Neil BunkerUnited Kingdom
Welcome back to this ongoing series of monthly updates highlighting the board game world of Diagonal Move.
With quarantine still on-going and having reached my online gaming threshold, July was far quieter than previous month’s. However, there have still been plenty of games played.Games on the Coffee Table
A friend of mine sent a board game care package early on in the month. Inside this cardboard relief effort were three narrative games:
Unlock: Squeak and Sausage
An interesting ‘escape room in box’ style game that provided a solid evenings entertainment. Although the story was a thin excuse for tackling the next puzzle, the puzzles themselves were suitably challenging.
Should I mention that I embarrassed myself terribly by taking multiple times longer than the allotted 60 minutes to complete the game?
Undo: Cherry Blossom Festival
An odd one this. It seems to want players to spend the evening discussing the build up to a tragic event. Like a TV detective show where you fill in the blanks yourself.
However, it never seemed to quite achieve that aim as the ‘game’ elements (such as they are) distract from the overall story. It’s also very short, too short really.
Not for me this one, however, I can see why fans of role play and detective games might enjoy it.
Adventure Games: Monochrome Inc
A halfway house between the two games above, Monochrome Inc is part story, part game and reminds me of the old Choose Your Own Adventure game books.
The basic premise is that players are a group of detectives investigating mysterious goings-on at a pharmaceutical company. As you move through the building you explore new locations and find items that you can use to progress the story.
Although it felt like the story and the game got in each other’s way at some points, I enjoyed this one a lot and would be keen to try other games in the series.Games on the Net
Just a couple of games this month, one real world regular and one long out of print but new to me.
Viticulture Essential Edition
Wine and wine making are subjects that rarely cross my mind. When they do, it’s exclusively in relation to how I can finally beat the automa in this really rather wonderful board game from Stonemaier.
This month however, saw my first online play against a real human….still didn’t win.
The Palaces of Carrara
I had never even heard of this cube shuffling euro from way back in 2012 until last week. How it had escaped my attention until now, I do not know.
It’s a neat race to finish with a lovely hidden information aspect and resource wheel that reminds me of Glass Road and T’Zolkin. Not as heavy as I thought it would be, it also plays far more quickly than expected.
Looking forward to playing this one again, even if it's likely to only ever be in an online format.On the Website
It’s been a great month on the Diagonal Move website.
I was joined for a chat by some great designers in July.
Richard Breese, ‘Key Series’ creator spoke about his career and the effect that being in the BGG 100 for 8 years has had.
David Turczi went into detail about the design process of his 5 (!) most recent games and provided an in-depth overview of his career to date.
Rita Modl, designer of the wonderful dexterity game, Men at Work, discussed family game design and finding an international publisher
I’ve been having fun dabbling in YouTube recently. Taking my typical ‘cautious, never done this before, procrastinate for month, then dive in face first’ approach, I have rapidly improved the quality of the videos.
The result being that, rather than being able to see overviews and reviews of Wendake, Machi Koro and Wingspan in poorly lit, muffled, shaky cam; you can now see videos in poorly lit, muffled, shaky cam…with a title card.
I can tell you're impressed.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmpsklN1kw3kUv_uw6Pnv1QComing next month
August could well be wargame month.
I’ll be recreating the 3 days of Gettysburg in Battle Hymn Vol 1 this week, so I will probably feature something about that (spoiler: it’s an awesome game!).
I've also been feeling the urge to solo something from the COIN series. Probably because designer Brian Train is joining me for chat.
That’s it for now. See you again next month.
In the meantime, please do check out some of the links below.
Hi there and welcome to Diagonal Move. The best board games take players on a journey. Diagonal Move aims to highlight some of these journeys through writing and video. The writing takes the form of designer and publisher interviews, session reports, articles and the occasional review. www.diagonalmove.com
- [+] Dice rolls