The Godfather is one of the most well-known movies of all time, beloved by thousands upon thousands of people who sat in rapt attention as they watched the story of Don Vito Corleone, as played by Marlon Brando in his greatest performance. And now, since we live in a time where various licenses are being used to create great games we’re getting a boardgame version of the movie courtesy of designer Eric Lang and publisher CMON. So is it an offer we can’t refuse?
Y’know, when you think of vidoegames that could be easily adapted to the medium of boardgames DOOM is not one that springs to mind immediately, and yet somehow this is actually the second attempt at translating the carnage of DOOM into cardboard. Weirder, still, it’s actually pretty damn good.
Catch the Moon does not waste time with its theme; you build a ponderous tower of ladders in order to catch the moon. It’s a simple, lofty goal, a hint of story in an abstract game you can learn in a minute and then giggle about for many happy hours. Grabbing my attention-span challenged niece, age 9, I sat her down and taught her the whole game in just a couple of minutes. Just a few minutes after that she was hooked.
You don’t gently put Scythe down on a table like a baby that must be coddled. Oh no, instead you thump it down with authority, the sizable box dominating the space and demanding that all present pay attention to its beautiful artwork! And then you open the lid revealing decks of cards, wooden pieces, plastic miniatures and a variety of tokens, as well as a substantial board and a bunch of other stuff. It’s a veritable feast of components. Despite its size and somewhat daunting visage, however, Scythe is actually quite easy to learn; every turn you choose one of four quadrants on your player board and perform one, two or none of the actions there. Simple. Well, kind of.
The variety of themes which game designers can find ways of slotting mechanics into never ceases to amaze me. Sagrada is all about using dice to craft stain-glass windows, and while the theme is fairly superficial it does lead to some rather stunning components and a strong presence on the table. But the most important thing of all is that when you open the box you’re greeted with ninety brightly colored dice and a handy-dandy bag to put them in. Ninety dice! What a time to be alive, eh?
Near the start of this year I reviewed Mindclash’s first game, Trickerion, and utterly adored its clever worker-placement mechanics and its unique theme involving magicians putting on shows for a cheering audience. Now I’ve got my hands on Mindclash’s second game, also a worker-placement title but with a radically different theme. There are some similar ideas underneath the hood, including a desire to take up more table space than any one game should ever need, but Anachrony does plenty to set itself apart. It’s big, thinky and wholly absorbing.
In Yamatai Queen Himiko has tasked you with building the capital of Yamatai, making it the jewel of the archipelago. You’re going to be doing this by creating supply lines of boats carrying various resources, constructing buildings and hiring specialists to help you out. Despite having a mere 8-page rulebook there’s a lot going on in this brightly colored mess, and like so many other games the ultimate goal is simple; be the person with the most prestige points by the end.