|User||Rating||Min. Age||Adults Too||Comment
|boltongeordie||10||8||Yes ||A fantastic introduction to Euro games for kids. It has a great theme, a playing time of around 45 minutes, simple rules and enough luck to even the playing field somewhat. And you can throw people into the volcano. Wonderful.
|cindy||10||9||Yes ||A great family game that combines strategy, luck, and a dash of cruelty (throwing others into a volcano and/or impeding them with lava). The game has two phases: during the first players place their family members (pawns) in various buildings about Pompeii, the second phase is triggered by the eruption of Vesuvius, at which time people scramble to exit the city before it is engulfed. One of the best games I've ever played
Our family too loves this game, and we have taught this to several other families with kids with great success. Kids with probably need a little help with the somewhat quirky construction of the draw deck during setup.
The first two phases of the game are spent populating Pompeii with the eventual victims of the third phase. Random omen cards allow a player to toss someone else’s hapless piece into the fiery depths of the volcano, and add excitement and a little uncertainty to this phase. We always insist that the victim makes a “falling into the volcano sound” as they are tossed.
The real fun begins with the third phase, as Vesuvius erupts. Players scramble to evacuate their pieces out of six or seven exits as lava tiles are drawn and placed on the board. The lava surrounds and engulfs the fleeing victims, causing them too to be tossed into Vesuvius. The game ends when no one is left alive in the city and the winner is the one with the most saved pieces.
Be aware that there is direct conflict between the players, especially with the placement of the lava tiles and the use of the omen cards. This may not be suitable for younger players or sensitive adults who don’t like this kind of direct confrontation. Nevertheless, in our experience, The Downfall of Pompeii is a fun and creative game that plays wonderfully with kids of most ages and yes, can border on the cruel and macabre.
|LoMa||7||9||Yes || Downfall of Pompeii has a fun theme and relatively simple rules. Setting up the deck is a bit time-consuming, and the first half of the game in which you populate Pompeii is not very thrilling, but the second half flies with hilarity and the joy of sending your opponent's people to the volcano - oh and the sound effects you can make as your own guys are thrown into Vesuvias makes it almost worth it to lose 'em. The race to get your people out of the city gates while trying to trap others by the lava is quite thrilling.
If you or your kds can't take reversals in luck or screwage, this game isn't for your family. But if your family enjoys such entertainment, it can be a lot of fun.
The rules are simple enough, but younger kds might need a bit of help through the first half of the first game. The introduction of the realtives and the omens after the first A.D. 79 card appears can confuse kids at first. 9 year olds should be able to handle that, but my neighbor's 8 year old had a tough time over it. All the kds can play the second half of the game very intuitively. And if your kids have played Carcassonne before, Downfall of Pompeii's 2nd half will give a whole new thrill to tile laying games.
The replay value for adult gamers is relatively low, but for kids, the excitement of the second half of the game makes the replay value high.