Game Crazed – A Bit About the Board Games I Have Played Recently

Over the past few months I have played a lot of new games. I have written about some of them briefly and reviewed others but there are a few I have played that I haven’t even mentioned yet.

The three that spring to mind are Agricola, Shogun, and Android.

Android was purchased several months back and has not been reviewed yet because I have not gotten a chance to play it enough to feel confident in my review. I like the game, but I like a lot of games. It certainly plays differently than any other game and it has some neat mechanics but it seems to also have a couple of flaws. The major flaw, for our group, is that it is very aggressive. There are many cards that can hurt your opponents extensively and our group tends to dislike that as a whole. Still, I hope to get a few more plays in and then review the game in earnest.

Agricola on the other hand I feel just about ready to review. I have played it four times and enjoyed it every time. In case you have been living under a rock, Agricola is currently the number one game over at Board Game Geek. I have to say that Agricola is not my favorite game and I sort of don’t get why it holds that number one spot. I guess it’s because it is very much a Eurogame but has enough diversity so as to keep it fresher than some other Eurogames. It certainly seems as though Agricola is more easily enjoyed by a non-Eurogamer than a game like Puerto Rico.

I am not in any way ready to review Shogun as I haven’t even played a full game of it yet. However, I did get to play through half a game last night with my wife and my neighbor (who purchased the game and added it to the collective game pool, a pool I am happy to say resides at my house). I have played a lot of new games recently but Shogun, like Android really feels like something different.

The game plays out like a war game built for Eurogamers but I worry it could end up being unappealing to both groups. The Eurogamers may balk at the battle resolution system (cubes of your color are placed into a tower and you win by having more of your color come out) and war gamers could find the resource management and planning systems tedious. I feel that I am, at least these days, a bit of Eurogamer and I have generally enjoyed war games, thus Shogun is appealing to me. It will certainly take more than half a game for me to know exactly how I feel but even if the game does not end up being as fun as it seems it could, it certainly is interesting.

As always our group has played a lot of Race for the Galaxy and of course we are looking forward to the expansion. Dominion has seen some play recently but not as much as when it was first purchased. Some of this is because of the four-player limit and some is likely because of burnout. I am still confident that the addition of new kingdom cards will revitalize this game however.

There are several games I am looking into at the moment and I wanted to mention them. I have already talked about Small World, I’m very much looking forward to that game coming out. There are a couple of games I feel might be good for our group and I have been considering checking out.

Through the Ages – This card game seems interesting. Our group seems to like card games and this appears to be a fairly non-aggressive Eurogame.

Stone Age – This game uses dice, which I know will not appeal to some members of our group but I found the descriptions of it to be very intriguing. Also, I for one would like to see a game that uses dice added to our rotation as I personally like rolling dice. One thing that really does give me pause about this game is that it only supports four players.

Galaxy Trucker – This game is very intriguing. The idea of building things under a time limit seems fun to me, though I worry that some people will not enjoy it. Still, it seems like a very different game and one that my wife would likely enjoy quite a bit. On the other hand the stiff price tag is a bit off-putting. In truth it is not uncommon to pay $70 for a game these days (Shogun and Agricola were roughly the same price) but to play with more than four players we would need to pick up the $55 expansion and for a game to see regular play in our group in needs to support at least five players.

If you have any experience with any of these games I would love to hear about it. I have read some reviews over at the Geek but if you are reading my blog you know what I like and could possibly speak more directly to me. So, as always feel free to comment!

  1.  

    Apparently Through the Ages only plays up to four as well, I guess I missed that on first inspection. That is a bit disappointing.

    However I did see that Galaxy Trucker sells for $50 on Amazon and that is a much more reasonable price.

  2.  
    White Wolf’s Murder City is a future-noir detective game steeped in atmosphere and flavored with a just hint of role playing; at some point I should get time to play it more and write my review…

    Galaxy Trucker is one of a handful of games I was considering in the store when I selected Murder City a while back. It was a toss-up, as I really like card- or tile-building games (Drakon, The Very Clever Pipe Game, and even Scrap Heaps, to name a few).

    On the topic of game prices, I do think that packaging, art, and construction quality can make a difference while playing a game. Of course, the quality of what’s inside isn’t always reflected by the price. Then there are those games which aren’t saved just by being dressed up in nice production.

  3.  

    I have to agree that the looks of a game matter. It seems as though they shouldn’t but no matter how cool a Cheap Ass game is, it will probably see less play than a better produced and yet similarly interesting game.