Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Gate - A Game of Myth and Magic - #gaming

The Gate Logo
The Gate - A Game of Myth and Magic
  • Created by OofDah! Games, Inc.
  • Purchase Through the Website http://thegategame.com
  • Also Available at select Toy and Hobby Stores (see website)
  • "Like"  The Gate on Facebook
  • Released in Fall of 2011
  • Beginner and Advanced Play Make it Fun for All Ages
  • The Game Combines Classic Board Game Fun with Role Playing/Battles
  • 2 - 5 Players, ages 11 - Adult Can Play
  • A Game will last about 90 minutes
  • $54.94 - Pay with Amazon Check Out, Google Cart, or PayPal

The Gate welcome

I can still remember my first invitation to a night of "gaming".  I was in High School, and some of the new friends I had made got together every weekend and played games.  Epic, never ending games with long plots and intricate twists and funny dice as well as the classic games we all knew and loved, and even some card games.  These get-togethers were a lot of fun, and we always had a good time.  I had found my social circle.

I'm still a huge fan, and I have passed the love of a good game night on to my children.  The Gate by OofDah! Games is a perfect choice for a beginning "gamer" looking for a magic/fantasy/roleplay game.  It has everything I love about the great games, and left out all the not so great stuff.  It is also very well thought out, and the instructions are so clear that just about anyone can play once they've read through, played a round or two, and figured out the gist of it.

As you can see in this photo, there is a board, dice, and several types of cards.  Not seen are the metal die cast figures to move.

The Gate Game Board

Once the game is set up, a story is read, the scene is set, and then, there is a very clear objective.  Players must clear each ring (level) to get to "The Gate" which is in the center.  Along the way there will be obstacles, encounters, and alliances.

At the bottom right corner of the photo above, you can see a peek of some larger laminated cards.  These are step by step instructions for how to set up the board, how to prepare players for the game, and how to play in both beginner and advanced modes.  There is also a card with the story.

In addition to these detailed guides, every element of the game is individually packaged and clearly labeled.  Even the board is idiot proof.  Look at the space for the dice.  It really does say where to put each kind.  The same is true for the cards, and the game pieces.

The Gate - Dice

Speaking of the game pieces, as you can see below, they are solid, well made, and a good weight. 

The Gate Playing Pieces

The boys like the fantasy characters - even the Grim Reaper and the Dragon.  (or should I say especially the Grim Reaper and the Dragon!)

They are quality metal die cast figuress.  It's no small wonder they find their way out of the box and into some other games the boys play, too.

When the game is set up and ready to play each person chooses a character;  Warrior, Dwarf, Elf, Sorcerer or Creature.  Then they are given cards, and some glass stones which serve as currency. 

The Gate - Currency

Once moving, strategy is involved as players work their way through to The Gate.  This is where a new player will need some tutoring, and require a little assistance.  I have found that most young people are familiar with this general idea from their video games which require battling, and the use of special powers, so they begin to understand after a few  tries.

Dice and cards are used to determine movement or action.  The original instructions suggest beginning with seven cards, but the game developers found that with a few more cards the game is a bit easier.  They were able to include even younger kids in the game by simply providing ten cards.  We borrowed the suggestion with great results.

The Gate Cards

Finally, when the game play is over, everything fits neatly back into the box for easy cleanup.

Here is what comes with a Game of The Gate:
  • A 28 x 24 Game Board
  • 333 Cards
  • 8 Custom Pieces
  • 10 Custom Dice
  • 82 Pieces of Colored Glass Currency
  • Beginner and Advanced Rules
  • A Story Page
  • How to Play/Setup Instructions
  • A Players Guide
  • Strategy Tips
  • FAQ's
  • A Clearly Written Legend to Explain Each Space and Encounter
  • A Rules of Battle Guide
  • Some Examples of Battles to Use as Teaching Tools
  • A Guide to Monsters
  • Examples of Fight Scenarios
The example and rule cards are super helpful - especially the first couple of times playing.  There is definitely a learning curve, but once it clicks, it's like a light bulb goes off and the game moves quickly.

I love this game and I suggest it for anyone who enjoys this kind of gaming. Here are some of my favorite things about The Gate, in no particular order:
  1. It takes some time to get through the game, but the game has an ending.
  2. This is time spent enjoying the company of family and/or friends
  3. The game is never the same.
  4. The amazing quality of every single piece is a rare treasure in our disposable plastic world.
  5. The beautiful laminated cards with every detail and bit of information a player could ever need.
  6. The fact that I can spill my soda or drip some dip on the cards and they will wipe clean easily.
  7. The game will grow with my children and they will enjoy it into adulthood.
  8. I am not wedded to a character for life or longer, and I have no master.
  9. Cool dice and cool characters.
  10. Players have to think.  It's way more fun to develop critical thinking while playing a game than with a textbook.
  11. Social skills are also required, turn taking, good sportsmanship and communication are required.
When considering the price, keep in mind that this is 2 games in one, has continued playability for years to come,so it is worth it.  It will not collect dust after a few weeks.  It could be come a social event. It is also a very high quality game.  I cannot stress this enough.  Everything is very well made, well packaged, meticulously thought out and beautifully presented.  I think every gamer family would love to have this in their collection.  Unless you are a family who has a problem with magic and fantasy (and if that's the case, you should have stopped reading after the title!!) you will appreciate the care that went into the making of The Gate. Purchase a game through the website, or if there is a game store near you that carries it, stop in.  If you follow the Facebook page, you might even have the chance to attend a demonstration day in a town near you.
I was sent a copy of "The Gate" in order to write an informed review.  I was not paid to write this post, and my opinions are genuine.