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.
In a nutshell Via Nebula is a very attractive and clean “pick-up and deliver” game where you race to be the first to construct 5 buildings and score the most points. It does have some very interesting twists, while retaining a very simple rule set. Will you have the skill and wit to outmaneuver your opponents and get the most out of the shared resources?
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.
Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot might have the most descriptive title ever. It tells you exactly what the games is about. First you Rattle some dice and throw them in the box. Then you resolve a naval pirate Battle based on these dice. Finally you Grab the Loot. So is this game just as great as it is silly and fun? Read on to find out.