Can you draw your way to victory in this dungeon full of monsters, treasures, and dragons?
Tag: Flip and Write
We’ve been over this many a time. I like Roll and Write or Flip and Write games a lot. So when I saw a chance to pick-up Metro X, it seemed like a good idea. This is a flip and write game where you are building out metro lines, trying to complete as many as you can.
As you play this game, you are flipping over cards and filling them in on a bus line/subway line. For example, I flip a five and decide to fill in five spots on the blue line. I cross out that many spots and put the number five in the first open spot on the bus for green. This shows that I’ve filled in something on the green line once. I flip another card, it’s a four, I could fill that in on the purple line, but purple shares a station with green four spots out, and I already filled in that station, so I’d be wasting one if I filled in purple. So I put it in blue, and you do this until you have every spot on the buses filled in. There are some special cards as well, there’s a free space that allows you to fill in a spot, and there’s a transfer which scores you points for how many different lines come into that station. You get points for completed lines and for transfers, but you lose points if you have too many stations not filled in.
The game does one thing that I really want my roll and write games to do, and that is that everyone plays at once. I flip a card and everyone picks and fills in on their own sheet a line. Theoretically that could mean that everyone would make it identical, but the odds of that are extremely low. But I generally want my light games like this one to have little to no downtime.
Saying that, though, I do think you have some interesting decisions to make. Odds are you won’t fill in every station or get every route, so you need to play where and when you are placing on lines so that you aren’t cutting yourself short. I did not mention one type of card when I was talking about that, and that is the skip card. It allows you to start in the first available spot on the line, and then skip over a group of filled in ones to continue filling it. So you have decisions when you get that to see how much you can fill up, because the more you put in, the more lines cross, and the more likely you are to not be able to fill in the full number on the card flipped, hence wasting some.
I also want to point out the components for the game. They are really nice. It comes with dry erase markers which are nice, which of course means it comes with laminated or dry erase boards, so you don’t have to do that yourself. Or, you won’t run out of sheets as well if you don’t laminate. It also has an insert to keep everything sitting nicely, which it does. Overall, just well designed components for the game. The box might be a little bit large, but because of the insert, nothing rattles around.
Metro X is a very solid game. While I do think that there can be some interesting decisions in the game, it isn’t too difficult to teach or play. I think that will make some people believe that it doesn’t have decisions or that many hard decisions, but there are definitely a number in the game that I would consider tough as you try and optimize the puzzle, and I like that aspect of it and that aspect generally in games, easy enough to learn but interesting decisions.
Overall, I think that this game won’t be quite enough for some players, but a lot of people will enjoy it for how simple it is but for making them think. I like it well enough for that, and I’m definitely glad that I picked it up. The game looks nice, plays nicely, and is easy enough to learn and teach, and I think you need some games like that in most collections.
Overall Grade: B+
Gamer Grade: C+
Casual Grade: A
Have you played this roll and write game? What do you think of it?
This is going to be a long post, you have been warned. I had a lot of L’s but that’s nothing compared to what I have in the S’s. Not to mention that I just got in Sentinels of the Multiverse expansions and Sentinel Tactics as well. We’ll be talking about board games for a while today!
Sagrada (and Expansions)
I wish that I had backed Sagrada on Kickstarter, not because there is anything special with that edition really compared to what I have, but because I like the game that much. This dice drafting game just works and looks amazing on the table. The theme of stained glass windows appeals to most everyone, even non-nerdy gamers. And the concept of taking a die and placing it into your stained glass window makes sense. Add in that the dice look amazing in the windows because they are translucent, it sells the game even more on the table.
I don’t always love abstract games. But Santorini looks great on the table, and that counts for a lot in a game, in my opinion. Especially for a game that is abstract. The simple game play helps the game be even more appealing. You are just moving a piece and building a level. The goal is to make it to the third level of a building, which is simple enough. And when the game becomes too simple, you can add in god cards which give players powers.
