May 25, 2024

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The Great Split review, test report with criticism and praise

The Great Split review, test report with criticism and praise

“Joy shared is joy doubled,” as the saying goes. He certainly doesn't have games like this San Marco or Hanamikoji In mind, we have to present our fellow players with game materials from a selection we have made previously. I split – you choose, that's what they call it. And you sincerely hope that the other player will leave what you want.

How to play The Great Split?

In The Great Split by Hjalmar Hach and Lorenzo Silva (Horrible Guild/HeidelBÄR Games), this principle is also used, which is probably why this principle is already in the game's name. 2-7 players hold between five and seven cards in their hand, which they divide in half using a placeholder card placed anywhere. They then pass the cards face down to the neighbor on the left, who can now choose one of the two halves of the cards.

The Great Divide - Hand Cards with the Breakup Card |  Photo: Axel Bongart
The Great Divide – Hand Cards with the Breakup Card | Photo: Axel Bongart

Everyone then gets the rest back and plays the cards they have next. The cards show symbols that each player can also find on the scoring bars on their personal board – one bar for each symbol. Small dice appear on them offering the tokens obtained from the cards. So you have to move your stones as far as possible from left to right on each track in order to score points in the world rankings.

Rails in the game

The Great Split - Player Board with Resource Tracks |  Photo: Axel Bongart
The Great Split – Player Board with Resource Tracks | Photo: Axel Bongart

In addition to five different colored resource bars, The Great Split contains five additional seal bars. You can also advance these using cards. Although they only become important to the final score at the end of the game, they add additional steps to the resource path. This means that even small string pullbacks are possible, that is, if an extra move on another bar causes an extra move on a third bar. is similar to very smart.

Board

The Great Split - Player Board |  Photo: Axel Bongart
The Great Divide – Player Board | Photo: Axel Bongart

Game progress is recorded on a central board and displayed whenever reviews and ratings occur. After three rounds, a first recording is made in which (randomly determined) one or two resource bars are recorded. After the fourth round, one or two more spots follow, and finally (six rounds) all the tapes are recorded again. Of course, the further you can slide to the right, the more points you will get.

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The Great Divide - Center Panel |  Photo: Axel Bongart
The Great Schism – central panel | Photo: Axel Bongart

In addition, seal bars, which act as multipliers of resource bars, are also counted. Whoever advances the furthest along the prestige track with his dice is the winner.

Can the Great Divide convince?

The Great Split initially impresses with its (mostly) beautiful game materials. You can immediately see the obvious similarities Evergreenalso by Hjalmar Hach at Horrible Guild: In terms of colors and graphics, you can consider them siblings.

The double-layer stable plates reliably prevent the cubes in the strips from being accidentally moved. Unfortunately, the whole design is a bit small. Both the cubes and especially the graphic elements in the ribbons are very small and you must handle them sensitively.

It is also difficult to distinguish the color difference between white and silver cubes. The graphic design used to define player textures is technically attractive, but less art and more realism could have contributed to better differentiation. You have to look closely to put it together properly.

The Great Divide - Playing Cards |  Photo: Axel Bongart
The Great Divide – Playing Cards | Photo: Axel Bongart

The maps are very stable and (almost) graphically flawless. It would be better if small symbols were displayed in the four corners of the cards. The small card-swipe envelopes feel sturdy, although we didn't close them tightly when swiping them so as not to risk them getting bent.

The rules of the game seem suboptimal

I was a little unhappy with the rules structure of The Great Split. Although it is complete, it only explains all the rankings – including the average rating – after “Endgame”, which, at least for the latter, is not optimally chosen in purely chronological terms. There is a slight weakness in the wording in the jewel valuation example that is less significant (p. 10, where it should say “[…] Value 8 on emerald bar receipt Owns“).

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Interaction with the opponent

Trading cards with each other ensures a lot of interaction, which is also good for this game. It starts with choosing cards: what can my neighbor use and what can't he use? Do I split the cards evenly, or do I place bait to entice the other player to take fewer cards than I can keep?

This has the ability to think. But it is better not to think too long about what you may lose, but rather about what you can gain. Just out of consideration for your fellow players who resent you for thinking too long.

The Great Divide - Center Panel |  Photo: Axel Bongart
The Great Schism – central panel | Photo: Axel Bongart

The match length of 45 minutes can be kept especially if all players are aware of the card evaluation. Then this stage can be played at the same time, saving a lot of time. The game principle works throughout this duration and you will feel well entertained. There's no doubt about the rerun appeal of The Great Split. In addition to the ever-changing decks of cards, it's above all about meta-communication when exchanging cards, complaining about the “wrong” part you got back, or feeling happy about what the neighbor on the right offers you, ensuring repeatable enjoyment.

The Great Divide convinces me The Great Split - Game Box - Photo by Heidelbär/Horrible Guild

Overall, The Great Split has convinced me and has been well received on my tours. It always reminds me of a scene from the movie Dick & Stupid where the two are supposed to share two unequal pieces of cake and Ollie complains, “I would have taken the smaller piece of cake,” and Stan replies, “So what do you want? You have it now.”