Verona Twist is a boardgame for 2 players designed by József Dorsonczky and published by Mind Fitness Games. On the Piazza Dei Signori, Romeo and Juliet are mingling in the crowd disguised. You take on the role of either Juliet’s nurse to keep them safe or her father, Capulet, to discover their true identity. The one who succeeds at this for 7 days (rounds) wins the game.
You start the game by placing the board in the middle of the table which represents the central area made up of six squares, and the edge area wrapping around the central area. First off the nurse places the six character tokens, active side up, on the board any way she chooses but only one character per square. Now she grabs the six character cards and chooses two of them to represent Romeo and Juliet and places the other cards back into the box. The fifteen pair tiles with all the possible combinations of two characters are placed next to the board. You place the calendar tiles in descending order to show how many rounds there are left and you are ready to start playing.
Each round is made up of two phases, moving the characters and the nurse’s report. Capulet always starts the phase of moving the characters. Here each player takes turns moving on character until all characters have moved or there is no more move possible. After making a move turn you turn it over to its passive side to denote that the character has moved.
Each character moves in its own special way. The Princess can move in any direction and as far as she wants but she cannot jump over others. The Prince can also move in any direction but only one square. The Noble on the other hand has to move orthogonally as far as he wants without jumping over another character. This is also true for the Servant but he can only move one space. The Bishop has the ability to move diagonally as far as he wants without jumping. Now for the special one, the Friar, who has to jump. He can move in any direction but has to jump and land in the first free space after a character.
When all characters have been moved or there are no more moves available it is time for the Nurse’s report. As told before the board is made up of two areas and now the nurse simply tells Capulet that Romeo and Juliet are in the same area or different areas. By saying this the Capulet can discard all pair tiles that do not correspond to the information given and thus try to eliminate the different possibilities and get to only one pair which must be Romeo and Juliet.
At the end of a round if there is only one pair tile left, then Capulet has won the game. Otherwise the Nurse removes the top calendar token to show how many rounds are left and all character tokens are flipped back to their active side. When the Nurse removes the last calendar token, she wins the game and Romeo and Juliet escape without being noticed.
The components for this game are top notch. The board is made up of four puzzle pieces and the card board used for everything is of a good quality. Especially the plastic character tokens have a nice poker-chip feel to them. The artwork done by Lázár Aurél looks great within the setting of Romeo and Juliet. As you might have noticed this game is not at all difficult to play. You simply need to remember the different moves of the characters and that is it which is made even simpler by a symbol on each token representing their move. But do not let this simplicity fool you. It makes you put on your thinking cap as we come to expect from Mind Fitness games. As Capulet you are constantly trying to eliminate as many combinations as possible and even when you know who the final pair is, you still need to eliminate them until you reach that pair and that can be a hard thing to accomplish. As a Nurse you are always on the defense trying to keep as many combinations in the game for as long as possible. It is this back and forth that creates tension within this game. Every move you make you think of what might happen afterwards. You need to try and set things up so that a player is sometimes forced to make a move that he does not want to take. One character especially susceptible to this is the Friar because he has to jump if possible and if you only leave one option to jump to he is gone. You are always thinking ahead and trying to foresee what your opponent will do. For me this is another homerun and Mind Fitness games again lives up to their reputation for simple to play games that set your mind to work…
Play with Honor