We’re back with another week of the DWP crew reporting on our recent gameplay experiences! Before we get started, let’s check back in with the most played games recorded on BoardGameGeek, covering August 16th through to the 27th:
Race for the Galaxy has risen into the top ten this week, with 150 plays over the previous week, bumping Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion just out of sight.
Now let’s look into our games played here at the DWP!
Since arriving in American big box stores last year, I’ve been itching to get my hands on a copy of Toy Story: Obstacles & Adventures. Finally, our local game cafe in Halifax brought in a few copies, and I’ve been devouring all of its colourful gloriousness in the days since! Following in the footsteps of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, this game set in the beloved Disney/Pixar universe is a cooperative, campaign-style deck building game, with 6 adventure boxes to explore. It’s truly delightful! If you’re curious to learn a bit more about the experience, I’ve written about it over at Little Thumbs, Big Thumbs.
I attended a demo of the newly-announced Kombo Klash from Hub Games at the UK Games Virtual Expo this past weekend. It was such a cool little simple game of tile abilities and combos. Lots of fun.
I also played Fort for the first time! My friend Caryl who works for Leder taught a few of us to play on Tabletop Simulator (which is 50% off right now!). It was a lot of fun, the influence of games like Race for the Galaxy/Glory to Rome with card powers and following was of interest to me. I’d love to play this one in person next time as I feel like it’d be easier to track what’s going on with everyone else!
I’m in my 8th scenario for Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion and still loving it! We’ve had some wonderful surprises from the City Deck; as well, the Adventures have opened up dynamic scenarios for my team to tackle. More importantly, I’ve become acquainted with a completely different kind of character in the Demolitionist and how she works with walls and smashing stuff!
Campaign games are the perpetual punchline of gaming. Has one ever been finished? But I have cast better judgement aside and begun one in the midst of a global pandemic. Myself and two other local players have begun Clank Legacy, with the intent of meeting during weekday lunch breaks for a series of quick backyard gaming sessions. We’ve gotten two games in so far and are seriously impressed at the variety and pacing of legacy content in what appears to be a tight 10-game campaign. We’re hoping that the brevity, keeping the group to 3 players, and taking advantage of work-from-home status will actually see this one through to the end.
I got to play Harry Potter: House Competition Cup this weekend. It’s pretty bog-standard worker-placement but has some depth to it. It holds up well as a design, but from a graphic design and production standard it’s inconsistent. Some stuff has been blinged up–the display for the House gems is cool enough (with what appears to be real cork for the stoppers, which considering there’s a worldwide cork shortage must have been expensive) and the sliders for character stats are cute (but handle with care or they topple over). Yet the cards are flimsy and the student tokens are tiny and hard to differentiate by player colour–and if you can’t tell Hannah Abbot from Luna Lovegood then you’re kinda screwed. So overall it’s ok if you’re still a Potter fan but it’s far below Hogwarts Battle standard.
I played Not Alone through Board Game Arena. Not Alone is a one vs. many game, where one player (the Creature) is trying to hunt the other players (the Hunter) who are trying to escape the planet. I’ve played Not Alone a few times in person and its a very tense and enjoyable experience. Each round the Hunted and the Creature simultaneous play cards. The Hunters are trying to not go to a location the Creature is not going to so they can use its power. As a Hunter you are both trying to outwit the Creature, while working with your teammates. In person it plays in 30-45 mins, sadly the asynchronous game I was involved in on Board Game Arena the game took more than a week to get through. It really killed the tension and momentum of the game for me. Great game, just much better in person than online.
I gave Grand Austria Hotel a shot on TableTopSimulator after wanting to for quite a while. It is highly rated, has wonderful designers, a charming integration of theme and mechanics, and is psuedo-research for my upcoming article on Coimbra. I had a lovely time playing the game, and the dice based action selection mechanic is wonderful, but I couldn’t help but think that I would rather play other similar weight games over it. Grand Austria Hotel doesn’t do anything wrong, no no, but it just didn’t grab my heart and soul in the same way that Coimbra and Lorenzo il Magnifico do.
And with Billy’s Grand Austria experience, we’re all caught up on DWP play reports for this week. We’d love to know what you’re playing as well. Let us know on your favourite social media platform, so that we can bask in the glory of your gaming experiences!