Status: To Be Played
Say Bye to the Villains
I like extremely tough cooperative games. Say Bye to the Villains fits that mold perfectly as I have yet to win it. But for me, I don’t see that as a negative, mainly because we are always close to winning. None of the games feel like we’re too far away which is saying something considering how many times I’ve played it. It also helps that the game play is simple enough. You are just playing cards that eat up time, and the game isn’t too long either. For some people it would be a negative, but for me, it’s a good thing. It feels like there’s always just one more thing to do in the Say Bye to the Villains than you have time for.
I have a game from 1988 on my list. And yes, I play Scattergories still. Scattergories is a party game that works well since it depends on the players creativity but not on in-jokes. It also works well over Zoom which has gotten it played several times this year. The game is simple and everyone understands what is going on when played. Scattergories isn’t a game that I’ll pull out all the time, but people have fun when it is pulled out. And it’s a game that everyone knows because it’s been around so long.
If you thought Scattergories was old, think again. I have Scrabble in my collection as well. Scrabble being published in 1948 might make it the oldest game in my collection. I still enjoy playing Scrabble, though. I prefer regular Scrabble to the “quick” Scrabble or Banagrams. The main reason is that Scrabble has more strategy and tactics than those do. In Banagrams it is purely pattern recognition and while I am good at it, it isn’t as fun. I prefer to think about how I might be setting up my opponent in Scrabble and the strategy that comes with that.
I wanted to like SeaFall so badly. And it’s funny that I do have a copy of it still. I was gifted a copy that a friend got for cheap. SeaFall promised that it was going to be an epic seafaring game where the story unfolded as you explored. Instead, we got a story that was a mess and complicated but only because it didn’t unfold in order. Compared to other Legacy Games, story happened much more randomly and the games themselves took too long. I wanted a game that told epic punchy story about adventure on the high seas. And, I think that is possible within SeaFall, how the story works, though, needs to be reworked.
I like flip and writes as I’ve said many a time before. Second Chance is a simple flip and write. You try and fill as much of your square as possible and that’s it. To do that you are putting in polyomino like shapes onto your board. If you can’t place one of the two shapes, you get a second chance card, a card only you can use. If you are able to use it, you stay in the game and continue playing. If not, you are out and count up the empty spaces you have left. The game is that simple. But it works well because it gives a chance for people to be creative in how they fill in the shapes. You doodle on them so you can tell what is filled and what isn’t, or create patterns. And that part of the game is really a lot of fun. Plus, the game works for everyone since it is so simple.
Sentinel Tactics: The Flame of Freedom
Honestly, I ordered this game on accident. I thought I was ordering another expansion for Sentinels of the Multiverse, but I ordered Sentinel Tactics. Thankfully I ordered a standalone game, not an expansion for Sentinels Tactics. Sentinel Tactics still takes place in the Sentinels of the Multiverse world, but is a tactical game, as the name implies. You move chits around a modular board playing through scenarios that have you trying to beat a villain. I hope it’s good, I know one person who said it was interesting, if not, I got it on a steep sale, so I can always use it to get store credit at my FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) for a game I want.
Status: To Be Played
Sentinels of the Multiverse (and Expansions Galore)
What, this game comes after Sentinel Tactics alphabetically, who’d have guessed. I picked up the base game used from my FLGS. Sentinals is a game that I’ve wanted to try for a while because of the superhero theme. Then when Tom Vassal played it on a What’s Appening stream for the Dice Tower, I decided it looked good enough to pick up. Then, Black Friday rolled around and Greater Than Games had a massive sale. So I picked up a ton of expansions for it, almost a literal ton. I believe it was 17 expansions for it, plus Sentinel Tactics. I still need to get it to the table, and I plan on starting just with the base game, but I love the superhero world and the comics that come with some of the boxes.
