The final Thursday of October is here! Halloween is just a couple days away, and no matter how different it may be in execution, there is still a little bit of magic in the air. Thursdays are also magic at the DWP, as we run through some of our favourite gaming experiences from the past week. But first, let’s check in with the broader gaming community via BoardGameGeek, to see which games were the most played during the entirety of September:
Double Gloomhaven domination of the most played games list! Still, no game can come close to The Crew for most played last month. Now let’s get close to our lovely DWP authors, by zooming in on their gaming experiences from the week that was…
I’ve finally started playing My City, one of the nominees for 2020’s Family Game of the Year. It truly is simple, easy and addictive. Everyone plays three episodes in a row to reach the next chapter envelope, which is packed with new rules, stickers, and story. My City is intended to be a legacy style game played over 8 chapters, so it’s short and streamlined so that families with young kids can easily join in the fun. Turns are super quick, and the rules even state that you shouldn’t think about your tile placement too long: JUST STICK IT SOMEWHERE. I love that suggestion as each session took only 15-20 minute each. It’s a great visual game and since each player has their own location board which they customize after the very first episode, it’s all about maximizing your turn in as little time as possible. I can’t wait to play Chapter 2!
I’ve been playing a lot of Terraforming Mars online via Steam since the pandemic started, mostly doing the solo challenge. My plays have dropped off over the past month or two, but with the release of the Beta version of the Prelude expansion, I am back in full force. My first online play with friends ended early because of a glitch (hey it’s still just in Beta), but my solo plays have gone smoothly. The main change with Prelude and solo play is, besides getting the two prelude cards, you only have 12 generations, instead of 14, to terraform Mars.
Not much board gaming for me this week. In October most of my free time goes to watching horror movies, but this week was heavy on RPGs for me. I ran a virtual session of Scum & Villainy, which is a space opera adaptation of the Blades in the Dark game system. The crew encountered a derelict warship on an asteroid and nearly fell victim to the mysterious hyperspace creature that called the asteroid home.
As a player I attended our monthly session of Vampire: the Masquerade. When the latest edition of the game came out a few years ago, my Storyteller from 25 years ago resurrected the campaign, so I’ve been dragged back into the modern World of Darkness.
With our after school club and my own kids, we’ve been playing a fair bit of Rainbow Rabbits, which is a speed game about creating rainbows in the proper colour order. It’s quite similar to the classic card game Ligretto, but much more delightful in presentation. Speed games can be hit or miss with children, so we started with a turn-based approach, slowly ramping up the simultaneous play until everyone was flipping through their decks at the same time. It’s been a fun process to find a way to engage a number of 5 to 8 year olds!
My game time with adults involved revisiting one of my all-time favourite dexterity games, Ascending Empires. This is a 4X game where many of the game’s actions (movement, attacking, exploration) is resolved by flicking discs around. It’s both amazingly perfect and utterly terrible at the same time, and each day that it remains out of print is a day that makes me just a little bit sad.
I know it is the scary month and I should be playing games with a scary theme and whatnot (and I have played a few!), but what I really want to talk about today is Barrage. I have been playing a lot of Barrage since I got a copy for my birthday earlier this month. Barrage is a heavy economic game about generating electricity through the damming of several streams. It has a single board where players are constructing different buildings to affect the water, move it from dams to power plants, and generate electricity. I love a game that allows the players to build long term strategies, try them out, and adapt all in a single playthrough, and Barrage is a wonderful game for that. The player interaction is huge, from classic worker placement mechanics of blocking certain spaces to the intricacies of the main board and player buildings, Barrage is a heave Euro game that could never be described as a multiplayer solitaire.
And that brings us to the end of another roundup of games played. Thanks for keeping up with our tabletop adventures!