エスパーピザ屋 ゴーストタウンへ行く (Psychic Pizza Deliverers Go to the Ghost Town)

Designer: 木皿儀 隼一 (Hayato Kisaragi)
Artist: ryo@にゃも (Ryo Nyamo)
Publisher: ワンドロー (ONE DRAW)
Players: 3-4
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 30-45 minutes
Times Played: 5 with purchased copy. (Deliverer: 3; Mayor: 2)
Availability Note: The copy I have was acquired by a friend at the 2018 fall Game Market, but at the time of this review, copies are available from bodoge.hoobby (transship service such as Tenso required).

When I’m old, I’ll eat pizza on Fridays.  It has a name in my life: Pizza Fridays. It also has a black twist: it starts when my wife dies.

I try to make it to the gym 3 or 4 days a week.  I often don’t because things come up. It’s important to me, but y’all: so are many other things. The weekends are when I succeed.  Weekdays inevitably come down to making it once or twice, but if I can make it on Saturday and Sunday, I’m likely to hit my 3 or 4.

I don’t do it to lose weight or build muscle or really anything too specific, other than trying to die later than I otherwise would. I go as preventative maintenance. Medicine. It makes for some interesting dynamics while I’m there.

Whichever of us dies first, the other will be crushed. If we have our faculties enough about us, the plan is some sort of ‘taboo travel’: if something happens on a pirate cargo ship on the way to see Socotra, well, we hope to have had a good life. But if something else happens, well, the plan is to make sure I don’t die first.  If I don’t, there’s a vision of me curled into a fetal position by the front door, awaiting a pizza delivery on Fridays. (Until then, it’s a too-many-carbs thing and boo dairy; no pizza.)

In the meantime, I sometimes make guacamole with bananas instead of avocados because of a Shopsin twist on a Carlin joke. Shopsin puts eggs in most everything, including as pizza crust. It’s like a broiled open-face omelet with marinara. I ate that frequently years ago. Might have been every night.

I have a complicated relationship with pizza.

Anyway, in PPDGttGT, the players are pizza deliverers attempting to complete deliveries in a ghost town.  But, here’s the thing. The ghosts that live in the pitch dark ghost town like to play pranks, like stealing your pizzas.  So you, the psychic deliverers, attempt to use your powers of perception to find the pizzas, fight the ghosts, and get the pizzas delivered.

In 20 minutes.  Otherwise the pizza is free and you lose.

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Dale Yu: Review of Luxantis

Luxantis

  • Designer: Kai Haferkamp
  • Publisher: HABA
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 6+
  • Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Weblink: https://www.habausa.com/luxantis/
  • Times played: 3, with review copy provided by HABA USA

Luxantis (aka Die Legende der Irrlichter in German) was one of the games that I spent a long time looking at while at SPIEL 2018, but lack of luggage space (and lack of small children at home) made me leave this one behind…  Well, the game is now out in the US, and HABA USA was gracious enough to send one to the Opinionated Gamers to try. I have always found that while HABA games are designed so that young gamers can enjoy their games, they are often designed so that adults can still have an enjoyable time playing them as well.

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Dale Yu: Review of Noctiluca

Noctiluca

  • Designer: Shem Phillips
  • Publisher: Z-Man
  • Ages: 8+
  • Players: 1-4
  • Ages: 30 min
  • Times played: 5, with review copy provided by Z-Man/Asmodee NA

Noctiluca is the another game from Shem Phillips – a designer who has become more prolific in the past few years with Raiders of the North Sea and Architects of the West Kingdom being well received here recently.  In Noctiluca, players are divers trying to collect noctiluca – which can be combined in jars in certain combinations to form healing potions (which will obviously give the player victory points).

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Dale Yu: Review of Corinth

Corinth

  • Designers: Sebastian Pauchon
  • Publisher: Days of Wonder
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Plays: 6, with review copy provided by Days of Wonder

Corinth is a re-make of an old 2006 classic, Yspahan (if you are unfamiliar with this gem, look at this review by OG’er Greg Schloesser: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/592668/review-yspahan ).  The game had a signature mechanism of grouping dice on a chart, and this same idea is used as the core of a roll-and-write game; thus updating it for the 2019 market.

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Habitats (review feat. Morisi and Switch)

Designer: Corné van Moorsel
Artist: Steven Tu
Publisher: Cwali
Players: 2-5
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 30-50 minutes
Times Played: 8 with purchased copies or convention library copies

This is going to be a post about the paths we take.  I don’t think I mean in some sort of life choices sense.  More the physical directions we go.

Here’s one:

It’s for elevation. I told my wife that when I get dementia or am in any similar situation, to take me back to that trail. I just found recently that alltrails.com will show you these elevation graphs of given trails. This specific trail brought me an unexplainable amount of mental comfort. If I remember it or not, if I’m aware of what’s happening or not -if something can break through to bring me solace, it’ll be that trail.

