CV Board Game Review (Gigamic)

5

Understand that when I say that I dislike the game CV, I'm not entirely certain that I'm talking about the game. It may only be the premise. But that is enough. A tableau-builder, CV is about building out the life of a fictional person. In three stages, you'll purchase cards to add to your CV, following hidden goals and attempting to build, essentially, the best person. CV is quite like a sort of realistic Valeria,with Yahtzee-style rolling representing life's ups and downs. And though it's a wholly competent game, we found ourselves wishing it would just be over.

CV Board Game Details

Players: 2 to 4

Game Time: 60 Minutes

Age: 10+

Genre: Factory / Tableau

A Bland Game With Compelling Art

We often found ourselves looking at the cards included with CV, which appeared to be from some desperate, surrealist void. Getting a college degree, for instance, was shown as an endless treadmill of college graduates falling off into the great abyss. There's this sort of whimsical cynicism in CV that almost doesn't go far enough. It's just there, present, aching.

CV is a solid game, make no mistake—and it's fairly typical for games that were being released in that long-ago time of "like, five years ago." There was never a time in particular when we felt it was too unfair. The rolling meant that it was incredibly random, but we knew that it was going to be relatively random from the start. There were times when we felt punished by dice. There were times we felt rewarded by dice. But we never felt like it was particularly brutal.

One mechanic lets you add more dice to your pool, but each die has a side that can (if accumulated) hurt you. So while adding more dice gave you a lot more options, it was also very risky. The game is filled with nice little quirks like that which balance everything out. 

So, why, 30 minutes in were we begging for it to be over? For a start, the game was just too long. You go through three stages of life in total and the entire game played at over 60 minutes. That's too long for a game that doesn't have any major gameplay changes: though you are building your factory, the core game just doesn't change at all. 

In many factory builders, you progressively start doing more complex things. In CV everything remained fairly direct. And that's the other problem...

Too Real Man, Too Real

There was nothing particularly fun about the theme of CV. While it may be grounded in reality, no one actually wants to become a professor, get married, and have children in a game. It never really felt good to build up these combinations: there were only a couple of times we found ourselves laughing at something that was funny or interesting. 

It's hard to make a simple game that goes on for 60 minutes. This is why people hate Monopoly. If a simple game goes on that long, it just outstays its welcome. But the most bizarre thing about CV is really that it had just enough humor to make you chuckle without having enough humor to really give it a personality. It hints at something more, something entertaining, but then pulls back—likely to remain mainstream.

And the art really is lovely. Perhaps it was the best thing about CV. If I had to change anything, I would probably have cut the game in half. At the 30 minute mark, it was already fairly obvious who was going to win, and we were already psychologically done playing the game.

CV Board Game Review
  • PRO: The art really is pretty fun to look at, though the way the game is setup, you often won't be looking at many of them; you'll just be focused on what you can buy.
  • CON: The game feels oddly pointless. The theme isn't exciting (who wants to go into debt in a board game?) and the gameplay remains fairly static.