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We love a board game and are gradually building up our collection. This was something we did when we were kids and I want to continue this with N. We were sent the Overbooked board game to review and have had a couple of chances to play since receiving it.
Overbooked is a strategy game and can be played with a number of players up to 4. I like the fact there is also a single player option which you don’t often get with board games.
The recommendation is playing from age 8 years and up. At nearly N did grasp how to play although he wasn’t as excited as me to play it. I think he needs a few games to get into it and really work out the rules and get used to thinking ahead. We find this quite often happens with strategy board games though; the more he plays the easier he finds them.
The aim of the game is to to fill up the seats on your plane following the rules of the different types of people as far as possible.
There are a few pieces to set up before you can play but it’s not too complicated as long as you read the rules. They also provide basic and advanced options for freqeunt flyers, which means that you can make the game more challenging as you progress with your experience. I love that idea because it doesn’t mean that you can play it an easy version with children but if you’re playing all adults then you can make it more complex. We stuck with the easier version.
There are five different types of passengers and they all have different requirements for travel. Couples you obviously need to try and put together, while rugby players, friends and old people want to sit in groups. Children aren’t allowed to sit alone so you need to keep them surrounded by other people. It is hard to know so which to focus on but that’s part of the fun in planning and making the decisions dependent on how long you think the game is going to take.
Some passenger cards also have seat preferences on them which you can follow or choose to ignore. I think we need to read the rules again as to whether it makes a difference on the scoring if you follow the preference cards or not but we did a mixture of both depending on what spaces we have on a plane and it seemed to work fine.
There are other rules like not putting passengers across aisles. The way the game starts is that you pick up passenger card and that tells you which passenger tiles you need to put on your plane. It tells you the configuration of passenger types and then you can decide where to put your passengers. If you already have a passenger in that seat and you want to put a new passenger there then the original passenger is overbooked any take them off onto your stairs.
Like most strategy games it does sound really complicated when you’re setting up and started to play but as you get on with the game it does make a lot more sense. I think these type of games are great for children because it get some thinking ahead and trying to problem solve which is a great skill to have in later life.
The quality of the cardboard and the game pieces is good. They were removed easily from their original packaging and we did like the air traffic control tower that you get to set up. It really does feel like a comedy version of an airport and we liked having a laugh at some of the passengers you all have different expressions and descriptions.
The game ends when one person picks up the last passenger child in a set and everyone has one go after that to finish the round. Then it’s a case of totting up the points depending on who you’ve managed to sit where. You can end up with plus or minus points depending on how many people you over book and how you how well you do with your passenger configurations. The first time we played N did lose by quite a few points compared to mine but the second time he did a bit better. It’s definitely one of those games that takes a bit of practice to get your head in
With a basic game only taking about 25 minutes you can can get a few games in in one session. Depending on how many people you have playing there were different boards to use and a different number of tiles to use within the game. They certainly thought of everything to bring a bit of variety each time you play.
When you get to the advanced options you can include the harder configuration passenger cards as well as including events. These give you different what was that you need to follow as you pick them up and make things more complicated. It also means more or less points depending on how well you do with setting up up the event passengers.
I really liked the Overbooked board game. It’s got some comedy moments when you really look at the board and see the quirky pictures of things going on in the airport and it gets your thought processes going. The fact there are alternative games makes it more interesting rather than just being the same game each time you play. And giving you different variations being able to play alone or with others makes the game more versatile.
You can buy Overbooked* from good toy shops and online outlets.
Disclosure: We were sent Overbooked for the purpose of review as an Asmodee blogger.