Sunday, October 23, 2011

Essen Game Fair 2011 Day 4, the purchasing

We have put off most of our purchasing till the end so that we don't end up having to ship stuff home :)  But there is interesting stuff happening again and we get in a fair number of games as well.

The interesting
You  are curating a dinosaur exhibit for a museum and have to dig up the different bones and gems and put them together.  Interesting because the publisher is a game component company, and the game was the winner of a competition to use a given set of pieces.  Cute, but not worthy of space.

Monster fall-winner of a prize this year.  A way to trick your child into practicing manual dexterity!  Under a time limit, push as many monsters into the center pit by co-operating with the other player(s).  If you knock him over on the way to the pit you have to start over, so it takes some care.  You can see that it is compelling.  In the photo below mom and dad got tired of junior knocking over the monsters and took over by themselves...really!

Ghost Blitz!  Would have bought this in a heartbeat but they were sold out.  Contains 5 pieces and a deck of cards.  The five pieces, a white ghost, a blue book, a red chair, a green bottle and a gray mouse.  Each card has a picture of two of the items, the mouse on the book.  But something about the color is wrong-a green mouse on the blue book.  You have to be the first to grab the blue book.  But there are trickier cards too-a green mouse on a white book means you grab the red chair-get it?!?

Puerto Rico, special edition-contains bigger barrels, metal coins and an expansion that includes new art (nice), nobles and a jewelry store.  Too heavy, and we may not need the expansion....

The international Carcasonne championship, see how everyone has a country flag.

The game playing

Carre (Amigo)-Stack a nice tower with your given set of pieces-no holes allowed!  Roll the dice to determine which size piece you can place or take off your opponents tower!  More interesting than at first glance, but probably only medium replay value, not sure more players add anything, so it could be a good go-to for 2 people.  I have to say Amigo has a great set up here-plenty of tables and nice folks to explain the rules. I like coming back to their 'booth'.

Let's Take a Hike-I was attracted to this on Day 1 because of the artwork which reminds me of Mary Blair of  It's a Small World fame.  Our photo is not very good for the art, see this entry at Board Game Geek or the artist, Troy Cummings, site.  A new theme-how exciting!  This is a risk tolerance game-draw and play cards to prepare yourself to take a hike (water bottle, tent, socks, etc.).  When hiking, turn back when you think you can get the most points.  If you encounter a bad thing, you will  loose all your points, but if you can outlast everyone else, you can make it big!  Basic underlying strategy as Diamante, but with added complexity.  We played with a British couple and the men tied.  I love this and bought multiple copies.

Old Men of the Forest-meaning orangutans :)  Trees, money and transportation good, deforestation bad.  From your given hand, play cards that determine if you get to pick up cards that will win you victory points.  Play your hand poorly and you will only end up with deforestation.  This will suffer with folks prone to analysis paralysis, but interesting enough that we pick it up.  Also reminiscent of Slide 5-a theme on top of a concept, but it could be any theme.

Alba Longa-you have to decide what to do with your limited number of people twice a year.  In the spring, build temples (needed for victory), make money, fight (target the player in the lead), or bring in a bonus harvest.  Then again in the fall but you also need to harvest and a bigger harvest means more people (also needed for victory).  A little fiddly, but quicker than most of these types.  Didn't love it enough to take up space in the bag.  

Ablaze (Mayfair)-As the fire grows you place your firefighters to make a fire break.  Area control game, but no backsies, when you place it you are done, making it nice and quick.  Strategy is where and when to place the pawns.  There are a couple extra versions with just a few added tiles.  We only played as two and I suspect it could be more interesting with four.  Not worthy of space in the bag, especially as it can be purchased in the states.  Sue wins!

Tobago-where on the island is the treasure?  You get to figure it out by placing clues that limit the possibilities, on the largest mountain chain, with a view of the ocean.  It is Clue in reverse.  This is super stylish and new-it will be purchased later :)  We didn't get to finish because it is practically the end of the day, and people are purchasing the demo copies for super cheap and we get approached by 2 different people for ours, no worries, we got the gist.

The purchasing
Final count, 23 items purchases, but most are tiny or flat, many are card games, and only 4 large boxes!

Will we be coming back?  For sure!  This was AWESOME!

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