If you’re like me and thought all board games are abstract, well, you’re both right and wrong. The term abstract game is now a genre term that reasonably means the game contains minimal luck, usually two players, and little to no theme. Think of Chess and Checkers as prime examples of abstracts, or more recently Azul. A 2-4 player abstract game designed by Michael Kiesling and published by Plan B games.
On Tuesday I reviewed Suburbia, a fantastic tile laying city building game, however, I didn’t get around to writing about the expansions. Writing reviews for games is a leisurely stroll through a new area, lots to look at and enjoy. Writing reviews for expansions is like retreading the same path, no need to absorb it all, but need to get it done for the exercise. Therefore, if you’re expecting something massive, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Funnily enough, that’s exactly what I said to my wife the first time we met. Continue reading
Suburbia is the second of four board games to feature in Roll to Review’s Critical Hit January, so let’s get the verdict out of the way. Suburbia is great, and I highly recommend it. That’s my opinion, but be aware it’s more biased than usual. I have an affinity for these types of build and manage games. In the two and a half months since my wife gave birth, I’ve spent exactly thirteen hours playing video games. That’s wrong. I’ve spent thirteen hours playing a single video game: Planet Coaster. Keep this in the back of your mind as you read, and remember, never have kids.
I can’t swim. I mean, I can swim but I’m really bad at it. In high school I was nicknamed ‘the drowning rat,’ and that was before the school got involved. They had a mandatory swim class which I excused myself from every chance I could – probably explains why I’m so bad. At the end of the semester they awarded certificates based on how well you performed. The best swimmers receiving a Shark certificate, then dolphin, then manta ray, turtle, and so forth. For me, they gave me a Starfish certificate. Let that sink in for a second; starfish don’t even swim! Given all of this, would someone tell me, why the hell I bought a board game based entirely in the ocean?
Two years ago, I went to Japan. It’s an amazing place, but perhaps the greatest thing about the country is the food. Every restaurant we went to was fantastic. Which is why I have a problem with Hanamikoji. I’m meant to be the owner of a Japanese restaurant, but throughout our trip, nowhere did we find a place that served overcooked chicken, cold baked beans, and Vegemite toast.
There were many secrets during the Cold War, there had to be. One of the most interesting was what was found years later in a hidden bunker somewhere on the outskirts of Berlin. A bunker, where they were trying to make the best game ever. Mechanics from great games like Cockroach Poker, Mascarade, and Love Letter had been unethically mixed together. Their components strewn across the floor. Above them in a glass container on a table, was the culmination of their research: Secrets.
By all rights this game should be boring. To describe it sounds like work, to play it feels like work. And yet somewhere in between the magic happens, and you have a lot of fun. Let’s have a look.
Power Grid plays 2-6 players, where players assume the roles of entrepreneurs each creating a start-up within their home state. However, like Newton and Leibniz everyone happened upon the same idea at the same time; supplying power to the people.