Over the next few months, instead of going with my Three Games articles, I am going to take a look at my collection and try to discuss why certain titles survived the great purge of 2019. During this process I may take a look at some games that didn’t survive, but only as a measuring stick for what did survive. Since I am silly, like a lot of gamers, I use Ikea Kallax shelves to display the games that we own. This makes it pretty easy to break things down cube by cube, so that’s what we’re going to do, twenty-four cubes, plus a top shelf for games that don’t fit in the cubes, over the course of a few months. I hope you enjoy!
I went ahead and posted a review yesterday of Downforce, if you want to know my thoughts on it, head over there and check it out. I do want to say one more thing about it though. A year or so ago, Restoration Games released a track pack expansion for the game, called Danger Circuit. The expansion gave us a handful of new Power Cards that add some more advantages for the drivers, giving you more choices as to which power cards to use. The two tracks, Crosstown Speedway and Switchback Pass offer different feeling races, both different from each other and from the base race tracks. Crosstown Speedway has loops that have to be navigated by the racers creating some interesting lane swapping choices and more blocking opportunities. Switchback Pass adds dangerous spaces to the tracks that may only be used to pass other cars and you cannot end your movement on the dangerous spots, you have to be able to pass and maneuver off of the dangerous spot in order to use the spots. They both make for some interesting racing. I really hope that Restoration keeps bringing out new race track packs for Downforce, especially if they keep coming up with clever ideas that change up the way you play the game. Downforce and Downforce Danger Circuit have been played 12 times since August 2017.
Dominion Big Box, Dominion Intrigue & Dominion Hinterlands
I don’t know what came first for me, the Androminion app that I played hundreds of games on, or the Big Box. One thing I do know is that hands down, Dominion is THE deck builder to define deck building. Both then, and now. It’s the game you still hear people talking about excitedly while sitting in lines waiting to get into Gen Con. Dead simple in premise, clever in execution, Dominion is one of those few games that ultimately defines everything that comes after. It also changed the path of an award as well. I’m not going to bore everyone with a description of how Dominion plays and the history of the game, Chris Wray did a fantastic job four years ago when he revisited all of the SdJ winning games. We all know how powerful Big Money is in the game, but where’s the fun in playing that way each and every time. The fun is seeing my daughter laughing as she plays 6 Markets back to back because she finds it hilarious. Not really effective, but fun, and that’s what games are supposed to be. Dominion takes that gamer drive to create unique decks of cards to do what you want them to do in the game, faster than your opponent’s deck, and squashes that all down into a thirty minute time frame. It’s almost like the players are creating a new game each and every play. In the photo above, the yellow box was the upgraded looking money cards and such, but now that box holds our randomizer deck. That randomizer deck is seldomly used, everyone likes to hand pick the cards we play with. But that randomizer kind of encapsulates everything that I love about Dominion, it’s always expanding with new and unique cards. As you can tell though, I haven’t bought all of them, heck we haven’t picked up anything past Hinterlands, I can’t even imagine what our randomizer deck would look like if we had. I think we’d need a bigger box. Now, if only I didn’t think that Donald X. Vacarino doesn’t really exist. 31 plays of the physical copy since 2012. Countless digital plays.