Recent game plays – board game snippets
I’ve played a decent amount of new (to me and to the market) games in the last couple of months, so here’s a little bit about some of them (mostly because I’ve remembered to take photos of these!).
La Boca: I know I mentioned this back in my SdJ post, but I wanted to bring it up again as I’ve played it a couple of times since I first tried it. It’s still wonderful fun, but I’ve discovered that if you play with more than 4 people it can drag a little and there’ll be downtime due to the amount of pairings that can come up for each round.
Tweeeet: My friend Kris got this beautiful limited edition game about birds gathering food & travelling. It’s best with 6, as then you can split into two teams of three. Each type of food will let the birds move a certain amount of spaces to pick up another type of food; the idea is to get from food nubbin to food nubbin without running out & without blocking your team mates (but blocking the other team) and get to a predetermined nest first. The board is a series of strips that are added as you move (and taken away from the back as you progress forward), which is a cool way to have forward movement without a huge board, I really liked that. Although very light on theme, there’s a great strategy to work on with team mates to ensure success, and really – look at these beautiful pieces! It’s a joy to just sit and play 🙂
Targi: Rather than having a board, you create the playing area with cards in Targi, a great little 2-player worker placement game. The frame of cards around the outside tracks the progression of the game (and also allows you to perform the action on there if you place a worker on certain cards), and the cards in the middle will either be goods or ‘tribe’ cards – the latter you build in front of you to create a tableu worth a various amount of points. The strategy is pretty decent in this, but there’s a lot to the part where you have to try and place your workers in the best place possible each round, but also think on your toes for a plan B or plan C when your opponent takes the spot you really wanted. I love it!
Diavolo: This had my brain hurting about 15 seconds in. I’m usually okay at quick reaction games but this is really friggin’ devilish! You will toss all the components on the table – one die will give you the conditions on which you’ll look at the numbered dice, and when you have the ‘answer’ (for instance, largest sum of what coloured dice) means you’ll make a grab for a little imp of that colour. Miss out on an imp? Lose a gem. I lost gems pretty quickly, ha! Maybe next time i’ll try and ramp up my brain with coffee beforehand.
Banana Matcho: Zoch, known for bringing terrific kids games to the market, make sure you have ridiculous banana-squeezing dice-rolling fun with this. The premise is simple – one person is rolling the monkey dice and trying to get to three monkeys and squeeze the banana before the other person rolling at the same time gets a set on the dice with fruit symbols (various combos are worth different amount of points, but you want to get points before the monkey roller squeezes the banana!). I love that this keeps two people involved in the game at once – and even though it’s a light dice-rolling game every time I’ve played it it’s had a table full of adults shouting with excitement.
Game of Thrones LCG: Sat down to a 4-player game of this a while back, and despite the “thrown in at the deep end” feeling you get when you’re not familiar with the decks in this game, especially with many expansions (I don’t think I even saw my whole deck that game!), it was still a great, deep game. Unlike other deck-based games there was a pretty neat component in the role selection at the start of each round, which allows for a little benefit depending on what you pick, and certain pairings between players are created depending on where you’re placed on the board – you’ll either benefit from leaving a player alone that round, or from going at them. As this was the first time Adam & I had played and the first 4-player game for our fellow players, it did stretch out time-wise.. but I look forward to visiting this again to see what some of the other decks are like (I was the Greyjoys, would like to give the Starks and Lannisters a go!).
Ave Caesar: A fun, light Roman-themed racing game. It’s a simple form of gameplay – you play a card (value 1 through 6, randomly drawing three to start the game with and topping up as you go) to move around the track. But there can be bottlenecks where you can block people from getting past you, and there’s the requirement that you must take a pit-stop in round 1 or 2 to give an ‘Ave Caesar’ to the emperor. You also have a limited deck of cards, so you need to make sure you have enough points to get you around the track 3 times and over the finish line! I scraped in with the win in this game, despite being blocked at a bottle neck for my second-to-last round. Good times!
Bruges: We have an advance copy of the English release of Stefan Feld’s Bruges – I didn’t get to play this at the Gathering of Friends so i’d been waiting until this past week to try it, and overall I really love it! It’s a simple game of rounds of taking actions, light strategy and some luck due to card drawing. The little bit of luck can be hard to mitigate which is my only gripe about the game – I’ve played twice and some aspect of the game has been tough to accomplish due to not getting the right types of cards. Despite that, there’s a lot of variety in what you can do, and the huge pool of cards (of which only some are used in each game) means a great deal of replayability. This is most definitely the most I’ve enjoyed a Feld game since Castle of Burgundy – I believe it’ll be out this September in stores!