What's Eric Playing?: Week of July 01, 2019
We’re back with five reviews this week! Three games from Japan, one from Korea, and another Button Shy Gen Cant winner! As always, click on the title of the game for my full review!
Overall, Batman: Gotham City Under Siege is pretty fun! I think there are a lot of things to like about it — a diverse array of characters; a neat 3D setup; lots of cards, powers, and abilities for variable play; fun throwbacks and references; and even some fantastic minis. Those are all great things to put in a game you’re developing, and I’m super glad IDW has paid such attention to the license (though I’ve never found them to fall short in that area; I suppose that’s why they’re such good stewards for those licenses). The game itself isn’t my favorite cooperative game, yeah, but it’s occasionally fun to play. I think I’d prefer a shorter game with a more streamlined setup and gameplay process; I worry that this review is going to clock in at around 3000 words, and for a 45 – 60 minute game, that makes me think either I’m being too wordy (I am) or that the game has too much going on for its length. Or it could be both things. That’s not the worst thing in the world, though, as I think this game is a love letter to Batman: The Animated Series, which admittedly I haven’t seen much of (I was more of a Justice League / JLU kid), so fans of that will certainly feel seen by the game; I just think I wish it were a bit shorter. If that’s not something you’re concerned about or if Batman: The Animated Series was your favorite Batman media, I’d recommend checking out Batman: Gotham City Under Siege; it’s an interesting game and I’ve had fun playing it!
Overall, Wangdo is cute! It’s definitely on the family-friendly side, which is nice, but it doesn’t end up feeling too kiddy while you play it, as some of the decisions are still pretty interesting. My one complaint is that the Seal Cards feel like they have different utilities, and some are more generally useful than others, it seems, and without any sort of trading economy for bears, it’s totally possible to end up in a spot where you need to draw something randomly in order to win and it … never comes. That can be frustrating, but thankfully the game is also pretty quick, so that sting doesn’t linger for a while. What I’d love to see from this game is something akin to Einstein, where you’ve got the family-friendly core and the more complex upgraded game available as an expansion, with new cards, new paths, and more to do. I think that would upgrade this from good to excellent, personally. It’s already got some great stuff going for it: it’s got good art, quick gameplay, and really cool components. I’d just like to see if it can be pushed up a bit more with an expansion. Either way, if you like bears or you’re looking for a quick set collection game for the whole family, I will say that I’ve enjoyed Wangdo! I’ll be interested to see where it ends up next.
Overall, I’m really enjoying NMBR 9! It’s been pretty nice since I’ve been bringing it back around to play it every now and then, and it reminded me both that I really enjoy it and haven’t reviewed it, yet. So fixing that problem now. Sure, the box is too big for the game which makes it hard for me to bring with me places, but that’s okay. I’ve managed to fit it in my Quiver before, but then I lost one of the 6s, so, who can say if that was actually a good decision? It’s a great game to start a game night with, as it’s kinda thinky, very fast, and easy to pick up while you’re waiting for more people to show up. I think the major issue I have with it is that the box makes it seem like a longer or heavier game than it actually is, which is an interesting thought. Either way, if you’re looking for an upbeat, fun, puzzley tile game, NMBR 9 is great!
Overall, I think Catalogue is a great little game! I’m excited to see (at least I think I saw it online somewhere) that it’s seeing a wider release, so hopefully more people get to try it out. One thing I noticed is that it’s also seeing a lot of success in being used with children who have some difficulty verbalizing, which is a cool bonus, too. For couples or two people trying to get to know each other better, Catalogue is a great break in between other games or a great way to kick back, trade off, and go through some common interests at a pretty quick clip. The party mode doesn’t interest me a ton, since it’s that but all directed at one person. That’s fine; just not my particular cup of tea. To be fair, I’m also a sucker for great components, and the big, chunky Heart Tokens are really nice, too. All that in a tiny box is generally a good tradeoff for me, so, yeah, if you’re looking for a great game for couples, a quick game for friends, or you just want to know how people feel about a wide variety of different objects, I’d recommend checking out Catalogue! I’ve had fun with it.
Overall, Zenteeko is a cute little quick game! At two, it’s very easy to play a game in 2 – 3 minutes, if you’re anything like me and you consistently clown yourself into a loss. At three, you’re likely to see a thinkier game as players need to figure out how to block another person without ceding enough territory that they lose the game. It’s a delicate balance, but isn’t annoying like many three player games are where once the balance shifts at all, the game is lost. I think you can recover ground (unless you lose, as you might guess) in subsequent turns, and I appreciate and respect that in the game. Plus, it’s very portable, comes with its own storage, and is reminiscent of the classic games of old, which I definitely appreciate. I think the best audience for this game is going to be those sorts of folks; it’s a great size for a school’s game cafe or a lobby or some place where space is coming at a premium, for sure, and the game’s simple enough that you could see it pretty easily being played by curious players without much trouble. If that sounds like the kind of thing you’re looking for, then I’d recommend checking out Zenteeko! I’ve found it to be pretty fun.