Before I begin, I was sent a prototype of the game in exchange for an honest review. This is not a paid preview. If you would rather watch a video of this review you can check it out below. Get your own copy here.
In the before times my wife and I traveled often, and one of the best things was finding a game that we could play while we sat at the gate, or sat with a coffee, or on a train. I always keep an eye out for these small, 2 player games that play in under 30 minutes.
So clearly I was interested in Micro Dojo. A game that combines strategic elements with some basic worker placement and is just about small enough to fit in my pocket.
In Micro Dojo each player alternates moving one of the 4 characters on the board one space orthogonally. The space that is covered will either allow you to take an action (build or buy victory points, or activate a building, or evaluate an objective), or will get you resources. Then you place your token on top of the character, meaning that it cannot be moved again until the token is removed from it. The game will end when a player either scores 7 points (via buying points or winning objectives) or all the objectives are completed. That’s it. Done! For the first time ever, the explanation actually is faster than the game!
So what do I think?
This game is absolutely playable on a tray table, and in under 30 minutes, yet along with that it has a strong bit of strategy wrapped up in it, the choices are deceptively hard. I particularly appreciate the worker placement flavor.
It is really small. I actually found that it was so small I was having a little bit of a hard time moving things around without making a bit of a mess of things.
There are some potential cultural issues here. The design team is not from the culture being represented. I did ask the question and was told some of the steps that they are in the process of taking to make sure the game is not offensive, and/or appropriating. How these will pan out, I do not know. I will be watching.
Bringing it all together
Micro Dojo is a easy to learn game, that plays quickly and has a miniscule table presence. There combo of strategic play with worker placement elements is very interesting. The game might just be too small, and it can feel like all you can do is knock pieces around. There are also potential cultural issues, that are being addressed, but I will be keeping an eye on how those are managed.
Shame this was not a micro review…
* The game is truly micro…the smallest game on my shelf
* Interesting combo of worker placement and strategic placement
* Game is so small, it could be come fiddly
* Potential cultural issues, which are being addressed, but how, I do not know yet