Published by: Bezier Games
# of Players: 1 to 4
Colony is comprised of many different sets of cards that can picked from to set up your game. There are so many different cards that it will take at least 4 games to play with each different card set and that is just to get to play each card. You can mix them anyway you want to allow for a lot of unique set ups. Bezier is releasing an app around the time Colony hits retail that will randomize your set up for you. Colony comes with 2 reference cards which are very nice to have, but I wish they would have provided 4 so players would not have to share. The game comes with 42 dice that will be used during the game. 12 of those are frosted dice to signify them as unstable resources. Inside the box you will find probably one of the best inserts I have seen this year. This is a huge difference from Castles and Suburbia, which lacked an adequate insert. The insert makes set up and clean up a lot easier. The instruction book is very informative and provides details on each card and has plenty of illustrations to explain the game. Overall I believe Bezier Games stepped up their components from previous games.
Players will take turns building up their colony with each turn consisting of 4 phases. Each player will start with 3 stable dice (white) and roll them. The player with the lowest sum will be the first player. The dice will then go into your warehouse to be used during your turn. Note: Keep the dice on the sides they were rolled on, you will not be rolling them again during your turn. Each player starts with 4 cards in their colony. The warehouse will store up to 6 dice for your next turn. The supply exchange will let you trade in 2 dice of with the same roll for a die of any number of your choosing. The upgrade card and construction card let you upgrade cards or build new cards from the middle supply. The middle supply will consist of 13 different card sets for you to choose from.
The first phase is the Prepare phase. This phase has the active player removing the dice from the warehouse so that they can be used during this turn. Some other buildings may also activate an ability during this time. The second phase is to Scavenge. During this phase the active player will pick up 3 stable dice and roll them. That person will then choose one to keep for their turn and pass the rest to the next player on their left. That player chooses one die to keep (remember to keep the same value face up) and pass to the next player. Once the dice have all been chosen, the active player may turn in CHIPIs to exchange for an unstable die (frosted dice). Unstable dice are only usable during the turn they are received and are discarded if not used. You can not place them in your warehouse.
Colony is a very different game from it's predecessors. I would describe Colony as Machi Koro, Dominion, Yahtzee and dice drafting combined into one. I enjoyed the game and love the large variety of set ups you can have. The one issue I had was that there is a lot of downtime when playing with people unfamiliar with the cards. You can plan part of your turn out ahead of time but there are still other dice you do not know the results of till your turn. I am a big fan of engine building and Colony does a great job creating various engines that can win you the game. Everyone I played with enjoyed the game and wanted to play again. The insert is fantastic and works great. Games can play a little longer than I would prefer for this type of game but will get faster with more experience. The blend of different game mechanics that we enjoy from other games provide a feeling of nostalgia while playing Colony. There are some attack cards, but they did not feel that vicious and also there are defense cards that can be used to counter them. I love the idea of upgrading buildings to provide better benefits. This is a great step up from gateway game that will not feel like too much of leap for people. The game provides plenty of strategy and planning to try and come up with the best engine. Dice randomness is mitigated by cards that let you trade dice for other numbers. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Machi Koro or Dominion and wants something a step up but with the same feeling. I am personally glad I own it and it will be staying in my collection.
+ Ways to mitigate poor dice rolls
+Lots of engine building options
+Variety of cards to use
+Step up from gateway games such as Dominion and Machi Koro
+Strong contender for insert of the year
- Only 2 reference cards
- Takes a long time with new people
- Art is okay but nothing special