Since we’ve never played Hanabi... it happens to be that Beyond Baker Street was our first experience with a game in which you’re not allowed to see your own cards.

When playing the game with 2 players, each player gets 6 cards. First of all we found it really hard to actually hold six cards in a way so that the other player could see them without getting very cramped hands. So we grabbed some Scrabble tile planks (how do you call those?) to put the cards on, that made the game a lot more comfortable. 😉  Psychically at least, mentally is a totally different story. The game confronted us with the fact that it’s quite hard to remember all the pieces of information given by the other player. While you’re trying to think of the best piece of information to give to the other player, you also need to remember all the tiny details of your own cards. That didn’t really work out for us and mostly made us feel frustrated. At one point we decided to get some paper and write down the hints.

When we played the game with 4 players though: what a difference! When playing with 4 players, each player only has to hold 3 cards in their hands. That made it a lot easier and more of a puzzle to solve with a group. Fun times, we’d like to play it  again and try it with the different player roles.

Robinson Crusoe (2nd edition) inlay

As mentioned last week: we made an inlay for the second edition of Robinson Crusoe! Mainly because we thought the game took too much time to set up and all the different tokens that lay scattered on the table were driving us nuts. It might not be as impressive as what we made for Elder Sign, but we find it mighty efficient and are really happy with it. 😉

What do you think of games in which players with a good memory have an advantage?

Beyond baker street is a really nice ‘in between games’ game. Or if you simply want to play something challenging but not too complicated. I really liked the four player game. You need to think like a group and act on that, without saying anything about the game state. I think it’s a keeper.

Other games that also challenge you memory, any card game :P. Usually you need to know what you put in your deck, or deduce something about the hand of the opponents. I always try to remember my deck composition in games of dominion, to determine what to get next.

I don’t have much experience with “memory” games, perhaps because when I see that mechanic, I instinctively tend to steer clear. Maybe I should give it more of a chance?

But, here’s how I see it …

When you play a Map card in Saboteur, you get to peek at one of the three goal cards to see if it’s the one with the treasure. You now have an advantage over the other players because you know something about one of the cards that they do not.

In games with a memory mechanic, generally speaking, those players with solid memory have a similar advantage all the time … and they didn’t have to spend a Map card to get it.

As a result, I see those forgetful players getting frustrated while the players who can remember are left unfulfilled from a “cheap” victory.

I would love to hear a counter argument. As I said, I lack experience. Plus, there’s an adorable-looking iello game by one of my favorite designers, Antoine Bauza, called Monster Chase with a strong memory theme that intrigues me … 🙂

I know card games in general have been mentioned, but I would pay special homage to deck builders like Dominion or Ascension. Sometimes, you forget what you’ve gotten into your deck so far and might focus too much on one aspect, only to discover at the end of the game you forgot to focus on another.

Dominion is especially nasty about this, as there have been multiple games where, during the game, my mom (who is addicted to Dominion) and I swear one or the other of us was ahead during the playing of it, but only to discover that the one we thought was losing actually wound up buying more colonies than we both thought.

T.I.M.E. Stories also benefits having a good memory. Obviously, you can decide to take notes during the game, but we felt like that was not thematic. We decided to take notes during “briefing sessions” in between attempts, but we didn’t let ourselves look at them while playing.

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