TableTopTakes: Second Chance
I’ve been on a roll and write kick lately, and Second Chance is one of them that I picked up because I thought it looked fun in a video that Board Game Geek did. I was right, it was a fun game, though not my favorite roll and write.
In Second Chance, everyone is getting their own unique starting shape which they have to fill in on the center of their grid. After that, two shapes are flipped which players then get to pick one and add it to their grid, touching a previous one. This continues until someone can’t put one of the shapes on their grid. A card is flipped for only them, giving them a second chance. If they can’t use that, they count up how many empty squares they have, and that’s their score. Other players then continue until someone has either filled up their board or until no one can play a shape. At that point in time, everyone counts up the number of empty spots they have, and the person with the fewest remaining open spots wins.
Second Chance is technically a flip and write, but it falls into the genre. And it falls into a nice spot where people who aren’t board gamers can pick it up quickly. Most people are familiar with the concept of Tetris, and this game has a bit of that feel to it as you try and optimally place shapes. That helps get this game to the table a lot and helps get multiple plays in of the game. The game also plays fast, so that helps keep the non-board gamers attention as well.
As compared to some other games in the roll and write games, Welcome To…, Cartographers, or Cat Cafe, Second Chance is a bit of a simpler game. The strategy of the game basically surrounds deciding if you want to go early with larger shapes in hopes that the smaller ones needed to fill it in will show up later. But that’s a bit more luck based than anything. Now, that’s not much of a knock on the game. It’s 100% a filler game and while there are times that I want to play a bit more strategic roll and write game, the fact that Second Chance can play a larger number of people as well works nicely.
But that is also a knock on the game. I think that it’s very much targeted for the casual gamer, and while that’s great, it isn’t one that gamers who like those heavier decisions are going to love for as long a time as a casual gamer. The tactics are light, the interaction doesn’t exist, and while that’s perfect for that introductory style game, it will feel like you’re doing something similar over and over again the more that you play it. For me, I haven’t found this to be an issue, as I do like a fair number of lighter games, but I can see how it could be. The other thing that helps keep the game from feeling like there isn’t enough going on, is that the game is fast. Once you know how to play, you can play in ten to fifteen minutes. The game definitely doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, even with playing a couple of games in a sitting.
Overall, this is a roll and write (or flip and write) game that I really do enjoy. I personally like some of the bigger roll and write games better, but Second Chance, because it plays so fast and you can play it with almost anyone, because it’s so simple, has a spot on my shelf. It’s one that I can take to a family gathering, or that I can pull out at board game night and get rolling (flipping) in a few minutes without any questions once the rules are taught. If you are looking for that light weight roll and write game, Second Chance is a great choice.
Overall Grade: B+
Casual Grade: A+
Gamer Grade: C
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