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Showing posts from April, 2020

Forbidden Island (Acquire-To-Zendo)

🏝️ On An Island In The Sun, We'll Be Playing And Having Fun...




2010, 2-4 players Complexity: moderate
When Pandemic dropped in 2008, the world was introduced to a new type of game: collaborate board games in which the game hates you and wants you to die. It's like solitaire, but themed, and with more player agency so as to make your inevitable defeat feel even more like a personal failure. Pandemic has a lot of fans, but I'm very lukewarm on it. I acknowledge its importance, but I'd rather play something happier. Such as... Forbidden Island. Let's See It In Action
In Forbidden Island you and one-to-three friends take on the role of adventurers who have arrived on a remote and deserted island in search of treasures. Four specific treasures, actually: The Earth Stone, The Statue Of The Wind, The Crystal Of Fire, and The Ocean's Chalice. You and your fellow adventurers must travel around the island looking for clues (cards) to unlock the treasures. There's ju…

Epic PVP: Fantasy (Acquire-To-Zendo)

💪 Na Na Na Na Na Na Na, I Wanna Start A Fight


2015, 2-4 (but realistically just 2) players Complexity: moderate
An orc paladin, a dwarf monk, a high elf barbarian, and a cat samurai walk into a bar, decide they hate each other, and start throwing punches. Who will win? Who will get the tar beaten out of them? Who will be left picking up the tab? Let's See It In Action
(Note: the box pictured is from Epic PVP: Magic, but all of the components I'm playing with are from Epic PVP: Fantasy.)

In Epic PVP: Fantasy, you and one other player--yes, this technically has rules for three and four, but it is intended to be a two-player game--will take turns playing moves and counter-moves until one or the other of you has run out of life. It's a take-that game that combines a few different mechanics. The first one is shuffle-building, borrowed from AEG's breakout hit Smash-Up.


In Epic PVP, you don't have a deck. You combine two mini-decks, one representing the character's r…

Drop It (Acquire-To-Zendo)

⤵️ ... Like It's Hot


2018, 2-4 players Complexity: light
I love a good dexterity game. Dexterity games have the kind of mechanics that you can't meta-game around. You either have the skills or you don't. They're fun to play with kids, and they're particularly fun to bring out at the party after people have had a couple of drinks. There's something inherently childish about them, and if you're willing to embrace that, the experience can be quite rewarding. Of the dexterity games that have come out in the last few years, my favorite is Drop It. Let's See It In Action
In Drop It, you and one-to-three friends will take turns dropping shapes into the stand that serves as the game board. It's divided into eight segments, and whatever the highest segment your piece is touching, you get that many points. Additionally, there are circles printed on the board that are worth one two or three points, and if your piece is touching one of them, you get those point…

Dominion (Acquire-To-Zendo)

🤴 The Original Deck-Builder



2008, 2-4 players Complexity: light/moderate
Donald X. Viccarino (can we take a moment to revel in how cool his middle initial is?) was a game hobbiest who got heavily involved in Magic The Gathering in the late 90s and early 00s. In 2006, he was working on a fantasy game called Spirit Warriors II and struggling with a mechanic where cards would be acquirable over time. One of the variations he played with was to just make all of those acquirable from the very beginning, laid out in a market. When he demo'd this to his local gaming group, it was an immediate hit. And thus was born the prototype for a new style of game: the deck-builder. Over the next year he would tweak and re-theme the mechanic, selling it to Rio Grande Games and launching one of the most innovative and influential franchises in gaming: Dominion. Let's See It In Action
In Dominion, you and one-to-three friends are monarchs with modest amounts of land income, and with aspirations t…

Dixit (Acquire-To-Zendo)

🖼️ He Said / She Said



2008, 3-6 players Complexity: light
So you want to play a game. You want something kinda whimsical. Maybe a little childish, but more in a dreamlike way. Something you could play with your kids and significant other, but maybe something you could play in a room full of half-drunk adults. Look no further. Let's See It In Action
In Dixit, you and two to five friends (who are all rabbits for some reason) will alternate in the role of Storyteller, describing a picture that the other players will have to guess. Each player has a set of voting tokens that varies depending on the number of players. You draw a hand of six cards. The Storyteller then chooses one of their cards and describes it. It could be a word, a phrase, a song, a guttural noise. The rules are pretty flexible.


Each player picks a card from their hand that they feel best matches the clue. The cards are shuffled and laid out above the board. For example, in the above image, the clue might have been …