If you’re looking for something a bit different to play with the family this Christmas, then take a look at Sensible Object’s Beasts of Balance; an interactive game of balancing and strategy!
We were sent a copy of the Beasts of Balance game to review.
Aimed at adults and children over 7, the game is connected to a free app which you can run on an iPad, android tablet or phone.
It’s a tricky game to describe; I guess it’s a bit like Jenga in that you have to stack the beasts into a tower without them toppling, however as you go you’ll also discover new beasts and gain points for creating new species!
Inside the box
In the box you get 25 pieces:
A plinth which is the stacking base
This has a chip on the front, onto which you must place your pieces before stacking them. You need 3 AA batteries for this. It connects to the app via bluetooth.
The Bear, Eagle, Shark, Warthog, Toucan and Octopus.
Twelve additional shaped pieces
This includes the elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire to nurture your beasts, and two ‘miracles’ of distraction and haste. If you place the miracle of distraction you’ll have to complete and on-screen task whilst placing your piece. The miracle of haste means you’ll have to place your next piece within a time limit!
Three ‘migrate’ pieces
Arrows that provide a flat surface to balance on, these pieces migrate your beast to a new area.
Three ‘cross’ pieces
These cross the beasts to create over 100 new hybrid species and bring them into play.
As you discover a new species it comes onto the screen and is put into your bestiary within the app, so that as you play you can collect more and more beasts, in the same way as you might collect Pokemon. Possibly.
Beasts of Balance: Aims and rules of play
The aim of the Beasts of Balance game is to build a tower of artefacts, discover new species and/or to score as many points as you can – on your own or as a team. You decide your own aim, and there is no wrong way to play!
In the standard mode there isn’t a winner, you work together to balance as many beasts as you can and beat your own high score (there is a new battle mode in which you play against other team members, however I haven’t looked into this yet!).
The more you play, the more you’ll discover which strategies can help you gain more points.
All the artefacts or pieces contain a chip, which you place against the plinth before stacking.
This gives the app the information on the piece via Bluetooth. Once the artefact is successfully stacked, watch the app to see the beasts come alive, hybridise and add elements to keep them from becoming extinct.
Make sure you look at the flickering firefly on the screen as you place a new cross or migrate artefact against the plinth, as this will determine which beast the newly placed piece interacts with and in turn how many points you’ll get.
Keep your beasts alive by adding elements which give them points before they go extinct!
We scored around 60-100 points per game but apparently the current high score is over 1000!
If you want to see how to set up and play, I suggest you read this post on their website which goes into it better than I could!
If the tower of beasts falls, you will see a volcano and the message ‘rebuild your world’. You’ll have seven seconds to place everything back on the plinth.
This might be OK if you only have a few artefacts balanced, but if you have a whole world to rebuild and you can’t manage it in the time then the volcano will explode and the game is over.
Expansion packs for Beasts of Balance
Sensible Object are still busy creating new figures available to add into the play.
These are all chipped and interact in the same way as the animal figures in the board game pack.
What did we think of Beasts of Balance?
Beasts of Balance is a beautiful game, the pieces are tactile and exciting and the app imagery is bright and appealing.
The game itself is fun for children and adults alike; it will appeal to children due to the colours and the animals, and adults will become determined to play strategically and beat their previous score.
The game itself and the merging of the physical balancing game and the app is very clever. The fact that the app can continually update, for example to include the new battle mode, and new characters can be made and expansion packs purchased mean that if you find that your family do get into it, there’s no limit to what you can do!
Due to the technology and the work that has clearly gone into making Beasts of Balance, it’s not a cheap game with an RRP of £69. This could put you off if you only tend to play family board games occasionally.
If however board games are a big part of your family time then do check it out; it is a lovely game that the whole family will love playing and would make a lovely family Christmas present.
You can buy Beasts of Balance online on their website here and via Amazon (below).