‘Twas the day before Christmas, and we’re back with another week of games played! Let’s look in our sack of treats to find out what shiny boxes hit our table…
After an extended quarantine, I have moved into my sister’s and her husband’s for a month, meaning my game group has gone from 2 to 3. This has OPENED MY WORLD in terms of December gaming, but most notably, I have been able to play some Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures after over a year of not playing and it reminds me how vast and exciting the world of the game is. It also reminds me how punishing it is when you play against someone who knows what they are doing!
I got to in-person game for the first time in forever. We played a number of titles including Castles of Burgundy, Freshwater Fly, Calimala, and The Haunted Mansion. Loved Freshwater Fly, the follow up to the excellent fishing game Coldwater Crown. It has some interesting mechanics that I haven’t really seen in other games that work well with the theme.
As many board games have shifted online in 2020, the line between board game and video game has blurred. I saw several boardgamers talking about Slay the Spire, so when it went on sale on Steam I picked it up. Slay the Spire shares many similarities to other deck builders, such as Star Realms. I am not completely sold on the game yet, but am willing to give it a few more tries to see if it’s a keeper.
I have been desperately trying to win any game of Santa Monica that I’ve tried this past week, but sadly, I have failed miserably. However, the game is very clean and addictive. I like the cards and gameplay a lot. The goal of the game is to earn the most VPs, of course, but you have to manage three different types of “people” figures as they walk along the beach or boardwalk in your personal play area. The meeple beachgoers have sunglasses and the meeple tourists wear little cameras around their necks! There are attractions, stores, and scenes that every player is fighting over and so the interaction is strong. It’s a good game, and I’m going to keep playing it until I win it (at least once!).
A copy of Ctrl made its way into my hands last week, and I’m quite enamoured with this little gem! It’s an abstract game where players are sticking little cubes into a central block (or on top of other player cubes), trying to make sure they have the most visible by the end of the game. All of my gamer itches are scratched with this one – dead simple rules, table presence, quick play time, interesting decisions, and opportunities to foil the plans of my neighbours. My daughters also enjoy tinkering with the components, even if they might not be ready to fully dive into the game. Not many abstract games make it onto my shelf, but I’m calling this one a keeper!
Thank you for joining us for another week of mini gameplay reports! We’ll be back next week with our final What Have We Been Playing of the year. In the meantime, check out David W’s review of Gods Love Dinosaurs, a new title from Pandasaurus Games!