Time to look back at 2019 and see what games I played this year and which ones I definitely want to play again. Also, which ones can be left by the side of the road looking all forlorn because they just aren’t that good.
I had a pretty good year in 2019. I played 107 games 192 times (not each!). Of those 107 games, 63 were new to me, which was a lot of fun. I always love learning new games (and I like to keep my cult members happy).
Surprisingly, I played the exact same number of games (107) in 2018 but 67 of them were new (and I had 201 plays).
Smash Up was my number one game played with 16 plays, followed by 11 plays of Space Base (both of them are work lunchtime game staples, so it’s not surprising).
My most amazing feat, however, was getting EldritchHorror to the table a whopping 5 times! That includes 4 times in the last two months of the year.
Of course, there are side effects to that.
But we endure!
So let’s see what the top 10 games that I played this year are. There may be a few surprises based on last year’s rankings.
I’m nothing if not Walt Whitman.
Please note that this is not the Top 10 games of 2019. I actually did a count, and I only played 20 games published in 2019. Thus, half of them would be on that list if I did that.
No, these are the Top 10 games that I played in 2019.
This post will be broken into two parts, so here are numbers 6-10! (The Top 5 will post on Wednesday)
Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a huge Terraforming Mars fan. I’ve played that game almost 20 times now and it’s still just as fun as when I started playing it…ok, actually since the second time (my first time almost drove me away from the game, actually).
It can be a very long, very table-hogging game, and surprisingly I don’t mind that.
But would you play a shorter, condensed version of it using dice?
Over the weekend, I saw this video, a quick interview with designer Jonathan Fryxelius about a new version maybe (hopefully?) coming out next year: Terraforming Mars: the Dice Game. (Edit: It’s now on BGG so I’ve added the link)
Some would ask: were you really a Debbie Gibson fan when you were a kid? And I would answer: please stay on topic. Ask another question.
Then you might ask: Does Terraforming Mars really need a dice game?
There’s not a lot of information in the video (an interview from the Swedish Championship in Terraforming Mars), but it does show you a little bit of what the cards and dice might look like (it’s all in prototype form, so who knows what will change?).
Apparently the dice are going to be resources can be produced (heat, titanium/steel on one die, biological resources, etc) but there is little information on exactly what you are going to be doing with those dice or how the game will work.
Consider this post just a passing along of the announcement that this is planned (though not definite, so more of a hope) for next year by Fryx Games.
Distributed by Stronghold Games? Who knows yet? I would guess so, but I’m sure that can’t be confirmed yet.
In lieu of information, why don’t you provide me some? Do you think a dice game version of Terraforming Mars can be good? Or are you a dice-hating maniac? (there are only two choices, you know).
(Edit 12/10/19: Asmodee has released a patch on all platforms.
Still no word on the other issues, especially the weird order of choosing cards, but this is definitely a start!
(Edit 12/6/19: Apparently Asmodee has responded to some negative iTunes reviews by saying they are working to make the asynchronous experience better. If they do, I will certainly report that here and maybe even buy the thing.)
Original post below
When Asmodee Digital announced that they would be producing an app for one of my favourite games, Terraforming Mars, I was ecstatic.
When the iOS beta opened up, I eagerly joined it. By this time, some of the issues had been addressed (the initial 15-day timer for online multiplayer games was horrible, but now they had added a 30 and 45-day timer which made asynchronous play a breeze).
I was pretty happy, though acknowledging that there were still issues that needed to be addressed.
Unfortunately, during the beta, developer Lucky Hammers closed their doors and Asmodee had to take over the app. I’m not sure if that’s the reason for the lack of improvements, but nothing major has really changed in the two updates (I think) that happened after Lucky Hammers was gone.
The app released on Wednesday, December 4, and it apparently still has all of these issues.
Terraforming Mars mobile is available for $11.99 CDN (I’m not sure what the US price is, but maybe $7.99 or $8.99?) on iOS and Android.
