Friday, May 23, 2008

Garrett's Games & Geekiness #114

What follows are "addendum notes" to my most recent appearance on Doug Garrett's excellent podcast, Garrett's Games & Geekiness. If you want to listen to it, you can check it out at Garrett's Games & Geekiness. This particular show was recorded on May 10th, 2008, at Doug & Shelley's home in Mountain View, CA.

Hüpf hüpf, Hurra!, Grandchild of Bounce-It-In

Notice the similarities... I will give credit to Bounce-It-In for having some "advanced" versions of the games & a little more scope for dexterity (whatever you do, don't play Frank "Moo" Branham at this game!). But Hurra is an almost perfect game, even with the simpler game system.

Thanks to Clyde & Barbara Healon, some members of my church (NewLife Community Church) who used their German connections to get this game for me & my boys.

Beppo der Bock

Even with our lukewarm review, I've ended up playing it two more times this week with my boys. They love it.

And it looks like we've been playing wrong... well, at least, we've been putting the goat on standing up, when the promo pictures show the goat laying on his side. We'll have to try that & see what it changes.

One other note - I don't think I mentioned that there are "advanced rules" on the podcast. They're not all that advanced, actually - you need to be a bit more accurate in your goat-booting to get the position you want & you play until one player wins 2 games.

Hallo Dachs

This is one of my top ten children's games... and, yes, I know I keep making noise about blogging about my top 50, but I just haven't been able to finish up my work on the list. It's a memory game with room for very clever board play - primo!

Risk Management Games I Like A Whole Lot

Larry Levy, if you're reading this, this is your cue to chime in in the comments section. (Larry is my gaming buddy, my Gulf Games roomie & my friend.)

Train Mania

Yeah, I know - it says "Canal Mania" on the box - but this feels like one of the best train games ever. The shortened routes & contracts do feel like canals... I'll give 'em that. But the balance of track-building & shipping is pure "train game"... and the nice touches (the way goods appear, the use of the engineers, the junction contract, etc.) make this a delight.


And, yes, I did beg for a review copy of Monastery. And, no, I don't want to be a monk.

Earthquakes & Californians

Hey, I may sound like I'm "devil may care" about the whole thing, but that's just because there's no real way to be warned about an earthquake. OTOH, I have read A Dangerous Place: California's Unsettling Fate (Marc Reiser), so I also have healthy fear in me.

BTW, Steve Oakley, I'm calling you out - only not in a tornado. We need a re-match at Fast Food Franchise post haste.

I Guess I Need To Find A Way To Justify the Purchase of the XBox 360

Well, if I'm going to do that, a 40-inch HD flatscreen would be nice, too. That was Doug's set-up that I got to play Lost Cities & Settlers of Catan on...

I know that the real beauty of the XBox 360 is the availability of online play - and both of these games (along with Carcassonne) look like they'd work great. But I enjoyed playing against the computer - even if the Lost Cities & Carcassonne AIs both kind of ride the short bus when it comes to strategic thinking.

Catan, surprisingly, had pretty good AI, even at "normal" level" - and the trading mechanism works much better than any of the online implementations I've tried.

Pillars of Venice

Doug's right - this game really does work for 5-6 players for the reasons that I tried to outline. If anybody has a copy they want to get rid of, let me know.

It's A Great Game, Mon...

Jamaica is possibly one of the prettiest games I've ever seen... and it backs up the good looks with really enjoyable game play. It's fluffy, but not really - you've got risk management, you've got planning ahead, you've got race elements, you've got limits on the items you can put in your hold... can you hear in my voice that I've fallen deeply in love? I just listened to this again & hearing myself stuttering about "childrens book artwork" and "subSTANtially longer" outside lanes & I might as well ask this game out & bring it flowers.

I want a copy REAL bad... can somebody hook me up? (Yes, as a matter of fact, I do sound like some guy cruisin' the tough part of town looking for a fix - and it's a bit disturbing. Though not disturbing enough to keep me from doing it.)

Credits Song & Rock Monsters

I can't find a You Tube clip for the Credits Song - but here's the CORRECT lyrics (And an audio sample, courtesy of
  • This is the song that runs under the credits
  • These are the credits, so this is where it goes
  • Has nothing to do with the movie so we’ll say
  • Hey! Hey! Hey hey hey hey hey hey

  • There once was a song, that ran under the credits
  • That went with the movie, but this is not that song
  • Has nothing to do with the movie so we’ll say
  • Hey! Hey! Hey hey hey hey hey hey

  • Wouldn’t it be nice if the song under the credits,
  • Had something to do with the movie you just saw
  • But that’s not the case so for now we’ll have to say
  • Hey! Hey! Hey hey hey hey hey hey

  • There should be a rule that the song under the credits
  • Remotely pertains to the movie’s basic plot
  • That rule has not been made so for now we’ll have to say
  • Hey! Hey! Hey hey hey hey hey hey cont...
OTOH, for your listening & viewing enjoyment, here's Rock Monster!

Thanks Once Again

Doug & Shelley are wonderful hosts... a big "thank you" once again for their hospitality. Also, thanks to Beau & Monty for allowing me to borrow their couch. It was a wonderful weekend.


Anonymous said...

If you want more justification for the XBox, there are more hobby games on the way. Ticket to Ride is confirmed and due very soon. I have also heard from multiple sources that Risk (and I am guessing that is will use the new rules set: Black Ops would be a cool addition), Talisman and Dungeon Twister. And Puerto Rico is still in the rumor stage.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Rob - you are bad, bad evil man to tempt me in this way. Bad, I say.

Anonymous said...

just a note to say I was related to Clyde & Barbara Healon & if you would just let them know Susan Healon Smith says hello, I'd appreciate it. They are beautiful people!!