Updated: Oct 24
Above is an abstract board game for 2 or 4 players designed by Yves Charamel-Lenain, with art by Maeva da Silva, and published by Don't Panic Games. Like the popular game Santorini (Roxley), it involves Greek gods and climbing to the top.
In Above you are aiming to be the first player, or team of two players, to advance one of the eight gods to the top of Mount Olympus and claim victory. This isn't as easy as it might seem as first glance because your opponent is also trying to advance those exact same gods, so every move towards the summit has the potential of benefiting your opponent as well as yourself. That means you need to plan ahead carefully to ensure that your move doesn't hand victory to your opponent.
The artwork on the box, board, cards and tokens is very good and fits the theme well. The iconography is clear and easy to understand. The colours of the cards and pawns could perhaps be a slightly better match, but this is a minor grumble. The plastic pawns, cards, board and tokens are all good quality and nicely produced. The 3D board could be better, however. You need to assemble it yourself with the provided double-sided sticky pads which could prove stressful for those with OCD, and after all your hard work, the top of Mount Olympus is barely 1cm higher than the base. Nevertheless, the components all fit in the box once assembled, so you only have to do the construction job once.
The Power tokens are setup randomly on Mount Olympus at the start of each game and are the only variation between plays.Each player has an identical hand of eight card; each card representing one of the eight gods. On your turn, you flip a card to move that god's pawn forward or sideways 1 space. There are Power tokens on the board which affect where the pawn can move, or which can cause some other effect to happen. Once you have moved the pawn you can then activate the god's unique power. It is then your opponent's turn. This repeats until one of you moves a pawn onto the summit of Mount Olympus.
Above is a quick lightweight abstract game that rewards planning ahead and punishes lapses in concentration. Provided the gods are with you, you should be able to complete a game in 20–30 minutes.
(Review by James Woodward)