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Posted on Aug 18, 2008 in Boardgames

Pacific Typhoon – Card Game Review

By Brandon Neff

For this review, we played a seven-player game, with ages ranging from 12 to 81. For the most part, the game played quickly. A few players had a difficult time interpreting the cards and understanding how to pair them with one another. The older player commented that the information was difficult to read due to the background color and small print. With only one exception, everyone expressed a desire to play again. We all felt that a smaller group, 4–5 players, would have been better, as it would have increased the speed of the game and resulted in a better distribution of victory points—the winner tallied nearly 30 more victory points than the next highest player.

We also ran into a recurring problem during the game. If, for example, the first few people played Japanese cards, there was very little incentive for anyone to try to play an Allied card. The tendency was to go with the winning team, often resulting in everyone playing the same nationality. The rules are vague on this occurrence, and it happened roughly 60% of the time. We treated it as No Combat, which according to the rules results in discarding all the cards with no victory points awarded. We instituted a house rule whereby all Force Cards are played face down during a night battle and turned up after everyone has played. This made it much more exciting and tense and resulted in fewer No Combat results.


Overall Impression
Given the right mix of people, Pacific Typhoon has the potential to be the highlight of game night. Table talk is encouraged, and several deals are made and subsequently broken during the course of a game. The cards are very attractive and the game was relatively simple to grasp. It is low in complexity and high in entertainment. If you are interested in the Pacific Theater of World War II, this game is recommended.

(Editor’s note: For clarification on some of the points raised in this review, please see comments area below.)


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1 Comment

  1. Andy Lewis, VP of Design,Development and Events for GMT Games, sent in the following information:

    As a point of clarification, if even one person played a card that had a combat value of 1 or greater that survived the round, then it’s NOT declared No Combat. You’re right that a lot of combats can end with only one side being played, but there’s still a fight because people are playing a higher value for the winning side to get the spoil, which is the Battle card.

    Rarely, if ever, do we see a winning margin of 30 points; 30 points in a seven-player game is a good total score. The players need to negotiate to keep scores close. If the leading player picks the battle and plays the first card, the rest of the players need to work to make sure the leader doesn’t win the battle and get to assign the spoils.