Another week of games played are behind us, and our favourite moments are collected in this article. Let’s dive right in!
I played a super fun and clean game this week called Fantastic Factories. Each turn, players draft a card from a central pool and then roll their four dice and place them onto their basic start card or onto built cards with special abilities. It is clever and easy to learn, which means that I’m into it! Also, there are ways to mitigate the dice rolls, so that makes me a happy gamer. I’m one of those “always rolls ones” gamers.
In my regular gaming group, we rotate who picks the games for the week. Last week, we tabled Sentinels of the Multiverse, which is a cooperative superhero romp. I had it stuck in my head that this was a very fiddly game, as I hadn’t played it in a few years. Fortunately, we breezed along rather quickly with 2 new players at the table. Omnitron didn’t really stand a chance against us! As one of my buds owns all things Sentinels, I’m looking forward to meeting and defeating more of the game’s villains in the coming months!
After quite a gaming drought, I’ve been back at the table both physically and virtually. At home, my family has begun working our way through Ticket to Ride map collections. With only a few tweaks to the base game rules, it’s made for an easier game night during times where everyone might not be up for a lengthy teach. So far we’ve tackled the Japan board from map collection #7, and the Poland board from the Essen 2019-exclusive map collection #6.5. We’ve found all of the recent maps enjoyable as they offer a fresh path to victory outside of amassing tickets or crafting a long train.
On the digital front, I’ve gotten over the hump in learning Tabletop Simulator and have begun to enjoy my experiences there. I’m playing in VR, which is an interesting experience, and one perhaps worthy of following a follow-up post to this 2016 story). As for what I’m actually playing, I’ve been focused on getting more plays of Irish Gauge and trying out Fort, the latter being a preview module for the upcoming Leder Games release. “A fresh take on deckbuilding” is trope-worthy at this point, but the promise is realized in Fort, and every player I’ve encountered has been impressed. I have the feeling this one is going to get people talking.
The Quacks of Quedlinburg has become iconic in my brain. It is fast, chaotic, and random, but it still lets the players feel like they are in control of the game. As a gamer (and human, honestly) who loves control, most luck based games aren’t entirely my speed, but Quacks is delightful. There is just enough choice to make the players feel empowered. Each of us works on our individual large batch potion, adding ingredients like Ghost’s Breath, African Death’s-Head Hawkmoth, Mandrake, and Locoweed to their brew. We can keep adding our ingredients, drawn blindly from a bag, until we decide to stop. However, if we accidentally add too many Snowberries, an ingredient plentiful in our starting bags, our potion will explode, costing us valuable points. This is one of the first games that introduced me to the wonderful genre of bagbuilding, and I have just fallen in love with it since. Orleans, Altiplano, and Quacks are all regular plays in my home.
I got to play the second edition of Sheriff of Nottingham. I think it’s one of the better gateway board games around. The game involved four people new to the game and it was an instant hit with everyone. My friend’s kids loved the bluffing mechanic and trying to trick their family members. The second edition also comes with more content that can add complexity so that new gamers will have more to chew one once they get a grasp of the standard game rules.
I got to try out the Wavelength app, which is in beta right now – it’s gorgeous! Really love the look and the user interface – and while there are some emoji to try and communicate to come to a consensus, it’s really better playing on voice chat with friends (a feature they’re going to add). I also played an alpha prototype of the in-development rework of Key to the Kingdom from Restoration Games – loving the vibe of it so far, a sort of family Talisman feel! I think it’ll be a hit. I also enjoyed a game of Nova Luna which I miss playing in person terribly, so I’m pleased it’s got a TTS module. And I got to mission 8 in Die Crew, which is far far better than I’ve ever done with other attempts! Woo!
In a shameless plug, I’m going to mention the game I played (and taught) the most this past weekend. As a team member of Burnt Island Games, I was running In Too Deep Tabletop Simulator sessions as part of Gen Con Online. I even jumped in and played some games too! It was a great reminder of how much I like this title and it was rewarding to have players appreciate the theme and design. It was also a good reminder that I have to endeavour to get out into meet space more for some in-person gaming.
And that’s our roundup for this week! What were YOU playing? Let us know through Facebook, Twitter, or Carrier Pigeon!