Brace for Impact

Game Overview: Being released on Kickstarter on March 31, 2017, Brace for Impact is a quick playing dice game where you are a submarine commander and your goal is to either destroy your opponent’s submarine crew or to gather enough intelligence to win.

Box Contents: The game resides in a small hinged tin case, similar to what you would find Altoids in.  All game components easily fit inside, including the eight intelligence gem pieces, four small sized dice, eight wooden crew meeples, two double sided cardboard tokens, two plastic missiles, and the rules manual.

Clarity of Rules: The rules are on a single glossy double sided card the fits right into the tin.  There isn’t a lot going on in the game, so all the rules can be covered with just that single card.  The text and card color make it easy to read as the text font is a little smaller than what you would find in a normal rules manual.  One slight issue that we saw is that the card is just a little bigger than the lip of the tin and doesn’t always come out on its own.

Game Play:  When setting up the game, players choose either the black team or the blue team.  You take the two dice of your color and three of the four meeples along with your cardboard token which will initially be on the side that indicates "surface" along with your torpedo.  The remaining meeples for each player along with the intelligence gems are placed into the middle of the table.

Players begin rolling both of their dice.  They are looking for either a 7 or doubles.

If the player’s cardboard token is on the surface side, the options available to them:

  • Roll 7- Add a crew member of your color from the middle of the table or flip your cardboard token to the underwater side.

  • Roll Doubles-Load your torpedo by placing it onto your cardboard token or remove 1 intelligence gem from your enemy and place it into the middle of the table.

If the player’s cardboard token is on the underwater side, the options available to them:

  • Roll 7-You can return to the surface side by flipping your cardboard token or take 1 intelligence gem from the middle of the table.

  • Roll Doubles-Load a torpedo onto your cardboard token or fire an already loaded torpedo and remove 1 crew member from your opponent and place them into the middle of the table.

The dice rolling continues until one player has 5 of the 9 intelligence gems or someone no longer has any crew members left.

Replay Ability: The game itself won’t change from game to game.  The decisions you make at any given time is where the replay ability will come into play, assuming you don’t always follow the same path.

Appropriate Audience: The game suggests 12+, mostly because of the small items found within the tin.  No reading is needed in the game, so you should be able to go much younger than that.  It will require a good memory to remember the rules of the game on the fly.

What We Liked/Didn't Like:  This is the smallest functioning game that we now own.  You can’t go wrong with having something that is this small, portable, and also protects the contents of your game.

The quickness of the game is also a huge plus where most games will finish within 5 minutes.  We have been able to sit down and have a best of three round robin tournament and spent less than 30 minutes total for all of the games we played.

Despite the simplicity of the game, there is some strategy involved as you have to keep an eye on your opponent and what they are trying to accomplish.  At some point, you may have to switch what you are trying to do, to counter their actions and to keep the win away from them.  Ultimately though, the game comes down to your dice rolls.  If you can’t get your sevens or doubles to come up, it will difficult to get anything accomplished.

Because this is a speed dice rolling game, certain players will have an advantage because they simply just roll the dice faster.  This is not specific to this game but is a common thing for all speed dice rolling games.

While the rules provided clear directions, it can be difficult to memorize the needed dice rolls and the actions you can take.  For beginning players, sometimes you need to stop the game for them to read and remember what actions they can take.  I think it would have been helpful to include two additional cards in the tin that have all of the actions listed briefly on a single side that a player can easily and quickly review while rolling the dice.  We eventually printed our own quick guide and then it made for a smoother game play.

Add-ons/Other Releases:  n/a

  **A review copy was provided to us.