Above and Below is a beautiful and engaging hybrid game for 2-4 players from designer/artist Ryan Laukat and Red Raven Games. It cleverly combines storytelling, engine-building, resource management, action point allowance, and other mechanics in an accessible, middleweight title that we expect most gamers to thoroughly enjoy.
This is especially suited to players who love storytelling games, but want a little more meat to the mechanics with the storytelling component as icing on the cake. We especially liked the game’s Advancement Track, which cleverly uses resources of differing rarities to earn income and score victory points.
On the negative side, we would have liked to see more starting buildings with a wider variety of point-scoring multipliers that could be randomized each time the game is played to keep things fresh. Some lower-cost buildings of this type, available earlier in the game, would give players more direction in their strategy for the rest of the game, too.
Overall, though, this is a wonderful design that is truly unique in the board gaming world. Recommended.
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