While Grind has been around since late last year, I haven’t had a chance to play it until recently. Now that I have, I’m looking forward to playing it again.
Grind, as suggested by its box art, is about two teams of big steam powered robots (or steamjacks) playing some kind of wacky Football/Soccer/Rugby/Pro-wrestling freak-sport. (which is awesome) Essentially, the goal of the game is to move the Grinder (a giant spiky doom orb) across the field and into the other team’s goal. This is done by having your steamjacks punch the Grinder with their big metal fists. Or wrecking balls, or whatever.
The box contains a fairly large board, representing the ‘Destructodome’, as well as hard plastic pieces for two big spikey pillars and then the Grinder itself. It also comes with a decent handful of little custom dice and a few cardboard counters. In addition, it comes with big, multi-part plastic models for the steamjacks themselves. Ten in all, with two ‘Crushers’ and three ‘Runners’ for each team. Each steamjack consists of a torso piece, two leg pieces, a head, and, as one of the cooler parts of the game, any two of a wide variety of arms. In fact, both crushers and runners each have 6-7 different kinds of arms that can be equipped, and they all have different abilities and advantages. This allows each player to customize their team, and adds a lot of variation and re-playability to the game.
While customizing the load-out of your team is fun, playing the game is even better. Each game consists of two periods that last 5 turns. Also, due to the power dice mechanic, you gain more options and versatility as the clock counts down. This creates an interesting flow, as you tend to start off fairly conservatively in turn one, but as time ticks away, your plays will become more and more daring, until on turn five, stuff just goes crazy!!!
While the rules of the game are actually pretty simple, (though precise) the strategy can get pretty involved. Grind definitely rewards forward thinking and an aggressive play style. The fundamental basis of all of it though is “Get the other team out of the way, then hit the Grinder into the goal.” Getting the other team out of the way is easily one of the most fun parts of the game. Having your Crusher use his Pulverizer arm to smack that pesky goalie 8 squares across the board leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
Considering how much stuff comes in the box (ten giant plastic mini’s), the retail price of $69.99 isn’t bad. The quality of the pieces is great, and the game itself is easy to learn, but can provide hours upon hours of enjoyment, without taking hours upon hours to play a single game.
Grind: 4 stars (out of 5)
~ Has anyone else played Grind? What were your thoughts? Stay tuned for some Grind based fun coming up soon…