Dice rolling to hunt down the elusive Yeti, that’s what AEG’s Yeti is all about. Roll the dice, gain points, coins, sherpas, tents, or even trigger a blizzard. Purchase new equipment, snap pictures of the yeti, camp out on the mountain, and try to catch up to the elusive beast before anyone else.
Yeti comes in a big box, but that’s mostly to house its assembled components. It’s simple to learn, and a lot of fun.
In Yeti each player is trying to earn enough points to make their way along the score track and catch up to the yeti figure places on there. Each player’s turn is broken up into 5 steps:
- Roll the dice
- Set aside snow dice rolled
- Set aside 1 type of die (mandatory is no snow was rolled, optional if snow was rolled)
- Repeat 1-3 until all dice have been set aside
- Evaluate dice
Snow is the first thing you’re going to look at when evaluating your dice. Roll less than 3 and nothing happens. Roll exactly 3 and you can change one to any side you want. Rolling more than 3 is when the poop hits the fan, as this triggers a blizzard.
When a blizzard is triggered the yeti moves forward on the score track a specific number of spaces depending on the number of players. This essentially makes him harder to catch up with. As an aside, the Yeti can never move past a player token. Next, you place any number of snow dice exceeding 3 on your reference card. These are out of the game until your next turn. Finally, you change one of the remaining three snow dice to any face you want and continue evaluating your dice.
Coins are a one-shot currency to buy anything on the photo track. You can buy a photo for it’s listed cost and immediately earn as many victory points that are listed on that level. Alternatively, you can buy equipment tiles. Certain items are one-use-only while others provide a bonus to you throughout the game. You can only make one purchase on your turn.
Sherpas let you climb the mountain.
1 Sherpa lets you ascend 1 level.
3 Sherpa let you ascend 2 levels.
6 Sherpa let you ascend 3 levels.
Climbing the mountain earns you bonuses on any footprints you roll. There’s also a bonus waiting for the first person to make it to the top, and lower bonuses for every other person who makes it up there. At the end of your turn, you return back to base camp unless you have rolled tents.
Tents allow you to start your next turn at a certain level, providing you’re already on the mountain. You can never climb the mountain using tents.
1 Tent: Your Mountaineer makes camp on level 1.
2 Tents: Your Mountaineer makes camp on level 2.
3 Tents: Your Mountaineer makes camp the peak.
Last, but certainly one of the most important die faces, is the footprint. You get a certain number of victory points per footprint rolled depending where on the mountain you are.
Base Camp: You receive 1 Victory Point per Footprint.
Level 1: You receive 2 Victory Points per Footprint.
Level 2: You receive 3 Victory Points per Footprint.
Peak: You receive 4 Victory Points per Footprint.
The final round is triggered when one person lands on or overtakes the yeti on the score track. After that final round, the person with the more victory points wins. Ties are decided with equipment values.
I should also mention that Yeti includes Weather Tiles for a variation on the game. Three good tiles are shuffled in among bad weather tiles. Each turn a new weather tile is drawn and its effects are applied to that turn. It can make for a slightly longer game but adds a nice element to play.
The production value on Yeti is great. The cardboard is thick and durable. The meeples are smooth, evenly painted, and mine had no blemishes at all. The 3D board is a nice touch, goes together easily, and can actually be stored in the box without having to take apart the mountain peak. The dice, while wooden, feel great, roll great. and seem to roll fair.
The artwork is top notch, comical, and kid friendly. The yeti is more friendly looking than anything. All the icons and game text are clear, easily readable and recognizable, and help keep the game moving along with little-to-no confusion.
I’m surprised the cost of the game is as low as it is considering what you get in the box and the quality of every game piece. Though really I expect no less from AEG at this point.
When AEG says that YETI is for ages 14+ they must joking. My 6-year-old had no trouble learning the rules and handing my ass to me in a 30-minute gaming session. The whole family (minus my 2-year-old) got in on this one and had a blast. It’s lighter fare, but there’s enough here to keep it interesting. More serious gamers might not find much here for them, but then again I doubt many heavy-Euro players are really paying much attention to AEG.
Yeti proves to be another excellent title in AEG’s lineup, and a great game to play on family game night. While I still may take Smashup of Fantazee over it, I don’t doubt this will be hitting the table quite a bit as my kids really love the board and ease of play.
Yeti was provided free for review by AEG