Status: To Be Played
Shadowrun Crossfire: Prime Runner Edition
I picked this one up recently as well. Shadowrun Crossfire first came onto my radar when I played it at Fantasy Flight Game Center off of their demo wall. I knew when I played it that I’d pick it up eventually. I really like the world of Shadowrun. A world where big corporations are running things, and hackers go on runs to try and get data and take them down. The cyberpunk setting works really well for me. I know there are some knocks on the game with how slowly characters level up, but I am still excited to play through it’s campaign.
Shadowrun: Sprawl Ops (with Cooperative Expansion)
This game was a bit of a mess getting it from Kickstarter. The shipping company messed up royally, and while we did get cool extra boards, the creators who were doing updates were not professional about everything. I don’t have any issue with the publisher Catalyst Game Labs, but with Lynnvander Studios, I’d be hesitant to back any of their projects again. The game looks amazing and has a great cyberpunk aesthetic, though, so I am excited to play it. And the game comes in a massive box, where even the box looks awesomely cyberpunk.
Status: To Be Played
Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients
I have some beefs with this game, though it is still on my shelf. The main beef I have is that it sucks to put together. All the little minis come in a lot of pieces and are not easy to put together. This sounds like it’s been rectified to some extent in other prints of this box. However, the game itself is a lot of fun. It’s a weird west game where you are pushing deep into a mine to try and complete objectives. But there are monsters in there, and you might stumble into a whole other world if you aren’t careful. I want more time to play it, but I have to reassemble my minis first, which might be a good winter project, assuming I remember how they go together.
Shadows of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game
I have mentioned a few places that have caused me to pick up games and Shadows of Kilforth is one of those game. This fantasy game with an Eastern flare to it, was one that I saw the original, Gloom of Kilforth played on the Rolling Solo channel on YouTube. The game play looked interesting, so when a sequel showed up on Kickstarter, it felt like a good game to back. I still think it will be, I just need to get it sorted and ready for the table. This game is one that I should be able to play solo on Malts and Meeples in the new year sometime.
Status: To Be Played
I’m ashamed of how long this game has been on my shelf without getting played. My wife picked it up for we as a gift, and as a game that she’d also like the theme of. But it’s euro game, so I don’t get those off my shelf as much. I am interested in it as I like the theme of putting on a play. Getting costumes, actors, sets, and more ready sounds like a lot of fun, I just haven’t played it yet. I am excited to try it still, I just need to sit down and learn the rules so we can get it to the table.
Status: To Be Played
The Siblings Trouble
I picked this one up off of Kickstarter because of how much I had enjoyed Lift Off! from the same design and company. This one is a light RPG like game that is targeted for families with kids. It is meant to be a way to get that RPG feel without having as much of a ruleset as something like Dungeons and Dragons does. I’m waiting until the toddler is old enough to play it with us because the game looks very cute.
Status: To Be Played
Silver: Amulet (and Coin, Bullet, and Dagger)
Silver: Amulet was a game that I got to try at GenCon in 2019. The game has a puzzle feel to it as you are trying to score the fewest points in your village. The twist comes with being able to swap out two cards for one card, if the cards are the same number. Add in a lot of powers on your cards, and you have an interesting puzzle. And then to top that all off, you don’t know what most of your cards are at the start of the game. The amulet, coin, bullet, and dagger all do different things, so depending on which version you play there will be a unique special power. And the cards you play with between the games can be mixed together, you just need one set of each number to make it work.
Silver & Gold
Roll and write, you know the drill. I like them, and this one does something cool. You fill in spots on cards, which seems bad. But the cards are dry erase, so you can play with them over and over again. It is a clever twist as you start to do set collection with them and score points off of which ones you have filled in. You still make combos though. If you cross of a treasure spot, that allows you to fill in another spot on any of your cards, and there are palm trees that are worth points as well. Super small sized game, but looks to pack a lot of game into it.
