This week it was my birthday, which of course meant new games!! Mainly things I’d specifically asked for and then a curve ball from my parents which you’ll hear about below. My new games are; Takenoko: Chibis (so happy that my mum managed to track down one of the last copies in the UK!), Above and Below, Tides of Madness and Monkey Butt. Then my finger slipped and I bought Best Treehouse Ever on Facebook and unfortunately later in the day I slipped again and bought Lotus on eBay – a good day’s haul and plenty to look forward to!
Here are Yellow Meeple’s first impressions;
· Takenoko: Chibis is an expansion I’ve wanted for ages, especially now that Takenoko gets played almost every week by my work gaming group. Unfortunately it seems to be out of print in the UK, but I’ve finally got my hands on a copy. Chibis adds a female panda into the mix along with baby pandas and some more unique tiles and objective cards. Overall the additions add slightly more complexity, but nothing too challenging although there’s definitely a lot more indecision in your turn, particular since the move panda action can apply to either or of the male and female panda and I’d often like to do both. It’s nice to have more variety for playing at home and I doubt we’ll ever play without the expansion. For gateway gamers I still plan to stick to the base game.
· Monkey Butt is (as far as I’m aware) a 1st game from an independent UK designer. It’s not the sort of game I’d normally risk buying but it was a gift so we had to give it a try. It’s a light filler card game, not dissimilar to Uno in style where you play cards to try and empty your hand and there are rules about what cards can be played based on the previous card played into the discard pile. There’s a number of ways to try and manipulate the cards to help yourself or hinder other players. You lose if you’re the last player to empty your hand and get rid of all your cards on the table – two selected by you as good plays, one selected by your opponents as a bad card and your final card is a random unknown. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this game, it’s just pretty luck heavy and not a lot of thought goes into playing it. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend the game.
· Sub Terra is a recent Kickstarter we were seriously considering backing – over 6,000 people are unlikely to be wrong. Luckily they had a great quality, free print and play which we were able to try out before committing. Sub Terra is a co-operative game of exploring a cave, trying to find the exit whilst avoiding the horrors within and avoiding floods and cave ins along the way. You each spend your turns moving around the cave, ideally flipping over and placing many new cave tiles until you find the exit. Like many cooperative games you’re in battle against a deck of cards which cause monsters to appear or advance towards the nearest player token or can cause dangerous cave ins, floods or gas leaks. The game is definitely a hard co-op – one you might not win very often. We enjoyed it and it feels quite unique, although most comparable to Burgle Bros. We have decided not to back the game simply because we didn’t love it...we’d happily play it again an will probably play the print and play again. With so many backers I’m sure that if the game grows on us we’ll be able to pick up a copy after the kickstarter is shipped.
We might not mange to fit much gaming in this week, but next weekend I’m looking forward to our second time gaming with a group who got together on Facebook. I’m hoping we can try some new games and share some of our favourites too. We’ve also set a date to play the next T.I.M.E. Stories expansion – something else to look forward to.