Recent boardgaming roundup!
Capsule reviews of boardgames I've been playing.
- •Food Chain MagnateI'm not a Splotter fanperson, but I've been really enjoying this. Meaty but quite playable, interesting decisions, very tightly designed, but extremely punishing of experience differentials amongst the players.
- •Mystic ValeBasically another deckbuilder with a "card construction" element using transparent overlays, Gloom-style. Fun, and brings together some interesting game elements (deck-building, push-your-luck, risk management) in a cool way. Not as tight as the classics in the genre though (Ascension), and noticeably more chaotic than average for a deck-builder. Probably best 2-player, 4 is a bit thin. I've enjoyed it.
- •Take it Higher!This classic Knizia came off the shelf for the first time in a long time; I had forgotten how good it is. Play the Rocket game once, then move on to the "full" game.
- •ImhotepPlayed this after the Spiel des Jahres nod. Meh. Thoroughly pedestrian, not even making an attempt to do anything interesting. At least it's short. ish.
- •Star Wars RebellionVerdict is that this is not interesting or engaging enough to sustain the playing time, and playing the Rebels is boring (?!).
- •Tin GooseStill totally awesome.
- •Ascension: DreamscapeThe durability of the Ascension franchise has been really impressive. Yet another great set. The Ascension knock-offs are starting to pile up, but the original is by far the best.
- •Mega CivilizationTo say that this has exceeded expectations would be a vast understatement. Expectations *were* somewhat low, but still. This has proved to be well-done as both a rational (if still 6-hours-plus) 5-6 player game and an insane monster gaming event (16-18 players, 12 hours). Francis Tresham's original, classic Civilization is still the gold standard though.
- •Blue MoonWonderful to get this tremendous classic game onto the table again. One of the absolute best.
- •Castles of Burgundy: The Card GamePretty fun "heavy filler". Vastly superior to the boardgame IMO, at least with 3-4 players. Captures everything essential from the boardgame in a fraction of the playing time.
- •Race for the Galaxy: Xeno InvasionThis expansion may have been overlooked by fans. I've found it super-fun and quite different from any other version of Race. It really wants 3+ players, but it has really revived my interest in the franchise in a way Roll for the Galaxy couldn't quite manage.
- •Port RoyalDecent push-your-luck/economic-engine-building game. Fun, simple, clever, worth playing, but not going to set your world alight.
- •T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy CaseI think hobbyist gamers tend to give games way too much credit for just having a really clever idea, even if the execution is half-assed and fails in extremely basic ways (see also: Risk Legacy). The Marcy Case is a joke. But the idea was clever.
- •504So as not to end on a downer, 504 is a great idea that *is* tremendously well executed, and I'm still enjoying the heck out of it. Along with Tin Goose, has restored by enthusiasm for the 60-120 minute classic German-style game.