This is the June entry for my series where I post five games I enjoyed playing in the past month for which I didn’t have time to do full reviews. As always, I limit it to five titles, of which there’s a combination of old and new games.
My most played game of the month was Alhambra, which played quite a bit after picking up the Alhambra Designers’ Expansions. I also played Terraforming Mars quite a bit — primarily on the excellent iOS app — and rediscovered some other old favorites!
But overall, it was a down month for me. Not many games got played! I logged 50 plays (which, as always, is an undercount, given that I’m terrible about logging them). But that’s about half of recent months.
As mentioned above, Alhambra was my most-played game of the month. I picked up the Limited Designers’ Edition box, which contains about a dozen expansions from noteworthy designers and fans. The expansions in the box are delightful — we’ve worked our way through quite a few of them — and have really freshened up this classic for us. My favorite was the Zoos of Alhambra.
I don’t have kids myself, but I have a 4-year-old nephew and a 2-year-old niece, and both of them already love games. They instantly recognize the yellow HABA boxes. I noticed Dragon’s Breath at my FLGS, so I bought a copy, and it has been a big hit with the 4-year-old. If you have young ones in your life, this is a pretty cool little dexterity game.
One of the reasons it was a down month in terms of plays was a family vacation to Colorado. Some family friends asked if we had any games they’d enjoy, and we pulled out Just One to much success. As always, it is easy-to-teach and good laugh-out-loud fun around the table. But with our best score being only a 7, I think we have some work to do as a group…
I also took Patchwork to Colorado, and I played a couple of games of it with my family. I’ve now probably played this 20-30 times total, and I think I get better and better every few plays. I started off in the early days mostly getting negative scores. I remember when I started to break even. And now I’m routinely getting positive scores! So this is one of those games where improvement comes with experience.
Santiago is a tile laying game I absolutely love. I got one and a half plays in during June. The first was an in-person play, and the second is a online play on SpielbyWeb with several other writers from the OG. If you’ve never tried the game, it is a cool auction game with some fairly interesting mechanics. It can be a bit mean.
Last month, I wrote an article about 7 Great Games That Could Use a Facelift. My game group repeatedly mentioned Santiago, but it actually has a better (but not amazing) Spanish edition (that I own), so that is why I didn’t include it.