Here’s another.

One day last year, that’s the sequence of paths I took. A sort of double figure-8.  

I like to count stop signs on the way to work. This thru street has 8.  The next has 7, but is one block further out of the way. Is there a time saving. That highway exit leads to x stop lights while the next one has y, but it also will involve z left turns.  If I take the bus, it’s a larger time commitment, but I’m free from driving and supporting public transit and other things; it is a much different path.

Here’s another one.

This time a second or third grade project to map out the path between your house and school.  Glad to see I noted where the ice cream parlor was and that I was distinguishing between banks and savings and loans.

A few years ago, a friend mapped out the patterns of his day and designed his new house around the paths of his home life.

In general, I don’t notice the paths in my life (despite being very aware of them), but I’m coming to recognize that it’s something featured in many board games that I love, and it’s important to me in an effort to understand myself, that I trace back the games I love to my life outside of these games. In my ongoing efforts to catch up with games I love that we’ve never reviewed, today I’m going to talk about Habitats.

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Ghosts of the Moor (Game Review by Brandon Kempf)

  • Designers: Wolfgang Kramer & Michael Kiesling
  • Artists: Scott Hartman & Nate Call
  • Publisher: Tasty Minstrel Games
  • Players: 2-5
  • Time: 20-30 Minutes
  • Times Played: 3 (copy provided by Tasty Minstrel Games)

A roll-and-move game from the famed design team of Kramer & Kiesling?

Ghosts of the Moor is a retheming and re-imagining of the 2005 title, That’s Life. In this re-imagining, the players are adventurers looking for treasures to collect in a swamp. The swamp is a dangerous place though, inhabited by ghastly ghosts.

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Brandon Kempf: Three Games – Three Older Euros

I have a lot of games. A lot of games that are on my shelves, or on my table being played, that I have told myself that I want to review at some point. For one reason or another, this doesn’t always happen. My goal here on The Opinionated Gamers is that I want to get about one review out per week, but I’d like to write about more games. So I’m taking a page out of Patrick Brennan’s playbook, and we’re going to start writing about games in threes, in snapshot form. This should be a good way for readers to get to know me and my gaming tastes a bit better, and also another way for me to talk about games that I maybe don’t really want to dedicate two thousand words to. Welcome to Three Games.

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Dale Yu: Review of Unlock! Exotic Adventures set (spoiler free)

Unlock! Exotic Adventures set (The Night of the Boogeyman, Scheherazade’s Last Tale, Expedition: Challenger)

  • Designer: Cyril Demaegd
  • Publisher: Space Cowboys
  • Players: 1+
  • Ages: 14
  • Time: 60-75 min each
  • Times played: 1 each with review copy provided by Asmodee NA

The Unlock! franchise was one of the first to hit the scene in the escape room/puzzle game genre.  The initial editions of the game were highly anticipated – prior to Unlock! The Formula – the majority of the puzzle games came in big sized boxes (see T.I.M.E Stories, Escape Room: The Game, etc), and getting a small format was super cool.  Since then, the EXIT series as well as the Deckscape series have also provided more portable versions of these puzzle-y games.

This set is now the fourth triad of games (with at least a fifth one being semi-advertised on the app!).  They still are in the same small format box, and they still follow the same general format.  I have liked the way that there are multiple different franchises in the genre, and each of them brings their own style to the party.

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Dale Yu: First Impressions of Call to Adventure

Call to Adventure

  • Designers: Chris O’Neal and Johnny O’Neal
  • Publisher: Brotherwise Games
  • Players: 1-4
  • Ages: 13+
  • Time: 30-60 minutes
  • Times played: 2, with review copy provided by Brotherwise Games

I recently received an email from Brotherwise Games asking me if I’d like to take a look at their latest creation, Call to Adventure.  It had been funded on Kickstarter with almost 10,000 backers, and the game was getting ready for widespread release.  I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard of this one before – and I did a quick glance of the KS campaign to learn more about it…  What I found: “In Call to Adventure, players compete to create fantasy heroes. On the journey from your humble Origin to your epic Destiny, you will gain Traits, face Challenges, and grow in your Abilities.  Every player will build a character and tell a story, but only one will become the greatest hero!”

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Dale Yu: Review of Showtime

Showtime

  • Designers: Anna Oppolzer, Stefan Kloss
  • Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
  • Players: 2-4
  • Ages: 8+
  • Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Times played: 3, with review copy provided by Pegasus Spiele

In Showtime, players are trying to get their moviegoers into the best seats in the theater.  Just like in real life, sometimes your enjoyment of the movie is directly dependent on who surrounds you in the theater!  In the game, each player gets a deck of 16 cards – each of who has a different scoring criteria found on the bottom portion of the card.

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