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Game Review – WONGAMANIA | Seitlich Games

As part of our patriotic duty, we the creators of Seitlich Games came to the conclusion that we should review some local games, in the spirit of patriotism of course!

So here we go on our review of the game! (My partner and I have differing opinions but since I’m writing the review, well, you know)

First off we played this game at a boardgame cafe and so the box art was missing and the rules were printed on normal A4 paper so not much we can comment on that. The pictures online look really cool though and the art has a certain charm to it.

As it was our first time playing the game, trying to understand the rules took a bit of time (roughly half an hour) as we did not ask anyone to teach us the game. We just opened it up, read the rules and played.

When you first take a look at the rule book you may get overwhelmed. There is a lot going on in the first page so I’ll try to make it easier to understand here.

The goal of the game is to buy 3 trust funds before everyone else. You have to slowly build your assets and gain money to buy the trust funds.

The game can be a bit confusing as all the playing card backs have the words WONGAMANIA on it, including the insurance and trust fund cards. A quick way to distinguish which cards go into the market pile and which do not is to look at the card borders. The market pile consists of opportunity cards (Assets, Global, Incident and Professional cards) and the trust fund and insurance cards can be bought during your turn.

We actually played the rules wrongly after going back to take a look at the rules again. It was our fault for not reading properly but it was a bit confusing.

There are 2 phases in the game . At the start of the turn, before the first phase, the Chairman or first player will roll the productivity die and the marker will move accordingly. Only when the last player has finished their turn will the Chairman roll the productivity die again. Players will only get their income or Payday on their turn (not everyone at the same time – we played this part wrongly). Each turn you will get your income then take 3 out of 6 possible actions (repeatable) – 1. Draw a card from the bank (take a card randomly from under your bank not the market pile) 2. Discard an opportunity card and draw a card from the market pile. 3. Play an opportunity card (the cost is at the left side for non-asset cards) 4. Sell an asset. 5. Buy Insurance. 6. Buy a trust fund.

There are also a few modes which you can play. From a beginner mode to an advanced mode and even what the win conditions are. As adults we went straight to the advanced rules and while we did not play the other 2 modes, it would probably not be that fun based on our (my) experience with the game.
Now my partner really likes the game and rated it 7/10 [would play again] however I would rate it lower at maybe 6/10 [maybe would play again]. He is an accountant so I feel there is huge bias there. And since I’m writing the review, well, here are my thoughts:

Art was pretty good. It was a nice cute style which children and adults could enjoy. While not being super detailed it has it’s charm with a cute dinosaur on the rulebook. The cards itself were also quite nice though I do not like that the card back for the opportunity cards and the trust fun/insurance cards are almost the same. It can really confuse new players since the only difference is the border at the back. If someone shuffled the trust fund cards in I don’t think I would realise. Small issue though.

The economic board comes in 2 sides for beginner an advanced play. Honestly the beginner board is not that fun, it is for beginners. The economic cycle is pretty good and simulates real life quite a bit. The mechanic behind it is quite interesting though it can become very luck based especially when the Chairman rolls the only number which would make a player win the game. Once that happens, the game is pretty much over. Luck has a certain effect over all dice rolling games but it feels worse when it happens in this game. Maybe it’s because the catch up mechanic is bad with less players that losing to a die roll really sucks (guess who won the games we played).

The bank mechanic is also quite different from other games in that you draw resources from your own resources. Other games I’ve played usually have you buying from an open market. Thematically it fits the game quite well.

While the mechanics in the game are quite appealing and there is some strategy involved in the game, it still feels very luck based for a game that is quite serious (takes about 45 minutes) and makes the players that lost feel like they just wasted all their time because of a die roll or lucky drawing. Luck can be fun but not in a game which takes 1 hour to build up just to end with one player taking it all with a die roll.

As an educational game I would say it’s the best I have ever played but as a game for people to unwind and just have fun, I would rather play something else. The definition of fun is different for everyone and again I’ll repeat that my partner really likes the game. It’s not for me though.

Designer: Xeo Lye 

Artist: Andy Choo, Made Lidya

Publisher: Capital Gains

Here is a link to the DiceTower review (The review is of an older version): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMWJnEgOOEg

Here is the official instructional game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXYaxwfjs7c

And here is the official merchandise shop if you’re interested: https://www.capitalgainsgroup.com/shop

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