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Cheapass Games: Nexus – Review

July 9, 2011

Publisher Cheapass Games
Genre Area Control Card Game
Number of Players 2 to 4
Play Time 30 minutes
Initial Review Date 7/8/11
Last Updated 7/8/11
FAQ
Files/Tools
Click here to Play

Nexus is an abstract area control card game. The way the game works is each card has a series of nodes and connections printed on them. Players take turns drawing and playing cards in an ever expanding network of connections and nodes. Then after placing a card they then place a counter on one of the nodes to claim it.

The object is to score points by creating nexuses that you have control over. A nexus is a series of connections where all the ends are capped by nodes. Once a card is played that caps the last connection of a chain then all points for that completed nexus are scored and counters are returned. Because points are scored right away you cannot play a counter on a nexus you just completed. This means that some planning is required.

The way points are scored I think is an interesting trade off. Control is obvious, this is determined by occupied nodes. Each node is worth an amount of control equal to the number of connections. Completed nexuses where players tie for control score zero points.

The amount a given nexus is worth is based on how many open connections there are. This means that placing a token reduces the total value of a nexus, so ideally you want to close a nexus with as little control as needed to give you the points. The first player to score 10 points wins.

Conclusion

This game is fast and easy to learn. Most people tend to pick up on it fairly quickly and anyone who enjoys games like  Carcassonne will really like it. Additionally, while the game is fairly easy to learn there is a decent amount of strategy involved, since late in the game it is possible for a player to go from 1 to 2 points to over 10 in a single play. So even someone who is “losing” has a reasonable chance of winning if they plan things out right.

I don’t have any real complaints about this game except that it is only a 4 player game. While it might be possible for more than 4 to play because you are trying to reach a specific score I can easily see how the cards might run out before anyone gets 10 points in a larger game. I do like playing this game because it’s quick setup and short play time, making it a nice option when waiting for other players for a bigger, longer game.


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