So I wanted to try something a little different from my regular reviews on FNG. Let's be real here, there are a TON of games that come out in a matter of months. This leads to a major dilemma. Many games that I find amazing are swept under the rug because there's a new one that comes out that many people want to try. I think one reviewer called it "flavour of the month" gaming, where you are only playing the games that you thought were awesome for one month and then just start playing the new ones in the next month. I, sadly, fall victim to this.
I would like to take the time to just metaphorically stop and smell the roses. There are number of games out there that are really awesome, but if I were to do a review on each one of them, there will always be a new game to come after it, and I would generally feel stress for not being able to catch up. That's why I decided to create (and hopefully maintain) a writing series called the "Friday Night Five" where I will just pick five games, old, new or even Kickstarter, that are really decent to try or check out and give you a quick rundown of the game. Hopefully this will help you consolidate the vast number of games into a list that you want to try at your game nights.
And if you ever get the opportunity to go down to Pips Board Game Cafe, I hope you genuinely try some of these games there because they are amazing. (I had to put the plug. I thank them for the many opportunities they have given me.)
From my understanding, this is Pips' game of the week. This is a quick press-your-luck game where you are trying to earn sets of coloured gems. It's got this musical chairs feel to it. At the beginning of a round, gems are added to mushrooms. Each player will simultaneously point to one of the mushrooms. If they are the only player to point at that mushroom they earn all the gems. These gems, however, are not secure unless a player points to their own player board, which permanently stores the gems in their supply. By doing this, they opt to not participate in the next round. It is a game of timing, player psychology, and pressing your luck.
Quite recently I've been able to play this game in the last couple of weeks and I still enjoy it. Although the box says 3 – 10 players, it is definitely meant for two teams of two. It is a trick taking game very similar to the game Big 2, where players are trying to get rid of all of their cards by playing them to the center. The catch is that you have to work with your partner as well, deal with four other special cards, and you can even gamble your points to bet whether you're first to clear the cards. It is a great game to have especially for two couples.
I've been wanting to write about this game for awhile, but I figure that this would be a better forum to mention this game. It is a game for 2 – 6 players and you are racing pirate ships around the island of Jamaica. Players play cards that can gain them resources or move their boat forward or backward. You are also able to duel your opponents that share the same space as you by rolling dice. The winner of the game is not just based on who finishes the race first, but rather who has collected the most coins and treasure throughout the game. I like this game for its simplicity and it's innovative design (the pirate ship miniatures are cool, and the instruction manual is in the form of a map…although I have trouble folding it back into place).
I heard about this game when watching a video on the Youtube Dice Tower Channel as a replacement for the Game of Life. In this game, players act as these gentleman who are nephews to this rich uncle who died. The uncle's last wish was for these nephews to get them to spend all of his money the fastest. The game seemed counterintuitive at first because most games ask you to save money, but Last Will wants you to spend money in the most ridiculous ways, which is the main reason why I like this game. Have dinner with your horse, have a crazy party in your townhouse and then not maintain it the next day, or just ride your carriage with your lady friend, all of which are methods to spend your dead uncle's money.
Warning: this game is good for its lack of political correctness. It is a cooperative game very similar to the game Guess Who. There are 12 suspects, randomly drawn from a deck and only one person knows who the actual perpetrator is. Using a deck of questions, the one person will answer these questions with either a yes or a no, and the rest of the players have to deduce which suspects are not guilty. The twist is that the questions have nothing to do with looks, but rather the suspects behaviour. "Do they ride a bicycle to work?" "Do they watch documentaries?" "Do they line up for Black Friday?" The team wins when they figure out who the perpetrator is by eliminating the other eleven suspects. They lose when they pick the actual perpetrator as being not guilty. Be ready to question your friends' belief and value system when they start making judgements on the way people look. It is a hilarious game to try out with a group of casual gamers.
That's my Friday Night Five for this week. Let me know your thoughts on this new piece and I hope you lovely people have an awesome games night this weekend.