Published on May 7th, 2015 | by SgtKaiju0
Enclave: Zakon Kranca Swiata – Review
In which a game has more mechanics than players…
In all my years of playing games, I’ve never come across such a confusing game. From the mechanics, to the design to the very premise, the game obfuscates and confuses at every chance. But I’ll come back to that.
Enclave is set in a post-apocalyptic world where you play a ‘Snatcher’, a deering-do adventurer who breaks into a higher dimension to bring back ‘pryzes’, that you can in turn use to level up your own enlightenment to access another higher dimension. Or the same higher dimension. I’m not sure. To quote the box:
Twelve spiritual leaders, known as the Masters of Brilliance, have gained a great influence and many followers. At the night of solstice, they brought an unexpected end upon the world, precisely by the rules they had foretold. Anything that people could imagine happened on that night. During that tragic spectacle, the Masters of Brilliance separated wheat from chaff, taking the chosen ones to a new nice little hell they had built in a higher dimension somewhere at the doorstep of afterlife. No one knows how they got there or how they managed to affect reality. Anyway, only rigorous cooperation could grant them enough power.
Initially, the first round is a worker placement game, with each player deciding the order of places visited and them the order of actions in that place. These places vary from just earning money, altering the turn order, looking at upcoming cards, buying enhancements, buying healing or, finally, attempting a mission to earn the tokens needs to level your path to enlightenment.
Once you get past this round, the game takes on various forms, with the individual character cards taking on the form of a usual RPG game, but with also with elements of a deck-building game. And then the missions themselves are reminiscent of Munchkin in their card-based simplicity, but without the former’s charm.
Essentially, this is where the game starts to fall apart. There is just too much going on. You need to lay a toxic token to pick the order of places to lay a token to pick the order of actions to earn some money to buy power-ups to go on missions to fight traps to get tokens to trade for other tokens to level up your enlightenment to win the game. The game falls somewhere between a boardgame and a tabletop RPG, but managing to leave all the playable bits of either behind.
The plot is dense and confusing, leaving us lost as to why things were happening, with the mish-mash of graphic design sitting somewhere between Fallout and Arkham Horror.
It is worth noting that this game is a translation from it’s original Polish and somethings may have been lost in the translation, but it does feel as if they simply threw every mechanic and theme at a sheet of cardboard and are just hoping something sticks, but really it just leaves the player confused, dealing with rules rather than playing, and ultimately, bored. We won’t be getting it out for another game.