Status: To Be Played
The section of old games apparently. Skip-Bo is a classic game that I grew up playing less than I’d want in some ways. Fairly often for a simple card game Uno would be the game picked. But Skip-Bo had more interesting game play to it than Uno does. I like figuring out how to place your discards in the most optimal way possible, and sometimes stopping early to try and lock an opponent from being able to play easily. Now, the game can drag because of poor card draw, but it is generally quite fast.
A two player game that was on Kickstarter. Again from the same company as Lift Off! Skulk Hollow is an asymmetric two player game. One person plays as the fox kingdom and the other as the old guardian that has awakened. The fox player needs to get onto the guardian, since it is to too large to beat otherwise, and take out it’s different actions. The monster generally has it’s own objective, but can by taking out the fox leader. The game has simple card play but is very tactical in nature and the box comes with multiple leaders for the fox and guardians for a ton of replayability.
The first time I played Skull, I wasn’t sure how much I liked it. It had weird coasters that you played with, and it was a push your luck sort of game. However, the more I played it, the more interesting it became, how did you successfully bluff someone into picking from your pile which has a skull in it, when that will bust you if you get stuck with the bid. The bluffing is what makes this game, it doesn’t have a lot of strategy to it, but if you can bluff and read your opponents you’ll do well in this game. And the coaster shaped “cards” are still weird.
Small World (and Small World Underground)
Small World was one of the gateway games for me that got me into the hobby. I like how it has Risk elements, but it’s actually fun. It has a lot of attacking and defeating your enemy, but in a fun way. You aren’t rolling die like in Risk, the battles are determined just by if you have enough pieces of cardboard to beat an area. The powers and races make this game work though, because something like undead ghouls or flying halflings are just silly, and you can get some great combinations, like commando elves or flying sorcerers that can put a bit of a target on your back. Game is a lot of fun every time I play it, which is about once a year.
I’ve talked about roll and writes, and flip and writes, even a draft and write, but I haven’t mentioned my flick and write. Sonora is a combotastic [blank] and write game. To start your turn you flick disks around a board which determine who much you get to put in certain areas. Some of them are simple race to completion, others have you putting pieces in like they are Tetris, or filling in dots, or closing off sections of the board. It has a ton going on, and if you get the right things, you then get more to fill in other areas and it can repeat even more. It is extremely satisfying.
A game that I picked up used, but that was on my radar for a long time. Spector Ops is a one versus all game, but the one is hidden. They are moving around to various objectives trying to get them all. The concept is so interesting to me. I want to play both sides of it, see how well I can hide where I’m at and see how well I can deduce where someone else is going. It feels like it should be a good and challenging experience.
Status: To Be Played
Splendor is a light and small engine building game. You are collecting gems to get cards that have permanent gems and sometimes points. And you can use those permanent gems to get even more cards which games on them and the process repeats until someone has 15 points. The game is really simple to play, the theme is not there, but that’s okay. It is meant as an introduction to engine building and it works for that. Not one I want to play all the time, but I keep it on the shelf for what it is.
Star Wars: Destiny
Fantasy Flight Games foray into collectible card games. It was a fun game because it wasn’t only card it was nice chunky dice as well. And I like the Star Wars theme better than say, Magic the Gathering. The issue is that the game isn’t quite as good, and people didn’t get into it as much. Destiny is now a retired game, but one that had a good following and people were sad to see leave. What I think worked well was that none of the cards were rarer than the others. So you got good stuff all the time. That was part of what killed it as well, Magic works because it has a massive secondary market for it for FLGS’s, Destiny had none.
Star Wars: Imperial Assault
The Star Wars dungeon crawl. This game does one thing that I really wish the Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth did, and that is that it is adjacent to the main story and the main characters. But I can’t play as Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, those are characters who just make appearances. But out of the base box, you are still playing around the original trilogy storyline. The game also has an app, so it can be one versus all, but it can also be fully cooperative. I need to play it more because I’ve liked the plays I’ve had.
Star Wars: Unlock!
