Friday, November 10, 2006

The Mystery Game

Tuesday's game night kicked off with one of my more unique gaming experiences. Christopher's publisher/colleague/friend was in Essen to sell Pink Godzilla Dev Kit and he brought back a Japanese card game. Its name escapes me. I think it was "Makyou" something or other. There's no entry for it on the geek and I haven't found a web site for it so I'm not going to be able to exactly pin it down for you. It's a fantasy themed dungeon crawling card game done in Japanese Manga style. Or in other words: it's a bit goofy. (Can anyone explain to me the Japanese fascination with school-girl uniforms and big doe eyes? I've never quite understood that.) If you are in to that kind of thing then you'll probably like the artwork. I'm not. Most bizarre of all, there is one single R-rated card in what would otherwise be a family-friendly game.

The game is played with two decks of cards and a die. One deck of cards represents rooms (some of which are beyond strange) and rewards, the other represents characters and items that are used to defeat the rooms and claim the rewards. The game had some mildly interesting mechanics but the die rolling coupled with the luck of the draw resulted in a pretty luck heavy game. The common consensus around our table was "well at least it's a little better than Munchkin." The best thing I could say about this game is that the English translation is so incredibly bad that it had us laughing out loud. I'd suggest you avoid it.

So after that rather shaky start we moved on to some good games.

I was happy to get a chance to play Torres again. This is an excellent game that takes the action point and area control mechanics to a new level (pun intended). Players place tower pieces on the board in an effort to control the largest and highest towers. The only bad thing I can say about this game is that it can be a bit of a brain burner and it tends to have a bit of "analysis paralysis" but it's a fantastic game that I'm happy to play any time.

Next up for me was another game that I haven't played in a while: Trias. This is a great area control game where the board is constantly shifting and changing. Players move dinosaur herds over hexes in an effort to control territory. On each player's turn he must pick up one of the hexes and "drift" it away from the pole. At the beginning of the game the hexes are arranged in a single large continent (Pangaea) but by the end of the game the hexes will have drifted and fragmented into many different continents. It's a truly elegant game and it's one of my favorites. This belongs in every gamer's collection.

I wrapped up the night with not one but two games of Tichu. And I'm happy to report that I won them both.


At 6:00 AM, November 14, 2006, Blogger Phollower said...

Torres and Trias are games that I'd really like to try. Not bad enough that I'll drive 34 hours to Washington for a game night to do it, but still, I'd like to try them.


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