The gift

For the past few days, I’ve been playing Hanamikoji, or 21 flowers. I’m really impressed with the game. My favorite part is that in order to get cards on your side you have to give your opponents some cards as well. Two of the four actions involve selecting some cards, then letting your opponent pick a some for themselves before you get the leftovers.

I look forward to exploring this concept further.

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Dream design

I have tended toward simpler, easy to set up games as time has gone on. It makes me think: what does my dream game have in the way of pieces?

If I take it to the extreme, I would design a game with a board and one piece. The piece would take on different characteristics depending on where it was on the board. Now, that would be an easy set up. There has to be a way to make it fun as well.

VR

I still haven’t tried out VR yet. Despite being marketed like crazy, I’m still on the wait and see train. Until someone I know has some kind of VR setup, I doubt I will use it.

It got me thinking about playing board games in VR space and if that would even make sense. I can envision floating pieces, exploding pieces, and gigantic pieces that could flatten players. 

But would I want to play a board game in VR space? Even if I did, would I want to buy a virtual board game? I guess it depends. I’m interested to find out.

App Store

Spent some time on the App Store looking at all of the board game adaptions. There are way more board game apps than I thought. I hadn’t realized.

Out of all the games competing for my attention, Galaxy Trucker really stood out. I’ve played the game once at a convention and loved it. I thought seriously about buying it at one point, but I knew it would be another one of those games that sat on the shelf, unloved and unplayed.

An app version though? Not having to mess with all those little pieces? I could see that working out for me.

Enforced fun

Yesterday was the holiday of Easter. There have been a few years where I have completely forgotten about Easter and only realized it the next day. This year though, I was on it, and much fun was had by all.

Part of the festivities was rounding up the children, separating them from assorted devices, sitting them down and playing a family board game.

There was a lot of moaning and complaining at first, but once everyone got in to the spirit, it was really fun and provided a moment of togetherness that otherwise wouldn’t have been there.

Onirim

I have been playing Castellion for about a week and enjoying it as a positive foray into solo board games. So, yesterday I saw there was a new phone version of its predecessor, Onirim, for 99 cents. 

So I’ve already played 10X the number of games of Onirim, even though I actually like Castellion better. If I wasn’t convinced before, the situation shows me yet again how being a phone game can really improve the experience.

Too soon?

In Ark, the game under development by Elephant Labs, you are a generation ship sent forth to escape supernova destruction and hopefully find a new home among the stars.

There is a small, but not negligible, chance that the ship can find a planet and successfully colonize it on the very first turn. 

In development and playtesting, it’s not such a big deal, we just start a new game. But should you really be able to end the game first turn?

I can imagine a scenario where people are playing Ark for the first time, set up all the pieces, get all excited to start and then boom! Game over.

I can imagine that would be unsatisfying enough that instead of restarting a new game they throw the stuff back in the box in disgust.

In board games more than anything, a bad first play can guarantee that a box sits on a shelf forevermore. I like that a game can be short and a group can fit in multiple plays in a session, I’m just not sure they will in this case.