Monday, January 31, 2011

Today in inappropriate game commercials....

...or should I say yesterday.  Check out this commercial for a game from the 70's (it actually looks kinda fun):

Man, that guy's wife sure is a ball buster!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

February resolution.... play all the damn games that I own and HAVE NEVER PLAYED!!!  This includes

- Quo Vadis?
- Forbidden Island
- Serengeti
- Gloria Picktoria (the remake of the fantastic Alan Moon card game Get the Goods, which I have played)
- Magical Athlete
- Charon, Inc.

And maybe some of the good one's I only played once, like Jet Set, New England, and Yspahan.  Shame on me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ah, the life of a farmer...

I haven't blogged as much lately as work is taking up all my time (egads, I sound like such an old man!)  But still the occasional game gets played.  Even yesterday after a full day at the office then teaching two classes at the gym, my friends were kind enough to hold the game of Agricola till I got there at 9:15 pm.  In the last couple months, this game has vaulted in to my top 5 games of all time.  The variety is endless and the tension is agonizing right up to the very end in EVERY game. 

I was reminded after this latest game of an awesome article I'd read a few months back by DC Gamer.  He took a picture of his farm at the end of the game and decided to write a history of the family.

An excerpt:
The fate of the entire budding family would change suddenly in the Winter of 1672 when Andrea, mother of three newborns, decided to brave a second visit to the haunted quarry. Having escaped the first visit with merely a couple crop circles to show for it, she was emboldened and grew perhaps a bit too daring. The extraterrestrial visitors mistook Andrea for Han Solo and froze her in carbonite. The family was devastated. Andrea, who had worked so hard to gather food, plow the fields, and grow her families home, was gone, shipped off to the ruthless Jabba the Hutt to serve his bidding. Never one to mourn in vain, Titus spent the remainder of the Winter building a Well in his departed wife's honor, so that he could feed the children she'd left behind. Learning from his mother's mistake, Bradford visited a more distant, but safer, quarry to gather stone for building a Joinery and a Basketmaker's Workshop so the family could build furniture out of wood and baskets out of reeds, both of which they could exchange for food during the harvest.
Gotta love the X-deck......

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You tell me: Carcassone, a classic?

DC Gamer writes about his election of Carcassonne into the BGG Hall of Fame.  Funny, you know, I've tried to like Carc but every game just leaves me sour.  I find the tile draws WAY too luck-based (and that is coming from a guy who would marry Ticket To Ride if he could) and each game never seems all that balanced.  I also have found in the 3 or 4 games I've tried of it, that the scoring and majority rules are not half as simple for other players to grasp as people say. 

Obviously, I'm in the minority here but I just don't see the appeal.  What am I missing?

ASIDE:  I do agree with giving props to Carc for bringing us the Meeple.  Bravo to that!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stoned Age?

Played Stone Age again this weekend after a year or two hiatus and I sure do enjoy the gameplay.  The die-rolling is loads of fun and the rseource-collecting and buying is fun, too.  Like a very light 'Gric.

HOWEVER (and notice this is a big however), our game with two beginners who caught on really quick took two and a half frigging hours!  This game is TOO long.  I remember posting this in a review on BGG awhile back and people not-so-politely commenting that perhaps we were playing under the influence a of certain drug.  They claimed 30-45 minutes is possible for a game.  Really?  Prove it. 

It's too bad because I really enjoy Stone Age but it's way too light to last as long as a game of Age of Steam.  Anyone else found this?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"But at least you'll discover there is life after Monopoly."

...from a cute little article on the super-awesome where the author name drops Settlers, Ticket to Ride, and Pandemic, amongst other games.  (Thanks, Michaela!)

Want, want, WANT!

Okay, so if you read this blog even semi-regularly you know I love Ticket to Ride.  In fact, I think it is one of the greatest games ever made due to its simplicity and accessibility.  So I'm always eagerly awaiting another map or another expansion from Days of Wonder.  Well, here it comes...  Monsters.  Yes, Godzilla-style monsters to block your routes.  You can read all about it here.

Some of the commenters on the DOW blog are all up in arms about this new exansion, something about not working with the theme at all.  Oh well.  From what I see, this expansion will add some really nasty player interaction and make the Locomotive cards more appealing to grab without adding any more luck.  I, for one, can't wait for aliens to tear through Salt Lake City and Montreal....   :D

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mannequin piss?!?!? What the....

No, no, no, 'Manneken Pis', which is the 8th wonder from Belgium that can be played with my favourite new game 7 Wonders.  Although Wikipedia describes it as
...a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into the fountain's basin.
Okay.  So maybe the name is kinda appropriate.  In any case, boy, was I excited to receive this (nearly) free expansion.  I'm really loving the Geek right now.  With it, I also ordered a new card for Dominion, the Stash, all for a cost of ten bucks, most of which covered the shipping.  You should really check their online store.  I can't wait for the Power Grid expansion cards to arrive.  Definitely will be worth the five bucks!

Monday, January 3, 2011

On The Horizon: Cargo Noir...

Days of Wonder has started dropping teasers for a new release Cargo Noir early this year.  Days of Wonder, the producers of the amazing Ticket To Ride and Small World series of games, tend to release very well-produced and thematic family games so I think any new game by them should be met with some excitement.  I wish I could tell you more but all I can see from the videos is that it looks like there may be auctions, shipping, and a gangster theme (trading?  backstabbing?  special character powers)  We'll just have to wait and see...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Best of 2010...

So I'm starting to look back at this year and thinking about what some of my favourites are of 2010.  Movies are easy (Inception, Black Swan) and music as well (The xx, Janelle Monae, Sufjan Stevens).  Games, on the other hand, are a bit tougher.  I bought a lot of games this year (now THAT's an understatement!) but a lot of them weren't released this year.  Agricola, a release of 2007, has quickly become one of my top five absolute favourite games but I only started playing it a couple months ago.  And with so many games being released now each year, it's near-impossible to play them all.  So I can only hope to mention the ones that I've enjoyed personally and maybe pick some stellar choices from there.  So without further ado (of the games I actually got play this year):

Best family game of the year:  7 Wonders - You can read more in my review of the game but this was an easy choice.  Accessible rules, games in 30 minutes, endless strategies to try out, and scales amazingly well from 2 to 7 people.  If you enjoyed Dominion at all, I imagine the speedy play of this fun, fantastic card game will also appeal.

Almost best family game of the year:  Lords of Vegas - Not many strategy games can have such crazy swings of luck and still be enjoyable for me.  This one is.  Maybe because it feels a bit like Acquire played in a high-stakes casino.  This one definitely doesn't have the staying power of 7W but the last couple games have been a hoot.

Best heavy game of the year: Inca Empire - I have to admit that I've only played this once due to the lengthy play time since our group doesn't usually last more than two hours anymore.  But that one play of this reprint of Tuhuantinsuyu was a brilliant experience.  The route-building that I love so much from train games combined with a clever, nasty action card mechanism to affect the other player's games make this a worthwhile purchase.  This modern classic really is THAT good and deserves more recognition. 

Best filler: Mosaix - Like FITS and Take It Easy meets X's and O's, this little game in a lovely tin case is seconds to learn but surprisingly challenging due to its extremely clever scoring mechanism.  Grab a copy cheap and take it everywhere you go.

Looking forward to playing some more of these games in the new year as the many companies move on from Essen and the Christmas season.  I'm currently looking forward to reprints of Alien Frontiers and Scripts and Scribes (now Biblios) which should be arriving the first-quarter of this year.

Have a happy new year and enjoy what's left of the holidays....