Skunk, Livingstone, Aeroplanes

Skunk must have taken the veteran game designer Haim Shafir less than five minutes to design. It’s basically a simplification of Hearts: basic trick-taker, where you must avoid skunks in cards (in nines of every suit and in every card of the red suit). Tremendously simple, but the cards look nice.

But why buy this when you can take a pack of cards and play this or Hearts and many other games?  Well, my son did like this, so I assume we’ll end up playing this every now and then. Which is good, because this is trick-taking, and those lessons apply in better games as well, so nothing is wasted. Suggest for that reason alone.

I was kind of expecting Livingstone to aspire to Oregon-like heights of a light family game, but I was disappointed. It was pretty awful. Ok, part of it was the hazy Finnish rules, but even with correct rules, this just doesn’t seem like a fun game. Indifferent (so I don’t hate it)

Continental Divide has seen some more play, and is being appreciated quite a bit. It’s interesting and difficult in a good way: we kind of figure it out, but not quite. That “not quite” part still provides delightful surprises. This is one of the Winsome highlights for me. Suggest

Aeroplanes erodes my trust in Martin Wallace. This wasn’t very good. I’m willing to give this one another go, as long as it’s with less than five players, but… well, why play this when there’s Brass, which is kind of similar, but much, much better.

This game also supports my view that Mayfair Games produces subpar games. Maybe it’s some kind of US/Europe thing, but their whole design aesthetic is quite unpleasing. I’ve yet to see a really good-looking and well-designed (in graphic design sense) Mayfair game. Indifferent

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