Review: Inner Compass – preparation for the journey through life

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Life is long and if we want to choose a path, that will make us happy, we have to decide really carefully. It is partly a choice of minds, but in part we must also rely on our hearts. The so-called , which will advise us on what really fills us the most.

And the Inner Compass board game, created by and , will give us such an emotion evaluating device. The game is published by () and distributed throughout Europe by (Asmodee UK).

The search for their fulfillment awaits players, but on the lid of the classic larger box, we find not only the searching character, but also images of many, who have already found their true way. But players must start by setting up playing surface, that consists of four randomly rotated and interconnected tiles. However, this square will remain lying for the time being, because everyone’s attention will be turned to other components.

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Right next to this main board, players will lay out a board of life qualities, which they equip with five tiles (two sticker tiles and three notes). They prescribe scoring conditions for everyone. On a tall thin board, six emotion tokens are distributed in random order. Above all, they create a starting cross of emotions: from a shuffled deck of cards, one card is revealed to each of the four sides. Additional cards from this pile are dealt to individual players. Players also get one board, they are filled with fifteen wooden tokens of the chosen color. They will also receive two value tokens and one pawn, which they will place on any square of the game board.

Players will move a lot in their turn. At the beginning, they get a chance to move their piece to any space within the group of the same color, on which they currently stand. Then they have to move again in any of four directions (up, down, left or right), but they have to be careful, which emotion card is located in the same direction next to the board. This is because in the next phase, players can get this card and experience the emotion. Instead, they may use a chance to move again, if he is not interested in that particular feeling.

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The last big part of the turn is the chance to imprint a memory. To do this, he must use the emotion cards experienced before. All this is tied to the color of the space, on which pawn is currently standing. Only this emotion can be imprinted by the player, and it can be one of the six basic emotions, that are present in the game. At the same time, he removes one of the wooden blocks from his board and moves it to the common plan in the position, where his piece stands.

In return, he gains enlightenment points according to the top tile on the situation scale. So he takes tokens with a value corresponding to that value and moves the scoreboard all the way down, while moving every other up. If he has managed to create an empty column or row on his own plan, he can also place one of his value tokens next to any tile included in the quality board of the same name and gain points according to it.

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Game ends as soon as the player should place another quality token, but no longer has one (that is, he has already created a third free column or row). Not only does this trigger end of the game, when everyone has the opportunity to make the last turn. In addition, the one player, who triggered the end of the game, will get the title internal compass and thus another three points in the final total. So players add up all their enlightenment points and the one who has most of them wins.

 

Inner Compass is a game with a very interesting theme. It promised a little more with its title, we were hoping for something like Fog of Love. But in the end, the game turned out to be quite abstract to have any real experience with the theme. So there is nothing left but to try to look away from the topic and evaluate the game without it.

And from the point of view of abstract games, this is a very solid creation, because the game gives all its participants a sufficient level of meaningful decisions. Everyone has something to think about all the time, they have to try to plan every step and attempt appropriately.

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The game is original with its mechanisms. Players decide on the movements of their pieces. Based on this, they take an apropriate card, they can score and turn into the most valuable points. In addition to the direct gain of points, it is of course also a meaningful removal of stones from your own board, because without this preparation, it is not possible to obtain the largest volumes of points.

Coincidence is included in the game only in the form of cards and their detection, but all participants have the same conditions. This is a very important feature of an abstract game, and player control is perfectly sufficient here, without anything interfering with the overall experience of your own abilities.

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Basis of everything is spatial manipulation in two axes, on a pair of boards. Combining these two parts as well as the cards gained is ultimately the only way to collect enough points. From the point of view of equality and the influence of the order, players receive compensation in the form of one emotion card right at the beginning, but in addition, even after the final condition is met, everything is equally balanced.

The game is excellent in two, but also in higher numbers. Players each have their own board, but at the same time they also influence each other. Above all, however, they compete for common goals at the scoring board and with time before the others manage to meet the final conditions of the game. So the game is open and the only hidden information is the emotion cards in the hand.

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Rules are simple, and it is this unpretentiousness, that allows it to take another small step to player success. The basics of everything is printed on four pages, including a few detailed examples. So the game is easy to learn and thanks to the fact that the player’s turn revolves practically around the movement, it is not unnecessarily stretched. Thanks to that, the game is around one hour of time.

Inner Compass is a game, that can be disappointing, if you are lured to a theme with a vision of some experience. Instead, you get a dry abstract game, that only got a pinch of the theme. In the end, however, it has nothing to do with the game, it only complements it and gives it the conditions for processing. In the end, however, Inner Compass is really solid in the category of abstract games.

DesignerAsger Harding Granerud, Daniel Skjold Pedersen
ArtistStephanie Gustafsson, Jeremy Nguyen
PublisherAlderac Entertainment Group
Year Published2020
# of Players2 - 4
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4 players
Recommended with 2 players
(1 voters)
Playing Time60
Mfg Suggested Ages14 and up
CategoryAbstract Strategy
MechanicGrid Movement, Set Collection
FamilyTheme: Psychology
Primary NameInner Compass

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

 

Review: Inner Compass – preparation for the journey through life
Final word
Inner Compass is not a game, that explains our feelings, nor does it take us into a world of deep emotions. Instead, players get a load of simple and original abstraction ideas, which only put on some necessary coat. In reality, however, it is about movement, stacking stones and collecting points. Players have their chances firmly under control and the game is a solid thought with a surprising bonus in the form of theme. Inner Compass is a game, that offers emotions of victory, but not the promised story stories.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
simplicity of rules
theme as a bonus
player control
originality
good in all numbers of players
Cons
theme only for beauty, but not related to the game
3.8
Buy on
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