Monday, April 21, 2014

58) Uptown

This is a quick game thats easy to pick up. On your turn you place a tile on the corresponding row, column, or 3x3 grid that corresponds to the tile and then draw a new tile. The goal is to have the least number of unconnected groups of tiles.

Orange's secret tiles

Just getting started

Captured a few

Final board

I enjoy this game for a quick (less then half hour) game that isn't to taxing on the brain. The game above was a two player game, which is fun and gives you quite a bit more control over what you're doing. I do think it plays better with 4 though. This game also does a good job of introducing the idea of area control in games.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

57) Click Clack Lumberjack

A fun 5 minute (or less) game where you're gently chopping down a tree. This game feels a bit like Jenga as you're slowly creating a precarious tower that is one chop away from completely collapsing.

The box says it all

Tools of the trade

Action shot

I found a grub

Quick and easy, fun for all ages, and a great filler game.

56) Survive

In this game you're trying to get your people from the center island to one of the corner islands. Of course there are sea monsters, sharks, and whales that may disrupt your plans. In large part most of your people will not make it and you'll have fun picking off other players people along the way.

Just getting started

Beware the sea monster

Escaping on a boat

Volcano on the first mountain tile

This is a fun light game of carnage. The pieces are awesome. The theme is fun. The one problem I keep having is all the boats are destroyed so quickly...gotta swim for those islands!

55) Giro d'Italia

As someone who loves the sport of cycling I'm a bit biased, but this game is awesome! The pieces are sweet, the board is modular so you can create so many different race scenarios, and its a cycling game that mimics real cycling races very well. Also, you can build stages in different real life races.

Pre-race warm-up ride 
Early breakaways never survive

Hanging the mountain climbers (red base) out to dry

Peleton is bearing down

Game in all its glory

Again this game is awesome. I enjoyed that my knowledge of cycling races was actually pertinent to playing the game well. I got nervous about half way through the race when the breakaway was super far ahead of the peleton (where my two guys were). But, the peleton was paying attention and, true to most flat stage races, were able to reel in the break away for a bunch sprint. My only fear is that the best strategy in the sprint finishes is to sit in the peleton (basically doing nothing for the first 3/4 of the game) and wait for a strong finish. This can be mitigated by adding more mountains or adding mountain finishes. Regardless, this is cycling <game> at its best.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

54) Empire Builder

This game is neat because you get to draw on the map with a crayon (and erase for multiple plays). Your building (drawing) routes on the board to connect cities and moving your train along the route to pick up and sell goods to make money. Once you connect certain cities and have a certain amount of money you win.

Ready to build an empire

Goods need shipping

My starting supplies

A turn full of disaster

End game map

This game was really fun, but tended to drag towards the end. The speed of play did increase once people had the majority of the routes drawn, but the $250 million end game was way to high. Additionally, we were all frustrated about the inability to plan ahead for your turn. On turns when a player sells a resource they then draw a new card and before completing their turn they need to figure out what to do with the rest of their turn, which largely depends on what new card they draw. This can lead to a few minutes of one player sitting and thinking while everyone else waits. This is ok once or twice in a game, but it happened all the time and really made the game drag. For future plays we'll consider a few house rules to decrease the amount of down time. But, despite this you're still drawing on a board with crayons. I think that trumps so many negatives and makes this a fun new experience.