Ice and Sky is my wife’s favourite game (and she doesn’t like a lot of games) and it’s a really interesting thematic and mechanical game. So how does it play and how much do I like it?
Vinhos is my first Vital Lacerda game. As a eurogamer I had long wanted to try out a game from his hand. But for many reasons I had never gotten around to it. But when I got my hands on the Vinhos Deluxe Edition I couldn’t wait to get it to the table, anxious to find out if this heralded designer was something for me.
I picked up Undercover at Essen SPIEL ’16, right after playing it there. Since then I have already played it numerous times. Undercover is a fun abstract tile laying and flipping game. It has a somewhat pasted on theme about being agents, or double agents, and setting up meetings with other agents. The game takes around 30 minutes and plays (well) with 2 to 4 players.
In ZhanGuo you are officials who work for the first Emperor of China. You try to help him with unifying the warring states (ZhanGuo). You have to unify the writing system, create a political system, keep civil unrest under control and at the same time help construct the Great Wall of China to stop the barbarian hordes from invading, and thus by creating security, also help creating the state; the Chinese Empire.
When monopoly was originally released it was created as a critique of capitalism. I don’t know if the creators of Stockpile had similar intentions, but none the less they have created a game that functions as such. It exposes the absurdity and volatility of the stock market while at the same time being a brilliant, fun and engaging game that in my opinion could and should cross over to the mass market.
At its core Barony is really an abstract strategy game with a medieval theme pasted on. Or rather, I would presume that is what many would say. Some of the best games out there distil a theme to its most abstracted level. Some call these games theme-less, but to me it is always about how the game makes me feel. If the game makes me feel like I am walking through a desert in its mechanics then I don’t need any amount of flavour text or in-game personas to feel like I am playing the theme.