Nine Worlds – Medusa Games – Review

Overall, I would recommend Nine Worlds to any fans of area control and light combat mechanics. You also need to not be reliant on minis to immerse yourself into this one… just go with the abstract flow.

Jordan Macnab

MeepleGamers

8/10

Theme and What is it?

8.5/10

Nine Worlds is set in a Norse mythological land where the warring factions fight to rule The Nine Worlds and everything they have to offer through area control and domination. 

This is an abstract game that used small stones to represents the armies spreading throughout the land and you also have an avatar stone that represent your leader. Wherever your leader goes, the strength of the army follows. As with many Norse games, players are granted points for armies returned from Valhalla after combat so even losing battles can be beneficial in the end. 

Let’s see how it works.

Gameplay Mechanics

8/10

Each player has a set number of action points to use each turn. They have a pool of actions they can take that can include moving units, bring units onto the board, moving your avatar and also manipulating your opponent’s units too. As well as the individual actions, you also can get additional action types by dominating areas. These actions can be extremelpowerful,ul but also some are very defensive depending on your play style. 

There is a variant in the game that allows you to change the location of the powers to ensure there is a lot of replay ability for future games. 

The players decide on the number of rounds they would like to play before the game begins and depending on the number chosen dictates the length of the gameplay.

Initial Impressions

10/10

I saw Nine Worlds while it was still in development back in 2015 at the UKGE and it caught my attention right away. It was a very tight area control game with beautiful abstract components that were great to move and manipulate around the board. I was very to see how successful it’s been as the years have gone by and I was very excited to get the opportunity to play it after it was produced.

Game Build Quality

7/10

The game build quality is excellent. I personally love the small stones used to represent the units on the board, It makes a refreshing change to not have a mountain of plastic to push around and maintain. I’m a big fan of abstract component especially when they’re don’t right and feel relevant to the theme which these do.

Artistic Direction

7/10

There isn’t a great deal of art in Nine Worlds, but the player boards are very well represented, and the feel of the Norse mythology is splashed all of the over the game board too.

Fun Factor

8/10

I have played this several times with various group sizes and I am very happy to say it works on all levels. Even as a two-player game this works well but there is certainly less opportunity for conflict unless you play super aggressively. Around 4 players seem to be the sweet spot for this game. Just enough room to wiggle but plenty of chances to get into a few frisks.

Age Range & Weight

10/10

12+ seems about right to me. Even though there isn’t a massive amount of text to negotiate some tactics required to win a game may be challenging for a younger audience. 

I have discussed the weight of the game above but what I will say again is that if you’re looking for a simple area control game to play with a relatively large group but in a short space of time, this is an excellent choice to consider.

Conclusions

8/10

I must be honest and say that I already had a feeling I was going to enjoy Nine Worlds before it ever hit the table. The glimpse I had of it at the UKGE was enough for me to know that it was going to play well. It just needed the component quality to be improved and for the rules to be ironed out and I’m happy to say they have been. The rules are easy to understand and explain, and every action is broken down in understandable chunks. The additional area powers seem strong, but none overpower the others, so it has obviously had extensive play testing. 

Overall, I would recommend Nine Worlds to any fans of area control and light combat mechanics. You also need to not be reliant on minis to immerse yourself into this one… just go with the abstract flow.