Review: Meduris – feeling closer to god

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Mountain was our goal from beginning of the pilgrimage. When its snow-capped peak first appeared in our sight, crowd of pilgrims got really happy. But first days at its base were not easy at all. Freezing, homeless and with only a limited supply of food. Hunters have yet to map the ground. We are currently helping builders to create our homes. After endless waiting, valley of mount finally is starting to become our new home.

We join these pilgrims in board game Meduris and we have to thank company for this chance in their new line of family games. This time, and were chosen as designers and created game with subtitle Calling the Gods. Illustration bears also one another big name: . This novelty was introduced to players at Spiel fair.

Meduris already judging by the dimensions of the box belongs among bigger games. Thanks to the cover, we get a look at homes in a little valley from perspective of the gods. In their presence, we unpack the box and discover a big game board representing mountain and its surroundings. Now, this plan is placed in the middle of the table, mountain are covered with materials (wool, stone, wood, ore). Path leading around the hill is equipped with six shuffled bonus tokens on random positions. Each token includes symbols of two raw materials. Druid figure is then placed in a corner of the board. Besides the board are placed rune tokens, tokens of crossing hundred-point boundary and dice.

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Each player then receives his screen behind which he hides one token of each type of raw material. According to their choice of color, players get scoring token, which is placed on number ten on a scale and also receive wooden figures of huts, laborers and two cardboard temples. Before starting game, all rivals deploy their workers on one of four slopes. But they will alternate in this activity by one figurine and stacking pawns in same location on top of each other.

Individual turns begin always by roll of the dice. Symbols decide, what will happen next. If it shows a number, each of the workers on the board will get to work and produce raw materials related to its location. In case of other results, players will either get one material of their choice or will even have to return one from their hand (if they have any).

In the second phase, there will be place to make real actions by active player. And their first possibility is again to produce materials. Just pick one of his worker’s anywhere on the board and move it to any other bank, that is free (maximum of three workers). New worker is placed on top of any pieces, that are already there. The higher it gets, the more work gets done and obtains greater number of raw materials. But the reward will come to everyone on the slope and height according to their place (3-2-1).

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Instead of accumulating assets, player may choose and build a structure – hut or temple. Player chooses any empty box on the roundabout, pay the prescribed materials and place one piece with his color. For it, he has to give up one precious stone of rune symbol corresponding to the position of his hut. Such stones can be collected from common stock, but also stolen from opponents.

Price of the building is designated by symbols directly on the target space. However, it may also be much higher, if erecting a shack created a group of buildings and settlements. Here is the cost multiplied by number of buildings, that are part of such a grouping. Construction of the temple works in the same way, only player does not get any rune.

As a result of construction, druid also moves and first walks on his stone steps and later enters track leading around the mountain Meduris. He then moves in clockwise direction. With each building, he moves one step further until he reaches first shack. Players must then provide sacrifice to the druid – one or two ingredients, according to the box, where figure actually stands. For that, player gets victory point.

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Player may offer one or both ingredients to unexpected visitor. Complete offer is worth only, if there is a settlement with more houses. Number of points is equivalent to amount of the buildings in the settlement. If, however, player has nothing to offer, he loses one point. Druid gradually visits several buildings in one turn, if they are part of one settlement.

Whenever druid crosses river on the map while moving, it is time for scoring. Players are rewarded for runes in their possession and one point for each piece. But when one player has built all his buildings, two churches and a number of houses, other players have only one last turn to complete their plans. Now comes time for druid to walk around the whole mountain once again and ask all residents for the final sacrifice. Acquired points (marked immediately on the scale) are added to additional profit for temples. Whoever accumulated the most points is the winner.

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Meduris is a good game on the border between family and intermediate games. It puts emphasis on planning, which surprise anyone, because scoring is far from immediate. Players must build buildings cleverly in small groups, taking advantage of scoring opportunities, but mainly accumulate material, that has enough potential to provide points.

Actual scoring is done by druid visiting the building, which is funny and interesting. Profitability of individual positions and sacrificing something depends on the number of buildings in that colony. Building is free and players must be use groups very well and build in different villages, on space of other players. Only larger settlements are convenient spot for each home, that players create there.

Receipt of raw materials is partly random (roll of the dice), but is common to all players and can be partly planned in accordance with current requirements. Players must also spread their actions well, so they have built huts in time, but at the same time, they should also be ready for a druid’s visit. It’s all about speed, optimization, positioning tactics and ability to plan. Luck is irrelevant.

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Whole game certainly has an abstract feel. Theme is rather light and unobtrusive, but in the result, players might feel just like moving stones here and there. Story did not reach the heart of the game. But that does not mean, that game itself would not be funny. If you like to think and plan ahead, then you will surely appreciate to try it. But we encounter one small issue here – it might be slightly more difficult and surprise beginners, which are generally main audience.

Game is excellent in both two and more opponents, when it still shows another small teeth. That’s because the buildings on the plan will be added more frequently and thus supply of victory points also is quicker. Length of the game usually remains preserved and perhaps a little surprising. It goes more often, than classic one hour, which is apropriate for moderately difficult guessing game.

Game is literally adorned with beautiful illustrations and solid wooden processing. Altogether, it is a pleasure to look at this game unfolded and players will enjoy it even during their battle. Game has a clear goal, but there are two ways to gain points. Even like this, you can experience a sense of repetition in repeated playing.

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Meduris despite these minor complaints is very solid entertainment at the border of beginner and moderately complex games. It offers something to each camp – simplicity for one and long-term planning for the second. Together, it creates a better mix, which is perhaps more abstract, but remains entertaining for the right audience. Meduris will certainly make its way successfully to tables of many of you.

DesignerStefan Dorra, Ralf zur Linde
ArtistMiguel Coimbra
PublisherHABA
Year Published2016
# of Players2 - 4
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4 players
Recommended with 2, 3, 4 players
(10 voters)
Playing Time75
Mfg Suggested Ages10 and up
User Suggested Ages8 and up
(2 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(2 voters)
CategoryDice, Economic, Fantasy, Mythology
MechanicDice Rolling, Worker Placement
ExpansionMeduris: Essen Promo
FamilyAdmin: Better Description Needed!, Series: Family Games (HABA), Theme: Druids
Primary NameMeduris: Der Ruf der Götter
Alternate NamesMeduris: De roep van de goden, Méduris: L'appel des dieux, Meduris: la chiamata degli dèi, Meduris: la llamada de los dioses, Meduris: The Call of the Gods

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Meduris – feeling closer to god
Final word
Meduris is in its way a long-standing puzzle, in which players must start to plan and deploy their ideal houses. Victory points can be earned only with their help and they will have a decisive say at the end of the game. The whole game is very nice looking, which greatly balances otherwise slightly longer game time. But games are interesting and fun, although slightly abstract. Meduris is significantly above average, but certainly its a game, that looks great and plays well.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
beautiful graphics
druid victims
entertaining all the recommended numbers
receipt of materials for all the same
quick turns
Cons
longer playing time
beginners surprised emphasis on planning
uncertain replayability
3.5
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