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.
In Tsuro you’ll be manning the helm of a Red Seal ship, intent on charting the unknown waters in the name of the Emperor who has decreed that from the edges of the seas to the mountain peaks belongs to him and him alone. Yet rumors persist of monsters lurking over the horizon, their huge forms hanging above the waves and swiftly moving under the surface. They also happen to destroy any boat they come close to. They are the daikaiju, and they’re here to make your life miserable.
There are many joys to be found in life; the pleasure of eating your favorite food, the smell of fresh countryside air, the laughter of friends and the creation of a deadly disease designed to wipe out every person on the face of the planet. That’s where Plague Inc. The Board Games comes in, created by the very same people who developed the videogame. So, how well does the goal of killing every human translate to cardboard?
I’ve been sitting staring at this damn screen for what feels like an eternity, the ghastly flu I’m battling having basically stripped my mental reasoning down to that of a brick. A really stupid brick. I’m supposed to be writing an intro, but I can’t think of one, so instead I’ll say this: flibble. Hornswaggle. Butt. That is all.
Assault of the Giants is a game that places players in control of their own faction of giants within the Dungeons & Dragons universe, waging war across a board and claiming event cards all in the name of scoring Ordning points. Don’t worry, though, no knowledge of the Dungeons & Dragons universe is required to delve into this quite sizable box. You don’t even need to know about Owl-Bears. But now you want to know, don’t you?