About the Post

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One of Raine's biggest hobbies has always been gaming. It all started with an Atari and spread out to Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: the Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons. As an artist, Raine takes pride in painting models for games as well as making his own terrain. He's also been a writer for many years, working both in the journalism industry and writing pieces of fiction. He decided to create Initiative : Tabletop as a platform to talk about all things gaming that he simply thought were cool, and reviewing games became a part of it!

Written Review – Yeti

Strange things happen way up in the mountains. In fact, some of the craziest urban legends take place there! When it comes to stories passed down through the ages, one of the most-told is that of the abominable snowman – or the yeti. People all over the place have stories of yeti sightings, claim to have photos of the mysterious creature, and some even make a hobby out of hunting the beast!

In Yeti, players take the role of mountain explorers out searching for any evidence they can find of the mythical creature of the same name. The goal is to find the yeti’s footprints – or better yet, take photos of him – and collect points for doing so. As you make the perilous climb to the mountain’s summit, however, you’ll need to manage your resources carefully or you could find yourself back at basecamp covered in snow!

# Players:

2-5

Play Time:

20-40 Min

Publisher:

AEG

Inside Your Camping Bag (Components)

What comes with you on this journey up the mountain? Inside Yeti’s box you will find:

  • 1 two-part game board
  • 1 mountain (assembly needed)
  • 5 peak tiles
  • 5 mountaineer miniatures and matching victory point markers
  • 1 yeti and 5 base camps
  • 7 equipment tiles
  • 6 weather tiles (for variant play)
  • 1 starting player tile
  • 7 dice
  • 1 two-part photo track
  • 5 player reference sheets

The Hunt Begins!

At its core, Yeti is a push-your-luck dice game wherein you have to manage your resources (the dice). Let me explain: each turn you will roll a number of dice and after following certain rules you will evaluate your roll. Depending on what you rolled, you will be able to take certain actions. Once you finish, the next player follows suit. Throughout the game you’ll earn victory points and the player who reaches the yeti first (he hangs out on the victory point track) triggers the end game. After the end game turns the player with the most victory points wins.

Let’s take a closer look at Yeti’s core mechanics so you get the jest of how it plays out. On the dice you’ll see five different faces: snow, coins, sherpa, footprints, or tents. Each one of these symbols stands for something different and is resolved during the evaluation phase of your turn. We will examine each symbol in just a bit, but first let’s go over how a turn plays out.

To start your turn you’ll pick up a certain amount of dice (this is usually all seven dice, unless the amount is reduced due to the first turn or because of a blizzard) and roll them. If you roll any snow symbols, they get set aside. Then, if you did not roll any snow you MUST set aside all dice of exactly one type. If you did roll any snow symbols you MAY set aside all dice of exactly one type, otherwise you can reroll the lot. You continue this process until you either roll enough snow to lock in dice or you decide to stop rolling. It sounds confusing, but it’s not once you get it down a couple of times. Check out the image below for a visual on how to roll those bones.

Once you’re finished with your roll you must evaluate your dice. This is done in the following order: snow, coins, sherpa, footprints, and tents. Here’s a breakdown of how to evaluate each symbol:

  1. Snow – If you rolled less than three total snow, nothing happens. If you rolled exactly three snow, you may change one of them to a side of your choice and the other two do nothing. If you roll more than three snow a blizzard that affects all players. This causes the Yeti to move forward on the victory point track, away from the players, making it more difficult to catch him. Then you put each snow die in excess of three on your player reference sheet. These will be locked for the other players until your next turn, reducing the amount of dice they will roll.
  2. Coins – You use coins to purchase either equipment tiles or photos. Photos will earn you victory points while equipment tiles will do things like giving you an extra symbol each turn or letting you lock more than one type of dice during your rolls. You purchase equipment from the available pool or from other players, but purchasing from other players will net them victory points, so beware!
  3. Sherpa – Sherpa help you ascend to the top of the mountain! The higher you are on the mountain the more victory points you earn for finding footprints. Also, the first time you ascend to the mountain peak you take the top most peak tile and earn a number of victory points showing on the tile.
  4. Footprints – For each footprint rolled you will earn a number of victory points. The higher you are on the mountain the more each footprint will be worth.
  5. Tents – Tents allow your mountaineer to camp on the mountain instead of returning to base camp. Depending on the number of tents you roll you can make camp at each of the three levels of the mountain. However, tents DO NOT help you ascend the mountain. If you do not roll enough tents to stay at the level your mountaineer is on he will have to descend to the level appropriate to the number of tents rolled.

Here’s another visual to help explain a sample roll during the evaluation phase:

Once you’re done with dice evaluation you pass the dice to the player to your left and play continues. Eventually as you earn victory points you’ll catch up to that infamous yeti and the end of the game will trigger. Once this happens each other player takes one final turn to rake in as many victory points as possible and the player with the most wins.

Spoils of the Hunt: Was It Worth It?

Overall Yeti is a pretty fun game. I enjoyed it and we even made it playable with our 7 year-old son by removing the equipment tiles. The push-your-luck mechanic is fun, but when you add in the strategy of managing your dice resources the game ascends (pun intended) to a brand new level. There are many paths to earn victory points, which makes the game playable again and again. Do you take the risk and try to get 6 sherpa to ascend all the way to the peak, or do you play it safe and try to stockpile footprints? Then, out of nowhere, a blizzard comes in and sweeps everyone behind a bit. Speaking of the blizzard, I do think it’s smart to set aside dice in excess of three and lock them. During our plays we found that this helps prevent multiple blizzards triggering during a round.

Example of the photos that you can purchase with coins.

While the game was a lot of fun it wasn’t without its flaws. One of the very first things we noticed was that, at least with our copy, the rulebook was printed wrong. It looks like it was printed too far to the right, making the folds come off wrong and it was clearly missing some information and imagery. It wasn’t too big of a deal, as we were able to still read the rules without issue (and you can download the .pdf of the rules), but what was an issue was how the rulebook and components were worded completely different. For example, in the rulebook it states that, when evaluating tents, your mountaineer makes camp on level (x), whereas on the reference sheet it says your mountaineer descends to level (x). Wording like that can get confusing, and your components need to be consistent. We have noticed that games coming to us through AEG from Pegasus Spiele seem to have rules translation issues.

Speaking of components, those included in Yeti aren’t of the best quality. The tents were bent after putting them together and the chit board started peeling on the assembled pieces quickly. With so many parts to assemble the components need to be great quality or they can get ruined.

The Yeti Mountain!!

In the end, I still enjoyed Yeti. It’s actually going to be a game that I think we’ll pull down often for family game nights. My son could enjoy it, and with the way it plays there will be a different experience every time we crack it open. Finally, the storage solution in the box fits the fully-assembled mountain, so for me that’s a huge plus. If you’re able to score a copy of Yeti for family game night, I recommend it.

 Thanks to AEG for providing a copy of Yeti for review!

Gameplay is great and rewarding. Perfect for a family fun game. The components left me wanting higher quality, though, and the rules weren’t translated the best.

Pros

  • easy to learn
  • engaging mechanics that enhance replayability
  • easy to scale, if needed

Cons

  • components need a quality update
  • rulebook wasn’t translated the best and caused some confusion

 

 

 

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