Snowblind--A Double-Take Preview of Avalanche at Yeti Mountain

Well, if you've listened to our latest podcast you'll know these Kickstarter previews are becoming a rarity here on ToG. Nevertheless, we're excited to share this preview of a game coming to Kickstarter from our good friend Jason Kotarski and Green Couch Games.

Avalanche at Yeti Mountain is a race game for 2-5 players--and yes, there's a solo variant. The goal of the game is to be the first skier down the mountain. Or at least the last skier standing, because, as the name would imply, there's an avalanche heading your way! And to make things worse you happen to be testing some sweet new jet-powered snow skis that cause the avalanche to move faster and faster... Oh, and there's a yeti chasing you.

So should you run from the game altogether, or just try to keep away from that yeti?! Let's strap on our rocket-powered skis and hit the slopes!

The Components

*Insert standard statement about these being prototype components and their unfinished state here*

The components include 60 Mountain cards, and some Rocket Status cards, which will most likely become tokens in the final version.

There are also pawns for each player and a yeti meeple that is just adorable. 

The Setup

Each player is dealt four Mountain cards, and then 12 Mountain cards are laid out left to right to make up the mountain that you'll be racing down!

The cards themselves serve two purposes: They're the game board, as well as the players' hands. Each card on the table has two different paths, one that the players ski along, and another that the yeti travels along as he chases you of his mountain!

When the cards are in your hand, they have a number and a symbol that will determine your speed, as well as if you're able to attempt a rocket jump.

The Gameplay

Players will simultaneously select a card (or cards) to play on their turn, and then flip them face up. You'll add up the total of the numbers played, and if the number exceeds a limit determined by the number of players in the game, the player who is going fastest crashes and only travels one space! Everyone else will move the number of spaces along their path equal to the number on the card they played. Unless you attempted a rocket jump! If you play a card that has a symbol that matches the Mountain card you're currently on, you'll rocket jump past the next card! If more than one player plays the same symbol, then only the person further up the mountain gets to rocket jump.

(You can also play two cards on your turn as long as they have matching symbols. This acts as a wild, and you'll move the combined number of spaces on the cards, but it also triggers a rocket jump that can't be affected by other players playing the same symbol.)

Once everyone has moved, the player in last place move the yeti either up or down the mountain up to the number of spaces as the fastest player went that turn. He moves on the spaces showing the yeti head, and if he crosses a space with a player's pawn, that player won't be able to attempt a rocket jump on his or her next turn. The yeti is very maneuverable, so people WILL get hit by him. 

And finally, the players will move the avalanche card down the mountain, wiping players out of the game for good. Each time someone rocket jumps, the speed of the avalanche increases, so as the game goes along, the avalanche gets faster and faster!

Finally, everyone draws one card. Even if you played two cards on your turn, you only draw one card, so make that wild move count! 

The first person to ski off the mountain is the winner--or the last person not gobbled by the avalanche.

 

 uhh...it's blurry because I was trying to take this picture while running away from the yeti. Yeah...that's the ticket...

uhh...it's blurry because I was trying to take this picture while running away from the yeti. Yeah...that's the ticket...

The Verdict

Jeremiah--First of all, I love getting prototypes from Jason and Green Couch Games, because they're nearly finished and pretty polished by the time they make it to our doorstep--and they're quick and easy to learn. Aside from that let's talk about the game itself. It is, as I said, pretty quick to play, and easy to learn. It's also a great introduction to race games for new fans to the hobby.

Firestone--Yeah, a polished prototype makes previewing it so much easier. And it shows a level of professionalism on the part of Green Couch Games. The game fits perfectly with the other offerings from Green Couch: A good game in a small package for a great price. 

Jeremiah-- I really enjoyed the multi-purpose nature of the cards. They serve as a randomly generated game board, but also as your cards. It's simple, and elegant, a really great design element!

Firestone--I like the simple, colorful aesthetics, and seriously...that yeti meeple. It's interesting jockeying for position. It's often best to be someplace other than the lead, but you don't want to be too far back or you'll get taken out by the avalanche. My kids took a perverse joy in hitting me with the yeti and the avalanche. Mom was somehow spared...

The biggest thing going for Yeti Mountain is the portability. I like racing games--and they're a great choice for nongamers. But if we're camping or on a trip, I'm not likely to lug around Snow Tails or Mississippi Queen. Avalanche at Yeti Mountain is super portable and still gives you the fun of a race game. 

Jeremiah's Final Verdict-- Avalanche at Yeti Mountain is a fun little race! The boys and I had fun wiping each other out or trying to guess when it would be a good time to rocket jump! Green Couch Games delivers another fun filler!

Firestone's Final Verdict--Avalanche at Yeti Mountain is a fast, fun race game that can go anywhere, and that anyone can play. It won't replace the meatier race games for me, but it's great for games on the go! Question: What does that yeti have in his fanny pack?

Thanks for reading, and make sure you check out the Kickstarter right here!