Happy New Year and all that Jazz! Our first look back of the new year also includes the last two days of 2013. Although one might think that the holidays would lend themselves to a bunch of gaming due to the extra days off, this is not really what happens as so much time is spent running from one family member’s to another. However, I did not let this prevent me from getting in a few games with the wife and kiddos. In addition, this past week was the first Family Game Day event at the Southport Library of 2014. Things are off to a much better start than last year, which will be addressed in an upcoming post. Without further ado…here is last week in games!
As the end of the year approached I had one game left to review, Space Junk by Lamp Light Games. I received my copy a bit later than expected due to holiday shipping issues and as such could not get in sufficient plays to complete the article prior to the launch of their Kickstarter. I informed them that this was a possible outcome and they were fine with it. Fortunately, their campaign has been a resounding success as it was a fun family game. (click here for the review) We managed to sneak in two plays on New Year’s Day with some interesting and troubling results.
In the first game Jarrett was the redneck, Katie the stunt driver, Heather the trailer park queen, and I was the nerd with ambitions of world domination. Hard to believe, I know. Katie focused primarily on making fast laps around the inside track and not attacking other players. Heather and the boy gathered junk in the middle ring while being hyper aggressive. I am talking about you honey… Meanwhile, I floated out in deep space pursuing a massive junk collection strategy. For playing purposes, as well and review purposes, it was nice to see three different strategies being attempted at the same time. While Katie had the obvious point lead due to her numerous laps around the planet Jarrett was not too far behind. My point total remained a mystery as my pile of junk mounted. In the end my collection of items allowed me to surpass Katie’s total, but much to my disappointment Jarrett’s midway strategy and redneckness (it is a word because I typed it!) gave him enough lap points and junk to take the win! Boo?
The second game saw Katie and Heather reprise their roles, while Jarrett tried out the military man and I the astrophysics student. Jarrett went into full attack mode, as is his character’s nature while Katie and I raced around the Earth for lap points. Heather floated in the mid ring shooting at people and collecting junk much like Jarrett’s winning strategy from game one. This time I had the most laps and collected more junk than Katie, but through a combination of Jarrett’s relentless attacks on me and Katie simply finding more valuable loot she managed to fly under the radar for the win! Boo again?
All in all, we had a good time with Space Junk and it has earned a place in our collection even though the review is complete!
Masters of the Gridiron
The next game that I played is also the next game that I will be reviewing. Master’s of the Gridiron is a football sim card game that allows players to play their favorite teams with 2013 rosters or to mix all of the teams together and build a team based on the contract values of the players and each team having 100 million to spend. So far the boy and i have only played a regular game with him as the Broncos and me playing Da Bears. Understand, the teams are reasonably representative of how good they are and as such the Broncos have a bit of edge on the Bears. I will go into greater detail about the rules and mechanics in the forthcoming review, but suffice it to say that it was a close game with the dirty dirty Broncos defeating the noble Bears. The final score was 27-21 Broncos with him barely stopping my last shot at a game winning touchdown! We both had fun and are looking forward to testing out the other teams we have as well as trying out the salary cap variant.
Family Game Day
It was great to see the Callahans again even if turnout for the event was not very high. In all fairness, most of Indianapolis was prepping for snowpoccalypsemaggedon which hit on Sunday. Still, the low turnout gave me the opportunity to show Andrea my newest design, Legacy Wars, which she enjoyed…and crushed me. What is up with my losing streak in this look back? Oh well, more playtesting and more feedback is the goal and it was achieved! After a bit, a nice mother named Courtney, and her four children came in and I taught them to play 7 Wonders. She and I each took one of the youngest on as a “partner” and the other two played on their own. I just about have teaching 7 Wonders down to a science, and although they were not very experienced gamers I had them playing in about 25 minutes. Courtney and her two children playing on their own did quite well for their first game, but it was me and my little ringer that pulled off the win! I gave him the score card to show his older siblings anytime they tell him he was too young to play. This was easily his favorite part of the whole experience.
Once again it was a fun day and I look forward to more events and greater turnout as the year moves forward!
After coming home from the library I was hungering for a little more gaming action. The wife asked what I wanted to play and I was not sure. Given that I have often and brutally ridiculed people with piles of un-played games laying about, I felt it was time to clean up my roster a bit.
Got’ Em! is a game that I received as part of a trade a few months back when I attended a game trading day. A great event by the way! In truth I knew nothing about the game but it was a throw in by the other party to even up a trade that he and I were making. I hoped for the best but was pretty indifferent as the other game I traded for was the real goal.
Much to my surprise, we really liked it! Basically it is a wall building game in which players try to capture their opponent’s pawn while avoiding capture themselves. The beginner version that we played uses cards to determine player’s options, but despite this randomness the game has numerous important decisions. The advanced version, which we have yet to play, is entirely the decisions of the players. I am looking for to playing the advanced version very much!
In the first game it was just Heather and I. I got off to an aggressive start and despite her wriggling I managed to pin her down for the win in relatively short order. Yay no more losing streak!
In the second game, we brought in the boy for a three player try. This game was much tougher as you had to consider what both opponents would do before you got another turn. The boy fought well, but he was the first to go. Heather and I battled back and forth, but she finally managed to trap me in the end.
For the third game, Heather and I once again played head to head. I don’t know what happened. I felt good, the plan was going well, I had her cornered nicely, but the next thing i know, I was running out of space in a hurry. She slammed the final piece into place and proceeded to perform her victory dance, which is in fact part of the rules.
Sweet little game that I am glad to say no longer resides in the un-played pile. Only three more to go!
In conclusion, This year is off to a good start with tons of gaming on the horizon! Things are going great for Life in Games and I am sure this will be our best year yet! See you next week!