This isn’t a news post, unfortunately, because I think both Android and iOS is full, but I’d like to report back a little bit.
First, I want to say that while it is one of my favourite games, I’m not so well-versed in it that I can say that it definitively gets all the rules right (there have been some threads about these types of issues since the Steam app came out).
However, from what I can see, a number of things seem to be working better than they were on Steam (and maybe the Steam app now has these improvements as well).
First, they’ve added the draft variant! This also appeared on Steam and it is much-needed. I was so happy to play a few games against the AI with the draft variant.
Secondly, online multiplayer seems to be working pretty good, much better than the Steam app (though again, maybe the Steam app updated this as well because frankly I gave up after one game in frustration).
You actually can invite friends to a game without waiting around in the room. (Like most Asmodee apps, if you just want to play online with people you don’t know, you have to keep the room open until everybody joins).
This was much needed!
If I was posting this a week or so ago, I would have been able to say that you even get notifications when it’s your turn!
Sadly, that seems to have crapped out, though. I haven’t received a notification in quite a while. Hopefully that can be fixed!
It still has a maximum of 15 days to finish a game, which works ok if you check fairly regularly. However, I can’t see that working with the draft variant. Each “turn” would be choosing a card. With 10-12 generations, you’re looking at another 30-36 logins!
They really need to add more time.
In addition to this, it really needs to tell you who’s who in your game. It’s not bad in a 2-player game (obviously the person who isn’t you is the other player), but in a 3 or 4-player game, it would be nice to know if Jim is Thorgate or if Bob is.
Finally, even when we did receive turn notifications, you had no idea which game the turn was from! Now, with no notifications, I have to check all three just to make sure I’m not missing something.
This, along with the notifications, really needs to change as well.
Overall, though, I’m liking the mobile version of the game. I like playing it on the go, and I hope that many of the issues that we’ve brought up are addressed before it goes into general release.
Judging from my blog traffic in the last couple of days, you’d think there is something pretty cool coming out on Kickstarter today.
I couldn’t imagine what it might be.
What’s that? Check my email?
Terraforming Mars: Turmoil just dropped on the crowdfunding platform this morning!
It’s designed by Jacob Fryxelius with art by Isaac Fryxelius and published by Stronghold Games in North America.
I know people were holding their breath to see how it would do when it arrived, and they needn’t have worried about passing out. I’m sure they hit the target in probably 30 seconds or so. As I write this, it’s currently at $181,000 of the $20,000 goal, probably about 3-4 hours after landing.
Over the last couple of days, my traffic log is telling me that a lot of you are looking for more information on Terraforming Mars: Turmoil and its imminent arrival on Kickstarter.
Well, you came to the right place!
Today I have seen two fairly detailed pieces of information that will make you terraforming fans giggle with glee!
Or, you know, grumble that the game is just getting too bloated and all of that stuff.
For me, I’m intrigued, but still want to see things in action.
The first is a preview video from Man vs Meeple that just posted yesterday.
First, it confirms that the Kickstarter is coming on April 16! That’s, like, really soon now.
Secondly, it confirms what many people have been asking about: five new player boards. No indication of what they will look like or if they’ll be more useful than the paper ones that came with the original game, but the fact that they’re doing it is great!
Doesn’t sound like any other upgraded components, but that could be still kept under wraps.
Started and run by Shannon Lentz back in 2014, this is a 2-day convention where you just go and play games. For two whole days! What could be better than that? (Editor – 3 whole days?)
While originally held in Burnaby, space limitations there forced a move last year to the Croatian Cultural Centre on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. Last year, we had a huge room, but there were still a few space issues.
Thus, this year Shannon and his people were able to get another room added. I have to say, this year it did not seem as crowded and was a lot more peaceful because of it. The extra space really worked out for that.
The room was very full and there were tons of people there, but the ability to spread out really helped make it feel less crowded than previous years.