Matt's Board Game Back Room

Join me in my cozy little back room filled with games! Ooh and ah at some new releases. Learn about some more recent games. Or, look back at some older and classic games. From Euros to Ameritrash, kids games to grown-up games, easy to intense - nothing much is ignored in Matt's Board Game Back Room! (Updates will be cross-posted from my blogspot blog - click my Blogger microbadge to go there now)

Archive for Hot Box - Reviews

Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

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

-matt s.
United States
Eugene
Oregon
flag msg tools
/geeklist/240879
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
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.

(read more...)
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Mon May 23, 2011 6:56 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

HOT BOX - 'Pastiche' by Sean D. MacDonald (Review) +Can you be color blind and play this game?

-matt s.
United States
Eugene
Oregon
flag msg tools
/geeklist/240879
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
(I started writing this review a couple of weeks ago when I was quick on the uptake, or so I thought. I neglected to get it completed and since then, a glut of reviews have come out. So why read yet ANOTHER Pastiche review? Because I'm awesome. Oh, and because my father played - he is color-blind and you might want to know how this plays if you play with someone that is also color-blind)

As I mentioned in the box opening for Pastiche previously I knew I would have to have this game as soon as I saw it. I love art. I love mixing colors. Yada-yada.

I've played it a handful of times now and am ready to tell you if I actually LIKE this game or not. Well, not until a bit later.....first let me tell you about the components.

THE COMPONENTS


Pastiche! The box!

When I initially opened the box and looked at the components I had a couple of immediate thoughts about them. First, it was obvious the quality of the components was excellent - tasteful artwork, clean, consistent graphics, and nice quality and thickness of the various tiles. The box itself has nice thick walls and feels luxurious.

The Board
This is a board game, right? I thought the board looked really nice with the painter's palette. Here's the board with the cards on them (note: these are fairly small cards)


The palette board with cards on it and example of the size of a card (back showing)

However, I was concerned about HOW BIG the board was in relation to it's function which was solely a placeholder for the color cards - it isn't exactly 'central' to the game - well sort of. I guess it seemed a bit overkill when first looking at it. Others have noted this in reviews and comments with everyone coming to pretty much the same conclusion: the board size ends up being just fine because there is so much card churn they kind of get messy on the palette and there's enough room that they don't mix together. Interestingly, this fits nicely thematically as well as functionally. Personally, I still think it could have been tightened up a bit, but when you're playing, you won't really find any issues here.

I DID wonder why it wasn't organized differently with perhaps the primary colors grouped together with white and black, then the others listed in some other manner perhaps by value or something. I think this arrangement (or perhaps a myriad of other possible arrangements) could have been laid out. In practice, it just doesn't matter much - you get used to where the colors are and generally can spot them quickly. And, if it really bothers you, just lay them out in any order you want because it won't affect the game one bit!


The Player Aids
In looking at the player aids, I wondered why they didn't show pictures of the color trading rather than writing it out in words -- it seemed symbolically it might be more clear. In thinking about it more, it's probably because they either would have had to invent a 'multi-colored' icon of some kind and/or shown all the possible combinations - neither of which would have improved the player aid at all. Overall, I really like this player aid and it does ultimately make it easier to look for color combinations in most cases:


Summary card - turn order summary on one side, color mixing on the other side.

One small issue is it's a little confusing being able to tell the difference between what color mixing happens on the table with the hex tiles versus what you must 'trade in' to get other colors. Ultimately, though, this is only a problem for new players during the first couple of rounds.

(Read more...)
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Tue May 10, 2011 5:10 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

HOT BOX - "Haggis" by Sean Ross (Review)

-matt s.
United States
Eugene
Oregon
flag msg tools
/geeklist/240879
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm glad you stopped by the Board Game Back Room today! I wanted to show you this new game I've had an opportunity to play a little bit and tell you a bit more about it and what I think about it. The game is called "Haggis", was designed by Sean Ross and is published by Travis Worthington's publishing company, Indie Boards and Cards (which also has published Triumvirate, The Resistance and Filipino Fruit Market).



It was originally released in 2010 and was just recently re-printed (2nd printing) in a slightly modified box in 2011. My copy is, in fact, one of the first from the newest batch and can be seen in more detail in my other post of the box opening which I received as a result of a winning bid in the Jack Vasel support auction here on BGG.

Ok, that's enough plugging the company and such....get on with it!
Alright, alright. So, you may have heard this game is Tichu for 2 or 3 players. Honestly, hearing this made me interested as I had played Tichu a few times and found it a fun and challenging card game. For some, this might be off-putting as I know some people that don't like Tichu much at all (although many do) or just cannot play it because they don't have 4 players consistently.

Well, I will start off by saying that, in my assessment, Haggis is both similar AND not similar at the same time. There are certainly elements of Tichu and there is a 'feel' of Tichu, but, I have to say, it is NOT Tichu. I think Tichu players will certainly enjoy this game and be able to get a Tichu-like fix when they don't have 4 total players for Tichu. But, I also think this is a terrific game for non-Tichu players that want an interesting, challenging card game. This might even be a less intimidating game to give a Tichu neophyte a stepping stone to Tichu. Okay, I think I'm done saying Tichu (I said 'it' way too many times in this paragraph!) but I will say this - Haggis is NOT Tichu.

So, what IS Haggis?
Haggis is, well....Haggis! It is a careful blending of mechanics and features of several card games in the 'climbing' card game family, plus a couple of innovations thrown in as well.

Read more to get the full scoop....

Also, check back later as I hope to have an interview with Sean Ross posted in the near future!
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:33 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls