Toy Corner

Unveiling the Thrill: An In-depth Bristol 1350 Review

Apr 15, 2024

bristol 1350 board game

Imagine being thrust into the heart of a doomed metropolis, where you're shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow with others, all wary of the telltale signs of infection. That's the immersive experience Bristol 1350 offers. This board game is a thrilling blend of strategy and chance, where every decision could mean life or death.

The gameplay is swift, filled with uncertainty, and yet remarkably simple to grasp. Where up to 9 players can play this at once, this 20 to 40 minute game will have you working with others but make sure to keep the goal in mind and be willing to win at any cost necessary!

Overview of the Bristol 1350

There's an indescribable thrill that lurks in the heart of Bristol 1350. Journey back in time to the second bubonic pandemic. Picture this - the air was thick with the sour scent of precarity and the underfoot held the sickly sweet rot of apples, the residual grime of a severely distressed metropolis. The unwelcome harbingers of infection were everywhere and vigilance was our only forbearer against the deadly disease that held the city at ransom.

The real magic of Bristol 1350 cultivates in its gameplay mechanics. With every turn, the players roll six dice essentially unveiling the fate of the apple carts that slowly trundle along the winding path towards Bristol's city gate. Every player has the chance to either reroll a pair of dice hoping for a better outcome or draw a remedy card, adding a dash of unpredictability and excitement in each round.

As I dived into the gameplay I found myself enamoured by the manipulation mechanics and even though I wasn’t always successful in avoiding every bad outcome, I felt in control. The illusion of playing god, the thrill of predicting the next turn, the intensity of the atmosphere each time the dice are rolled - all of this is what gives Bristol 1350 its stellar appeal.

The dice of Bristol 1350 are meticulously designed images of rats and apples, matching the colours of the birch, cedar, and oak carts. The roll of the dice at the beginning of each turn, the possibility of rerolls during the turn and the moves at the end of the turn hold the key to altering game outcomes.

The rich canvas of the game is visually represented through a neoprene board, refreshing and unique. This simply rolls up for easy storage and also adds a sense of high quality to the game. The sight of the board game marked with lanes on which the carts must tread, areas for symptom cards, and cards for the 'mingle' phase makes the entire gaming experience rather tangible.

Bristol 1350 is unlike any other game I've ever played. Its simplicity is deceptive, hiding a layered design that gives each game its unique, thrilling nature. It’s more than a game. It's a journey through history and chaos, interspersed with strategy. Enjoyed by one and all, yet it never fails to spark a sense of competition.

How to Play Bristol 1350

Your main task? Navigate the perilous streets of Bristol, strategically moving your way towards the city gate aboard apple carts, making crucial decisions to dodge the fatal disease.

In Bristol 1350, you begin with a similar goal as your fellow players: escape the village without falling victim to the plague. Interactions with other players must be carefully approached. The trust level in the game can abruptly shift, turning a cooperative venture into a competitive survival race. But remember, keep your cards close because one or more players can secretly contract the plague and strive to infect others.

The gameplay is not just about revealing identities. There's plenty of strategy involved. It's a battle of choosing between dice rerolls or remedy cards, a balance to maintain between being infected and hiding it, all while ensuring your survival.

The game continues until the first cart, filled with players, manages to escape the town. There's a moment of truth at this point. Every player in the departing cart must reveal their status - healthy or infected. An interesting twist, however, is if everyone executes a perfect strategy and the cart is full of healthy players, they all win. Conversely, if there's even a single infected player, everyone in the cart perishes, leading to a continuation of the game.

If all the carts departing the city have at least one infected player aboard, a surprising turn of events occurs. The infected players rise as winners, having successfully spread the plague.

In this thrilling world of Bristol 1350, each round is unpredictable, each strategy critical, and every decision can alter your fate. Will you make it out of Bristol unscathed? Or will you be the unfortunate carrier of the plague? It's an excitingly treacherous journey like I've not seen in other board games. The charm of Bristol 1350 doesn't just lie in the chase but in the unpredictability of the chase.

