Our new local charity shops and car boot sales have been treating us rather well here on the Surrey/Sussex border in the UK. We’ve picked up some nice titles that are true ‘modern board games’ like Lord of the Rings LCG, Bonnie and Clyde, Priests of Ra and a few other ‘The Works’ specials which are often less popular Rio Grande titles, but we’ve also found some interesting older games and have had fun trying them out.
So here are the Yellow Meeple’s first impressions of some retro board games;
· Tetris is an implementation of the classic video game. It’s a two player game from around 1990, which stays as true to the original gameboy game as possible. There are 6 different shapes of pieces and they descending piece is randomly selected by a fruit machine style spinner. Both players then have to place that piece on their board as per Tetris rules. The way that the game implements the speed and stress element of Tetris is a bit less obvious, but every time you complete a row, the central barrier moves towards your opponent, giving them less space to build and meaning they’ll probably ht the top first and lose. You are rewarded more highly per row completed if you complete multiple rows with one piece. We were really impressed with how true to Tetris the game is and this isn’t a bad abstract game. For me it’s not enough strategy, but it’s a nice nostalgia trip and would work well with younger players.
· Don’t Bug Me makes a good first impression simply because of its box. The version made by Airfix all come in a fold-out carry case which becomes the game board – which is just a really neat concept. Let’s be clear in saying this is a kid’s speed dexterity game. You each have a catapult and try to fire bugs at each other through a hole. The first player to have a completely clear playing area with no bugs is the winner. It’s a ridiculous game, but there’s not many games that can make me laugh this hard! We won’t be keeping it but someone will get a lot of fun from this one.
· Tip-It has some awesome retro box art, which sells it straight away. The game out of the box is also a pretty impressive sight with an acrobat perched atop a tall wobbly tower, balanced by three towers of plastic rings. In the game a spinner is used to determine what colour of ring you must remove – you have to remove this ring without unbalancing the tower, which can be really hard when the spinner is old and always sticks on yellow, meaning you have to keep digging to the bottom of one tall stack whilst unbalancing the other two. There isn’t much of a game because your score is entirely dependent on which colour the spinner assigns you, but it’s a classic and quite appealing dexterity game design.
I think we might finally try out a new game group next week in Croydon, which might finally start to open up a social life for us in our new home. We’ve also been looking at a group who meet in Brighton on a Sunday afternoon, so looking forward to maybe checking them out at the weekend too!