I was lucky to get to spend an extended weekend last week playing games at Gulf Games, a small family-oriented game con that took place this time in Chattanooga, Tennessee. While I probably should have been focused on playing games about arks and floods based on the weather, I instead chose to go with the flow and play whatever was suggested to me. Here are some of the highlights of my weekend.
I have been avoiding this game, since I am terrible at things involving spatial relations, hexes and line of site; I thought it would be a painful experience for both me and the other players. A friend I knew would be patient with my million questions wanted to play it, though, so I agreed and I am glad I did because I really enjoyed the game. Aside from the beautiful bits, the game play itself is really interesting and it is much less difficult to view the path of the sun than I expected. I look forward to playing this again soon. You can read our review of this game here .
I did want to try this one, since it’s new and shiny and the some of the bits look just like Cadbury Mini-Eggs, which are my favorite candy. It’s essentially a resource management and set collection game with beautiful art. I did enjoy my one play of it (and I didn’t eat any of the eggs), but will need to play it again to fully form my opinion. You can read our review of this game here.
I brought this one, and was happy to teach it twice. I have a review coming up in a week or so, so I’ll save most of the details for that, but this is a fun dice management/delivery/resource management game that packs a lot of strategy into a game box that looks like it will be a bit lighter. I am really enjoying this one; stay tuned for that review I mentioned.
MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS
I am a sucker for a good Cthulhu game; I love battling the old ones to try to save the world from evil, so I was excited to try this one. It’s a co-op, and your goal is to make it to the highest peak in Antarctica without going insane. The board is a pyramid of various types of challenges; when revealed you see what cards you have to spend or conditions you have to meet to climb to this point. You only have 30 seconds to communicate with your fellow players, and as you take on madness you are given conditions for communication that make things harder. We had fun but struggled with the 30 seconds every time; a post-play check of Boardgame Geek indicated that we could have been much more specific in our communication, which would have improved our experience. I look forward to trying this one again.
I had never actually seen this game in person, but had read our review and was definitely intrigued. We played a learning game with four people who had never played, and I think the inclusion in that of two pre-programmed turns where you are told what to do was hugely helpful. The game has asymmetric player abilities and despite its length I was engaged the entire time. In addition, the bits are very attractive. I look forward to trying this one again.
I am a fan of racing games, and this is probably my favorite. It is the game that Ave Caesar is based on, and there are many similarities – you have a fixed number of cards that, depending on the track will be just a bit more than you need to actually complete the race. Depending on your starting position you might get a couple of extra cards if you go into the pit, but that’s it. This is not a friendly game – not at all. Another player can block the inside track and force you to go the long way around, which uses more valuable movement points, and the tracks have a lot of points where a player ahead of you can completely block you from moving for a turn or two. Despite SOMEONE (cough, fellow OGer Mark Jackson, cough) repeatedly blocking me I managed to win this game for the first time ever in the 20 or so times I’ve played it.