Ruin from Buffalo Games

Ruin, an interchangeable board game, is a ruthless race for fortune and glory toward the center of an ancient Mayan ruin. Players move through and around an unpredictable board. The three-dimensional game board allows players to change the path on almost every turn as game cards insert directly into the board. The game allows for two to four players (more players if played in teams).

The object of the game is to be the first to move your two pawns around the game board and into Ah Kinchil’s Treasure Chamber in the center. The path will change constantly throughout the game – both improving the path for yourself or creating obstacles for your opponents. There are three special path spaces: Idol Markers, Ah Kinchil Idol Markers, and Secret Stairways – you’ll land and move to these spaces multiple times throughout the game. The most powerful card in the deck is the Ah Kinchil Card – you play it instead of rolling the die – and can either advance your position or move an opponent back on the board. This light strategy game offers elements of skill, chance, luck and imaginative adventure.

Included in the Ruin box are the following: Temple game board, two plastic platform pieces, 50 path cards (including the Ah Kinchil Card), eight explorer pawns, and one 20-sided die.

Before you can begin to play Ruin you’ll need to read and re-read the directions. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is hard to play, but you’ll want to make sure you have a good understanding of how the game works before you start. This is a game of strategy, and you’ll want to be comfortable with the rules of the game as you start. Once you have an understanding, game play is fun and easy – but our review team was not able to just open the box and run with it.

Ruin has a number of plastic pieces, cards, and most importantly a very unique die. You simply can not lose or misplace this die or you’ll “Ruin” the game – literally! Ruin is very well made, but there are a lot of pieces and parts to keep track of. With all that said, our review team couldn’t rate Ruin any higher than a four in the durability category.

Ruin is colorful, detailed and very visually exciting. Obviously, a lot of design time went in to creating the playing field and the level beneath where so much of the strategy happens. Ruin’s game board gives you a real feeling of treasure hunting – well done!

Ruin is definitely a very detailed, fun game to play. Rounds that we played took up to 45 minutes – which is great for a strategy game – not too long, and not too short! Ruin has a number of ways to send your opponent backward, and bolster your own standing, which makes for a lot of decision making and a lot of planning. Plus, by design sometimes you get to change the path, sometimes you don’t. You’ll be on your toes every step of the way with Ruin!

Ruin is priced just under $30.00, and while there an awful lot of components, and a lot going on with game play, our review team all estimated its pricing about $5 less. Ruin does have a complex, detailed game going for it, and you can definitely see where the money went in its design, but the team, as always, would have liked it just a bit easier on the wallet.

Excellent, original design. No one on our review team had ever seen a game with two levels of game play before. And no one on our review team had ever seen a game where you have the ability to constantly change the playing field. A true original!

Overall our review team could not have been happier with Ruin. Once play began, our team really got into the strategy of the game – in fact – upon a victory one of them created a “Ruin-Dance” that should be catching on at clubs all over the county any day now! Our players enjoyed plotting their way through the game – having fun with every move. If a competitive, strategic game is up your alley – you can’t go wrong with Ruin!

Manufacturer: Buffalo Games
Recommended Age: 10 years +
Retail Price: $29.99
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