JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH – REVIEW, ANALYSIS AND RATING

In this article you will find the Review of the board game Journey to the Center of the Earth, where we delve into the mechanics of this game, show you photos of its components and also our opinion about it.

INTRODUCTION

The center of the Earth awaits you. Descend through one of the four inlet volcanoes, reach it, and exit fast. During the trip, take the opportunity to discover water springs, prehistoric fish, cemeteries of bones and giant mushrooms. And of course, don’t forget that you have the help of Otto Lidenbrock, Axel Lidenbrock and Hans Bjelke. Have a pencil handy and get ready to draw your Journey to the Center of the Earth.

OBJETIVE

Get the maximum possible number of points. These are achieved by reaching the center of the Earth, going out through one of the exit volcanoes and discovering springs of water, giant mushrooms, cemeteries of bones and prehistoric fish.

GAMEPLAY

During the preparation of the game you receive two sheets of the pad: the first, which I will call a Map Sheet, represents the map on which you are drawing your route to the center of the Earth and which has coordinates from 1 to 9 on the axis X and from A to I in Y; the second, which I will call the Discovery Sheet, is the one in which you write down the discoveries you find throughout your journey, as well as the number of times you have used the help of any of the characters.

In Journey to the Center of the Earth you do not play in turns, but simultaneously. There are two distinct decks of cards: the exploration one, made up of 19 cards, and the tunnel one, made up of 12. In each round, one card from each deck is revealed. Next, the players must draw what the tunnel card indicates in one of the boxes that marks the coordinate indicated by the revealed exploration card.

The players choose an entrance volcano, they will have to draw their way towards the center of the earth. Characters are used on certain exploration cards. Items found will give additional victory points. The water will help you survive the trip. Finally you will have to escape through one of the remaining volcanoes that has not erupted.

END OF THE GAME

The game can end in one of the following three ways:

  • All but one player has run out of water. This is the winner of the game. They may all die of thirst at the same time and there is no winner.
  • If the third exit volcano is destroyed, it is implied that all the players exit through their respective entry volcanoes and it is passed to score.
  • A player reaches the center of the Earth and manages to exit one of the exit volcanoes. It happens to score.

Players earn points based on when they reach the center of the Earth, the items found, and the starting order. The player with high score wins the game.

DATA SHEET

  • Name:                              Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Date of birth:                  2020
  • Place of birth:                 Looping Games
  • Son of:                             Alberto Millan (Designer), Pedro Soto (Artist)
  • Genre:                              Board Game
  • Age:                                  10+
  • Players:                            1+
  • Time:                                20 min

Journey to the Center of the Earth in our game transport handbag Game Travel Bag

ANALYSIS AND RATING

FREAKISM (Originality, Theme):

I have neither read the novel nor seen the movie. I found out about the existence of this game when the author himself, Alberto Millán, showed it in an interview with the ALC Stronghold association in Barcelona. I was curious and told myself that I would give it a try when I had the chance. As it happened, Doctor Frikistein had his eye on him as a review subject and acquired a copy, so here I am, giving my opinion on him.

Journey to the Center of the Earth is the second title that I play that is governed by the mechanics of drawing elements on a personal “board” (here, the pages of the pad). It is not exactly a style of play that I am passionate about. What at first seemed like a good idea, after trying it left me with a taste of excessive randomness. Having not read the novel or seen the film, I do not know if this chance is precisely due to recreate the constant disorientation of the characters (if they have it) when entering the interior of the earth’s surface. If so, it has its meaning and its lore. However, taking into account that it is based on a literary work and the mechanics that it has, it does not seem like a very original title. The idea is not bad (I insist that the game caught my attention when I saw it for the first time), what does not convince me is how it is played and the abuse of so much chance.

Freakism Rating:

Note from David Santas: I have read the novel and seen the film. The game has the most relevant elements that the characters encounter on their journey, and the danger cards refer to the “sea monsters” that they spot from a raft (I think the TRex is a film’s license 😀 )

GIF the land before time - animated GIF on GIFER

HYPE (Excitement, Replayability):

Absolutely everything appears as the tunnel cards and exploration cards are drawn. It is clear that it must be like that, because it is precisely what causes each game to be different with respect to the others. However, this leads to situations in which it is possible to lose the game simply by chance.

It also gave me the feeling when I was testing it that the boxes at the corners of the map are totally useless, because your objective is to choose the most direct way to the center or to the exit.

The only way to interact with rivals is just to use the danger card. Beyond this, there is no other way to harm the rest. If you are people who love backstabbing this is not your game.

Hype rating:

SANITY (Difficulty, Rules):

The manual does not present any problem. You will have no difficulties learning the game or playing your first game. Nor does it present any type of ambiguity, everything is understood the first time. In this section the game is, in my opinion, perfect. It is ideal for all audiences, being able to play up to fifty people at the same time according to the game box. Ideal for large groups of players.

Sanity rating: 

DELUXE (Components, Design):

It’s a decent game on an aesthetic level. I like both the design of the letters and the pages of the pad themselves. The size of the box and its design is very beautiful. I miss a pencil included.

Deluxe rating:

Journey to the Center of the Earth displayed on our board game mat:

CONCLUSIONS

Journey to the Center of the Earth is not a game that I would buy for my private collection. I think it has a very monotonous and very random mechanics. I want to clarify that it is not a title that directly enters my personal tastes, since drawing has never been to my liking. I don’t think it’s a bad game, it’s just that it lacks the emotion that I need to enjoy a board game. If it has something good, it is its simplicity to learn how to play it and that it fits perfectly with any public that likes this style of play.

Our BGG final score:

The Doctor Frikistein® reviews are made without any sponsorship and with games purchased for our property.

 

 

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