Beasts of Balance from Sensible Object is a stacking board game with a digital twist. Right out of the box, set up is an easy three-step process. You will need to download the free Beasts of Balance app to your smartphone or tablet. Then turn on the Plith platform as it's called, which is really the centerpiece physical element for gameplay. Then, pair your device to the Plith via Bluetooth. Once your device has paired, follow the instructions within the app to begin play.
In this one to five player game, kids take on the role of gods and goddesses overseeing and caring for a land of mythical creatures. Players take turns placing, stacking, and balancing the game pieces, called Artefacts, on top of the Plith platform. But unlike an average stacking game in which your sole focus is on rearranging piece to prevent your tower from falling, Beasts of Balance adds to the strategy. You are also helping to build a world of beasts-- the six that are included plus the cross-breeds you create within the game to earn more points.
Each Artefact features a scannable symbol on it. Before placing a piece you must first scan it to the Plith in order for it to enter the digital world. Once you've scanned the item, you must place it. And like any creature, it has basic needs to survive, such as water and air. This is where the gameplay gets interesting. As you build, you'll also need to add these essential elemental blocks in order to sustain your beasts and prevent them from becoming endangered, or even worse extinct. Caring for your beasts adds to your game score and can also aid in their evolution, which earns you even more points. There are 10 element Artefacts you can use throughout the game as well as three Cross Artefacts, which create cross breeds; three Migrate Artefacts, which migrate your breed to a different environment (such as bears under the sea and sharks that fly); and two Miracle Artefacts, Haste and Distraction.
The higher you are able to build and balance your Artefacts on the Plith, the higher your score becomes--so long as you take care of your beasts. However, one wrong move and everything can come tumbling down. Within the game this makes the volcano blow, wiping out your land. If you act quickly enough you can prevent this from happening by rebuilding.
Another nice aspect of the gameplay is that is manages to carry over the addictive qualities of an app game where you are constantly trying to up your score, but through cooperative play.
We realize the price-tag might seem a bit steep to some people, but we think it's a game that's well worth the price, both in terms of the quality of its construction as well as its repeat gameplay value.
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