Verona Twist by Mind Fitness Games – Review

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Theme and What is it?

Young love is a wonderful thing…unless your families are mortal enemies. Romeo and Juliet have it bad for each other and would rather die than have to live without each other (spoiler alert!). With devotion as pure as this how can you not want to help. As Juliet’s nurse, you come up with an ingenious way for the two to spend time together without the Capulet catching them. In a central square of Verona is an area where many of the most influential residents come to mingle each day. You decide to clothe Romeo and Juliet in disguises that make them look like they fit right in with this group. Each day they can spend time with each other. Except the Capulet has started to suspect something is going on. He is watching the square and trying to figure out the scheme. Romeo and Juliet must move about the square like the other residents and not have their cover blown. As a trusted friend, you help them make their way around the square to act as natural as possible because getting caught is literally a life and death situation.

Verona Twist is a two-player game where one player takes on the role of Juliet’s nurse and the other is the Capulet.

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Gameplay Mechanics

Verona Twist is an abstract strategy game where players move citizens of Verona around a grid. Once everyone has moved for the round, whoever is playing the nurse has to say if the disguised Romeo and Juliet are inside the same grid or not. Based on this information, the Capulet can start to narrow down the disguises. Each character has a specific set of movements they can take. There is an outer area of the square that is a grid and an inner area of the square that is its own grid. As characters move around, there will be different combinations of characters inside and outside these grid areas. This will allow the Capulet to narrow down his search and discover the young lovers before seven rounds are complete. If he is unable to narrow it down to a single combination, then the youngsters escape and western literature as we know it has been a giant lie.

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Initial Impressions

If you don’t know that I am always on the look-out for awesome two player games, then you haven’t read my other reviews. Go check them out! Anyways, I play a lot of two player games. Verona Twist is a really good two player game. It fits into a category that doesn’t have much representation for two players – abstract. There are plenty of abstract games out there that will play two players, but not too many that are specifically made for two players. That made it a very fun experience. We played three games in a row because we were enjoying it so much. It was a quick game to learn and the game is very short. The movement system and small playing board make for some interesting strategic decisions.

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Game Build Quality

Verona Twist has great components. The player pieces are very nice. They are the highlight of the game. You shouldn’t have to worry about anything quality wise.

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Artistic Direction

The artwork captures the classic feel of the story the game is based on. The board looks great. Overall the art adds to the experience and makes the game complete. Don’t expect anything overly ambitious for the art, it is average but lends itself to the game play very well.

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Fun Factor

Having played the game a number of times, we quickly discovered that the Capulet was going to find Romero and Juliet just about every time. We tried different strategies and they were still discovered. Once we saw that, the challenge then became to figure out a way to outsmart the Capulet. There might be too many rounds to do this and, through the process of elimination, he will usually win based on the limited move options, grid space and number of characters. This hasn’t made it any less fun. We just switched our focus. Maybe one day it will get old, but for now we are still enjoying Verona Twist and are glad we discovered it.

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Age Range & Weight

The age recommendation for Verona Twist is 9+. Although I haven’t played it with anyone that young, that seems like a fair evaluation. The game is very easy to learn and the player pieces have their available movements on the face of the tokens. Remembering the movements is the toughest part of the game, so they made that very easy for players. If a child is used to strategic board games, then I imagine that even younger kids would enjoy this game.

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Conclusions

Verona Twist has been a big hit with us. It is much different than I thought it would be. And the reasons for playing it have changed. I feel like the game is skewed in favor of the player representing the Capulet, so that has made us find a challenge in out smarting him. The game is short enough that we have always played two games in one sitting, switching roles for each game. It is fast paced with minimal interactions which allows for great conversation during game play. It is not one of those games where conversation never happens because people are so caught up in making their next move. It is nice to find games that are lighter and fun without falling into the “party” game category. Verona Twist may not be for everyone, but we have enjoyed it and has made its way to our shelf or regularly played two-player games.