Project EOS Rise Review
Over the past few months, I’ve really been enjoying complex and difficult cooperative games, and Project EOS Rise scratches that specific itch very well. This isn’t a game for beginning players as there is a lot going on, but for board game veterans who want a real challenge, I cannot recommend Project EOS Rise enough!
In Project EOS Rise, you will be looking (with your crew) for the Paradise Planet, and once you find it you need to reach it before humanity is wiped from the galaxy. Throughout the game, a variety of things will happen to deter you from reaching your goal, and the constant threat of alien ships hunting you down will keep the intensity level high. Make too many wrong moves, and it will probably be game over for you.
This is a very difficult cooperative game in my opinion – thankfully, decision making is a group effort, and a game facilitator (like a dungeon master) will be assigned keeping the group on track and making sure (if they are good) that one player isn’t being the alpha-player. They keep the game moving, and you’ll need them. This game is very long, and can take 2.5 – 3 hours.
Each player gets a unique character and each character has unique abilities, skill trees, and more. Each person will specialize in a specific way, so knowing exactly how you can help the team is key to victory. In this way, it really reminds me of Spirit Island. The game board is randomized with various items, which I really love. That makes each game feel different from the last, even if the ultimate goal remains unchanged.
There are a variety of different mechanics happening within Project EOS Rise, one of the most prominent being a worker placement mechanic that allows you to repair ships, upgrade ships, and more. Having your ship running smoothly will be important and making sure you have necessary upgrades to continue moving forward in your quest is key. Making decisions as a team felt very rewarding, and the unique nature of each character, along with the game facilitator, really does reduce the alpha-player cooperative game problem.
Each round begins with a planning phase where players discuss how they should handle that round. Each player then begins placing their characters on the board to begin doing various upgrades or fixes. The ship will then be moved about, finding objectives and destroying alien ships. While things are complicated at first, it all became very intuitive quickly, and I felt the game flowed very well.
When it comes to fighting alien ships, I think some may be turned off by the randomness of the dice roles. To mitigate this, however, there are abilities that can be used or upgraded dice that can be obtained that will help mitigate some of the bad things that could happen. There is an element of luck to all of this, for sure, but ways to mitigate that luck as well.
As I noted above, this game isn’t easy, and will take a very strategic group to accomplish the various goals and find the objective. This isn’t a game you can play with someone who doesn’t understand complex mechanics and deep, critical and strategic thinking. You need a focused group to play Project EOS Rise, which makes the barrier of entry pretty high. This is not the most accessible game available, but for those willing to work through the various mechanics and necessary strategic initiatives, there is a rewarding experience in the box.
The components for Project EOS Rise are outstanding, and while I would have enjoyed a great insert to hold all the pieces in specific places, that doesn’t take away from the quality of the game pieces. The artwork is great, and the small ships are fun to move around the board.
Ultimately, I’ve loved my time with Project EOS Rise, and always look forward to bringing it to the table. Explaining the game is fairly complex, and there is no way to accurately represent the game’s turn-to-turn flow with written text.
Rest assured, however, that if you enjoy difficult cooperative experiences that feel fair, then this is a game for you. I cannot wait to play more of this, because it’s such a rewarding experience, even in a loss! In my opinion, this is a top-tier sandbox strategy board game.