Simon W’s Friday SPIEL report

Fridays at Spiel tend to be busier than Thursdays and today was no exception. Today really seemed as crowded as any other Friday, but I suspect that while there are more people moving around the aisles, there are less places for them to play, Nevertheless, all the tables in all the popular booths were full to bursting with people playing or watching.

SPIEL21_Webseite

Today I had a good look at some of the games in my “to check” list. This included:

bitoku

– Bitoku: I showed up early to get in a game of this but it seems they are sold out, so nothing to report here. It is still teh most hyped game on the BGG Preview list but it’s not featuring on the Fairplay top 10 right now.

ark nova

– Arche Nova: another sold out game but as second-hand buzz I can relate that some people I know played it and it is a mixture of several mechanics which have been enjoyably mashed together, coming from games as diverse as Raja of the Ganges and Terraforming Mars. An additional mechanic allows your actions to get stronger the less you use them, which sounds interesting…maybe I’ll get to check this out properly before the fair ends. The new copies will be available in December.

corduba

– Corduba AC 27: I got a personal in-depth explanation of the game but didn’t play this. It’s a highly thematic game which evolves around creating actions by placing buildings on the board the game is beautifully made with many gogeous wooden components, 3-D boards etc. But it does seem overly complex at first glance. the buildings you build give you additional actions and there are a LOT of them. You have normal owkers and special workers which provide you discounts; there are a ton of different resources, and there is a lot going on. Will suit some heavy game lovers but I didn’t see enough to make me want to get it.

squaring circleville

– Squaring Circleville: I loved the theme of this game: a real town in the USA where citizens elected to change their hated circular design for a ‘normal’ square plan town. The board and components are of the standard you would expect Spielworxx to produce. The clever aspect of the game involves moving around a rondel and picking up tiles which improve the actions on the rondel itself. Converting circlebville involves destroying and rebuilding and while mechanically this is cleverl;y done,in essence it is just a majority area game. Another neat aspect though, is that when an area of the board is resolved, the player to close it out receives a bonus tile which gives them a one-off ability and then can also be used to improve the rondel actions. The game feels like it has had chrome added to a basic concept which is cleverly enacted but which left me feeling like it was lacking something. However this is all from a one-hour experience so your mileage may vary; while I was tempted I decided not to get the game because in essence it is a majority area game and I found the actions to be repetitive.

khora

– Khora: this is a multiplayer solitaire game where players are trying to get good combinations of movement up several of the 7 stracks, fulfilling personal objectives and trying to make the best use of the 2 to 3 dice that the rollat the beginning of their turn. The game features simultaneous area selection which makes it zip along quite nicely and all in all it  looks to be a good experience. Am tempted to get this one.

armonia

– Armonia: This is a Uwe Rosenburg small box light game where players roll dice in a push your luck fashion and arrange the resulting dice into sets by number. They use the numbers to progress counters horizontally across rows, eventually reaching the far edge where they can reveal tiles. If the shape of the dice they have collected (in rows and columns) matches the shape indicated on the tile they can progress over it. The goal is to get to the end of 4 rows. I found it fairly trivial and disappointing for a Rosenburg game.

More tomorrow!

Simon

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
This entry was posted in Convention Report, Essen 2021. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Simon W’s Friday SPIEL report

  1. Simmy Peerutin says:

    There is always a large overlap between the games I enjoy and the games Simon enjoys, so I apreciate this first look. The only one not ftr me is Armonia. I’ve played Khora a number of times and find the points of intersection between players very meaningful, so I wouldn’t be put off by the ‘multiplayer solitaire’ tag.

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