The unlock games are basically escape room games in in a box. And the Star Wars: Unlock! game is a game that is an escape room in a box with a Star Wars theme. I like these games because they are very puzzly and can give you an experience while you play them. I’ve heard that the Star Wars: Unlock is a bit easier than some of the other ones, but I’m fine with that as it’ll be more accessible to more people. I want to play this over the holidays, and that’s the one downside, once you’ve played an unlock game once, you can’t play it again because you’ll know how it goes, still $30 for three hour long experiences in a group isn’t bad.
Status: To Be Played
I talk about this game a lot, mainly because I really like it was a party game. Stipulations asks the question, what horrible thing will your friends come up with. If you have the super power of flight, what’s the stipulation, or the dream job of being a movie actor, what is the stipulation. This game does what most party games do, it ends up with a lot of in jokes, but it is a fun time and compared to something like Apples to Apples which is basically always clean or Cards Against Humanity which is always dirty, Stipulations can be tailored to those whom you’re playing with.
Super Fantasy Brawl
I’ve decided that I really like games that Mythic Games puts out, or at least in concept. Reichbusters looks like a fun twist on a dungeon crawl, and Super Fantasy Brawl seems like a really accessible two player fighting game. The game has chunky minis that look great, and simple but interesting card play. I like that you play three cards on your turn and those cards have to be of different colors, but each character, of the three you have doesn’t correspond to a color, so if you get a red and a yellow card for one character, you can activate that character twice, from my understanding. I really want to give this one a whirl as it has an epic table presence for a fairly simple seeming game, rules wise.
Status: To Be Played
Super-Skill Pinball: 4-cade
You know the drill, I love my roll and write games. And I like the theme on this one a ton. I like the idea of playing a pinball machine and seeing what the high score is that I can get on it. I like the mechanics of how the ball can bounce around and how it will only bounce certain ways and generally down. You are also trying to bounce it up higher and complete combos on things, just like in real pinball to get even more points. And it’s called 4-cade because there are 4 different machines that you can play.
Status: To Be Played
Sushi Go Party!
This was another early game for my collection as it was on Wil Wheaton’s Table Top show. It is a card drafting game, a mechanic that I quite enjoy, with set collection as well. The game works well, even though with new players you sometimes have someone get off on what they are drafting. Sushi Go Party! also gives you ways to change everything up, so that you can have different combinations of foods on the menu. The game has a very cute table appeal and is just a hit basically all the time.
Sword and Sorcery (plus Expansions)
Sword and Sorcery is a classic dungeon crawl game. This one is pure Amerithrash dice chucking fun. I like how much mitigation you have, but only mitigation in having multiple symbols to use on the dice and being able to reroll dice. My knock on this game is that it is almost a little bit too easy at times. You get great weapons for completing things and now you are hitting really hard and can take down monsters fast. Granted if you roll poorly no matter what you’ll do poorly. I wish it had a bit more of a story to it, but overall, the story isn’t too bad and the game is meant to be mainly a dice chucking dungeon crawl anyways.
Sword Art Online Board Game: Sword of Fellows
I love Sword Art Online, one of my favorite anime, and I’ve watched it multiple times. I am also working on a game idea based off of some of the isekai themes from it. But this game is a bit sad, the anime is big and epic, this game is tiny. it does get some things right, mainly the combat of switching in and out and not letting the bad guy go feels like it matches the theme. I need to play this one not solo, because I think it might be better that way and have less upkeep for one player. I’m hoping some day we’ll get a truly epic Sword Art Online board game.
So that’s all of the S’s, there are ton of them. I hope that you were able to stick it out, hte rest of the list will be a lot shorter. There are so many good games in the S’s as well and a lot that I need to play. Which one should I play first? Do I have something that seems like it’s missing to you? I’m guessing people will say Scythe, which I owned, but got rid of.
What, that seems wrong, how are there no games? No, it’s just that there aren’t that many games out there. So instead I’m looking at games with the Letters N, O, and P. The Collection Numbers A’s – B’s – C’s – D’s – E and F’s – G and H’s – I, J and K’s – L’s – …