First impressions: Similo

As the last game last night, a friend introduced me to Similo. It’s a quick five-minute filler where you try to guess what someone else is thinking.

Twelve character cards are laid down on the table, face up. One of the players tries to get the other players to guess which of those twelve characters is their secret character.

This they do by giving clues with more character cards. They play one character card and say the secret character is either similar or dissimilar to this card. The other players eliminate one card from the twelve. Then another clue card is played, and then two cards are eliminated. The next clue eliminates three cards and the next one four, and after the last clue, the players will have to choose which one of the remaining two cards is the secret character.

Of course, if you eliminate the secret character, it’s immediately game over.

This gets more tricky (and funnier) if you mix two sets. We had historical figures and animals and tried it both ways. Which of these historical figures is unlike a beaver? Well, Pocahontas clearly has something to do with beavers, being American, so eliminate her. Next up is a hawk – let’s keep all those famous military leaders and eliminate Virginia Woolf and Queen Elisabet I. And so on.

I see some people I know have rated Similo 3/10, and I can see where that’s coming from. There really isn’t much game in here; it’s all about getting inside the head of the clue-giver and trying to figure out what they mean. Do they refer to more abstract themes or more tangible things, like the gaze direction or background colour of the card?

I found Similo decent enough for what it is: a five-minute filler with elementary rules. Using two different decks really makes the game work for me. I’d much rather play this for five minutes than Mysterium for an hour!

Similo is designed by Martino Chiacchiera, Hjalmar Hach and Pierluca Zizzi. It was published by Horrible Guild in 2019.

Twelve historical figures
Who here is like a robin?

On the Further Impressions front, I played my third game of Hansa Teutonica. I’ve played the basic map once and the East Prussia map twice. I almost won yesterday, thanks to the very brilliant last two turns, and I raised my rating from a 7 to an 8.

I really do like Hansa Teutonica. My initial worries about the game being too interactive have dissolved. It’s not; it has the right amount of interaction. There’s a lot of it, but it’s not overtly hostile; I’m likely going to be more annoyed if I’m not at the receiving end of the interaction.

The game packs a lot of play in a reasonably tight package. The game yesterday was the longest I’ve played, and it was still under 90 minutes with five players, and that’s great for something this chunky. Also, each game so far has played out differently. The game stays fresh!

A six-player game of So Clover! worked surprisingly well, but having five players figure out the solutions is too much. Next time there’s six of us playing, I’m definitely going to try the 3 vs 3 team game.

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