Helcon 2008 review, part 4

Continuing from the part 1, part 2 and part 3.

Le Havre box

Le Havre. I had already decided to pass Le Havre because I felt it was going to be too long for me anyway. Well, Tommy suggested it for my last game in Helcon and I agreed, because I do want to try it. We got a third player and played a quick three-player game — that took two hours. So yes, too long, especially if it gets longer with more players (I’m not sure if it does).

But… it’s really good. I mean, it’s perhaps even better than Agricola. I don’t know, but it’s good. It’s a similar resource management game. Get some basic stuff, turn it into more advanced stuff, buy buildings, use them, feed your people, all sorts of dealing and fixing. I liked it a lot.

However, I’m not buying. If I bumped into a cheap copy at some point in the future, I’d probably buy it — but I think Le Havre would be a three-player game for me, and absolutely no slow players allowed nowhere near the game. While the game is good, I don’t think it’s good enough for three or four hours and I can see it fairly easily taking that long with undecisive players.

Galaxy Trucker box

Galaxy Trucker. Believe it or not, I haven’t played this one before. Ilari was kind enough to teach me the game. It’s fun! First you build a spaceship under time pressure: you draw tiles with spaceship components and try to form them into a coherent ship that can do everything necessary.

Then you test you how you do: the ships start flying and cards are drawn. The cards have all sorts of features, mostly nasty stuff like space pirates or the dreaded meteor storms. If you have enough guns and shields you can survive, but most likely you don’t have. Usually, it seems, the question isn’t “will it hurt?” but “how much?”.

The thing is, building a space ship is very hard. You want storage space, plenty of guns, good engines, shields, battery power for the shields and guns and engines, enough crew and so on. The ship structure is important, too, as you don’t want loose connectors hanging out and the ship needs to be sturdy: you don’t want a single meteorite to rip off half your ship (take my word on this, I’ve tried!). So, you must make compromises and that tends to spell trouble at some point.

There’s plenty of luck, but this is a fun experience game, really. However, it’s an experience game with a game included, too.

Sushizock im Gockelwok box

Sushizock im Gockelwok. This is a sibling to Heckmeck am Bratwurmeck. Both are simple dice games, with some push-your-luck in them. In Sushizock you try to collect good sushi tiles, but also need bad bone tiles, because you must match each good tile with a bad tile. Very simple, yet quite entertaining if you’re into dice games. Harmless fun, but plays quick (quicker than Heckmeck, which has a tendency to overstay its welcome).

GiftTRAP box

GiftTRAP. A party game where players are presented with an array of gifts. Everybody gives one of the gifts to everybody else. Then players rate the gifts and scores are counted: if you gave the correct gift to the right person, you get giving points and the recipient gets receiving points. Once you max out on both points you win.

It’s simple and reasonably entertaining. Still, a party game is a party game and this one is of little interest to gamers, in my opinion. The idea here is somewhat clever, but of course you need to have a clue about your fellow players, otherwise the game will be relatively pointless. Many people seem to like this on BoardGameGeek — almost 7 average rating is great for a party game — but I’m in no rush to try the game again.

And, guess what! That’s pretty much it. It was a really nice weekend of games.

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