Saturday, March 30, 2013

International Table Top Day and Quick Reviews

March 30th is International Table Top Day in which participants are asked to go out to local coffee shops  or join a gathering of other gamers to try new games and support the hobby. This is a wonderful cause that I hope picks up steam in future years.

In celebration of this I wanted to do some quick reviews of some games that were new to me in the first quarter of this year for which I was not able to write a full review due to time constraints.

The order below is based on my expectations from highest to lowest.

Despite its contemptuous branding in the gaming community, I had heard great things about Monopoly Millionaire Deal and its older sibling Monopoly Deal. I haven't played the original Monopoly Deal but after reviewing its rules two games appear to differ on the victory condition and possibly some minor differences in cards.

I tried it with several player counts and while it works okay with three or more the main problem is on full display with two players: you don't have many meaningful decisions. That is not to say you have no influence on the game, timing is important and identifying when a "Just Say No" action-blocking card is likely in someone's hand is a fun mystery. The game just didn't seem to be as compelling as I had anticipated, although it is a good experience for what it is: a twenty minute fast paced card game.

Monopoly Millionaire Deal Verdict: 4.5 out of 10

I decided in February I had brushed off the idea of trying Memoir '44 for too long and I gave it a try. I found out I had been robbing myself of quite an experience. This was my first encounter with Richard Borg's Command and Colors system and I loved how simple and intuitive it is. It takes the sometimes laborious decision making of a tactical military operation and divides it into smaller more palatable turns ripe with the interesting decisions we all are seeking.

I'd recommend those that have not tried it specifically because of previous disinterest to check this game out at least once or twice. At the worst you will find it may not be your favorite type of game but you won't be disappointed.

Memoir '44 Verdict: 9 out of 10

I've had the opportunity this year to finally play enough Bolide to form an opinion.

While the replay-ability concern is mitigated with additional tracks, I'm still not sure if there is enough here to make it a need in every game collection. I think it is a good game whose concept is actually more interesting than the execution when it comes to the game play.

Bolide Verdict: 6 out of 10

Keltis Ór appears to remain unpublished at this time but I had a chance to try an online version. As I'm not a particularly big Keltis enthusiast or have much experience with dice games I had low expectations but I was pleasantly surprised.

Keltis Ór plays quickly and has plenty of options to weigh each turn against one another and the scoring is tense. It was an enjoyable experience each time I played it although I'm not sure if it has the long term staying power over similar dice games or even its siblings in the Keltis family.

Keltis Ór Verdict: 7 out of 10