|Make sense? No?|
The Box and What's Inside
|For The Win!|
At this point, I will make the comment that people who Kickstarted the game get a number of bonus items: two extra sets of game pieces (in different colors) and a bag to keep all of it in. Although I suspect alternate colored tiles will become available at some point in the future, the bag is probably a "collector's item" that will be unavailable to future purchasers.
There is not a whole lot inside the box, but it is enough for two players to play the game. The contents of the For The Win game box include: a rulebook, two player aid/action tracker cards, two action tracker stones, two sets of ten game tiles (two of each type of tile), and a starting player token.
|All the contents of the box, laid out.|
The only exceptions to the component quality are the action tracking stones and the starting player token. In a world of fancy wood bits, glass beads, and such, the starting player token feels like it was stolen from your childhood copy of Sorry! Furthermore, the action tracking stones feel like a much cheaper plastic than the rest of the game components. However, as they are not iconic game pieces, this did not bother me much at all. I suppose at some point in the future I may get my own starting player token to replace the misplaced Sorry warrior, but it suffices for what it is needed to do.
How Monkeys and Zombies Play Together
As for the game itself, it is very much an abstract game. To start, each player places a Monkey tile in play orthogonally adjacent to one another. The rules provide for a sort of "advanced" setup where the Monkeys are placed in some sort of odd diagonal arrangement, but the general principle is you start with two Monkeys touching. [Note: After writing that phrase, I wonder if perhaps it was an intentional joke by the designer that every game begins with two Monkeys touching.]
|Two Monkeys touching.|
|After a few actions have been taken.|
Without going into great detail about what the different tiles do (as this is covered more generally on TMG's Kickstarter page), the majority of tile abilities involve repositioning a tile in play. The Monkey and Zombie are somewhat different in that they alter the state of other tiles (the Monkey flips all tiles adjacent to it while the Zombie replaces an adjacent tile with a Zombie tile). Working within this framework, For The Win presents a number of intriguing strategic options while still managing to maintain relatively quick gameplay.
|Black Wins! Fatality!|
Generally, games take about 10-15 minutes. To that end, For The Win is the kind of game you pull out for a quick "between games" game when somebody has to run out to buy beer or you have to have a player spend 30 minutes setting up the next big board game. It is quick, engaging, and has a lot of opportunity for really ridiculous situations (including "Two Monkeys Touching").
But How Many Players?
It is worth noting that For The Win comes with enough tiles for two players to play the game. It works great as a two player game as that was its design. People who Kickstarted the game have enough tiles for four players, which prompts the obvious question: Does it work with more than two players?
|Extra tiles, player cards, action tokens, and bag for Kickstarters.|
There are a lot of things done right with this game. It is small. It is affordable. It has sturdy pieces. It can be played in a brief amount of time. For The Win is one of those games, like Zombie Dice or Mr. Jack Pocket that should always find its way to a game night. It can be packed away in a small pocket and it takes so little time to play that I almost feel like it would be ridiculous not to bring it to every game night I am part of. Although it is light on theme, it does have enough silly aspects and charm such that it's more fun to talk about playing than a purely abstract game like Go, Othello (Reversi), or Chess.
I like the game and everybody I have played with seemed interested enough in it to justify my bringing along on all my board game adventures. As it goes, I recommend it for people that like this sort of quick, interesting, abstract game with a little character.