Of course „Yunnan“ had to receive our „Game of the Month“ award, eventually. After all, it had to pass our quality gates already several times during its years of development. And even without our partiality the game’s values are all too obvious: few but very well interleaved game elements, straight and predictable gameplay without being solitaire, tension-filled competition and interaction combined with an overall playful feel. And the theme doesn’t appear as being pasted on, either.
For a game of this genre it is surprisingly short: it doesn’t last for a whole night, instead it tempts players for weeks to accept the challenge and delve into its secrets.
Few know that New York nearly became Dutch and that the cigarette name Stuyvesant does not come from nowhere. In the game we trade (historically correct) in furs, build up fields and try to control the growing city politically. All this plays in a logical and fluid manner, is balanced, only mildly competitive and offers a lot of material for the testing of various winning strategies. That the game is also optically convincing is an additional reason to visit Nieuw Amsterdam, the game!
But now I have to wear my klokjes and deal with the natives….
This year’s Feld round-up displays a bonanza of victory point generators similar to what we have seen in former years. While “Brügge” is no exception, it is lighter than many of Feld’s former creations. A lucky draw of just the right (or wrong) card combined this a relatively short playing time adds good replay value. And the extra pinch of ‘Gotcha!’ seasoning creates an entertaining and overall fun game.
This is the first game containing a surprise bag. This alone makes it a candidate for our “Game of the Month” title.
But there is more to this game: buying stone from the ingenious dial, using these to erect buildings and scoring these for money to buy more stone and victory points. And at the same keeping an eye on what the other players are doing as the game ends sooner than one expects! And the surprise bag? Have a look for yourself…
Just in time for the apocalypse Czech Games Edition last year release their new game about the Mayan calendar „Tzolk’in”. What first looked as a clever marketing ploy because of its theme and the central time-wheels immediately demonstrated its potential as a strategic gamers’ game.
Several, not really innovative but proven game mechanics have been mixed into an excellent new brew. There is plenty of food for planners and strategists alike with sufficient levels of freedom for constructive optimization. Players are permanently involved, even during the other players’ turns. All in all a well-designed, excellent game.
Dwight Sullivan is one of us: a hobby gamer who has worked intensively on a game design without ever believing it would be published (read about it here: http://noblemenboardgame.blogspot.de/). The he entered the Hippodice game design contest and was noticed by up-and-coming boardgame publisher “Pegasus”-Games, and now it’s finished, his first published game! And it’s a swell game, that’s for sure….
We are Noblemen who try to get noticed by the king, building castles and churches and expanding our own personal realm. At the constantly happening costume balls we try to convince the kind to promote us in the noble ranking, of course with the goal to accumulate victory points.
“Noblemen” has been developed into a well-rounded game – the geographical placement of the land tiles is as interesting as the careful planning of the fluidly playing actions. A new hit for “Pegasus”-Games!
„Discovery“-Games have always been one of the holy grails of game design – how can one design such a game without putting through much stress on luck (when one doesn’t turn over the „right“ discovery tiles)? The new game by Marcel-André Casasola Merkle tries an interesting path here by making the victory conditions variable through cards, but also makes these same cards available for drafting, which can turn the luck of one player against him/herself in the next round. Through this there is more interaction and competition than in other “discovery” games, and also the game length hits a good and comfortable mark. For us this is one of the real “discoveries” of the current games on offer!
It’s no secret that Vlaada Chvatil is one of our favorite designers – nobody has created so much innovation in the gaming scene of recent years, and he is always trying new things in each of his games. When “Pictomania” hit our table we were skeptical at first, as usually we don’t really like party and family games from a hardcore gamer perspective. But what is so convincing in this game is the scoring system, which refines the simple basic idea of the game (draw something that the others can recognize) in such a way that it makes it different from similar games of this genre. This system results in something that has been unseen before and which only can be described as “tactical drawing”. This alone makes the acquisition of this game a must!
At first glance, „Village“ appears to be just another worker placement game. Far from it!
We are faced with new and surprising possibilities to gain victory points. Be it be aiming for a quick demise of one’s family members thereby entering the village chronicle and speeding up the game or by a more careful time management slowing down the game by travelling. Whatever strategy we choose, each game turn is short with little downtime for the other players.
Despite its many options “Village” is a light and fun game – a highlight of the current gaming year!
Once more an expansion receives our Game of the Month recommendation. Its base game “Stone Age” has already been a winner of this title.
Expanding “Stone Age” to a 5-player game by adding the required components and rules was a compulsory requirement. However, introducing jewelry and merchants to the game system is a welcomed addition (not only for female gamers) as they create a completely new dynamic to the gameplay. The resulting strategic possibilities need to be explored while jewelry as the new “wildcard” resource can to be used cleverly for the acquisition of huts and cards.
This is the kind of expansion we long for. Keep up the good work!