Chief EGG Head(lorna)United States
The second in a series of capsule reviews about games from small publishers that I enjoy and that are in my collection. This one is about games from Cwali.
Their biggest hit is probably Factory Fun which was recently republished by Z Man and it is definitely one of my favorites from Cwali. But for my purposes I'll try and mention some of the less known games.
Sun, Sea & Sand was Cwali's release from Essen 2010 which hasn't gotten quite the interest it deserves. Here is the game being played at EGG.
Definitely worth taking a look at the game especially if you are a Cwali fan or like worker placement games.
I have really come to enjoy Gipsy King especially after playing it 2 player on www.mastermoves.eu I had tried the multiplayer version initially after I picked up the game but wasn't that impressed. I find the game really shines with 2 players. It's a simple area influnce game where players take turns placing their caravans around the numbered lakes. All the spots around lake 1 are filled then lake 2 and so on. If a player passes, any spots that remain open around the lake are filled by their opponents caravans. The player with the most caravans around the lake earn points equal to the number of fish in the lake.
Players also earn points for having groupings of their caravans, the more caravans that are adjacent the more points. There may be some luck in the random set up and the first player but the game is played in 2 rounds where the 2nd player starts the second round only by placing around the lakes in reverse order so it is mitigated somewhat. I'll have to give this one another try as a multiplayer.
Surprisingly, I really enjoy O Zoo le Mio despite the fact that it incorporates blind bidding-not necessarily one of my favorite mechanics but acceptable to me in the right settings. The game makes up for this with me in the theme, zoo building, and the puzzle like aspect of building the best enclosures of each animal,for most trees and for enclosing lawn areas for benches for end game scoring. It's a quick game and this reminds me that I should pull it again one of these days.
I like race games and Powerboats is a lot of fun. It has a roll and move mechanism which is fine for a race game. The 3 sided blue dice are pretty nifty and the little powerboats are nice too.
There are a couple of Cwali games I'm going to try and get to the table soon Isi with a homemade version and SeaSim which I haven't played in quite some time. It has really nice shark and fish bits as I recall and I might be more into the abstract nature of this game now.
Cwali has made some game expansions and small games as well. I have tried a few of these and
is a nice portable little word game. It's kind of like Category 5 with letters. It's a lot harder than it looks!