After a long month slaying dragons, rescuing kidnapped royals and saving villages from goblin hordes what do heroes do to kick back and relax?
The answer is simple: they head to a tropical island resort and enjoy relaxing cocktails, ride terror coasters and visit the dragonflame tub to relax and wash away the cares of their day job. Of course, with a resort as popular as this, then it is only inevitable that gold hungry monsters might be drawn towards them - from hungry dragons to vicious pirates, from mischievous pixies to haunting ghosts- a hero just can’t catch a break, can they?
In Epic Resort (designed by Ben Harkins), each player takes on the role of a resort owner and operator, working to ensure that their resort brings in the most tourists, especially those exclusive and rare heroes who will bring in even more visitors and money to ensure that their resort is the most successful.
Epic Resort is a worker placement, resource management and minor deck-building game for up to four players - though everyone starts with the same resort attractions, the same number of tourists and even the same starting deck of workers, but that is where the similarities will hopefully end for you.
Each round in Epic Resort begins with the drawing of a new hand of Workers, your starting deck contains basic workers (who staff your Attractions), entertainers (who bring in a little more fame for your resort) and lazy peons (who are only good to throw in front of monsters to be eaten).
Players then simultaneously decide how to use the cards from their hands to staff (or not staff) their Attractions- every Attraction has an amount of work required, different Workers are able to provide work in various quantities, and you may not always have enough work to staff all of them fully- any Attraction that doesn’t have the right number of staff will lose an equal number of Tourists as they leave indignantly.
Once players have decided to assign workers, they ten gain their resources for the turn- Gold and Renown- Gold lingers from round to round, and is only gained by having Tourists at Attractions; Renown lasts only for that round, and is gained by having Attractions with few or no Tourists (i.e. exclusive places that are full of mystique!). In turn order, players then have the chance to make a purchase or pass and end this part of the round for themselves- you can buy and upgrade Attractions for your resort, trying to get three and upgrade them to the amazing Tier 3 Attractions; training your workers and entertainers into more skilled and focused Workers; or attracting Tourists and Heroes from the docks.
Once the turn-taking is done, the docks receive next season’s visitors- most are Tourist cards, a few are Heroes and a similar number are attacks, causing a random Attack! card to be drawn and target a player’s Attraction - possibly killing Tourists, damaging or destroying the Attraction, or even being stopped by a brave Hero who’s convalescence might be prolonged or even ended with their death. Then those remaining heroes gain health as they relax, with those who are full scoring points and discarding an unused Attack! card from the deck. With the new season’s Tourists attracted, the next round begins.
The end of the game comes once all of the attack cards have either been triggered or discarded by successfully resting heroes. From that point on points are scored- Attractions and scored Heroes score the most points, whilst remaining heroes score a little with Tourists being a tie-breakers.
Epic Resort comes with difficult decisions; Tourists or Renown? Gold or Heroes? Each strategy has its possibilities, but you will have to be flexible, as different Workers will be available every game, changing which Attractions you might want to buy.
Final Thoughts on Epic Resort
Though there is nothing inherently new or unique about Epic Resort beyond the premise, the game is fun to play with a wide-range of options that mean that you are unlikely to encounter the same set-up more than once. This means that tactical choices that worked in previous games might not always be the best option in a subsequent try. That, and watching your Tourists be eaten a dragon, only to watch your opponents receive a second dragon as they now have more Tourists is satisfying on so many levels.