I've played some excellent Euros so far this year that have all felt pretty fresh and original - the fantastic Mammut, for example, or the hilarious Mord Im Arosa. Now I think I can add two more to the list: Asara, a gorgeously produced game from the team of Kramer and Kiesling who brought us the great Spiel des Jahres winner Torres, and Uluru, a quick and clever puzzler from the previously unknown Lauge Rosendahl.
|Gorgeous, gorgeous board requiring a large table|
Asara is an exceptionally fun game about building towers. Big towers. The largest, in fact, in each of the five colours available. Asara is also a game that when described in detail sounds rather dated and unoriginal. I mean, if I were to try to categorize it, I'd have to to say it's kinda like a worker-placement game but with majority scoring similar to older games like El Grande or even Manhattan. Yeah, sounds like every other German game from the past ten years. But that really doesn't do it justice as it is actually a very tight, easy-to-learn design, combining hand and money management, turn order, and set collection in such a balanced way that it feels exactly like it was created by master designers (and it was). Asara strikes such a fine balance between tension and fun in about the perfect length of time that it seems to me to be an excellent choice for both families and gamers. Oh, and add to that production values from Ravensburger that are out of this world and it's no wonder Asara was nominated for the 2011 Spiel des Jahres.
And I'm awful at it. Just awful. But I'd play it again in a second.
|Click on the picture to see that the left player has fulfilled every bird's wish. The player on the right, however...|