Last weekend we attended a house warming party. There were 18 people so games that included everyone were limited, but at first people wanted to stick together and unfortunately that led us to social deduction games – which regular readers will know I hate. We had a near miss with Werewolf where luckily we managed to sneak away and play a game of Jaipur instead, but we did join in with two new social deduction games as well as getting to play some fun party games, like Telestrations and Articulate!.
Here’s are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;
· Two Rooms and a Boom is a social deduction game specifically designed for very high player counts. In the game you are randomly assigned a role card and an affiliation to the blue team or red team. The blue team wants to protect the president, but the red team wants to get the bomber into the same room as the president. You start with an random group of people in each of the two rooms and by sharing the colour of your card or the full Card with other people in the room you try to find out, within a time limit, who is on your side and where you think the bomber and president are. At the end of each round hostages are sent between the two rooms as each room tries to outthink the other. Unfortunately Two Rooms and a Boom just doesn’t work for me, it was the type of social deduction game where you could remain completely passive no matter what card you were given, unless you were the leader deciding on hostages. It simply didn’t work as the ice-breaker we need it to be.
· The Resistance: Avalon is the next social deduction game I was coerced into. At the start of the game you are assigned an allegiance with either Merlin (good) or Mordred (evil). One player is given the specific role of Merlin and another is specifically the Assassin. On each turn the active player chooses which players will get the chance to go on a quest. All players then vote whether this quest should go ahead, mainly based on if they think the players on the quest are of the same allegiance as them. If the quest goes ahead then the players on the quest vote for if the quest should succeed or fail – the good team wins if 3 quests succeed and evil wins if 3 fail. The evil players all know who each other are but also Merlin gets to look and see who they are. Merlin can’t help his good team members too much because if the Assassin can identify Merlin after a win for good team then the bad team claw back the victory. Avalon takes the crown as the first social deduction game I like! I actually felt like I had some meaningful deduction to make, based on other peoples actions and the power of the lady of the lake. I also felt like I could have some influence over the way played out because I had voting every turn. We played 3 times in quick succession and I really enjoyed it!
· Bora Bora is my first proper Stefan Feld point salad game. We’re playing fewer heavy euro games these days due to time limitations, but every time I get the chance I’m reminded that they can be really rewarding. In Bora Bora, the theme is pretty non-existent, but you seem to be exploring the land of Bora Bora, eating fish, getting help from the tribesmen, visiting the temple and buying jewellery. Points are available for all of these things during different phases of the turn. You select your actions by rolling dice which you can then use to power either the strength of an action or the number of times you can do it in the turn. Playing earlier is better because actions get blocked so that other players can only play a lower numbered dice than those played previously. I was initially doing really well, achieving all of by objectives and making the map look like more f an area control game by having tents in almost ll regions, but I underestimated the points value of jewellery and was overtaken towards the end of the game. It was quite a long game, but being limited to 6 turns made sure it didn’t out stay its welcome. I’d like to pay this one again and try some different tactics as it was very enjoyable.