attempt. These mission points are lost when taking some of the action cards and in failing tasks or conflicts. The game is lost when no mission points remain.
The art work is fantastic in this game. It is probably the first thing that struck me. I can see a great deal of effort by a team of great artists. The high quality was evident immediately.
Once I dove into the box, I was even more impressed by the artwork. It is just stunning and beautiful. All the components looked wonderful.
I was honestly a little taken aback by the linear board design. It reminded me of the game Clue. I had my doubts on how well the blocky movements would flow with the adventure story line and incredible artwork.
Game Build Quality
Everything from the box down to the dice are fantastic. I especially liked the feel of the cards. I’m not sure what it is but they don’t slip around as easily and feel slightly plastic-like.
It is obvious that there has been a lot of attention to detail in this game. The rule book is very nicely laid out and edited wonderfully. I had a few difficulties understanding the rules and had to reference the book a number of times but it wasn’t because it was not written well.
There is a lot of artwork in this game and all of it is spectacular. There are at least 18 scenes on the adventure tiles and more artwork on the gear cards and enemy tokens. This really sets the stage for the theme.
All of the art ties in nicely with the graphic design on the cards, box, and instructions. The colors all tie together nicely and the steam punk theme is done well. Everything put together is very immersive.
I played this game first in solo mode and loved the adventure aspect. I easily won but later realized I had made some mistakes with the rules. It can be quite challenging depending on the character you play with. They each have their own special abilities.
I enjoy the tension between getting closer to your goals and the increase of bad guys on the board. The game has been balanced well to increase the threat the closer you get to exploring all the locations. Luck has a significant role in the game but some strategic decisions can be controlled.
Another think I found enjoyable was revealing the threat cards at the end of each turn. They are what make the game challenging. There was just a build up of anticipation to see what was going to happen next. I particularly liked how the threat cards moved the enemies around on the board.
In initiative order from low to high, each baddy gets moved either along a red or blue track. Which way they go is dependent on the threat card’s instruction. They move around until they get next to a hero and then they will stop and attack.
If you don’t keep up with the bad guys they can stack up and overwhelm you. It spells defeat because you are already typically low on mission points by the time they have proliferated to the point of overwhelming you. If you are attacked by more than one at a time you immediately lose mission points.
Age Range & Weight
This game is rated for ages 14+. I think that might be a bit high. Since it is cooperative younger kids could be included and coached along. There isn’t any bad content either.
The mechanics are fairly simple though getting the hang of the game takes some effort at first. The game really boils down to having one or two of the correct symbols. Being that there are only 3 symbols total, this isn’t at all complicated to play.
I would say this is a lightweight to medium game. It is medium because of the number of things going on in the game with cards and mission points. It is easy because the game is won or lost by having the right single card and/or dice roll. It can be further adapted by starting the game with different amounts of mission points.
This is a simple and fairly quick immersive adventure game. It is pleasant to look at and doesn’t require brain strain to play. It works well as a solo or cooperative game. It is also easily adaptable to suit your level of difficulty.
I am concerned about the replayability of the game. There are only two adventures in the base game. I hope to see more adventures released in the future. The rule book says it is the first in a series of cooperative games that follow the adventures of Captain Nemo and the Nautilus.
When you play an adventure you randomly chose 2 out of 6 mission cards. Each adventure has its own missions and enemies so this can keep you busy for a quite a while. However, without a great deal of strategy involved my concern is that the game could go stale after enough missions and adventures were played.
Nemo Rising is a relatively easy adventure game with incredible artwork. I can see this being a great family game for an evening of fun. It 30-60-minute game length it is easy to fit into a busy family schedule. Even better, there is hope from Wizkids for more content.
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