Gütersloh, Spiele Brand Examination, “IKI” Review by Giant Roc
Anyone not familiar with Oyakata, Ikizama, or Kobun terms probably didn’t have an “IKI” on their desk. In Giant Roc, 2-4 players aged 14 and over spend a year in Edo over the course of a 60-90 minute playing time in order to become the most successful Edoko, an Edo resident. Edo, you should know that this is the former name of today’s #Tokyo.
The goal is to enable the people of Edo to live a prosperous #life. This game is named after a philosophical concept from the Edo period, which symbolizes the ideal way of life as a citizen.
I can reassure anyone who finds that there is a lot of Japanese technical terms to the fore. Because after several games, you get used to these terms, use them normally, and thus delve deeper into the game environment.
“IKI” really convinces during assembly with beautifully designed game materials. From the game board, personalized player boards, and individually designed maps to beautifully designed building and dealer cards.
IKI spans 13 rounds. As mentioned earlier, you spend one year in Edo, so each month corresponds to one game round. The thirteenth and final round marks the New Year celebrations.
But what do the terms above mean? Well, these are the characters that each player can act on.
The Ikizama mechanism is very interesting and often a game changer. Here each player decides how far the main character Oyakata moves on the main sales street, and thus also determines the order in the movement stage. But the position of the Ikezama character is also subject to a certain order, which is determined by the so-called “fire resistance”. However, this looks more complicated in the written form than it does in the game itself. You get to grips with the process quickly, especially since naming game materials always helps to find your way around your train.
The movement phase itself is then clearly regulated, but it still packs a punch. Because in addition to the decision to generate income or hire a dealer, you can also deal with oyakata. Each trader has his own skills, which are also listed separately in the instruction appendix. Here too, you can save looking at the instructions after 4 or 5 games because the symbols on the dealer cards are self-explanatory. This is a neat job.
So these trader skills can now be used by Oyakata. Merchants that are recruited by players are marked with colored coupon numbers. If you use a dealer’s skill that has been recruited by another player, that player will not get a monetary reward. No, the merchant increases his experience. This, in turn, is triggered on payday when merchants distribute their returns to players.
But just as in real life, your work life will end at some point. If the trader gains enough experience, he will retire and the coupon will return to the player’s inventory.
However, the seasons and their months do not just indicate the round of the match in question. They also determine what happens in the game at each stage of the event. And the worst, which unfortunately we had to experience painfully several times, what can happen with the “IKI” is a fire.
This shows that the firefighting force is not just there to determine the order of the players. Instead, it is also important to protect your merchants. In “IKI” too, one often feels like he wants to do more. But it also means that you have to balance your actions with very good sense so as not to set your priorities wrong.
“IKI” is a game that looks impressive at first once it’s created. In the first two games, we sometimes felt overwhelmed by a variety of options. However, that feeling kicks in after a few matches because you quickly get a feel for your own tactics. But it is also positive that you can react flexibly to what is happening in the game at any time and not be limited by the tactics you have chosen.
Beautifully designed game materials, thematic inclusion of the game in the Edo scenario and the various possibilities of merchants, buildings, other stores, etc. Advancing further on the “IKI” bar makes “IKI” a game that will surely appear on our tables in the coming weeks and months
Hartmut Brand, Escape room news center
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