How It Plays
Gizmos is based around a science fair in which players are competing to build gizmos. These gizmos are worth points at the end of the game.
During their turn a player can take one of four actions.
- File: Reserve a card that you may build later on.
- Pick: Take one marble from the dispenser track.
- Build: Pay the cost in marbles to take a gizmo card and place it under your board.
- Research: This allows you to draw cards from any of the Gizmo decks and either File or Build one of the drawn cards.
When you take one of these actions, depending on which gizmos you have under your board, you may trigger other gizmo card actions allowing for more powerful turns.
The first player to build 16 gizmos triggers the end of the game and the player with the most points wins. End game is also triggered if a player has purchased their 4th level 3 gizmo card.
- Turns Go Quickly. Turns do slow down a bit later on once you make more chain reactions, but still turns are easily under a minute.
- Plenty of Gizmos. With over 100 gizmos to build, it adds quite a bit of variety.
- Balanced. With plenty of gizmos to build they’re many different strategies you can use to rack up points. The game scales well too. You can use the Research action to find the gizmo cards you need to perfect your engine.
- Ends Too quick! More of a nitpick really, but I feel ending the game at 16 cards can make it end just as soon as you start to build a good engine.
- The Marble Feeder. There is no bottom to the gizmo that feeds the marbles to the players, causing marbles to potentially fall out of the bottom. I feel Potion Explosion has a better build quality overall and since this game is from the same publisher and about the same price I expected more. The good news is a 2nd edition will be coming out soon with a plastic marble feeder which should fix the issue.
- Fans of Engine Builders. Gizmos reminds me a lot of Splendor in regards to choosing a resource to buy point cards and only preforming a single action on your turn.
- If you are interested in other engine building games, consider checking out our review for Wingspan.
- Value: 8/10. Currently about $32 on Amazon.
- Components 7/10. Although it is visually appealing the components are on the cheaper side as compared to similar games such as Potion Explosion. It comes with plastic marbles instead of glass and not a super well designed dispenser.
- Gameplay: 9/10. The chain reactions are super fun and well balanced. We all usually score within a few points of each other with various strategies.
Gizmos is one of the most satisfying engine builders I’ve played in a while. The marbles add a nice tactile element to the game which is always a plus. The game is pretty well balanced and easy to learn while still providing a decent amount of depth.
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