Runaway Parade Games
A Preview by
- 2-4 Players
- 15-30 minutes
- 13+ Ages
What is Fire Tower?
FIRE!! You hear the call go up. From your watchtower, you scan the forest. Smoke there in the distance. The wind is blowing this way. Oh No! You will not get any help from the other towers. They just look out for themselves. Quick dispatch the engines, construct fire breaks, order water drops. Wait what’s that? The wind is changing direction. Quick alter your plans. Push the fire towards a rival. It is too big to put out. You need to save your tower. OH NO FIRESTORM………………..
What is in my Box?
- Fire Gems,
- Action, Bucket and Firestorm cards,
- Game board and
- Firebreak tokens.
The copy I received was a preproduction prototype and as such quality of components was subject to change during the upcoming Kickstarter. That being said the quality was very good for the most part.
Not a Co-Op?
Absolutely not. Fire Tower is a total opposite from the usual fire fighting style games. Here you are totally out for yourself. Protect your Tower and spread the fire towards your opponents. The fire cannot be extinguished and spreads every turn. Your aim is to try to push it towards your rivals and be ‘The last tower standing’. Using cards to change the wind, build firebreaks, add water and vary the spread pattern.
How does it work?
Gameplay in Fire Tower is very straightforward. There are two phases to a game round.
- Wind Spreads the Blaze:- Following a simple set of adjacency rules the fire spreads in the direction the wind is blowing.
- Tower Action Round:- You can choose to either play a card from your hand (redraw after action complete) or discard and redraw.
Sounds too simple?
Thankfully there is more to Fire Tower than that. How the fire spreads, while the wind dictates the direction the fire spreads. You get to choose which space it spreads to as long as it is orthogonally adjacent the the existing flames. Each player will place one Fire Gem on their turn in the same manner. So changing the wind direction with the use of cards is important. Within the deck of cards there are several card types to assist you or hinder your opponent as well. These are comprised of,
- Water Cards– Blue cards allowing you to remove Fire Gems according to the pattern on the card itself.
- Fire Cards– Orange cards used to spread the fire. Helpfully they are not tied to wind direction.
- Wind Cards– Grey cards that will allow you to change wind direction either by using the cards stated direction or spinning for a random wind direction. They can also be used to add a Fire Gem in the direction on the card.
- Firebreak Cards– Purple cards that will allow you create a block to stop the fire spreading across certain tiles.
If the fire ever reaches the orange highlighted square of your Tower, that’s it your out. You do have one final line of defence if your threatened with this. A one use bucket of water that can only be used when the flames reach your Tower.
I would say that Fire Tower is very strategy lite. This is because apart from the judicious use of the various cards. Or where to place a Fire Gem on your turn. There is not really a lot of strategic involvement. This is much more a quick down and dirty romp where your just trying to save yourself at the expense of others.
Who is it for?
Here is a game that is squarely sat aiming at the family group with occasional meetup use as well. I would not expect to see this on a games night Except maybe at the start of the session when waiting for a late player to arrive.
I quite liked Fire Tower but if I am honest it was not as good as I had hoped. A lot less depth of thinking than I personally would have wanted. Not withstanding that though there is a good bit of quick fun to have for family play. The Fire Gems really lift it up a notch or two on the presentation stakes as well. I will be watching the Kickstarter when it launches to see how it develops.
I Was provided a copy of Fire Tower for review through the Board Game Exposure Group. This game will now be passed onto another reviewer. I have tried to make this review as impartial as possible. No recompense was provided or sought for this review from the publisher.