For my boys, on the list of best movies of all time is Pacific Rim. At least when they were 7 it was pretty close to the perfect movie: giant robots fighting giant monsters, and basically no kissing. They’re 15 and Pacific Rim is still one of their absolute favorite movies, so when they were given the Betabotz game for their birthday this year, they were happy as all get out to play as robots going out on adventures, and I thought it could make a fun game to add to our gameschooling routine.
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Upfront, I have mixed feelings on the Betabotz game
This game has two elements that I’m not quite sure of, and thus it falls into the I don’t know if I really like this game, or if I don’t like it.
First, it’s a player versus player game. Half of the code cards you can draw are viruses that will hurt other players. I don’t particularly like that style of play.
Second, it’s both cooperative and competitive. You can cooperate together to beat a mission, and thus both get the money/points or not do that. It’s this weird combination.
Basically it comes down to, the gameplay style is not my favorite style. But, let’s get seriously into what this game is.
What is Betabotz game and how do you play it?
In Betabotz, you are an inventor trying to create the best robot to send out on adventures to gain money and or special abilities. To start the game you bid on the robot you want to get.
Each robot will have different stats. Some robots might be mediocre at everything, another robot might have amazing agility, but terrible stats on everything else.
Here’s the thing, the money you’re using to bid is also the points you have at the end of the game, so the question becomes, do you bid more to get the better robot or the better upgrade, or do you bid low to have more money/points at the end of the game.
I’m still not really sure what is the right strategy.
The game is played over several rounds with the missions getting progressively harder. You can choose going into the mission to defeat it on your own, if your robot is powerful enough, OR you can go in with a teammate after you’ve negotiated how you’ll split up the prize money.
This is one of the struggles I have with this game, and why it’s not one that works super well for our family.
No one wants to say, “I’m going to leave you out, and make sure you don’t get the points.” Or maybe that’s just the boys being nice when they play with me. It’s a bit more personal when you have the ability to make or break someone’s round.
The game is played over about 10 rounds, and before each round, you have a chance to upgrade your robot by buying modifications improving your stats (and sometimes giving you points for the end game).
One of the ways you get points at the end is having the highest score in a stat, which can be fun, but also can lead to a stat war with everyone trying to raise that one stat.
Now, the tricky part is there is one less upgrade than there are players, so every turn someone is not going to get an upgrade, but will have to take a code card. Sometimes code cards are awesome, but large numbers of them are aimed towards hurting another player’s chances.
You can see I have 3 cards in my hand and two of them are viruses, since I’m not a big fan of the stab your friend in the back dynamic I didn’t like playing those cards.
I’m not sure what a good Beta Botz game strategy is
This is one of the mid-range missions. You can see it takes 10 firepower and 10 strength to beat this mission. If you’re successful you’ll gain 18 memory cards (money).
It doesn’t feel like the robot purchase at the beginning of the game makes or breaks your ability to win, but you want to make sure you get as many upgrades as you can because that does seem to make or break your ability to win.
So, I guess optimize your upgrade purchases. That’s my tip.
The more I write, the more indifferent I am to Beta Botz game
Typing this up has rather convinced me I’m not a big fan of this game.
The bidding mechanic isn’t a big deal for me, but I’m just not a fan of the player versus player mechanic, so I guess this is me realizing just why I’m lukewarm on the game.
I totally get why some people would super love this (and I think my boys would like it more if I wasn’t playing), it’s just not for me.