Publisher: Buffalo Games (2008)
Designer: Terry Miller Associates
Age Recommended: 14+
Ruin Rules: http://www.buffalogames.com/uploads/tx_ttproducts/datasheet/Ruin_inst.pdf
Ruin is a family game with an interchangeable game board.
The concept of the interchangeable game board was fun. It took both of the kids midway through the first game to really grasp the concept. Many turns went by where my daughter chose not to change the board when she had the chance. By the end of the first game, however, she was a board changing fool.
The movement of pieces and the goals of the players are reminiscent of Ludo, Sorry, Aggravation, or Parcheesi. You have a start point. You traverse the board to your final destination. You can land on people and send them backwards.
The similarities end there. The interchangeable board allows you to create a situation where you can block another player's path or even take the path from beneath them. The changeable pieces themselves determine how far back a player must go if landed on or sent hurdling down into blackness.
The interchangeable board introduces actual strategy instead of solely relying on the randomness of a die roll. The interchangeable board also increases re-playability (this is especially helpful in a house where the same books, games, or movies can be asked for over and over and over again).
The listed recommended ages for Ruin are 8 and up. My soon to be 8 year old daughter had no troubles with the game play and my 4 year old son played on my team. He was in charge of deciding where to move, I was in charge of changing the board.
We have played Ruin multiple times, and now that everyone has the rules down, the gameplay is farely quick, and we all enjoy the game just as much as the first play.
I would recommend this game to any family of game players!
My daughter's score: thumb up "Look, there are actual stairs!"
My son's score: thumb up "Send Mommy into the pit of despair, Daddy!"
My score: 9 points