Happy Monday! Maybe you weren’t able to attend Gen Con? That makes two of us. There are plenty of games that I can highly recommend that will be available right after Gen Con. You probably can purchase most of them online this week. If you would like to see some footage of some of these games in action, you can head over to the my Jambalaya Plays Games YouTube page. I shot about 50 videos of games that are coming to retail very soon. Otherwise, check out these titles.
Next Move Games
I just released my review of Reef, but I can recommend this game to anyone. It’s an abstract game where players place coral pieces to create patterns and score combos of points. I never run out of room in my collection for games that can be played with wide range of gamers. I think the design is smart and the game length is just right. High quality components, beautiful art, and it’s simply fun to play. This should be at stores like the day after Gen Con.
Sailing Toward Osiris
Daily Magic Games
Sailing Toward Osiris is a resource management and worker placement game with a little barter to mix it up. Players will build monuments to trigger scoring combos during the game. You are scoring points based on the type and positioning of your monuments, while paying attention to which of the four areas the Pharaoh’s barge is at that time. The are boon cards that allow you to break placement rules and players can negotiate over city cards. It’s a very streamlined game and I appreciate games that suck you in during your first round of play. It’s in that perfect lighter medium weight game range and everything in that box is top-notch quality. Daily Magic is know for their quality components and art. It’s already available in stores.
Raids is a surprise for me. I received it in swag bag game for a Iello party. Thankfully, what I received was a good game. I’ve played it at least ten times since Origins and that’s pretty crazy for me. In the game, players are Vikings that travel around a set path and picking up tiles. The gameplay has a slightly familiar Tokaido-like movement mechanic, but the comparisons stop their. The way you collect resources, scoring tokens, battle each other makes, creates an exciting 45 minutes experience. The gameplay really ramps up each round as more attractive resources are revealed and the stakes are higher. Everything in Raids is about timing and the choices you make on every turn are interesting. After a couple plays, you could play this in closer to 30 minutes. Highly recommend you take a look at this one. The two player variant is also pretty good.
2-4 players (3-4 variant)
This is one of the best games on the market. I believe it’s a reprint of a previous game that was hard to find in the states. Caper is a card drafting game, where players will take turns placing thieves and gear to control the three locations over six rounds. This game has extremely high replay value due to having multiple locations to play with different scoring conditions. The gameplay has a lot more weight than you expect and players have to make some serious choices before passing along cards to their opponent. Great for two players, haven’t played the other variants yet. It’s only $20 or $25 and you will get more than your money’s worth. I’m probably not doing this game justice. FIND IT, BUY IT!
1-2 Players (It’s a solo game with optional cooperative elements)
What if I told you there is a hand management game that plays completely in you hand? Maiden’s Quest is one of the most unique games you will ever see. You play the role of a princess who is trying to defeat a foe or escape the castle. The game plays out completely in your hand and the encounters are revealed by “fanning” five cards. It’s hard to explain this one in a short paragraph, but I suggest you check out my friends blog Beyond Solitaire for a full review or solomode games on YouTube for a full play through. This game is in my backpack until further notice. You can fit the whole game in your pocket or shirt pocket. There are some interesting cooperative modes built-in and I encourage you to join in or invite someone to play with you.
Soaring Rhino Games
In Shifting Realms, players will gather resources, build buildings, and play story cards to complete objectives in two of the three realms available for that game. So the big draw for this game is the five realm boards you can alternate between games. Each realm has its own set of story cards, buildings, mechanics, and objectives. You have a lot of variability simply by cycling between the five realms and how you set them up for your game. This is a lighter medium weight game that take just under/over an hour to play and I think this game needs more coverage. I want to play Shifting Realms with as many combinations as possible in a short window of time to unlock all of the strategies. I believe this will be available in August.
Rise of Tribes
Rise of Tribes is a resource gathering game, where players are competing tribes trying to rebuild their home, complete quests, develop technology, and fight for territory. It has multiple set up options and modes of play. Very accessible to a wide range of players, but with just enough strategy for a more serious crowd. Their facebook community page has come up with more modes of play, because the tiles can be used in so many ways. Good gameplay, quick playtime, gorgeous artwork, quality components, it’s all there.
Tasty Minstrel Games
Pioneer Days is now one of my favorite games, period. I waited for five months to get my hands on it and it was totally worth the wait. I’m sure you have heard comparisons to Oregon Trail, well that’s completely accurate. I want to be upfront and say this is not a light game, but a euro game with a high amount of variability. The Oregon Trail part of the game is a disaster track that is progressed by the remaining die that is not drafted by a player each round. The gameplay is somewhat controlled by player choice, which is why I love it and there will always be multiple points of tension during the game. You must be prepared for a raids, famine, disease, and storms over the course of the month. There are multiple character powers and five sets of Townsfolk that can be mixed and matched to keep the gameplay interesting. I may write a review for this in the near future. So many positive things to say about this one and continues to bring more respect to the Tasty Minstrel Games goring catalog. #asskisser