Review – Favor of the Pharaoh

Playing dice games out in the middle of the desert can be a trying task. You throw the dice and they just land without actually rolling.

“Look! I just got seven 6s!!!!”

“Nonsense, you just tossed them there!”

Not to mention that it’s hot. Very hot.

Throwing dice may have been even more difficult in Ancient Egypt. I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t there.

Doctor Who
Photo from the BBC

Or was I?

Anyway, even if you don’t know what it was like, you can certainly get the feel of rolling dice to try to become the Pharaoh with Favor of the Pharaoh, the dice rolling game published by Bezier Games in 2015.

Favor of the Pharaoh was designed by Tom Lehmann with art by Ollin Timm and is a re-skin of Lehmann’s To Court the King.  I have only played Court online once or twice, but I definitely have to say that I prefer Favor.

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Caverna: Cave vs Cave – Coming Soon

Uwe Rosenberg games often make my brain hurt. I still dislike Agricola because I feel like a monster when I can’t feed my family (yes, you get begging tokens that cost you victory points rather than little Timmy actually starving, but I know the truth).

Thankfully, my introduction to Rosenberg farming goodness was actually Caverna, where you’re not just farming, but you’re also mining! With dwarves!

That game is much more forgiving, and you’re almost always able to feed your Kid Dwarves (is that anything like Kid Rock?), even if it ends up costing you the opportunity to do something else you want to do.

However, I don’t think Caverna is a very good 2-player game, though I do know that some people enjoy it.

Rosenberg and Mayfair Games has listened to those people (or maybe they just saw the success of Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small and thought they’d do the same), because coming this Summer is the 2-player version!

Caverna cave versus cave

Called Caverna: Cave vs Cave, this game looks like it could be a hit for those of you who can’t get 3-5 players together for the parent game.

From the Boardgame Geek description:

In more detail, each player starts the game with an individual player board that’s covered with a random assortment of face-down building/room tiles and only one space. Some tiles are face up and available for purchase at the start of play. Four action tiles lie face up as well. At the start of each of the eight rounds, one new action tile is revealed, then players alternate taking actions, with the number of actions increasing from two up to four over the course of the game. As players excavate their mountainous player board, new building and room tiles are added to the pool; some rooms can be used immediately when acquired, whereas others require the use of an action tile.

It will be interesting to see if this has the same impact for 2 players as the A:ACBS had for its parent game.

Caverna: Cave vs Cave is due out in late June or July, and I think I’m going to try it out and see what I think.

Mobile Terra Mystica is Out – First Impressions

Last Thursday, Terra Mystica hit our mobile screens, right on schedule.

It’s a great-looking app. Digidiced should be proud.

TM 5

I’m not going to go into the rules or how the game itself plays, however, as it would take way too long and probably wouldn’t make sense anyway. That would assume that I actually understand it.

I will talk about the app itself and how well it translates, though.

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Through the Ages on mobile? And it looks marvelous

I am a forum regular over on the Stately Play web site. It’s my go-to site for mobile gaming news. You should check it out! It has been the source for a few of my app posts here on Dude! Take Your Turn!

I may have to change my opinion about them, however, out of sheer jealousy.

Dave Neumann, one of the editors over there, has had access to the beta version of the upcoming mobile app for Through the Ages, and it looks glorious.

Through the Ages is a wonderful civilization building game that consists of nothing but cards. And guess what? Cards look great on your phone or tablet!

Tta Shot 1

(Since we have the same first name, I can look at this shot and pretend that it’s me enjoying this instead of him…*jealous sigh*)

Seriously, given the screen shots in Dave’s article (the one here is just an example, as they are all breath-taking), this game will blow you away.

Produced by Czech Games Edition, the app has had a long and rocky road to development. People have been referring on Boardgame Geek to the assumed vapor-ware status of the app for it seems like generations (but is probably only 2-3 years).

I’m not in the beta (and I’m really sad about that), but knowing that it is looking this good gives me great hope for it coming out this year sometime.

The beta only has online play right now, so no idea how they’re going to implement the AI.

But at this rate, who really needs AI? Sit down there in the back. I know you want it.

Check out the article for Dave’s experiences with the game. I’m not going to steal his thunder.

I’m just going to wait here in jealous anticipation as my iTunes wallet starts to cry.

Brass Kickstarter is Live!!!

Brass Kickstarter

Last week, I showcased the upcoming Kickstarter for the new version of Brass (rechristened Brass: Lancashire) being published by Roxley Games. Pictures of the new board, new pieces, new art in general, all looked marvelous.

This last Easter Monday, the Kickstarter went live, and it’s already going gangbusters. At the time of this writing, it was already over $670,000 CDN, with a funding goal of $80,000.

I think that’s what they call a success? I don’t know. In this new world of Eric Lang and $4 million Kickstarters, maybe that’s considered a bomb.

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Review – Herbaceous

(Designed by Eduardo Baraf, Steve Finn, and Keith Matejka with art by Benjamin Shulman and Beth Sobel, published by Dr. Finn’s Games and Pencil First Games LLC)

Have you ever wanted to be a gardener? To grow your own herbs? Maybe you’re a cook and think that the herbs you really want to cook with cost way too much at the local grocer and you just want to be self-sufficient anyway.

But let me ask you the most important question.

Have you ever wanted to plant cards?

In Herbaceous, you can!

Well, herb cards, anyway.

Herbaceous box

Herbaceous is a card game that just came out in early 2017, and it is a wonderful little filler game. Who knew that planting cards could be so much fun?

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Terra Mystica App Magically Appearing on Apr 20

Terra Mystica 1

The two times I’ve sat down to play the game Terra Mystica, I’ve bounced off of it pretty hard. It’s a complex game with a lot of different moving parts that tie up your brain like getting wrapped up in a huge blanket and finally falling over because you’ve tripped over it.

I did enjoy flexing my mental muscles, but I just felt kind of lost. I knew this was a good game and that I would enjoy it…eventually. Once I didn’t feel like I was pounding my head against the pavement.

However…

There’s no need to fear! Digidiced is here! And not even wearing a cape (or droopy dog ears)

Yes, Digidiced, the wonderful boardgame app developer that has created stellar implementations of Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small, Patchwork, and Le Havre: Inland Port, have a digital version of Terra Mystica coming out on April 20 (hat tip: Stately Play). That’s only a week from now!

What are the benefits of the app? The ability to play alone against the AI so you can figure out just what the hell you’re doing. Or, you can get some asynchronous games going with friends in other parts of the world and learn as you go, but not having to sit down at the table for 2 hours and discover that you’re no better off now than you were when you started.

Go to the Stately Play article linked above for some wonderful screen shots (I’m not going to steal their thunder). It’s a truly beautiful-looking app. How can you go wrong with asynchronous multiplayer, three levels of AI, the ability to add an AI player to a multiplayer game (if you only have one other opponent but don’t want to play 2-player game, for example).

I have enjoyed two of the three Digidiced apps (I haven’t played Patchwork as I’m not a fan of the game itself), and they were both phenomenal.

Instead of the screenshots, I will embed the trailer though. And will be anxiously awaiting April 20 (the App Store is getting a lot of my money in the next month or two).

Terra Mystica will be released on iOS and Android systems, and according to their Twitter feed, they are trying to get greenlit for Steam, so it may come out there sometime in the future.