I began this last month and really enjoyed going through and providing these impressions. The thought was to give some coverage to those games that I may not play enough times to review, or which may never quite make it to a review due to the number of games played and the time it takes to review a game. So here are some brief first impressions of games I recently got my first plays with. I’m also including a “Replay rating” for each game on a scale of 1-10. 1 would be “I’d rather sit out and watch others play games than play this again” and 10 being “Save me a seat, I’d gladly play this any time!”
And, as a special bonus, when you see the below that means the next thoughts are from my lovely wife on those games!
Night of Man – This game seemed simple from my one play of it but has potential to get harder. The board art was boring though, and I disliked how some cards didn’t apply with the scenario we were doing.
Honshu – Hate the name, but it was a fun filler game and I liked the building aspect with the card overlay.
Harbour – Tried it with two players and discovered a few things I had played incorrectly solo. This game became much better as a result, and we played it a lot over two days. Enjoyable and compact worker placement game. (7)
I was so frustrated with this game at first because my logical brain didn’t like the buying process. Once we realized my husband was teaching it wrong it became a lot of fun and I wanted to keep playing.
Zero – A simple filler, with potential for fun. Probably much better at a higher player count. A strong starting hand can really decide this game early on. (4)
Easy. Resembles Uno, only harder. Good filler game.
Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Great artwork, interesting concept behind the game. Wasn’t a huge fan of my solo play but could see this being great with more players and as a sort of gateway game for newer gamers. Better roll-for-resource system than Catan. (6)
Android: Netrunner – An LCG getting a reboot in the very near future. Really enjoyed the asymmetry between the two sides, and can’t wait to try playing as the Corp as well as exploring each of the different Runner and Corp factions. This killed the Destiny bug for me, being a deckbuilder where gaining the card pool isn’t up to luck. (10)
Aeon’s End – One of the better cooperative games I’ve played. Can be crushingly tough, but also can be relatively easy depending on card draws. Really like the deckbuilding aspect and the no-shuffle concept. Would gladly play again but may not want to own. (8)
Wasn’t bad for a cooperative game. Not really my style of game but it helped that I could decide on my actions with my cards instead of someone tellimg me what to do.
Seven Dragons – This game was made by the creators of Fluxx? A very simple card-laying game with a few curveballs thrown in for good measure. A filler I’d definitely play again. (5)
Easy filler. Wish the art was brighter colors. Needs more manipulating cards.
Custom Heroes – My wife isn’t a fan of trick-taking games and it has never been a big thing for me. That said, this is easily one of the better trick-taking games I’ve played, and I enjoyed the card crafting mechanism in this one. It isn’t quite as good as Mystic Vale, but this game brings some nice effects with that system. (6)
Disliked at first because I didn’t understanding it until most of the way through and was playing with someone who is great at trick-taking games (**Note from husband: she is not referring to me, but a friend who was playing with us. He’s really, REALLY good at these games)
Neverland’s Legacy – I expected this to be the game in the Lynnvander/Jasco’s Legacy series that I didn’t enjoy. Let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised at the difficulty presented along the way as well as the system itself in the game. Each of the three plays very different from the others, in spite of having some shared mechanics and similar component design. Probably still likely to be ranked third of the three games, but not because it was a bad game. (8)
Lignum – Oh man, this game is so intense. I’ve played it a few times and every time I can’t wait to get it back to the table. I’ve played a lot of worker placement-style games in the last year because it is my wife’s favorite mechanic. I’ve enjoyed quite a few of them. And now I think I have finally found my favorite one. (10)
Not my favorite worker placement but a lot of fun. I thought the game would be lame because its just about trees, but the challenge to it kept me wanting more. The thing I do not like is how the process of drying lumber takes too long to be worth it unless you have a really good card.
Zoo Ball – This was a review game that showed up without solicitation, which meant it stayed really low on the radar to try it. I had a buddy stop by for a short while and pulled this out to try. We both thought this would be a really fun one to pull out at 2 in the morning, after a long night of having fun doing or playing other things. And let me tell you, it is a lot harder trying to position these things via flicking than you’d expect. (6)
Portals and Prophets – A biblical-themed game that was fairly light. It will be a perfect gateway game, as well as the type of game you can play when you want to have something to do while maintaining conversation. It won’t tax you mentally, for the most part, but there is enough strategy here to make it a game worth playing and owning. I really enjoyed the artwork, Scripture on the cards, and seeing the various events as they flipped out through the deck. Shouldn’t be any issues getting this one back to the table. (8)
I did not like how the board looked and some of the art, but I loved the concept of the game.
Sellswords: Olympus – For what this game is, it really succeeds. It plays fast (15-20 minutes), presents some interesting decisions, and has some nice powers on the cards. I like that you will always end up building a 5×5 grid with these, and the scoring on this is interesting. (7)
Guilds of London – My enjoyment of this game was higher than my wife, mostly due to having a little familiarity with the icons and symbols from reading rules, etc. I thought this was a fun one, and next time I will probably be a little more cutthroat in my choice of actions and the usage of those Neutral guys. (8)
I hate the symbols and having to refer to the reference sheet. Would have preferred the text on the cards.
Jaipur – With all the praise I have heard over the past year for Jaipur, I was very disappointed. This was a fine game, one I’d gladly play again, but I can find well over a dozen games already in my collection that I find to be as good or better with 2 players only. I did, however, find the use of the camels to be an interesting mechanism. (7)
This game bored me just because it was too easy. Just matching colors.
Kingdom Builder: Marshlands Expansion – Okay, so I saw only one new board/power for the game. But, this expansion feels like it really transforms the game. It adds a new terrain type, which also means you remove one of the other five from the game. Its power tiles give you an ultra-power if you manage to collect them both. And palaces score points only for the player with the most settlements around it. The game is still the Kingdom Builder I know and love, but this seems like it would really add variety and depth to the game. (9)
Century: Golem Edition – Everything I had grown to enjoy about the Century: Spice Road game but with better artwork and cooler components. This is definitely the version we must get, as I really enjoyed those chunky gems. I find that I do enjoy this game a lot, as there is some serious engine-building that goes into the game along with hand and resource management. Unlike Splendor, my play isn’t restrained by what my opponents do or take. (8)
Loved the art and fantasy theme. So much better than the original because of the art. I wish the gems were not so chunky.
Dragon Run – An interesting filler. Even though everything in that game went against me, being the ONLY one to take damage (and die) and the ONLY one who had to discard down to four treasure cards (twice!), I still enjoyed it. Next time, I will be the Warrior and do battle with that Dragon…although it was fun being the Scout. (6)
It is a fun filler. Perfect for older kids.
Longhorn – Variety seems to be the name of this game, which is a good thing. There are some interesting concepts in this simple 2-player game, and that makes it one I’d gladly try again. The decreasing value of the cattle as you take them makes this one have a delightful puzzle. (7)
Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City – Oh how I dislike the roll-for-resources mechanic when it is in its purest form. What was an otherwise fine, if light, game was soured by the inability to roll what I needed. Or, rather, to avoid rolling the numbers that gave me absolutely nothing of value. (4)
The Blood of an Englishman – Wow, this one surprised me. I love trying new 2-player only games. I love asymmetrical play. This takes a really simple concept and executes and interesting and elegant design. I’d really love to teach this one to my wife. It might not be one we add to our collection, but it might be one we play to kill time between games at our local FLGS during game days. (9)