One of my wife’s favorite games is CV. It has fun artwork, a life-building theme, short playing time, and a Yahtzee-like game play that is familiar. After CV, there came the game CVlizations, which took the same great artwork and gave us civilization building game. Well, now the third game in this “series” has been released, and it’s called CV Pocket. CV Pocket is a game for 2 to 4 players, ages 10+. It takes approximately 20 minutes to play and retails for $20.
1. Give everyone a player aid card.
2. Take the deck of cards and remove cards depending on player count. For example, if you are only playing with two players, then remove all the cards marked for three and four players.
3. Shuffle the remaining deck and deal 15 cards into three columns of five cards to form the tableau.
1. On each player’s first turn, they must take a bottom card from any of the three columns. They then slide the cards down in that column.
2. On subsequent turns, you pick a card corresponding to the transportation symbol on the last card you took. For example, a bike means you must take from Row 1. (Note: A car lets you take from Row 2, and a plane lets you take from Row 3).
3. When there are only four total cards left in the tableau, refill to original setting of three columns of five.
4. You may pass at any time, but the game will end when all players have passed in a row.
5. Scores are then calculated using the player aid card, and the highest score wins!
At its heart, this game is a smaller, lighter, quicker version of CV. The biggest differences between the pocket version and the regular version is a lack of “press your luck.” Instead of rolling dice three times and hoping for a symbol to show up, you have to plan your move based on which row you want to pull from and hope the card is still there when it gets back to your turn. In a two-player game, this is usually doable. With more players, you sometimes get the card and sometimes don’t. Since cards shift downwards, I found it best sometimes to look at the cards in the row above, as they would probably shift down to the row I could pick. Therefore, I found the game play to be a bit more enjoyable and calculating than the original.
Perhaps, the most disappointing thing for me was the replay value. In the regular game, you felt like you saw the same cards every game, but this was slightly improved with the Gossip expansion. In CV Pocket, there are only 55 cards (some of which are duplicates) and to make matters worse, you trim the deck the same way every time based on player count. This starts to create a somewhat unsatisfying two-player experience the more you play it, so I have to give the preference nod to classic CV here.
The art and presentation in this game is the last thing I would like to talk about. If you loved the art in the original CV game, then you will love this art. It has its own style and sense of humor associated with it that I greatly appreciate. The only downside to the art in the pocket version of this game is that it’s on a smaller scale. Due to the layout of the cards and having to have different symbols, numbers, etc. the art was shrunk down a bit, which was sad, but understandable. As for the presentation, I feel like the box was bigger than necessary, which I attribute to shelf presence and visibility. There is no way CV Pocket will fit in your pocket. I could have done without an insert, score pad, and pencil and would instead have liked a tuck-box or something slimmer to make this a truly portable game.
In conclusion, this was a quick, fun game with great art that I would play if asked, but not multiple games in a row. I much prefer the original CV game, and as it stands now, you can actually get the regular game for the same price as the pocket version on Amazon.
This game was provided to me by Passport Game Studios in exchange for an honest review.
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Copyright 2018 Stuart Dunn
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