Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Game Night 9/11

Another game night last night.

Christopher and most of the rest of the Seattle group played one of his prototypes... all... night... long. It looked pretty good and I think he got some good feedback but it sure didn't leave much time for them to play much else. Luckily, there were plenty of other gamers so there were other games going on too.

Four of our gamers sat down to a game of Power Grid using the Italy expansion board. It's been a while since I've played Friedemann Friese's masterpiece about bringing electrical power to the masses. Power Grid's a fantastic game. I love the way scarcity is modeled in the commodities market. From what I hear, the market in the Italy map is set up in such a way that money is even tighter than usual on that map.

As for me, my first game of the night was a brand new game called Portobello Market. A very quick look at the back of the box might give the impression that this game is similar to Ticket to Ride. Players place market stalls on a network of alleys that makes the board look pretty similar to T2R but really, that's where the similarity ends. They're totally different games. I really enjoyed the game but I was surprised by how quickly it ended. I felt like I just barely started to figure out how to play the game and then I realized that we were on the last turn. There's a lot of good potential in this game. I'm going to definitely need to play it more to see what I can find in there.

Next up for me was The Thief of Baghdad, Thorsten Gimmler's latest game. This was the second time I'd played the game and I did much better this time around. In fact, I surpised myself and I won. This is a really good game in terms of mechanics. It's simple, elegant, and all of the mechanisms work very well. But I have to concede that the game itself is rather dry. The theme is pretty thin and the game could just as well have been produced as a pure abstract. It's a good one though.

And my final game of the evening was (can you guess?) Tichu! Yeah, big surprise right? My partnership won. Comfortably. But in fairness, we got really lucky more than a few times. We definitely got the right cards and we made a few Tichu calls which we probably should have lost.

Come join us next Tuesday! 5:00pm in the Microsoft building 50 cafeteria.


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