Chris Wray: What I Enjoyed Playing in June 2020

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.

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1 Response to Chris Wray: What I Enjoyed Playing in June 2020

  1. Fraser says:

    Santiago “It can be a bit mean”. Now that’s an understatement :-)

    It’s a great game though and it has been way too long since I have played it, an I am glad to be involved in this online game to rekindle my interest.

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