Smartphone Inc. Review – The Innovative and Smooth Economic Board Game
You know just a little bit. Well wonder no further, because you can do all that in smartphone inc in smartphone inc, one to five players will compete as ceos of mobile phone companies. Everyone will be producing and selling batches of mobile phones and try to expand worldwide, while also developing new phone technologies. As with a lot of games, you win by getting the most points. There are 5 rounds in a game, and each round has 8 simple faces: well skip ahead to phase 7, so that everything makes more sense. The main way for you to get points is by selling your batches of phones, which only happens during the 7th phase. These transparent cubes represent boxes of your phones that are ready to be sold. The board shows all the possible countries. You can sell your phones to lets say you wanted to sell your phones in india, because your company has a branch in that country. There are 6 buyers in india. The numbers on the first 3 buyers represent the maximum phone price. Each buyer will accept. So if the number is 5, that buyer will only accept phones that has a price of 2, three, four or five, you also have these buyers with technology symbols on them instead, but lets ignore them for now and ill explain it later in the video. So lets say you have two batches, both at a price of three. You can technically sell them to the first three buyers.
However, you have to choose the buyers closest to the left first, if possible, before going to the right after selling the two batches, each with the price of three, you will then gain six points. This is the most important bit of the game. The rest of the game is basically just many supporting tools that you can use to improve this particular part of the game, and you want to get very good at this part because it will win you. The game planning for this phase is important and, since about 90 percent of the planning of your round happens during the first phase lets go back to the beginning of the round. In this planning phase, everyone will take their two double sided paths that was given at the start of the game and overlap them to determine what action they will take for the rest of the round. There are six cells on each side of the pad and you must overlap one to four cells. Everyone starts with the same two paths, but not with the same improvement tiles. These improvement tiles can be put on top of your pads, but you must always have the whole tile covering other cells, so something protruding out like this is not allowed. If you dont want to use them, you simply flip it upside down. There are 6 different kinds of symbols, now explain them as we go with the faces everyone configures their pads secretly before finally revealing them.
At the same time, from this point onwards, no one can change their configurations. This round lets say that we configured ours like this and lets move on to the second phase in this set prices phase. You simply change your phone selling price on this track. You always start around with the price of 5.. Then you increase or decrease, depending on your pad configurations. Your price increases by one for each of the plus dollar sign and you decrease them by one for each minus cells. You have so in this case. Well have to increase the price one time, but then also decrease it two times and thats literally it for phase two phase. Three is the production phase where youll be generating those transparent cubes to sell later on, for each of these box, symbols on your pads, youll get one cube plus for each overlapping cells. On the two pads youll also get one cube. You do not count the improvement cells for this bit instead for each improvements you do not use youll get one cube, so in this case ill get three cubes from my pets, plus one extra, because i overlapped one cell, but none from the improvement task, because i Used all of them so on our player tray, we take 4 cubes from the left side reserve and put it on the right one like so to indicate that 4 of those cubes are ready to be sold. Moving on to phase 4 now is the time to get more improvement, tiles every round, 5 new improvement tiles are displayed, and because we have this cell active on our pad well be able to take.
One of them who gets to choose first depends on the price of everyones phones. If you have the lowest phone price out of everyone, then youll get to pick first, followed by second lowest and so on and so forth. If you have the same price as someone else, whoever has got the lower score will go first. This turn order. Rule is going to apply from this phase until the end of the round. If you dont, have the improvement cell active on your pad youll get this goods token instead, which will give you one extra cube every round during the third phase, then we move on to phase five for research and development, where you look for these gear symbols on Your pads every game, you will have six technologies that can be built into your phone. They require a number of gears before you can unlock them. If you are the first one to unlock a technology, you will get a breakthrough token for that technology, which gives you extra flat points at the end of the game. The technology then becomes slightly easier for everyone else to obtain, but they wont be able to get that breakthrough points. Our pad right here only has two technologies, so we wouldnt be able to break through anything this round. Instead, we can just put these two markers representing progress to any of the six technologies. That way you can continue progressing next round. There are two benefits of these technologies.
