Well, folks, I’ve pretty much come to the end of my personal selection of point-and-click-adventures.  As such, I figured I’d tell you about a game I played last weekend called Power Grid by Rio Grande Games.

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Power Grid is a strategy game that focuses on resource management and zone control.  It’s basically like if you merged Risk and Monopoly and removed all the dice rolls.  The game proceeds in 5 phases.

  1. First phase the turn order is determined based on the current player setups (Person with the most cities controlled goes first.  Ties are resolved by who has the most expensive power plant and then who has the most money).
  2. Second phase is power-plant auctioning.  Basically the players take turns picking a power plant out of a 4 plant line-up and putting it up for everyone to bid on with their funds (called electro in the game).  The winner of the auction pays the price of their bid and takes the plant into their lineup.  Auctions continue until each player has either purchased a plant, or passed on their turn to auction a plant.
  3. Third phase is the resource phase.  Starting with the last person’s turn, each player has the opportunity to buy one of four resources (Coal, Oil, Trash, and Radioactive Material).  As more of the resources are purchased, the price for each unit of resource increases to simulate scarcity.  Resources are used to power your plants which in turn can provide power to a number of cities as indicated on the plant card (For instance, you might have a plant that produces 2 units of power on 2 units of oil).
  4. Fourth phase is where players have an opportunity to purchase a contract with a city to power it.  The price of buying this contract is based on how far it is from your starting city, and how many other players already have a share of the city (The more existing contracts in a city, the more expensive it is to buy an additional one).
  5. The final stage is bureaucracy, where each player can choose to consume resources in order to power cities and collect money based on the number of cities powered.

At this point you go back to the first phase.  The game is further divided into three steps, with each step changing how many shares can be bought in a city, how the auctions are handled, and how many resources are replenished to the market each turn.

For a more in-depth look at the game, check out this Dice Tower review:

I really enjoy games like this.  It’s mostly strategy with a little bit of luck involved.  It’s a fairly long game to play, with four people it took just under 2 1/2 hours to play (3 1/2 if you count wrangling the children and eating some donuts).

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

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