Wednesday, May 25, 2011

HOT BOX - 'Dominant Species' (What's in the Box?) - Where I talk about being a bit too anal about my new games....

Well, here it is in my grubby washed and dried little hands - DOMINANT SPECIES! I've been lusting after it since before it became available. But even with all that lusting I was waiting to get it as it's a bit pricey and I hadn't had a chance to play it yet. I also felt that maybe the wooden cubes didn't do the game justice - I thought: "It's a game about animals killing each other, right? Not little cubes eating other little cubes!"

Then I got to play it recently and I couldn't resist getting my own copy! And, I found it for a 'decent' price (note: it was still a bit pricey, but I at least got it with another good game and free shipping). Now that it has arrived, I just have to get it played some more! 

Not knowing when I'd have a larger group available (because some people I know are afraid of playing it), I did some research and read that it was actually pretty decent as a 2-player. So, I tried playing it 2-player with Bob but I think it was a little too much for him all at once (and a little late at the time we started). I think he'll get it but we might need to start it earlier in our gaming session to give us enough time to spend on a solid full game. I think maybe with another player or two might be good as well, just for some balance...

Oh well, I know I loved it my first play and can't wait to get it to the table again!

And, if you have any reservations about the price in regards to getting it yourself, I will say that it's DEFINITELY worth it - it has terrific components and TONS of wood bits. Some people may be disappointed that it's just cubes and cones, but the designer admits in the rules that it's abstracted, so I'm totally fine with it. The box is beautiful as well with a shiny smooth finish and it feels very solid. OH, of course it's a good game, too!

If you like area control in the vein of El Grande and/or action selection in the vein of Age of Empires III, this game will be right up your alley. Or if you're into animals eating other animals (well, I have to admit that animal eating only happens a little bit in this game). 

Note that this game is NOT a simulation (try American Megafauna if that's what you want) and it's NOT a wargame (even though it's published by GMT) but it IS a fairly heavy and long game. The great thing is you're fully engaged pretty much the entire time and you won't notice the time going by at all. (Well, unless you're playing with cro-magnon man, aka. APe man - HA! Sorry, it's late...)

Ok, so, here's my box opening to give you a nice view inside:

The front of the box...

...and the back before removing the shrink.

Monday, May 23, 2011

HOT BOX - '7 Wonders' by Antoine Bauza (Review) - Yes ANOTHER review of this 'Kennerspiel de Jahres' nominee

Seriously, you really want to write a review of 7 Wonders? Really? There are already 54 reviews on BGG. 54!? Wow.

The box for 7 Wonders - some of the nicest box
cover art I've seen

Well, this review has been rolling around in my head since playing it this weekend with 6-players at Lorna's house and then 3-player with my kids.

So, sorry to subject you to another. And, with the nomination announcements for the Kinnerspiel de Jahres today (although Spiel de Jahres seemed to me the more appropriate category for it), I'm sure there will be another 50+ reviews in the coming weeks. Ah well, I guess I'm 'on the bandwagon' with this one.

Ok, I've played this game a handful of times so far. And, I have to admit that I really do enjoy playing it. It is not an extremely deep game but it has some interesting decisions to make. It is light enough that I can play it with my kids (although I suspect they are nearing the point where they can wade into deeper waters) but it has enough meat on it to keep me interested. I love that you can play it as easily with 3 as you can with 7 (I've heard 2 might be ok, but it might not be - hopefully I'll get to try it that way soon). And, best of all, it's just a fun game!

Well, I guess you know my opinion so you might as well stop reading now......

No? Still there? Alrighty then.

I taught this game to my kids on Sunday evening. My son is 8 and my daughter is 11. They love Dominion, Thunderstone, Stone Age and other light-ish to middle weight sorts of games, although I was a bit concerned about their ability to parse the symbols and the variety of functions. Still, this is billed by many as a family-friendly game and they often surprise me in their ability to pick games up. I was probably most worried about my son due to the age of 13+ listed on the box (although BGG says 10+ which I think is probably more accurate) but he picks up stuff pretty well so figured this was be a good test.