Things of No Interest: What I Played July 24 - August 8
Yeah, I missed an update last week for games played, so you are once again getting the multi-week edition of what I've been playing lately.
After I traded for this little gem, I have kept it at work where we play occasionally at "lunch". This is such a great little game that we often play twice and have started digging at different approaches to our games to keep each other guessing. If you haven't played before, it is (to my mind), a stock game. You spend the first half of the game taking turns distributing cards (there are 5 "stocks", money cards, and cards that let you change the value of the "stocks"). Then the second half of the game is an auction for the cards that didn't get distributed. Its fast and interesting and a good amount of bluffing and player interactions.
Ticket to Ride: India and Switzerland
My daughter, my love Alyson and I played the iPad version of TtR and covered a number of maps, including both Switzerland and India. Interestingly, I won both of these maps with exactly a score of 113. I love Switzerland and normally dominate this map against Alyson unless the ticket draw is just horrid. I'm not sure why she ever wants to play this one with me. She likes India a good bit, but my daughter and I kept taking routes she needed and she ended up with a handful of routes she couldn't finish. Nobody really made loops, as we were too busy jacking each other's lines.
I finished another online game of this with Brandon and Robert. I have mentioned before that a certain blue cube card feels broken and the more that I play and have that card in game, the more certain I am of that. I believe we all had equal numbers (Brandon might have had 1 more blue cube than Robert or I). Even so, it make the randomness of the game much more uneven. I think I might actually like this game more on the table than online (but probably won't find out if that is true for a long time). Otherwise, this is a cool little deck builder / bag builder.
Lost Cities: The Boardgame
Lost Cities: The Boardgame is one of the best gateway games ever made. The mechanics of the game are stupidly simply and yet the game has interesting choices and a little bit of angst. For all the love the card game version (which came out first) gets, I'm not sure why this game seems overlooked. At any rate, I pulled this out to play with Alyson, her daughter (who doesn't normally play a lot of games with us) and my daughter. With where we sat, I ended up "ahead of Alyson" and "stole all her cards". Oh yeah, I also ran away with the game. I like this because you can play just one quick round, or the more satisfying full three rounds. Either way, good game packed into a reasonable timeframe that is appropriate for non-gamers and gamers.
Alyson's daughter got to pick the next game and she has been dying for the family to play Say Anything. I played it, but for the record, I don't like this kind of game. And by this kind of game, I mean the "supposed to be hilarious, popularity contest". Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, Dixit, etc. I understand the appeal, but they are just not my kind of game. This one is especially grueling with a mix of kids and adults. This particular game is slightly better than some others because you also get to vote on the answers that others put out as the one you think the judge will pick. That doesn't fix the basic problem that I don't want to try and figure out what someone else thinks is amusing or the "right" answer.
That's What She Said Game
And right after I tear into Say Anything and why I don't like it, I have another game that is exactly that kind of game. TWSSG is really just Cards Against Humanity, but pretty much just the sexual innuendo version. We had a get together with some old work friends and someone brought this (because we used to say TWSS a LOT at work). It wasn't any better that we were all drinking. Again, I get why other people like these games (they are obviously very popular), but it is just not my thing.
Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries
At least we can end on a good note. When Alyson and my daughter and I played a series of TtR, our last map was Nordic Countries. I feel this is similar to Switzerland as a tight little race map. Mostly I chose it because none of us play it very often so it feels fresh and not "canned". Of course, we all started "stealing" each other's routes and there was plenty of general chaos in trying to get the cards we needed to "Finnish" up (see what I did there?).