Artwork and Components

One of the striking aspects of Bristol 1350 is the artwork. The credit for the enticing visuals goes to Sarah Keele. Each token, card, or other gaming component is graced with Keele's unique style of illustrations. Right from the rickety apple carts to the ominous city gate, every piece in the game conjures the imagery of a Black Death-ridden Bristol. Keele's artwork enhances the immersive experience Bristol 1350 already boasts, courtesy of its strategic gameplay and suspenseful mechanics.

Furthermore, the deluxe edition also includes three art prints from the illustrator, making the visual experience even more remarkable.

bristol 1350 board game components

Moving on to the physical assets of the game; the Bristol 1350 board game itself is crafted meticulously. It offers a rich tactile experience, underscoring the quality of the components. Notably, the deluxe edition of the game added an extra layer of aesthetics.

The Bristol 1350 coins made of metal, especially, lend a tangible weight to the game's stakes. They are part of the Alms expansion, which introduces a new layer of strategy. They can confer immunity from the pandemic or force instant infection, adding further intrigue to the strategic manipulation mechanics. Paired with the six additional cards, this expansion amplifies the thrill.

Speaking of expansions, the Alms remedy cards add more strategic choices for players. Just when you think you've outsmarted the plague, here they are, adding another hurdle on your path to deliverance.

Then there are the ‘Meepawns’, specially designed to replace the simple wooden pawns. They further enhance the theme and immersion of Bristol 1350. Available in matching colours, these pawns optimise gameplay, making it easier for players to identify their pieces during the chaos.

Ultimately, Bristol 1350 offers not just an immersive game to play, but quality components to play with, an extension of my living room's decor, neatly packaged in the game's rustic box. The game's creators have thoughtfully curated each component, carrying forth the theme of the disease-ridden city, right down to the smallest detail. Whether it's how to play or how it plays, Bristol 1350 promises a one-of-a-kind board gaming experience.

Replay Value

Let's take a moment to ponder on the replay value of the Bristol 1350 board game. Its design is so intricate that it practically teems with opportunities for repeated plays. Trust me, you'd be hard-pressed to find a board game packed with this level of uniqueness.

The game's balance of dice rerolls and remedy cards cleverly insert a sense of unpredictability into every session. No two plays of Bristol 1350 are the same; the ever-changing circumstances foster a dynamic gaming experience.

This game sparks wit and cunning among players. It encourages strategic thinking and cooperation, while also stirring up competition. Remember, the aim is to reach the city gate uninfected. No doubt, replaying Bristol 1350 involves even more intrigue and deception, as you better understand how to navigate its perilous – yet rewarding – landscape.

A note-worthy mention is the game components such as the Bristol 1350 coins, which not only feel substantial and finely crafted but also add a tangible luxury to each gameplay. The game's tangible elements contribute to its immersive nature, transforming an ordinary board game into an engaging venture back to 1350 Bristol.

Every movement, every roll of dice, and every drawn card in Bristol 1350 is a step into the unknown. This unpredictability, coupled with striking artwork and quality components, secures the board game's place as an endlessly riveting pastime.

The richness of the gameplay, the engaging dynamics, and the rush of camaraderie and competition in every session – all combine to ensure that Bristol 1350 isn't just a game to be enjoyed once. It's a journey into an intriguing era and one that invites you onto its apple carts time and time again. Now that's what I call great replay value.

Final Thoughts on Bristol 1350

I have given a full review of Bristol 1350, from looking at the amazing components to how the game is played. The balance between dice rerolls and remedy cards create a dynamic setting that's hard to resist. The uncertainty of who's carrying the plague adds a layer of intrigue that keeps every game fresh and exciting. This is a highly enjoyable game which I recommend, as it will get you coming back for more each time.