This review is a guest post from Claire, one of the younger members of The Family Gamers.
I love dragons. The new game Incubation promises that I can hatch their eggs and see the cute little dragonets pop out, making this game seem like a must-have for dragon lovers. Incubation is a dice-rolling and resource-collecting game created by Carl Brière and published by Synapses Games. Incubation plays 2-5 players, ages 8+ (we say younger) and lasts around 30-40 minutes.
Place the circular market board in the middle of the table. Shuffle the dragon eggs and split them into three equal decks on their three spaces. Put one token on each of the marked spaces of the market wheel. Set out 3-5 objective cards (based on the number of players). Each player gets an incubator board and an egg card to start.
Starting with the first player, perform these actions:
First, roll the dice. You may re-roll one or both of the dice once. If one die shows a treasure chest, turn the Market wheel and add more resources in the marked spaces.
Collect coins, water, or fire tokens as indicated on the dice; or you can exchange one die for a new dragon egg card to put in your Incubator.
If you have all the required resources on one or both of the egg card(s) in your Incubator, hatch them (flip it to the dragon side and remove it from the Incubator). Then, “sell” them to pick a resource from the matching section of the Market.
Hybrid eggs gain more treasure but you cannot use them for objectives. You cannot collect a treasure with mystery eggs, but they act as any dragon type to help you meet an objective.
If you have the corresponding dragons (and coins), you may take an objective card. You can only complete one objective card in a turn.
End Of The Game
The game ends when either two of the decks of dragon eggs run out, or when every objective card has been taken. Players finish the round, then begin scoring.
Each player counts their coins and adds the points from the egg cards and objective cards. If there is a tie, the person with the most objective cards wins, then the player with the most hatched dragons wins.
As an 11-year-old, I personally do not love Incubation. The art is beautiful and there is a good theme, but there isn’t much to pull you in and keep you playing again and again.
Every play feels pretty much the same. It is really frustrating when a player can’t get enough fire or water tokens and watches other players jump ahead, therefore making this an “un-fun” game to play. There isn’t a new and different element that encourages us to keep playing.
The art for Incubation is outstanding. The element tokens have dimension, and you could just cuddle up with one of the tiny dragonets! Combined with the age recommendation of 8+, it led us to believe that Incubation would be a good game for older kids.
Instead, it’s a better start for ages 5-6+. Parents might get tired of playing it after four or five times, but if you have an older child playing, they could manage the game for younger kids. There’s no reading and only counting up to groups of five.
You can find Incubation on Amazon or at your local toy store for around $30.
Luma Imports provided The Family Gamers with a promotional copy of Incubation for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
Number of Players: 2-5
Playtime: 30-40 minutes
Age Range: 8+ (we say 6+)