The DWP squad of scribblers is back for another round of gameplay reports, as we share highlights from the previous week of play! Heroism is afoot in our first entry…
I played Marvel United this past weekend. Players will take on the role of superheroes like Hulk, Ant Man, and Black Widow and fight a formidable villain together. The villain we needed to defeat to win the game was Red Skull, but first we had to take on Hydra agents attempting to thwart our plans and prevent us from saving innocent civilians. Player turns are resolved in a truly cooperative fashion, making this a dynamic game grounded in teamwork. On their turn, players will play a card to a central area (the storyline) and perform the actions depicted on that card. Then the next player will get to use the previous player’s card actions in addition to theirs. And that pattern remains throughout the entire game with the villain taking equal turns, trying to knock out the heroes to ensure his master plan works. It’s a race against time and players will have to work cooperatively in order to defeat the villain. Marvel United is chalk full of unique and fun decks, locations, and characters from the Marvel universe that begs for multiple plays. And the minis are super cute!
Board games for me are all about the social aspect. Sitting around a table with friends or family is the important part. The game is secondary, at least for me. Since I can’t see people that much these days, I’ve been playing a crap ton of Board Game Arena. The recent hit has been getting my folks to play Yahtzee with me. It has been a much needed way to connect in these tough lockdown months. Also…YAHTZEE!
Given how many interesting titles are on Kickstarter right now, I filled my week with trying out the TableTopSimulator workshops of two different titles: Darwin’s Journey and Timber’s Trail. I had a great time with both of the games—several years ago I probably would have pledged for them. Darwin’s journey is by the same design team that did Newton and features a worker placement mechanic with upgradeable workers and lots of tracks to move your way around. While mechanically it is totally unique, something about it feels so similar to Newton. The strategies and considerations you are making just seem a little too familiar. Though, the Kickstarter looks beautiful with wax seals and glass lenses as stretch goals and add-ons. Really a beautiful looking game.
I was pumped for Timbers’ Trail as well, it is a new edition of a Martin Wallace title, and I am a huge Brass fanboy. It is an economic game with a really cool and fresh action system, but again, it is a game I just don’t need in my collection. I have lots of economic games. Also, the official mod linked from the Kickstarter for this was disappointing, featuring a greyscale board when the icons for different resources are just coloured cubes, which took some working around. This is definitely a game I will play again and happily, I just don’t see myself trying to carve out a space in my collection for it.
Keeping up with the recent game releases feels like running on a treadmill that’s going a touch too fast. It makes revisiting slightly older games all the more sweet! In recent days I was able to play a game of Small World, which is a game I overplayed and tired of many years ago. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s an area control game with lightning quick combat resolution. Players control fantasy factions such as Giants, Skeletons, and Tritons, which are paired with special named powers which result in silly names (Flying Dwarves, Peace-Loving Ghouls, etc). The artwork is colourful and lively, and most games take about 45 to 60 minutes to play. Coming back to it with a fresh perspective allowed me to fall back in love with this excellent Days of Wonder title, and I’m excited to play again in the near future!
We’ve reached the end of another entry into the “What Have We Been Playing” saga. For more great DWP content, please check out Kimberly T’s article covering Unicorn Fever!