Review: Nerdy Inventions
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of spending an evening and morning with some distant friends. My husband and I packed up a few board games, threw a change of clothes into our backpacks, and set out for Pennsylvania to hang out. It was a great experience, all and all, and getting a chance to meet one of my Mage: The Awakening players in person was fantastic. It also gave us a chance to play a game that we've had just sitting around for a few months: Nerdy Inventions.
While one of our friends was busy cooking jambalaya in the kitchen, the rest of us settled around the table and opened the box, taking the time to read through the rules and get started. The game promised something of a steampunk flare with a simple premise: build inventions, win points. The cards feature images of things like locomotives, brass binoculars, and workbenches all drawn out in cartoon style.
How to Play
Gameplay is relatively simple, once you manage to read through the rulebook. You line up a row of cards, ranging from 1 to 6; these become the market from which you can buy cards on your turn. You deal out toolkits for all but one player; these are used to modify dice rolls for recharging your inventions. As the game puts it, you then try to build your inventions.
This is where the first disconnect came for me. I was sold on the idea of a game where you build inventions that do things and try to build bigger and better to gain points. I was not able to get into that aspect as the game play seems rather different. Instead, you roll a trio of six-sided dice and use the roll results to see which of the cards you can buy from the market. This is what the game calls building an inventions.
The inventions themselves can change your roll results, allowing you to split dice into other numbers, adding a plus or minus to a die, etc. You then use up that invention and have to recharge it before it can be used again.
I was expecting to be able to combine cards to make better inventions, but that's not really the thing.
Does it Party?
An important question to ask about any game you plan to play in a group is: does it party? Was this game what we were looking for? I have to say it fell rather flat with our group. It didn't feel like a game that would play well if we'd had a few more drinks given the sometimes strange mathematical antics required to be able to do anything in your turn. It also just lacked the element of pure fun, and felt more like gamification of school flashcards.
With that in mind, it's absolutely something that you could play with your children to help them with their math homework.
This competitive game was not for us. It plays more like a school exercise and would be perfect for helping your 9 year old find a little fun in mathematics. It just isn't the kind of thing that we felt a group of adults sitting around on a weekend would necessarily care for.
Have you played Nerdy Inventions? I'd love to hear your feedback on it! Leave a comment and we can discuss it!