Days of a Game Librarian

I work as the curator of a board game bar and café. This is just a place that I hope to put out some musings of what my job is, reflections on games, my average day to day and other things that I love about my job.
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October 21st: Superfight, Terra, and When I Dream

Evan Welsh
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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I got to teach some great games yesterday. I got to work and went about cleaning and prepping some games. And then we had a party of like ten people come in. They had some kids with them but most of them were teens and adults. They were looking for something for the adults that would be fun but not gonna be too hard or raunchy. We talked about a few options and decided on Superfight. I only teach one version of Superfight, which for a game so flexible I know there are different ways to play. I think the best way is the Super Villain version of it however. One person makes a super villain by playing a character card and an attribute card from their hand, and then draws a random attribute card. Everyone else makes a superhero, playing a character and an attribute card from their hands facedown but also getting to play an attribute card onto the hero to their right. I love this system because if you have bad cards, they still help you by making someone else's life worse and your hand is never going to fill with garbage like other games in that genre. Then everyone reveals their cards, arguing that their hero is better than everyone else's.

Round one’s super villain : A Polar bear with acid blood and a bow with unlimited arrows.
The first hero revealed. A snake with hands instead of feet and throws bears.

This couldn’t have gone better setting them all up and having that reveal. I had to get going before they resolved the round but having the card “throws bears” seems like it makes the snake a strong contender. I am not sure how I should have ruled the throwing bear mechanic, but it’s Superfight so the rule of cool i guess takes the cake. And I would like to give mad props to the lady who played the snake because it was a perfect performative reveal.

We have been trying to buff our trivia section, finding some better titles to include in there. We were able to get a copy of Terra by Friedemann Friese (I was not expecting to see his name on a trivia game) but I was a little surprised by how much I loved it. I got to teach it last night as well. I think when it comes to trivia games balancing things can often be really difficult, writing good trivia questions is challenging. I grew up playing my parents copy of Trivial Pursuit a couple times and learned that trivia games age poorly. Their copy had questions that were out dated and went in one ear and out the other. I’ve learned that the impact of a question is important. If you know it, that’s great. If you don’t know it, the question needs to be interesting enough for you to still know it tomorrow (Wits and Wagers, you get a pass). I think that Terra does an incredible job with this, in making questions that are impactful and memorable. I have noticed a typo on one of the cards but I am not gonna be picky. If you have a good trivia game that I just gotta have for the library please let me know.

I ended the night by having another big group (this time nine players) roll in and say,

“Hey, you taught us this game last time and we want to play it again.”

Man, there is no better feeling that hearing someone say that. Music to my ears!

“Cool, what game”

Then they go on to say, “I don’t know what it was called but” This is. My. Favorite. Game. It’s a trivia question about board games. I know the answer, but just how quickly can I get to the game they are referring to and with how little information?

“But it had one player who is asleep-” “

“Oh, you mean When I Dream?”

“Yes!”

Like I said, I love that game. Anyway we get it going over at the table, some of them have played before so that is always nice from a teaching perspective. I really like When I Dream. Amazing card art, mirrored with a really simple game that focuses on fun more than mechanics. I did have some problems with it however and I wonder if there is a solution that I haven’t thought about. The table they were sitting at was long and thin and with nine of them seeing the card was challenging. They elected to pass the card around the table but I still think that there has gotta be a better way. The fast-paced nature of the game was almost hindered by the cards. Also, eventually they elected to not use scoring. I honestly do this too, I think that When I Dream falls into the category of games that are more fun to play than it is to win. The scoring is there just so that someone can win, but I think that it isn’t really all that important. But I was really happy to get that one out, I haven’t gotten to teach it in a while, it kinda fell into the couch cushions of my mind.

That’s all I have for today, I am currently running late to work because I want to write this so…
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Subscribe sub options Fri Oct 22, 2021 11:35 pm
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