Unboxing Life of the Amazonia
Bad Comet Games has made one of my top 5 animal games of all time in Wild: Serengeti (soon to be renamed Life of the Serengeti). When I saw they were releasing another animal game through Kickstarter, I reached out to see if there was a chance we could review the game.
Not only were they nice enough to send over the Kickstarter edition of the game (with all the stretch goals), but also included the upgraded tokens as well (bag tokens, trees, water lilies, and more)! Let’s take a look at what you get in Life of the Amazonia box!
If you prefer to watch an unboxing, please check out Adam’s video below!
The highlights of Life of the Amazonia
Anytime Bad Comet puts out a game in the future, if that game includes animal meeples I’m going to assume the quality is top notch. While there were a few printing mishaps on some of them – the river dolphin, in particular, seemed to have a bit of weird printing – the overall quality across the dozens and dozens of little wooden animals was pristine. They look fantastic when you get up close, but also work really well together on the table.
The wooden, screen printed animals are included in the Kickstarter / Retail base version of the game, so it is something everyone gets to enjoy, regardless of what tier they backed at, or if they will be picking this one up later at retail when available.
Like with Wild: Serengeti – and I’m going to assume this will be constant going forward – Life of the Amazonia uses a 3D terrain piece that pops on the table, and is functional as well. In this game, the Living Waterfall tracks your progress on the terrain track, tree track, water lily track, and more. It build really nicely and goes together and comes apart relatively quickly as well. This was a nice added feature in the box.
The other thing I loved was the stitched bags. Often, companies will cheap out on included satin bags, but Bad Comet went all out with stitched bags and fantastic drawstrings. No cheaping out here! I also loved the discard boats that required some assembly. Each player gets one, and after using tokens, can discard them into the boat. The boat has a slanted piece of cardboard in it, so when it’s time to refill your bag when it’s empty, simply tip the back of the boat into your back and let the chips slide back in!
What I didn’t like about unboxing Life of the Amazonia
As with many board games, some of the production is over-the-top good, and some is just not up to par. With Life of the Amazonia, I was really disappointed in how thin the cardboard pieces were. Ultimately, it didn’t seem to impact our enjoyment of the game when it came to using the terrain tiles, but had we not had the upgrade pack, I think I would have been a bit miffed by the cardboard tokens that you drew from the bag. The artwork and diameter are all fine, but I would have liked to see the cardboard be just a bit thicker.
In terms of packing issues, box sizes, and shipping weights, I can see why Bad Comet chose a thinner card for all the pieces.
I also ruined one of the discard boats when putting them together, and I wasn’t sure if that was because of my inability to follow directions, or because again the cardboard was just so thin. A little bit of glue and a clothe spin to clamp it worked really well, and if you looked at the boat now, you wouldn’t notice the difference!
How they fixed my concern in Life of the Amazonia
Here’s the thing. Like with Wild: Serengeti, Bad Comet offers upgrade packs that turn your cardboard tokens into wooden pieces, and I think this is actually a fabulous idea. Again, I would have liked to see thicker cardboard in the box to begin with, but as I’m not sure yet what the retail price of the product will be, it actually might be a good way to keep the cost lower, and get the games into the hands of more people.
Let me reiterate – my concerns above are more of a production concern – they won’t really negatively impact the enjoyment of the game, and even as thin as they are, probably won’t begin breaking down until you’ve played it quite often.
Thankfully, the upgrade packs are a great way to deluxify your game. Instead of forcing this added expense onto consumers, Bad Comet has offered it as an additional option. If I were backing the Kickstarter campaign in hindsight, after my first play I would HIGHLY recommend the upgraded pieces, as they are phenomenal. They feel great to pull from the bag, and they look great (trees and water lilies) on the table.
If you are looking to purchase this game at retail after Kickstarter fulfilment ends, pick up these packs. The money is well spent.
Overall, I think that Life of the Amazonia from Bad Comet Games is a really good value. You get a ton of stuff in the box. What I recieved as a review unit would have cost $99 on Kickstarter, and that feels about right for me.
With so much variety in the box to keep each game feeling unique, there are dozens of play opportunities for your money, and that is the best way to quantify how worth it a crowdfunding campaign might be. As the campaign has now ended, be sure to pay attention to Bad Comet Games’ website and your favourite retailers to see when you can pick this up!