New game notes

Red is a new mini game from Carl Chudyk and Chris Cieslik. Play a card and/or change the goal. Only requirement? You need to be winning after your move, otherwise it’s game over for you. Fun little filler. Suggest.

Pick-a-Pig was familiar: I’ve played Formissimo, which is the original version. This one’s cuter. My kind of game, I quite liked it and managed to win, despite failing two rounds. Suggest.

Tutanchamon, a Knizia game from 1993 got the honour of being the 1000th rating. Not bad, but I’m annoyed for losing to a king-maker move. Bunte Runde is the better version of the same idea. Indifferent.

Irish Gauge is from the latest Winsome set. Seemed a bit daft at first, but there’s a game in there, and it’s somewhat interesting. A B level Winsome. Suggest.

Ark of the Covenant was a surprise. Wife of one of the guys was browsing a thrift store and sent photos of games to him. I saw the Ark for 5 euros and took it, and she delivered it right away. My friend got Himalaya for couple of euros. What’s even better, inside the Ark box, I found a cheap Indian Ludo/Snakes pocket game, Knatsch and a mass-market Narnia game. Sweet.

Ark is quite good, too, a solid Carcassonne variant with good ideas and special rules. Suggest.

Morels is a two-player card game about mushroom collecting. Pretty nice, a mellow set-building game. Suggest.

My brother visited, and brought with him Cthulhu Gloom, as he knew I wanted to try that. I’ve never played even the basic Gloom, but find the idea of partially transparent cards interesting.

It was. The basic gameplay here offers pretty much nothing – play cards, either to improve your own position or to hinder your opponent – but the theme is funny and well executed. I’d assume the game can become rather unbearable with a larger number of players, but with two, the “take that” element wasn’t bad.

A nice, light game, with a funny theme, then. Indifferent.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – The Liberation of Narnia is a fairly awful memory game with a terrifying name. Roll a die, try to find a matching card from a face-down array of cards. The goal is to create a route across an 6×4 array of cards. In the end, there are two cards: one is Aslan, the other is the Witch. If you find Aslan, you win, if you find Witch, all that you’ve done is reset and you start again. Awful, but the cards are shield-shaped, which is kind of neat. Avoid.

I  got my preorder copy of Subdivision yesterday, and I already played three games against my son (and already wrote a review). The game says 13+ in the box, but I believe that’s just to avoid testing – my 8-year-old son played this just fine. He won the first game, then I learnt how to play and won the next two games pretty easily.

I have some concerns over replayability, but so far it’s good. People who like interaction are going to hate this, as this is a very dry interaction-wise, but those who like simultaneous solitaire puzzles in the style of Take It Easy will find Subdivision delightful. Suggest

Troll Trail (aka Koboldbande) is a simple co-op. Draw tiles, trying to build a path across the forest to a treasure chest. Dragon wants to get there first, and players must find three keys on their way. Very simple, and seems quite easy, but I can see this working just fine for 4-year-olds. Indifferent.

Battle Sheep is an abstract game with cute plastic sheep discs. Build a board of hex tiles, then start conquering. Each player starts with a stack of 16 sheep. When you move, the stack moves in a straight line as far as it can, dropping at least one disc in the starting hex. The winner is the player with the most sheep on board when nobody can move anymore. Pretty nice, and the simple rules, nice bits and engaging gameplay make this an award hog, I believe. Indifferent

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