Aquarius: Because it looks SO GOOD!
I’m sure to some of you I’m starting to sound like a broken record when it comes to good looking packaging and decent graphic design. Well here I go again with a great example of why graphics are important. I bought the game Aquarius because of this picture:
I had never played it or even heard about it before I saw this picture – I bought it 100% based this photo…okay 90%, 10% was price point. It was only a little over $12 so if it stunk, it wasn’t too much of my game budget out the window. (Yes, I have a game budget otherwise I’d be very poor.)
Other than being visually cool with a Peter Max trippy look Aquarius is a pretty good game. The goal is to get a chain of 7 panels of your particular pattern connected together. (In the pic at left, the fire has 4 in a row) At the beginning of the game each player is given a goal card with their pattern on it but it’s good to keep in mind that goals may changed as the game progresses. The game is all about building off a random “start card” and then you can build off any card in the mass by placing cards with matching panels next to each other. As you can see, there can be multiple panels per card but you only have to match one – but if you match more than one you get a bonus. There are also cards that allow you to move cards, remove cards, reshuffle everyone’s hands and trade or rotate goals, which keeps the game interesting.
Another thing I really liked about Aquarius is that it has amazingly written rules (click the image at right to see a larger image of page 1 of the instructions or you can download a full set HERE). Not only do they GET TO THE POINT QUICKLY, there are color diagrams, they have visual cues for easy navigation and they keep the FAQs and alternative play stuff for the back page. If you’re an inventor and need an example of well-written rules, spend the $12 and get yourself a copy. I mean it…nothing irks me more than horrible directions. They put me in a bad mood.
~$13 at Amazon, ToysRUs.com, AreYouGame.com, mom & pop retailers
2 to 4 players
Ages 6 and Up