Bioshock Infinite: Siege of Columbia

Tuomas Alahäivälä

Designer: Isaac Vega
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games
Number of players: 2–4
Suggested ages: 13+
Playing time: 60–90 minutes

Siege of Columbia freshly reinterprets the acclaimed RPG shooter Bioshock: Infinite as a board game. The players take on the rival factions of Founders and Vox Populi to battle over the control of the game areas. The original game protagonists Booker and Elizabeth are now NPCs who wreak havoc upon the board, bringing nice randomness into the mix. The game can be played with one or two players on each side.

The goal of the game is for a faction to reach 10 victory points, which are gathered through completing given objectives and capturing game areas. During their turns, players vote on temporary rule changes, position units and structures and try to extend their territories. Combating other players is compelling – besides rolling dice based on the units involved, players make use of their hands of action cards. The battles feel diverse, tactical and well-­balanced.

As engaging as the action-­focused gameplay is, the main problem of the game is that the complex set of overlapping rules brings in quite heavy cognitive burden. The RPG-­inspired action card upgrade system particularly feels surplus.

The artwork of the board and the cards adhere the visual style of the original game beautifully and the miniatures are also detailed and distinguishable. The vast amount of pieces feels a bit overwhelming though, and some tokens are clearly too small for convenience.

Siege of Columbia provides fun area control action especially for the fans of the franchise. However, it would clearly benefit from simplifying its excessive rule system.

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