Gravwell – gravity is your friend!

Gravwell board game

Race with gravity.

Board games are a great escape. They can take us away to distant times and places and throw us in contests with our friends and family. They can also drop us in a black hole with no fuel to get home!

Welcome to Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension – where the only hope you have of escaping is by using gravity to slingshot your vessel to the warp gate.

The funny thing about gravity is that it can work for you or against you. Play your cards right and you’ll head in the right direction. But watch out for the others, because their shifting positions may pull you back in the other direction.

Love it!

Can the whole family enjoy Gravwell?

Gravwell board game

Choose your cards wisely.

Gravwell is a great family board game. It’s simple to learn, quick to play, and a bunch of fun.

As you can see in Trevor’s video review, there’s really only a few things to learn before getting started. With the cards, you’ll either head towards gravity, away from gravity, or bring everyone else your direction. The only tricky part is when you’re equal distance between other ships. And that’s easily solved by counting ships on either side.

It’s also easy to know who moves first. As long as you know the alphabet, you can figure out the order.

Players simultaneously choose which card they want to play each turn and the cards resolve based on alphabetical order.

Gravwell board game

Simultaneous card selection is great.

It’s so simple, but so fun.

Just when you have it all figured out and you’ve played a great card to move you ahead many spaces, someone else will play a card earlier in the alphabet and move to a spot that will now send you off in the opposite direction. It’s anticipating what the other players might play that keeps everyone engaged the whole game.

And because everyone chooses and plays a card simultaneously, there’s really no downtime in the game waiting for your turn. Choose one of your cards, turn them over, move the ships. Go again.

Before you know it, the game’s over and you’re setting up to play again.

Actually, you may not be setting up right away because everyone will be animatedly replaying parts of the game with “if you would have…”, or “I was going to play this card when…”, or “if he hadn’t…”

Great times.

And everyone we’ve introduced Gravwell to has immediately put it on their wish list – that is if they didn’t just go right out and get a copy.

 

Gravwell board game

Getting out in front can be tough going.

It’s ok to go backwards

In so many race games, being out in front with a commanding lead is a good thing. You can pull away from the pack for an easy win. But in Gravwell, being out in front isn’t necessarily a good thing. Because gravity has a funny way of sucking you back into the mix.

On the plus side, even when you think you’re in last place, don’t consider yourself out of the game. Because with the help of some strong gravity, you’ll be right back in it.

The other benefit of being in the rear during the game is that you’ll get to draft your cards first on the next round. So you’ll get the best pick of the cards.

The card draft is another fun aspect of the game which you can also see in Trevor’s short video review. When picking your starting hand of 6 cards each round, you’ll only know what half of your cards are. You’ll also know some of the cards your opponents have. But there will always be a number of cards that are left out each round. So you don’t know for sure what might be played.

We love the guessing.

 

Gravwell board game

Which way will I go?

Best with 4

In Gravwell, the fun is in the chaos and guessing where ships might end up by the time you get to move. As such, playing with 4 players is great!

We’ve played a number of games with 2 players and the anticipation just isn’t there. With less ships and less players to pre-empt your move, it’s pretty straightforward on which card to play and where you’ll end up each turn. So with just 2 players, we’ll skip Gravwell.

But with 3 and especially 4, it’s a lot of light fun.

 

Mensa Select game awardAward winning fun

If that’s not enough to get you interested in Gravwell, how about this: American Mensa society selected Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension as a 2014 Mensa Select game at their annual Mindgames 2014 event!

Founded in 1990, American Mensa’s Mind Games has become one of the most respected national games competitions. Many games judged Mensa Select have gone on to become family favorites such as Scattergories, Taboo and Apples to Apples.

 

How does Gravwell score on the “Let’s Play Again” game meter?

Gravwell board gameGravwell scores pretty high on our “let’s play again” game meter. It’s a light and straightforward game that doesn’t take long to play. And we’ve never played a game that lasted 6 rounds. In the many games we’ve played, typically a player reaches the warp gate on round 4. So it’s easy to justify another game. Reset and go!

But the biggest reason it scores high on the game meter is because it’s fun. Guessing which card to play and what your opponents are going to play is a lot of fun. And just when you think you’ve played it right, they’ll do something unexpected and you’ll head the other way. It’s that guesswork and hope that you’ll hit it right that keeps us coming back to Gravwell: Escape from the 9th Dimension.

Thanks Cryptozoic for a great family board game!


The Board Game Family Game Ratings
Caleb: 4.0 Meeples Caleb
Has not played Brooke
Jaden: 4.0 Meeples Jaden
Trevor: 3.5 Meeples Trevor
Mom: 3.5 Meeples Mom
Dad: 4.0 Meeples Dad
AVerage: 3.8 Meeples Average
Pick up a copy!

Buy Gravwell from Amazon



 

Comments: 2

 
 
 

Gravwell looks like a pretty fun game. It seems kind of RoboRallyish with the simultaneous select and then resolve the chaos.

The only Cryptozoic game I have is the DC Comics Deckbuilder, but I am impressed with Cryptozoic as a company ever since they took over The Doom That Came to Atlantic City. That was a Kickstarter that the original publisher wasn’t going to be able to get out and Cryptozoic came in and saved the game and is still honoring the kickstarter agreement despite not getting any of that money or having any obligation to fulfill it.

 

     

    We love RoboRally. And yes, Gravwell is like it in the simultaneous selection and how other players will impact where you go. But it’s not near the super high chaos level you can get in RoboRally.

     

 

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