There are games that hit the gaming market like bolts from the blue; unknown authors who suddenly find themselves in the limelight, achieving incredible success in a very short time.
For example, a few years ago, Gloomhaven, made by a very unknown Isaac Childres, was initially discredited as “one of the many dungeon crawlers”. Then… something happened. And nowdays you can still find it at the top ranks in the BoardGameGeek top 100, flooded with flattering reviews after having sold countless copies all over the world. And now those people who object to this title are seen as those who say that the Mona Lisa is ugly.
The world of board games lives more and more of hype: the game of the moment sets fire to the souls of us enthusiasts, who are continually inundated with flattering comments about this or that game. A continuous fibrillation which, let’s face it, we like a lot, but sometimes it leads us to make incredible blunders. After all, it’s the market, baby.
So, what about the most gossiped title of 2022, aka Ark Nova? The new philosopher’s stone of board games? Good game, cute, but too much on everyone’s lips? Incredible goof? Or maybe we simply can’t stand hearing about it anymore, can we?
If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a game about optimization mechanics, based on large decks of cards, in which zoo managers are called upon to manage the best bestiary in the world. Gripping Noah’s Ark-style saga, or mere “I take action, you pass, you take action, you pass me, see you at the final count” style?
After a few games we can say without a doubt that Ark Nova is an excellent title: it does know how to combine different mechanics, all of which have already been seen, in a mayonnaise that is far from crazy. From here to say that it is the title of the year, or something truly revolutionary, however, there goes. Pleasant, rich and replayable, a game that is worth its price also for the fact that, from game to game, variability is ensured. In short, the very unknown Mathias Wigge could become the new Isaac Childres, if he manages to keep the embers of the public and reviewers warm. Good luck!
Good luck when you will try to set up this game. The two plastic trays inside the box barely do their dirty work, but the organization still leaves much to be desired, and the downtime is lurking, ready to bite the unfortunate challengers.
We at The Dicetroyers could not accept this chaos insidee the box of Ark Nova, a potential new milestone. If it’s going to be nice to play, it must first be nice to set up. The hardest task was to tame the infinity of tokens and counters of this game, separating each type into slots and boxes. Since this is a game that takes up a lot of space, instead of those huge plastic trays, many small containers to place here and there saved our lives from the nightmare of the overcrowded table.
A little big caress to all aspiring Noahs, ready to better prepare their Ark before it starts to rain.