Welcome back for another week of gameplay reports from Team DWP! In this entry, we’ll see our writers playing everything from chunky civilization games to super quirky party games, and nearly everything in between. If you spot a game that you’d like us to explore in greater depth, please comment on social media, or send us an email!
Let’s jump right into the deep end…
I got to try out the Terra Incognita expansion for Civilization: A New Dawn. (I used the official solo rules for the base game plus the additions by BGG user Stahre for the expansion.) I’m a bit on the fence about what the expansion adds. It’s great to have additional faction customization via the new leader focus cards. I like the new exploration rules that make for more uncertainty in revealing the map as you go. And I like the elegance of the new district and government rules that manage to convey the essence of the videogame without too much extra fuss. But I’m not convinced it all made for a better game experience overall–more is not always better. If the next expansion layers on United Nations, Great People and/or religions I think it might become top-heavy. It’s tricky with civ games: you want the immersion of the just-one-more-turn computer game but OTOH the base game had a simplicity and brevity I appreciated. Now if only I had some people to play with…
I got to play Creature Comforts on TTS – thanks to Sean for setting that up! It’s a delightful game of worker placement and resource management, where you play as lovely woodland creatures looking to craft themselves the simple comforts of life like soup, blankets, musical instruments and the like. So very delightful.
Also introduced some friends to Ginkgopolis, one of my all-time fave Euro games. I am really looking forward to the version on BGA coming out into beta, as the interface for it on Boite a Jeux is just a little frustrating. But it’s so great to play it, it was a treat and we played two games back to back.
On Friday night as a Halloween-season treat, I live-streamed a game of Gil Hova’s ‘Weird Stories’ RPG with some fabulous folks I’ve met over the years through gaming. What a fantastic collaborative storytelling experience that is. We had a lot of fun and made things weird and spooky.
I played Wavelength for the first time and really enjoyed the non-granular creativeness that the game encourages. It’s fun to watch your friends hash out what they think you mean when you give the clue “Idris Elba” and the scale is Overrated Actor to Underrated Actor. The game is pretty simple: there’s a cool wavelength device that randomizes where on the scale where the bullseye rests; then the clue giver picks their criteria range from one extreme to the other (good/bad; hot/cold; wet/dry) from a two-sided card; lastly, they (secretly) open a screen which reveals where the wavelength marker appears on that scale and then gives a simple clue that can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, but only in the one way they intend it to. The clue giver then hides the bullseye behind the screen and turns the wavelength to face their teammates. Endless discussion and debate follow with your friends proposing ridiculous interpretations and then the final reveal shows how close they were to your line of thinking or wavelength.
My final Halloween game of 2020 was Vast: The Mysterious Manor. From the creators of Root comes another asymmetric game, this time set in a haunted house. In our game, one player managed the Giant Spider, another was playing as the Manor itself, and I was the noble Paladin. Each player has a unique goal to achieve victory – the Paladin wishes to slay the spider, the Giant Spider just wants to escape the spooky home, and the Manor wants the game to take as long as possible while also delaying the other players from achieving victory. While I prefer the intrigue of Root, this latest version of Vast is comparatively easy to get rolling, and more importantly, it’s a fun experience with plenty of goofy charm!
That concludes our weekly rundown of games played by our awesome authors! Join us in another seven days to see what games we have tabled in the exhausting aftermath of the American election.