Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), protagonist of the third most translated book in the world, is back in the form of another boardgame. This time, it’s a young aviator who is leaving her grandfather’s house to fly to meet the little prince on his home planet. Players use cards to move their personal aviator across the map while collecting stars. The twist is in the turn order. The last place plane always takes the next move. The Little Prince is a quick little game that makes a good filler (a quick short game), but despite its art and straightforward rules it does have some aggressive play that may not fit well with younger players.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to appear a month from now. Aside from repeatedly watching the film’s trailers, how will a Star Wars fan manage to occupy their time? Enter the Star Wars Role Playing Game from Fantasy Flight Games. A story-oriented game, it features streamlined rules so that player actions aren’t bogged down with complicated rules. Many aspects of combat, such as range, are abstracted and most actions are quickly resolved with a simple roll of custom dice. The core rules have been released in three different settings, with the newest one, Force and Destiny, focusing on force sensitive characters under the Empire’s rule (Episodes IV through VI.)
Splendor is a gem-themed game of economic growth. Players use consumable gem chips to purchase point cards, which serve as permanent gems. As players accumulate cards, they are able to purchase more expensive cards worth more points. In this way, the game steamrolls into a finale of large point card purchases. While it sounds rather dry, the game has an attraction as a simple “snowball” game where one’s resources accumulate and become more powerful over time.
A good kid’s game will involve a bit of actual thinking (looking at you Candyland) and a bit of physical interaction (to help those squirrelly ones.) Fish Fish Squish! has a bit of both, matching cards and smashing play-doh fish as a reward for success. This makes it fun for kids and agreeable to parents playing along.
Fish Fish Squish!
Publisher: Winning Moves
Time: 20 mins
(Review copy provided by Winning Moves)
I like a nice, deep boardgame: something fun to play that would last 60-90 minutes. However, with two young boys and a toddler girl I am always on the lookout for games and toys appropriate for my younger crowd. Patch Products have none of the former, but specializes in games and toys for the younger (or family with younger) crowd. Scoping out things for the holiday season, here are three newer items of note from the company. They aren’t going to collect awards as grown-up games, but all three were a big hit with my kids.
Cinelinx is a card party game for 2-6 players. It says on the box that this game is for people who love movies. And that’s definitely true. The object of the game is to connect cards together that have something in common, and all the cards are film genres, titles, and movie stars. Whoever can connect all their cards and get rid of their hand first, wins!
Which is larger, a tricerotops or an ankylosaurus? If you already know, you may be in the target audience of Cardline: Dinosaurs. The Timeline family of card games challenges players to place cards representing items and events in chronological order. In Cardline: Dinosaurs, players place their cards in order either by weight or by size. While similar to the previous games, the dinosaur theme may be more attractive to younger players.
Sit down to a boardgame with your friends and enjoy a night of fun. Next week you can play it all again, but what if each time you play the game it is subtly altered so you never play the same game twice? About 4 years ago, Hasbro went out on a limb and released Risk Legacy. It was the Risk game known to many, but this time around every game played physically changed the game. What if the green army wins one game and comes back with advantages the next time around. What if western Australia was nuked, a sticker was placed on the board, and that location will never be accessible again. Risk Legacy was a hit amongst the boardgaming crowd. The idea of a boardgame that evolves and permanently changes was out of the bag and now several new titles are coming down the pipeline.
I visited GenCon last week, one of the largest gaming conventions in the U.S. 60,000+ people mobbed downtown Indianapolis for the four days of the event. All types of games were covered including boardgames, roleplaying games, and collectible card games. I have an entire series covering many games in detail over at OpinionatedGamers. I have a rundown of dice games, more complex games, family games, children’s games, and a mix of roleplaying and “everything else.”
However, to save everyone some time, I’ve dug out some of my favorite games of the convention so you don’t necessarily have to wade through all my reports (unless you want to see some of the variety at the convention.)
The idea of a deckbuilding game has been around for quite awhile, the idea of making a game solely about building a deck of powerful cards over the course of a single game. Designers have since “riffed” on that basic idea in many ways, and Hyperborea takes as its new twist the idea of bag-building. In Hyperborea, players place and remove colored cubes from their personal bag. The colors drawn dictate a player’s options for that turn. This new(ish) mechanism is used to good effect. Combined with unique player powers and multiple paths to victory, Hyperborea is a fun game that feels something mildly akin to Risk, but Risk where each player (and country) has special powers.