Thursday, April 10, 2014

Drive-By Game Reviews: April 2014

Buccaneer Bones (3 plays)This is a very light but quite enjoyable dice game with some decision-making (though not too much). It has gone over very well with the non-gamer part of my family… which I think is really the intended audience. (And I just received the expansion set in the mail, which will let it play with up to 8 players... another plus for family/social gaming.)

DC Deckbuilding Game (25 plays): Yes, I've played this 25 times since December 25th... I'm not saying it's the next Puerto Rico, but I enjoy it a lot, as do many of the folks I game with on a regular basis. It doesn't hurt, of course, that I was a huge DC Comics fan back in my collecting days.

The game system is a deckbuilder in the lineage of Ascension - but simpler and much more accessible to folks who aren't hardcore gamers. 

Lord of the Rings Living Card Game (1 pla with the base set): I have avoided the Living Card Game model like it was covered in bubonic plague germs - I could see visions of me spending my kids' college fund to make sure I had the most recent adventure pack.

But when Son the Younger (Collin) began expressing interest in trading card games, I quickly worked to side-step him into the Lord of the Rings Living Card Game. I had two reasons:
  1. the theme (Lord of the Rings) is much more Mom-acceptable than Magic: The Gathering
  2. the LCG model doesn't feed the whole Poke-crack "buy a pack, open it, sell useless cards to subsidize the next pack" cycle.
So, a few weeks ago Collin received the base set - and it's been a hit with both he and his older brother. He hasn't done much with the deck-building aspect yet, but he's enjoying the structure of the game and has "big plans" for building a Spirit deck.

I've played one game (with Collin giving me advice) of the most basic scenario - and it's a really great solitaire/cooperative system. I don't know that I'll ever get into the deck-building side of the game, but with Collin in place to build me a deck, I'm good to go.

Relic Runners (3 plays, review copy provided): Another beautiful-to-look-at production from the good folks at Days of Wonder... and another family-friendly game that won't cause gamer types to run screaming from the room. I enjoyed it with 2, 3 and 4 players - the puzzle-y aspect is interesting but not overwhelming. Comparisons to Ticket to Ride are unfair, unless you're talking about relative difficulty... the route-planning issues are very different here.

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