New to Me – May 2017

After a week of being away, how about a big “New Games I Played in May” post as a return?

May was a good month for new games for me, and three of them were actually 2016 games! That’s kinda new, right?

Anyway, on to the list. There are definitely some good games on here.

Imhotep (2016 – KOSMOS Games) – 3 plays

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This one has to be my favourite new game of May, though some of the others are damned close.

In this one, each player is trying to help build various monuments in ancient Egypt and get the most prestige/glory/whatever the heck they call it in this game (it would be nice if games picked one name for victory points and kept it).

The game is interesting because each player is building on the same thing. Players have their own stone quarries that they get stone from, then put on ships that will be going to four of the five locations. One of the locations, the Market, gets you cards that you can either save for later, you have to use immediately, or get you end-game victory points.

The others have various ways to place your stones to get the most victory points, but stones are unloaded from boats from front to back, so where you have your stones on the boats can be very important.

And you don’t even have to have stones on a boat to ship it to one of the locations, so you can seriously screw with somebody if you really want (though that does waste a turn where you’re not getting any benefit, so it’s not something to do willy-nilly).

I love that these decisions on what to do on your turn (get stone from your quarry, place a stone on a boat, send a boat to a location, or play a blue card) can be quite difficult sometimes.

And it’s such a simple game! Non-gamers can easily play it (one of the players I introduced it to, and who loved it, thought another fairly simple game looked way too complex, so that tells you something). It teaches fast, it plays fast (40 minutes easily), and it’s interesting.

What’s not to like?

Continue reading “New to Me – May 2017”

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Onirim App Update Adds Glyphs!

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s Onirim app review, where I mentioned that when it came out Asmodee Digital had said there were no plans for the expansions, look what showed up on the app store?

Yes, the Glyphs expansion dropped today, free as long as you are logged in with your Asmodee account.

Onirim Glyphs
See those swirls on the two green cards? Mmmmm swirls….

This is a small expansion, but it adds a new “suit” of cards of each colour, giving you more matching options because you are less likely to have a hand of five suns and you keep discarding one and getting another one, again and again and again…

<SLAP>

Sorry, that’s just happened too  many times to me.

Anyway, because it’s adding a number of new cards but no new nightmares, you also have to now get 12 doors open instead of 8.

I’ve tried three games with it, and I haven’t won yet. I’m not sure if it’s just getting used to things or what, but the jury is still out on whether this makes things harder or easier.

We’ll see!

The description on the iOS update mentions that there will be more to come, so I’m really looking forward to these expansions!

More goodness to an already great game.

 

Asmodee Digital is busy – Jaipur released and New Game Announced

One thing you cannot say about Asmodee Digital is that they are goofing off.

Unless you count playing games as goofing off, in which case I’m done with you.

Yesterday, I posted my review of the wonderful Onirim digital adaptation yesterday, and they’re already back for more!

Jaipur
Beautiful cards…what do they do?

Also yesterday, the 2-player card game Jaipur was released for iOS and Android. It has an introductory price of $2.99, but who knows how long that will last? Remember Onirim’s 99 cent introductory price was also supposed to be temporary. Not sure when that will go up.

Continue reading “Asmodee Digital is busy – Jaipur released and New Game Announced”

Onirim – App review

Onirim is a card game that apparently can be played with two players but is essentially a solo player game.

I had never heard of it until Asmodee Digital announced that it was coming to mobile devices and that it was going to be a purely solo effort.

When it was first announced, and when I first bought and downloaded it, I was a bit concerned that it was going to get a bit samey. None of the expansions for the card game are included, and there were rumblings that they never would be.

I started around 20% win rate, so I’ve improved!

This screenshot seems to indicate that the fear was groundless. Those are my current stats on my iPad.

I just find this game so addictive!

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Atlas: Enchanted Lands – New From Renegade Games

Wow, did this come as a bolt from out of the blue.

Renegade Games, publisher of the wonderful Worlds Fair: 1893, just announced yesterday a new game from the same designer, J. Alex Kevern.

Atlas Enchanted Lands
Another beautiful cover!!!

Atlas: Enchanted Lands is a new card game coming out in Fall 2017. It will have art by the immensely talented Beth Sobel, this game sounds like it will be pretty cool.

I will let the announcement speak for itself (mainly because I probably couldn’t say it any better):

Atlas: Enchanted Lands is an elegant card game set in a world of fairies and magic. Play cards to reveal a certain place and time — and place your stake in one of the two. Explore a location at dawn, day, sunset, and night, or see what the whole land looks like in the dark. Each card offers two choices, and it’s up to you to uncover the world that awaits.

The MSRP will be $20, which makes it very possible that I will be picking this up when it comes out.

Renegade has been putting out some fabulous games in the past couple of years. This one looks like it will be another addition to that one.

Keep your eyes peeled for it.

Review – Biblios

I love books. Books make me happy. The feel of the paper as you turn the pages. The new book smell. The tap of your finger on the screen as you go to the next page…

Wait, what?

Anyway, books are awesome. I can only imagine what it was like back in the Middle Ages, where many libraries were maintained at monasteries and each one faced off against other monasteries for access to the best books. They would compete in the annual “Race for the Best Books 1236,” or vow revenge when “Race for the Best Books 1237” rolled around next year.

Or, you know, they could just play cards for it.

Biblios 7
Beautiful cover

Because that’s what you’re doing in the brilliant game called Biblios, published by Dr. Finn’s Games and Iello. Designed by Steve Finn with wonderful art by Finn and David Palumbo, this fairly quick card game has some interesting mechanics that make it feel a lot deeper than a “filler” card game should.

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How I Became a Gamer

I was browsing the Geek Weekly issue on Boardgame Geek just now, and included in it was a beautiful post from Neil Bunker, of Great Britain, who just recently rediscovered his love of board games with a chance visit to a bookstore that happened to carry some games.

To him, games were Monopoly or Risk, or even Snakes and Ladders. This visit opened his eyes to what games have become, and how far they’ve moved past all of that.

It reminded me of my own reawakening a few years ago. It wasn’t quite the same type of eye-opening, though it was close.

I grew up being into wargames. I was always a history guy, especially military history, and my brother had some games that we played.

There was the first one I probably played, Rise and Decline of the Third Reich

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This is the 3rd edition cover, but we had the original

There was also the Napoleonic Wars games, War & Peace.

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Quite the evocative cover

We played these a lot when I was a kid. He wiped the floor with me, but it was always fun. And we were able to leave them set up on the card table because our dog wouldn’t jump up and wreck everything. We also had other wargames that we played.

Continue reading “How I Became a Gamer”