A Euphoric Day of Distopian Tyranny (A Review of Euphoria)

Euphoria: Building a Better Dystopia (Buy Euphoria)

We just received a new game last week, Euphoria.  I was extremely excited to have it arrive in the mail and even more excited to play it.  I opened it up less than 30 minutes after finding the packing on the porch and it was gorgeous.  The artwork is beautiful, the pieces and bits a amazing (This is the Retail version, no Kickstarter exclusives) and the rule book is laid out wonderfully.  The funny thing was I found myself admiring the box.  It is thick, heavy and sturdy cardboard.  This is not a box that will rip the first time someone tries to force the box open at a weird angle.  Quality is top notch, delivery was about two days and the customer service is great.  Right now during the companies Tuscany Kickstarter campaign they are selling it at a discount for $45 or $40 if you sign up for their newsletter.  Not to jump the gun but click the link above, buy the game then come back and finish reading this review.


The Review:

Euphoria: Building a Better Dystopia: 

So how does it play? The goal in Euphoria is to exert your influence in a dystopian society and make it “better.”  The way you accomplish this is by placing you influence stars in several designated places on the board and on a few recruit cards.  This is done by placing your works (dice, yes dice) in various places to obtain Food, Energy, Water, or Bliss (not suggestive at all) you then take those commodities and use them to obtain resources Stone, Clay or Gold by placing your workers in other areas building tunnels (You are building the tunnels of your factions recruits to be able to steal commodities from another faction).  You take those resources and use them to build Structure/Markets (stick with me, it sounds confusing but it isn’t after a little while).  When you participate in the building of a market you place one of the 10 Authority tokens (stars) on it, if you don’t participate you suffer a penalty until you can get a star on the market.  Once the market is open you then use it to place tokens on the actual star shaped authority area by visiting the market and paying it’s cost.

You can obtain new workers in one area of the board, paying either energy or water.  When you retrieve workers if you don’t pay bliss or food you suffer a penalty, if you do pay you get a benefit.  Now you may be wondering why dice are your workers.  The number rolled on the dice represents their intelligence or knowledge.  Why does this matter you may ask.  Because the knowledge effects how effective the worker is in some areas but even more than that if your total knowledge of all the dice rolled adds up to 16 or more you lose a worker because they got too smart and figured out that they live in a horrible place and are being used.

This brings us to the Morale and Knowledge tracks.  These track how happy (Morale) and smart (Knowledge) your workers are.  The higher your Knowledge track the more likely you are to lose a work, the higher your Morale track the more Artifact cards you can have in your hand.  You can effect the two tracks in various ways on the board and it is a smart move to pay attention to them lest you lose workers or Artifact cards.

Now on to the artifact cards.  These represent items from the past and can be balloons, glasses, teddy bears, books or even one of the greatest board games of all time Viticulture.  These are used to trade in to get your stars on the authority areas, to use your Dilemma cards and pay for items in one of the factions markets.

More cards?  Yes two more types Ethical Dilemma cards and Recruit Cards.  First the Recruit cards.  You will receive four of these, choose two, place one face down and the other face up.  You immediately gain any benefit of the face up recruit and gain the other’s when you get the corresponding factions tunnel or loyalty track to the correct distance to turn over those recruit cards.  These often have benefits like extra resources or commodities depending on varying circumstances.  The Ethical Dilemma cards all provide the same benefit.  For the cost of a specific type of artifact card or any two you may gain another recruit or place a star on the card.

That raps up the most important aspects of the game.  For more specific or detailed information jump over to (Euphoria information) at Stonemaier Games to read and learn more

Suggested Movie: Logan’s Run or Catching Fire (Logan’s Run would be the most accurate representation of this game)

What Movie do you suggest?  Let me know in the comments below.


Game Type: Worker Placement (with dice)

Ages: 13 and up (though many have said their 9 year old children play.  Your results may vary)

Size: Standard sized box (board, cards, dice, and bits)


Me – 10 (I will play this game any time I can get it on the table.  It takes thought and some pre-planning.  The normal restrictions of worker placement limited spaces isn’t here but that is changed by differing outputs caused by multiple workers.  I love the art, the theme and the game play.)

My Wife – 8 (My wife enjoyed this game and will gladly play it again when I ask to get it to the table.  It should be mentioned that she beat me, I had four stars left out of the ten to be placed.  If her final star wasn’t placed on a market that I helped build, and was therefore able to put a star on also, she might have beat me by more)

Daughter – Did not play.  I will probably wait a little while before introducing her to this game.  It is a little bit hard when starting to decide which way to go.  Once you get rolling you can make decisions easier but I feel I would need to help her most of the game for a few game.  I’ll update when she gets in a few plays

AVERAGE SCORE – 9 (Buy this game!)


Box Cover

Box Cover

7 thoughts on “A Euphoric Day of Distopian Tyranny (A Review of Euphoria)

    • We enjoyed it immensely. My wife was surprised by how easy it was once we started playing. She suffers from AP often so we had some moments when I thought her pause button had been hit but, in the end she really liked the game.


      • Thanks! While I don’t think we did a great job of drawing new players into the game the first time, after you play it that first time, things really start to click. AP was a concern too, but we tried to mitigate it by breaking a player’s turn down into a micro-action. Hopefully that helped. 🙂


  1. Yes, I did suffer from “AP” (Don’t you ever complain about my teaching acronyms again!), but you are right, once I got the hang of it, it ran much smoother. I’m afraid it might take me a couple of times of playing before I can play without any “AP”!
    Jamey, It was an enjoyable game and it has consumed my husband, as well as Tuscanny, which he doesn’t even have in his grubby little hands yet! I can only imagine what he’s going to be like when he gets it! A kid on Christmas morning!


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