Two Doom marbles had already dropped. We knew the third was close to falling. No one had gone mad yet…until my nephew dropped his last madness marble, immediately went insane, followed by the third Doom marble hitting the ground. He simultaneously went crazy and won the game in the same round!
A seed is planted, a young tree sprouts, its roots start to crawl deeper into the earth, its branches begin to reach toward the sky…then it gets crowded out by surrounding bigger trees and dies. =-( Your job is to be those bigger trees by hungrily soaking up the lion’s share of sunlight at the expense of other trees around you!
My wife and I have a monthly at-home date night. This helps us stay connected to each other while disconnecting from the world. While some at-home date nights get interrupted by the kids (grrrrrr…), this one went off without a hitch!
Let me set the scene for you: all blinds and curtains closed; all lights off; couch scooted up close to the tv; long HDMI cable connecting our PC to the tv; and a tv tray set up in front of the couch with a wireless mouse and mousepad. That’s it. Then we started The Room. An eerie music started, and the mysterious storyline unfolded before us…
Euphoria is one of those games that consumes your mind for hours and even days after playing it the first few times. Every gap in conversation my wife and I had those first several days was filled with, “Man! Next time I need to hit up Icarus more…” or “Ugh, if only I had finished the Subterran Tunnel earlier…” This constant analysis roils in the back of your head, and it’s awesome!
Wow! Letters and Seals is a terrific expansion to Istanbul. It falls in that perfect zone of replayability where it doesn’t diminish from the replay value of the original (as compared to some expansions which are so much better they virtually take over the original game) and other expansions that are only so-so (where you only play the expansion because you invested the money to buy it). It adds some really fun dynamics to an already very solid game. Here are the added components and my thoughts on each:
Cinque Terre is a colorful, engaging game of harvesting and selling produce in the BEAUTIFUL Italian countryside of Cinque Terre (just look at this place!).
Phew! Back to reality. =-)
This game is a blast and is one of my wife’s all-time favorites. It’s one of the most mentally-engaging games we play on a regular basis, but you can still have fun and do well without the “deep-dive” mental investment.
The first word that comes to mind when I think of Istanbul is solid. It’s a solid, expertly-crafted worker placement strategy game. It is a balanced game with rare blow-you-out-of-the-water wins. The gameplay mechanics are superb, unique, and make actual, real-world sense (as opposed to many games which leave you wondering, “Now why…?”). Replay value is extremely high, not only for the basic, starter mode but especially for mixing up the placement of tiles…and especially after adding in the two incredible expansions (reviews coming soon!). There is a great balance of interaction and impacting other players’ strategies.
I love strategy games, and I love card games. Rio Grande’s Renaissance Man is a masterful mix of both. The goal is to create a “master.” In order to do so, you must stack 14 supporting workers (from level one of 5, level two of 4, and so on) underneath the final, game-winning master placed at the top of the pyramid. Sounds easy? Not quite. In order to stack a worker, you practically need to align the stars.