Episode 1 : Wasteland Express
- Funtimes in a Wasteland 90% 90%
- Customized box inserts! 100% 100%
- Learning Curve 80% 80%
- Box Size 85% 85%
So, this episode is our first venture into Podcasting and you can probably tell from the rough edges that we just decided to jump in feet first (possibly head first) and see what happens. This is what happened.
For our first effort we decided to talk about Wasteland Express Delivery Service a 7.5lb box of good times designed by Ben Pinchback (Fleet, Eggs and Empires), Matt Riddle (Fleet, Eggs and Empires), and Jonathan Gilmour (Dead of Winter) and published by Pandasaurus Games. Wasteland Express is pick-up and deliver game set in a post-apocalyptic, dare I say irradiated, wasteland populated with the dregs of crumbled society scrounging and scheming to get on with life. You play as truckers working for a delivery company in the heart of the wasteland and you are racing your other players to get some big deliveries done.
The production value is over the top on this game with beautiful art, stunning design, incredible attention to detail and fantastic game play. The box is filled with nested organizers that make setup and tear down of this game smooth and simple and setting a bench mark for future games.
This one was a Christmas present from my wife (Melissa, she is very good a Christmas). She was deciding between Wasteland Express and Jamaica (very fun light race game that we had played a while back at a board game café). She decided on Wasteland Express Delivery Service because (a) I have a tendency to buy games that I think have a broader appeal to our group and as much as Wasteland Express was on the top of my list it was more of a guilty pleasure since I didn’t think everyone would want to play it so she knew I would eventually buy Jamaica and (b) she loves Mad Max (all of them – except maybe Thunderdome, too much saxophone). Also, possibly (c) I wouldn’t shut up about it.
Then I started trying to devour the rules. I went to the Watch It Played video they link to on the box and it was brilliant. It was like downloading the setup and rules directly into my brain. This is pretty much learning by osmosis. Watch the video once and you can approach the setup with confidence and explain the basics and get going. From there it was just some quick referencing rules here and there as things came up. The layout and design of the game makes short work of understanding the mechanics and after a few turns driving your truck feels automatic and you start to feel at home in the wasteland and you sink into the game.
Needless to say, we love this game. We love everything about this game. The artwork by Riccardo Burchielli (DMZ, Virtigo Comics) is just so spectacular. So much eye candy that creates such a great feel for the world and that artwork is then tied together and dressed across every single piece by the graphic design of Jason Kingsley (Lanterns, Ophir)
Even with no hope of winning I could play this for hours. Just the impressiveness of the world and the challenge of getting things done is enough to keep me entertained. Every turn is engaging, every frustration sinks you deeper into the hopelessness of the wasteland and every success feels hard earned and genuine.