Join the Mad Science Foundation?
I’ve mentioned before my secret admiration of Simon Bar Sinister from the Underdog cartoon series. Even though he was one of the villains in the series, I felt he was just a misunderstood guy who was trying to further science by creating things no one else would attempt. Nicole is also a fan of using games to teach, and loved the science-themed Alchemists and the puzzles it challenges you to solve. It seems that we both have a love of all things science.
With two “A” students in their respective science classes in our household, we could probably form our own club. Or a society. No, a foundation! As it turns out, Cryptozoic Entertainment beat us to the punch with their newest science-themed game, Mad Science Foundation! And it comes with it’s own scientist in the box!
Obviously I’m kidding about the scientist-in-a-box, but we did get a quick demonstration of the game by one of the designers, who was cleverly dressed as a mad scientist, during this year’s Gen Con! In the box you’ll find a score track board, four cardboard standees, four player markers and two different sizes of playing cards.
As a mad scientist, your obvious goal is to gain infamy for your ideas and creations. To do this you must create inventions by gathering the correct resources and spending them to construct your idea. Each player is dealt a Quirk card, which will award you with end-game bonuses (if you achieve them). At the beginning of each round of play, the player who controls the Director gathers resources and prototype inventions (according to the number of players) and divides them into ‘equal’ piles. I say ‘equal’, because this is much like when we were kids and mom made one of us break the cookie into pieces, but let the other one choose first. This is exactly how Mad Scientist Foundation works. One makes the piles, the rest choose which pile they want first.
Resources collected are saved in your hand, while inventions are laid in front of you, turned sideways to denote they have not been made yet (these are just plans at this point). On your turn you may spend your resources to construct an invention whose ‘recipe’ is printed on the bottom of the card.
Once built, you may activate each invention once per round by pressing the big red button and taking the action listed above it. Some award you with additional infamy while others award you additional action or allow you to collect additional resources.
Of course, any good scientist needs minions, and Mad Science Foundation includes four in the box. These are ‘won’ in the same manner as inventions and resources and each have different powers that you can execute immediately. They only follow you for one round, returning to the draw pile to be redistributed during the next round.
Ultimately all the inventions will be distributed, signalling the end of the game. The final round is played in its entirety and the scientist with the highest infamy score (including bonuses from your personal Quirk) is declared the winner!
Oddly, Mad Science Foundation has a recommended age range of 15+. We’re guessing this was awarded solely due to product testing (or the lack thereof), as the ease of learning and overall game play is appropriate for ages as young as eight, in our opinion. There are no overly small pieces to worry about, and the art is certainly kid-appropriate, so do not be scared away by the higher-than-normal age recommendation on the package.
Find your copy on Amazon for around $20 and watch Cryptozoic Entertainment’s Facebook and Twitter feeds for a couple exciting product announcements coming soon! We’re especially excited about their new Mighty Meeples line and hope to be able to show them to you here on SahmReviews!
Who did you root for more, Underdog or the villains?
15 thoughts on “Join the Mad Science Foundation?”
I always wanted to be a mad scientist!! I was darn good in a chemistry lab!! But alas, it was not to be—this game sounds like fun!!
This is right up our alley…my husband and I are both science geeks and so are our teens! Looks like a unique way to spend the evening!
That sounds like so much fun! I love the well-thought out details like needing minions and a quirk. Scientists can be lots of things, and it sounds like you’ve got fun possibilities to build your own mad one.
What a great price for a fun game. We are BIG game lovers – we’ll have to check this one out!
I love that this game promotes some science concepts. It’s a great way for kids to associate learning and having fun at the same time.
This sounds like a pretty interesting game with lots of decisions to make. And who doesn’t want to be a mad scientist or become infamous for an invention? That’s like a dream come true!
Your family always has the most fun! I love your game recommendations. I love the educational aspect Mad Scientist Foundation.
My oldest has become fascanited with science!! What a fun game, I am all for any game that makes the kids think!
I think science is fun so a game based on being a Mad Scientist is definitely going to catch my eye. I bet my son would love this game too!
My son has always loved science. He would love an educational game like this!
Looks like a fun game. My youngest is in to science so this seems like something he’d really enjoy (but maybe in a few years) 🙂
Sounds like a lot of fun! My boys would love this since they really enjoy all things science.
I’m sure my family would love it! It’s really so much fun and exciting.
I wanna be a mad scientist! Looks like tons of fun!