The first one depends on what is shown on their description, tiles, which will be varying depending on the initial setup. They can either give you an instant one time benefit or a long, lasting one until the end of the game. The second benefit allows you to sell to more buyers. If you recall, there are buyers in phase 7 that have technology symbols instead of numbers, you can only sell to those buyers if you have obtained the technology that they are looking for, regardless of your phone price. Moving on to the logistics in phase 6, where we look at the blue trucks on our paths, everyone starts the game by only being able to access one country, and this is the phase where we can try branching out to neighboring countries connected by these lines, similar To the previous phase, each blue truck symbol on your pad gives you one progression marker, but you place the markers on a map instead of the technology space say we start the game in north africa. Following the lines you could see that these four countries are connected in order to unlock them. You need the specified numbers of those markers. We can put our markers on two different countries and continue to progress next round, but since emirates only requires two of them, we might as well just unlock it right away. Once unlocked, you place your tower in that country, and now you can sell to that country as well as start progressing towards the countries connected to it, and this is where things start to get a little spicy in the next phase, which was the selling goods phase.
That we discussed earlier each seller can only buy one batch per round, so youll have to compete with everyone to sell them. First, on top of that, there are majority bonuses every round that you can get. For example, if there are 3 players in south america, the person who sold the most phones to that country will get 5 points. Sometimes a secondary bonus will be available for the second most seller. We are ignoring all these other bonuses. We would have used one of them instead, if exactly one two or four players have access to the country after everyone had taken their turn selling their cubes. We finally arrive at the last phase, where you calculate the points and majorities from the previous phase. After phase 8, the round is over and you prepare the board for the next round. One thing to remember is that if you have any leftover unsold phones, they will not be carried over to the next run and yeah after 5 rounds of that whoever has got the most points will win the game, thats, basically 99 of the rules to play this Game, so how good is this game? First off? This is probably the best boat game production ive seen in a while from the delicious double layered game board to the player trace and the transparent pieces. They are quite functional, or at least not overdone seriously. These components are taken straight out of a boardgamers wet dream.
Moving on to the gameplay, i really like the games pad mechanics. They basically found a unique way to make action selection really interesting and fun. Its almost like a mini puzzle, game in itself, top that off with the fact that you can customize your pads using the improvements and youll. Have this really satisfying mechanic? I truly cannot say enough places about this one because its such a great and enjoyable feature. This game is a lot simpler and more streamlined than it looks, but there is still a ton of interesting decisions to be made. You will have to balance out these aspects of the game, as all of them are important for generating points. The player interaction in the game is very pronounced, as you are constantly pressured by other players from having your points and other things taken away from you, the 90 minutes game duration on the box is quite accurate. They maintain a rather meaty game under 2 hours, probably by making the longest part simultaneous, though it might take a bit longer for the first game. All the compliments aside, the only ideal player count of the game is 5 players. This on itself is kind of a huge plus since to me, there arent many good 5 plus player games that are not party games. However, this games experience declines quite rapidly as you reduce the player count with 4 players or less. You have to cover the buyers of some countries with these retail strips, so no one can sell their cubes there anymore, but unlocking that country will now give you a bonus and one of points.
This kind of feels like a patch town, fix to make the game tighter, honestly, not terrible at 4, but once you get to 3 or 2 players well lets just say that theres a reason why they make 2 3 player boats in the expansion. Lastly, they managed to make probably the spookiest marker ever in the board game. History meet steve, the marker, youll use in a solo game, or the thing your parents said, will come to you when you dont finish your vegetables and thats it for this review. I highly recommend this medium weight, interactive game for 5 players, its fine with 4 players, but dont bother with 2 or 3.. Definitely try it if you had the chance, because this is a design you dont want to miss.