Claiming the Game of the Month accolade for the month of October is a game I have been wanting to try for quite some time. Temporarily out of print and a little tricky to find now, Yukon Airways was delivered via the most excellent board game rental service provided by Rent, Shuffle and Roll.
I really appreciated the personal touches and nods to the designer’s father throughout the game. It really set the tone of this game being a passion project. Out of the box, this board game is beautiful. I absolutely adore the styling and presentation. The look of the player boards with their dials and switches have always excited me. They didn’t disappoint!
I had always haltered clicking the checkout button on Yukon Airways. This was mainly because no one had ever raved about it. I could see it was beautiful, but I’d often read it was just an “okay game”. Perhaps with low expectations, it didn’t take much to persuade me that this was better than I expected. I enjoyed the quandary of what to upgrade to maximise my plane journeys and liked moving switches to turn my dials more. It was all very satisfying.
In the game you are transporting rolled dice to locations in the Yukon. Delivering the dice passengers to matching coloured cubes and visiting different islands each round unlocks bonuses and earns you money aka victory points. The subsequent plays unravelled the almost literal engine building of the aeroplane and the correlation to the yields of efficiency.
It was entertaining and enjoyable at two and that is the only player count I got to try it at before my rental period was over. I think there could be more interaction at three or four but at the expense of some downtime. It certainly happened at least once that my wife had planned out a turn, only to be sniped by the variable turn order. Her well made plans unravelled quicker than a ball of string played with by a cat. I still claim this was unintentional and that I had no idea of what she was planning when I did so. This slightly grated with my wife, but we both enjoyed other aspects of the game very much. I think this player interaction, coupled with the slower turn time is probably why most people think of this as an okay game. I really do think it is better than that. I can see how some first impressions would lead you to think that the simplistic pick up and deliver doesn’t offer as much as the aesthetics. This took a couple of plays for things to gel and click.
So Yukon Airways is my game of the month! I caveat this by saying I haven’t rushed out to buy it either. We both concurred that the presentation was superb, but it was unlikely to get pulled from the shelf often enough to warrant the current price tag. Instead we shall bide our time and wait for a reasonably priced second-hand copy. That’s some frugal flying over Yukon right there!
For clarity. We rented this game from Rent, Shuffle and Roll! This has not affected my opinion as far as I am aware!