New to us games – February 2018

February was a rough month for me, health-wise. But now I get to cheer myself up now looking at how many new games we fit in in before things went south!

New board games, from best to worst:

  • 1960: The Making of the President – this political area control game about the 1960 United States presidential election is making me actually want to play more games of this genre. The mix of actual historical event cards mixed with campaigning for the most electoral college votes was both entertaining and informative, leading to a dramatic showdown between Kennedy and Nixon (in fairness to my competitor, Kennedy did actually win the 1960 election). I’m excited to play more games in this genre.
  • Magic Maze  – in this real-time coop game, you are trying to navigate pawns to their treasures and exits before the timer stops, with responsibilities divvied between players (e.g. pawns can only move left by the player with the “move left” power) – all while not talking. The progressively harder levels made us want to replay several times, but you’ll likely either love it or hate it.
  • Mask of the Pharaoh (Mask of Anubis) – this Hasbro retheme of a Japanese game puts a viewer in a virtual reality  tomb, communicating what they see to other players who are trying to map out a maze so that a dog NPC can find treasure. Sound strange? It is, but it was also a blast.
  • Word Slam – this team party game has teams trying to guess an object from a clue giver, similar to charades and Pictionary, but the clue giver can only use the available words to describe the object. While the other team is trying to guess the object based on their team’s clues at the same time. We’ve played the heck out of a similar game, Concept, but having both teams guessing at the same time added a fun twist.
  • Space Alert – we finally tried this real-time coop classic of trying to program a spaceship that is under attack. Having played several (newer) titles in this genre, I was a bet underwhelmed compared to my grand expectations, but I think this one will benefit from more repeated plays.
  • Lords of Vegas – As the daughter of a former semi-pro blackjack player, I have a soft spot for a Las Vegas theme. This real estate game lets you buy casinos to build on empty lots, try to takeover rival casinos,  and hope your color comes up so you can win big. I’m excited to play this with a larger group.
  • Catacombs & Castles – Adam had bought the first edition of Catacombs, but we traded it after it didn’t see much playtime. This new variation caught our attention, with it’s supercute artwork, shorter playtime, and team-based (as opposed to 1-versus-all) play. However, at the end of the day, you’re still just flicking discs hoping to hit other’s discs, which is one of my least favorite genres in the dexterity space.
  • Monopoly Deal Card Game – Every so often, we find ourselves brain dead at the table, and we would break out our Monopoly Jr as a quick way to pass the time. This Monopoly-themed card game, arguably the best version of Monopoly, will replace that, offering nostalgia paired with some actual choices and only a 15 minute play time.
  • Steam Park – I love theme parks, and I was hoping I’d love this theme park-building game…but I definitely didn’t. Building attractions, managing walkways, and keeping things clean could have been engaging and entertaining, but instead it was all just a chore. For a game about amusement parks, this was short on amusement.

Stephanie’s new video games: None, due to illness 😦

Adam’s new video games:

  • Redout – This seemed like my old beloved Wipeout game, which it is, but way more insane and I’m terrible at it.

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