New to Us Games – March 2018

Not a ton of new games this month.

New board games, from best to worse:

  • Barenpark – I immensely enjoyed this Tetris-style tile laying game, even with the flimsy theme of building a bear-only zoo. Unfortunately, due to Asmodee’s acquisition of Mayfair, this game will likely be difficult to obtain in the US for the immediate future; I’ve discovered it’s still available on Amazon.de.
  • Inis – Area control might be my least favorite genre of games, and war my least favorite theme. However, I liked the clever drafting addition introduced enough tactical decision making that I would like to play this again.
  • Star Wars: The Queen’s Gambit – This out of print area control game features balancing 4 theaters of combat among asymmetrical powers with 2 decks of action cards, but a lot of it depends on random die rolls that can’t be mitigated. It also felt a little long for the amount of choices you were allowed to make, although that might feel better on further playthroughs. In  general, if I was going to play a Star Wars area game, I’d prefer to play Star Wars Rebellion.
  • Star Wars Risk – I’ve hard this referred to as Queens Gambit 2.0, but that is like saying that Forbidden Island is Pandemic 2.0. It takes a design and simplifies it to the point that it barely feels like you are playing a game. That said, I think it would be fun for kids and people who are Star Wars fans and new to strategy games, and right now it’s far cheaper than it’s predecessor.

New expansions:

  • Arkham Horror: The Card Game – Path to Carcosa – We love this game, and due to the King in Yellow theme and all of the game play changes introduced in each scenario, this is our favorite campaign yet. Due to the complex changes, I wouldn’t recommend it for new players however.

New video games:

  • Hostage Negotiator – This is technically a board game, but I played the app (which I prefer for solo games) with the player attempting to convince a hostage taker to free their hostages before capturing them. Of the games I’ve played so far, the action buying and threat card system has led to some tense moments, although sometimes the circumstances feel unwinnable.
  • To the Moon – This “interactive story game” using RPG Maker may not have much in the way of gameplay (don’t expect an actual RPG), but it left me with all of the emotional feels.

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