Unfair Expansion: Alien B-movie Dinosaur Western
I was always mesmerized by the engineering of gigantic roller coasters, with all tracks that loop and twists. As I got older, video games like Theme Park and Roller Coaster Tycoon let me decide how to run a park. Unfair brings that same excitement of building a twister coaster, combined with complex decision making regarding your park’s finances.
Unfair Expansion: ABDW (Alien B-movie Dinosaur Western) is designed by Joel Finch and published by Good Games Publishing. Like the base game, it plays 2-5 players, ages 14+, in around 60-120 minutes.
New to Unfair?
To play this expansion, you’ll need a copy of the base game Unfair. Unfair is a tableau building game, in which players compete to build up the most profitable park through gathered victory points. In each of eight rounds, players work through four steps:
- Flip a City Event that affects all players, then modify it with Event cards from players’ hands.
- Players buy Park cards from the market and build them into their tableau. Collect sets of icons for various attractions and supplement with staff, upgrades, and showcases.
- Then open your park to Guests, who will pay for admission, snacks, and souvenirs.
- Finally, Clean Up and get ready for the next round.
Adjust the difficulty or interaction level before the game with Game Changer cards. You can even use the “World Peace” card to block the use of any events and abilities that would affect other players.
Obviously there are more details, but this is your blueprint of what Unfair looks like if you weren’t already familiar with it.
An Operator’s Guide To Expanding Your Park
What really makes Unfair fun is the unique theme packs that players choose for each game. Who wouldn’t love a Robot Ninja park? In Unfair Expansion: ABDW, players can build parks around new themes: aliens, b-movies, dinosaurs, and westerns. Each pack includes new park cards, blueprints, events, and staff that fit their theme.
Aliens have landed and they assure you they only want to help mankind. They offer assistance with “research” projects and provide Alien influence. Influence can be used both as currency and victory points.
The Alien pack focuses on generating influence through attractions and event cards. For example, the Gravity Inverter costs four influence to build, but gains one influence during the Guest step. This additional build cost is new to Unfair.
To get an Alien park rolling, you’ll want to focus on influence production early with park upgrades. Later in the game this might prove difficult as influence is generally gained at the guest step. Snag the Amusement Arcade from the Unfair Robot pack to build an upgrade from your hand for free. Voila! No influence cost.
Alien Staff members were craftily designed. Symbiote allows you pay influence tokens to use a staff’s “once per turn” ability twice. I love the Alien Ambassador, not only because he looks like Elvis, but because he gives away ten coins to whoever possesses him in the Guest step before moving on to another park. New event cards exploit sci-fi tropes like advanced technology, creating close encounters, and replication.
Everyone loves a good B-Movie once in a while; they’re awful and entertaining at the same time. This pack is heavily driven by Panoramas, a collection of three or four cards placed next to one another to score additional points at the end of the game. Panoramas already existed in Unfair, but B-Movie amps this up with additional cards to create them..
Dinosaurs is everything I expected, and probably the best pack in the expansion. It evokes the cool elements from the Jurassic Park movies, both in the artwork and the mechanics.
Who wouldn’t want a T-Rex upgrade on roller coaster? But Dinosaurs don’t come without risk! At the start of each Event step, roll dice for every cretaceous creature attached to attractions.
For example, T-Rex provides a whopping 5 stars. But it will get loose if the roll is less than a six. This forces you to close all park attractions as it demolishes (or eats) any dinosaur animal upgrades on adjacent attractions. Is it worth the risk?
In addition to the spectacle of dinosaurs, this pack also features two replacement park entrances that alter guest capacity and target two different ways of running a dino park and alter your strategy.
Saddle up for some some wild west attractions, bandits, and cacti. The Western pack is the best to mix in to Unfair for new players, but it still packs a punch, comboing with a lot of cards from the base game.
Many of the attractions give monetary bonuses or free upgrades. Who doesn’t love getting freebies?
You’ll need true grit to deal with Gold Thieves, who demolish a park upgrade, or A Band of Outlaws, sticking up any player who wants to use the top half of a events card.
Unfair is already an extraordinary game, combining tableau-building, hand management, set collection, and just enough take-that. I don’t recommend Unfair for younger players who will tend to struggle with the vast array of options on the path to victory. The recommended age of 14+ is about right; in my experience, teenagers should be able to grok it just fine. It’s also best at four players or fewer, since a fifth player adds more down time.
This is a game that encourages “take that” in player interaction, event, and Unfair city cards. So if you’re playing with a group that doesn’t love conflict, pick a game changer card to dial-in the experience you’re looking for, maybe even one of the new ones from the Alien B-movie Dinosaur Western expansion. Prescience keeps the top city card revealed, allowing players to foresee what’s coming. Djinni’s Bargain forces players to choose their path with the option to block all City events.
Why Add Aliens, B-movies, Dinosaurs, and Western?
Why would you possibly need to add more to an already awesome game? Unfair Expansion: Alien B-movie Dinosaur Western brings creativity and new challenges to an already phenomenal gaming experience. Dinosaur and Western are my favorites from this expansion.
Dinosaurs should be an obvious choice:
- Because dinosaurs are awesome! (and so are the nods to Jurassic Park)
- The random outcome of the dinosaur attacks leaves me on the edge of my seat, always wondering about my park’s fate for the round.
- It’s a challenging puzzle to score big with these risky beasts.
All of the expansion packs work well with the Unfair base game. In fact, they add a new level of variety for park design, with great synergies to be had between base and expansion cards.
Unfair is already in my top ten games for art. With its photorealistic aesthetic, I daydream about being a guest in the park. This is all thanks to a power-house of graphic artists including: Mr Cuddington, Yorgo Tsalamanis, Naomi Robinson, and Nicole Castles.
Complementing the stunning art is the clever flavor text on various cards. Take a moment to absorb their wit.
I’d advise players new to Unfair to use the recommended theme packs to get rolling. Once you’ve got the flow down, create your own dream parks – maybe with a mix of Robots and Dinosaurs in the Wild West?
This expansion is a must and we highly recommend it along with the base game. Find Unfair Expansion: Alien B-movie Dinosaur Western at Amazon, or ask for it at your local game store.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Unfair Expansion: Alien B-movie Dinosaur Western from Good Games Publishing for this review.
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Unfair Expansion: Alien B-movie Dinosaur Western
Number of Players; 2-5
Age Range: 14+
Playtime: 60-120 minutes