So, there was one final order in 2020, as Miniature Market did an end of year sale on their sale items. Now, I will say, I didn’t only pick up sale items, but I did pick up two games that I’ve been looking at for …
Tag: The Dice Tower
So last night, GloryHoundd and DrGloryHogg did stream for their Top 10 Kickstarters of 2020. Turns out, unknown to me, that they were doing their Top 10 that they played in 2020, either from being fulfilled. So they asked for people to chime in, so …
Not shockingly, I don’t have that many board games that start with the letter I, in fact, this will be a shorter one overall as I get through I, J, and K, but I do have some that start with each letter, so I haven’t missed any thus far.
I, J and K’s
ICECOOL (and ICECOOL 2)
Yes, that is how the name is listed on Board Game Geek, so I’m going with that. ICECOOL was a flicking game, that I forget where I stumbled across it, probably the Dice Tower, and what was interesting about the game is that not only were you flicking the penguins, not something that I had done before, but the box formed the penguin high school that you were flicking the penguins around. Just how the different parts of the box formed the board and stuck to together was cool. Add in ICECOOL 2, now you can play with up to 8 people, you can either do the normal way with hall monitors trying to catch the students ducking out of class or race around the board if you want another mode to play. The game is a ton of fun, and has always been a smashing success at game nights.
Another game that I know I learned about on the Dice Tower, this is a two player only game that has a theme that reminded me of Stranger Things when Sam Healey would talk about it. This game has one person playing the InBetween or basically the upside-down nd the other person playing the real world. There are a group of people, and you are trying to put your influence on them and make it so that the people go to your side and not your opponents, So it’s an interesting tug of war sort of game as you try and figure out through card play how to influence that. That concept really drew me to the game, and the them, because playing a Stranger Things game, basically, sounded like a lot of fun.
Status: To Be Played
The Isle of Cats
This game has cats, that’s a selling point, but it also has your drafting cards and playing down polyominoes, think Tetris sort of pieces, which are the cats onto your ship, all the while trying to create “families” of like colored cats to score points. Plus you have objective cards, and there are sections on the boat that you need to fill up. But you have to be able to pay for this call, so you get baskets to pick up the cats you have to pay for, you have to pay for the cats with fish, because fish lure cats into baskets, and you have to pay fish for the cards that you draft that you decide to keep. There’s a lot going on in the game but all of it seems to flow together quite well.
Status: To Be Played
Party games can be hit or miss for me, but Just One is a really good game. Firstly, it’s cooperative, which I think can be an issue with other party games. I get that something like Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples are supposed to have the in jokes created, but it eventually just becomes people playing those in jokes because they are funny versus because they are trying that hard to win, even games like Stipulations, which I also like, eventually has people starting to put down the same jokes. Just One, however, since it is cooperative, has people focused on helping the group by coming up with a good one word clue that hopefully no one else will have. I also like how those clues work so well, one word, if it’s duplicated by someone else, you can’t see either clue. That really ups the ante for people putting out unique clues which makes guessing the right thing harder, but maybe with all the clues together a more obscure clue will make more sense.
King of Tokyo
My only K game as well, King of Tokyo was one of the earlier games I got. You’ll find that a lot of the earlier games are one’s that I saw on Wil Wheaton’s TableTop show. This was one that looked like a lot of fun, and still gets played probably a couple of times per year. The game works well because it is a nice simple step up from other games. You are rolling dice Yahtzee style and either getting numbers for points Farkle style, getting punches, getting energy (think currency), or healing up. Now there are more rules, but for the most part the punches and the points are what you really care about because you can either win by knocking everyone else out or by getting enough points. That’s one thing that I really enjoyed about the game is that you have two options to win as well, that wasn’t super common or possibly even a thing, in the games that I’d played before.
As board games have grown as a hobby, it’s tricky at times to find a good board game that fits you. There are so many of them out there that it can be overwhelming and when you find some more “hobby” games and get introduced …
We’ve all played board games growing up — most of us are familiar with the classics, like Monopoly, Clue, and Life. And for a lot of people, playing them just leads to frustration. However, we are in a new generation of board games. Games now try to keep people engaged throughout; they’ve done away with the “roll and move” mechanic that meant you did better if you rolled higher. And now there are tons of choices out there — so if you want to try board games now, how do you pick out what you like?
One way to get started is to check out my posts on the different types of game categories, or the reviews we’ve done on specific games.
But while that’s a good place to start, you might not find it to be super useful for figuring out the type of games you like. So what are some more things that you can do to try out different games?
Find a Board Game Shop
These days, basically all board game shops are going to have some games you can try playing. This is a good free way to play a game to see if you like it. When you do find one that you like, spend some money and pick it up at the store. It might be a bit more expensive than Amazon would be, but not by much, and helping out small game shops is great. Play a lot of different games when you go there, and read rule books if you can’t play.
Ask People for Suggestions
So, okay, that’s what you are doing now (kind of). But it’s good to let people know what games you have enjoyed. For example, if you’ve liked playing a game like Clue, you might like other puzzle-y games, or even social deduction games. And asking people will get you answers like that, and even more specifics. The people in your local game shop (both employees and other patrons) are also going to be able to tell you about different games and their favorite games.
Check out Reviews/Actual Plays/Board Game Geek
There are great places online to find information. We have our reviews, and we try to tell you how a game will do for a more serious player and a more casual player. But there are may other great places to see games played. Wil Wheaton’s Geek & Sundry show TableTop is solid, and I’d highly recommend the people from the site The Dice Tower. They do reviews, hilarious top ten lists, and actual plays of the game online. There are many other spots to check out as well for seeing videos. Board Game Geek is a site where you can create or read board game reviews, see what’s hot, and keep track of what you have in your collection. Once you have an idea of something you like, you can use it as a jumping-off point. Again, say you like Clue; you can find Clue on Board Game Geek and look at other games that are listed in the same category on the site.
(As an aside, Tom Vassel from The Dice Tower is currently doing a series on “If you like X, then you might like Y,” using a lot of classic games as a starting point; it’s an awesome tool to use right now.)
Go to a Convention
A lot of conventions will bring in a board game library, and at tabletop or board game conventions, there will be people who bring their own games. A ton of people will be happy to teach you how to play their favorite game. This does come with the caveat of letting people know that you are learning a game when you play. Depending on the type of gaming session they’re looking for at that time, they might not be ready to teach someone, or other players in the session might not want to play a teaching game. Don’t feel like you necessarily have to leave the game if that’s the case; sometimes you can learn through being a spectator of a regular gaming session, or sometimes the person you’re playing the game with is in the mood to teach it, meaning players who don’t want to play in a teaching game might have to opt out of that session. What it comes down to is that the person who is teaching the game gets to choose what type of game they want to play.
In Part Two, I’m going to talk more about picking games and experimenting with games. How do you decide what you want to play when looking at a shelf? And how do you pick the next game after that? Find out in the next post!
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