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!
If you are a BoardGameGeek user, you can also follow along on the Geeklist I created.
I don’t really have much to add to the review from yesterday here, there are no expansions, I don’t even know of any promos for this that added to Indigo. I guess Dr. Knizia thought it was good enough as it is. 22 plays since January 2013.
Ice Cool & Ice Cool 2
My two daughters absolutely love flicking games. I think that’s a natural thing, right? Flicking games are almost toy like, that actually kind of explains why I enjoy them as well. Ice Cool takes the flicking genre of games and makes it light-hearted & cute as it’s all about penguins in a high school trying to avoid being caught in the halls. Dale has everyone covered with a review of the original. The way that the nesting box also becomes the playing surface is utterly unique and in my opinion, really innovative. I mean look at what space it takes up for two copies of Ice Cool versus how much space my PitchCar collection requires. It’s not just the production and innovative storage solutions that have Ice Cool surviving the purge, it’s actually a fun flicking game that can really reward folks who practice and actually hone the flicking of the penguins. Complete with leaps over walls, curves around corners through the doorways, Ice Cool takes some skill to play well. This is one of those games where we rarely log a play because we rarely ever are really playing it as a competition, we are normally just flicking around. I’m not really sure what Ice Cool 2 adds or changes, as you can see from the photo, it hasn’t been taken out of shrink yet, but chances are it will be soon, and it will be just as much penguin flicking fun. Countless unlogged plays where we just mess around flicking, but 2 official logged plays since 2016.
A game that I wanted so badly, that I imported the German version from HiG and then started translating the German rules myself using Google Translate. Thankfully, the English rules appeared before I actually ended up getting the game thus saving me a lot of guesswork due to weird translations. My review is on the Opinionated Gamers, as is a follow up review from Dale where we discussed the mini expansions that were added at Essen time. Since that review though, it hasn’t made it to the table, not for lack of wanting, but just because of lack of time. It got to me before Essen and Gen Con so it got played, reviewed and then pushed to the back of the line due to other reviews and new games sadly. It really is a delightful drafting game, with a unique way to assure folks that no one can just simply collect all the strongest cards and win. Plus it’s a beautifully illustrated game and is bright and colorful on the table. It makes for a pleasing sight to behold as you play. 4 plays since May 2019.
Hollywood Golden Age
Aka Dream Factory, aka Traumfabrik, aka Silver Screen, aka Hollywood Blockbuster. Who would have had any idea, another auction game from the good Doctor Knizia that managed to survive. As you could guess by the title, this one is based around the movie industry, or rather, you are running a film company and you are trying to create movies that will score you the most points by buying directors, writers, actors, special effects etc. It uses a closed economy, as in all the money that is ever going to be in the game is there from the start. When you buy something, the money goes to the other players, not the bank. It’s an intriguing theme with an intriguing auction mechanism and it strikes a chord with those of us here at the OG as it ended up at number three on the OG’s recent 10 Great Games of Dr. Knizia article. After playing a copy of Traumfabrik a couple of times I realized how much I liked it, and surprisingly this beautiful version from Spain so I had to have it, as it uses actual Hollywood Golden Age stars instead of caricatures in the other versions. Sadly though, this version hasn’t been played since I imported it. 2 plays since May 2018.
So this the 2019 party-ish game of the year for us. We don’t really do the party games around here but Letter Jam is a fantastic word/party game. I gave the full review here on the OG back in August. It’s a word game that requires everyone at the table to partake in, you can’t be that person hanging back and letting everyone else give their clues, firstly the rules require you to give a clue before the green clues on the cards can be given. So in theory everyone should be on equal footing vocabulary wise, but I think that clever, smart clues will be far more important than having a large vocabulary. 8 plays since August 2019.
The other party game in this cube is Just One. This is probably my favorite of the two and a well deserving Spiel des Jahres winning game. Review here on the OG was handled by Nathan Beeler. Such a simple premise, everyone at the table knows the word that the one person at the table is trying to figure out. Each other player can give one clue on a dry erase board to show the person trying to guess, but the trick is the players aren’t allowed to use the same clues, if any clue is repeated the guesser doesn’t get to see it. Amazingly simple and amazingly fun. Along with Letter Jam, this is one of the few games that I can get my family to play. 15 plays since November 2018.