I'm a 37-year-old Dutch guy with a 36-year-old Polish girlfriend. She indulges me by playing games together, and we do not shy away from confrontation at the table. Also, away from the table
We’ve been together for a year so to celebrate our great chemistry together we went to London last weekend. We traveled by train and over water by boat, as she's afraid of flying. Also, because I had a Groupon and I'm cheap. To pass some of the time, we took some small games that I got at Essen 2016. One of those was Elements, a microgame consisting of 16 cards and some scoring tokens. These are our findings:
The game is very easy to learn; each turn you take one out of five possible actions, two of those ending the round. Anyone could learn the game in 2 minutes.
The components are very nice, but honestly, overproduced. The game doesn't need the big cards or the beautiful illustrations that are on them. I've seen pictures of the original version of the game (Khmer) and I do prefer the Elements cards, but only because all the information I need (the number on the card) is clearer in Elements than in Khmer. The game can easily be replicated by using cards from Uno, or two packs of playing cards (or just one, using jokers for the extra two 6-cards). There's no theme, it's all about the gameplay. And this microgame certainly delivers.
Now, I'm a numbers guy at heart, and I've been playing card games for about all my life. The first twentysomething rounds, I won pretty easily and consistently. But then something interesting started to happen. As my girlfriend started to learn how the game worked, she moved from playing the game to playing me. While I was playing the odds and counting cards, she started to bluff. I was not prepared for this and the element of surprise worked, big time. On our way back, scores became much closer - and the game much more enjoyable.
The bickering factor started out low, as we were trying to find our way in the game. Once we felt more comfortable and knew what we were doing, it stayed pretty peaceful, no big need to air our grievances as a new round was soon underway. There were no annoyed looks or uncomfortable stares from our fellow passengers which is more than I could have hoped for.
As you only need a table, I can see this game becoming a staple travel game for us to make romantic trips all over the Earth even more enjoyable. It would keep the game fresh as I could see you getting burned out if you play this too often. At home, I don't see us playing this as we've got more interesting/longer games to play.
All in all, we consider Elements to be a very good microgame, recommended to take anywhere. I expect we'll be playing this periodically.
Try it, I think you'll like it.
It would keep the game fresh as I could see you getting burned out if you play this too often.
I've played dozens and dozens of times, and it hasn't grown old at all. Khmer/Elements is the best microgame I have ever played. I can't get enough!