First Ascent Replayability Review

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First Ascent is a light-medium hand management and card drafting game based on rock climbing. Are you ready for an adventure? 

On each turn you either climb a pitch (hex tile on the main board) or you rest.  If you decide to climb you pay your resources and skill/gear cards to lay down your rope.  If you choose to climb you need to take a climbing card which gives you two options (you MUST perform one of them).  Then it is the next player’s turn.  At the end of every round you draft more cards and continue your ascent.

Board Game Scores & Ranks:

  • BGG Weight: 3.0 (designer input)
  • Play time: 60-90 Mins
  • Player Count: 2-5 players
  • Year Published: 2021

First Ascent Board Game Designer:

Kate Otte

Game Mechanisms:

  • Card Drafting
  • Hand Management
  • Set Collection
  • Travelling

Board Game Theme:

Blue Mountains, Australia

Goal of Game:

Points are gained through matching symbols on gear/skill cards during game play, completion of personal and public objectives and on the specific pitches (hex tiles) you choose to climb.  There are also some interesting modifiers if other player’s choose to climb the same pitches you climb.

Highlights and Replayability:

  • Brilliant artwork and theme with embedded humor 
  • Large variety of climbing cards, which makes each turn unique
  • Integrated layers of mini strategic elements (matching symbols, skill tokens)
  • Great deal of thought into smooth gameplay with iconography, especially for objectives
  • Simple rule set allows for an easy teach
  • Modular board with hidden information that is revealed half way through the game
  • Wide variety of both public and private objectives offer unique challenges each game
  • 2 sided main board to stream to player count
  • 5 – 2 sided player boards to add variety
First Ascent Setup for 2 Players

Who is this game for?

I believe this game is a great game for any game group looking for a well produced outdoor themed game. The gameplay is fairly intuitive once you get going.  The game is quick to play and typically the other players can plan out their turn while waiting for their turn resulting in only a small amount of down time.

Each pitch (hex tile) has different requirements and is work different points based on if you are the 1st, 2nd or 3rd player to climb it.

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