Sometimes we wonder what will be left of the gaming side of our culture centuries later. Board games have the advantage over digital games: everything you need is in the box (RIP most app-driven games, though) when stored properly. But what’s left of that after thousands of years? 😮
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Away with the old and in with the new. This week we’ve only been playing new games! As we mentioned last week, Lucky Duck Games sent us Cosmoctopus by surprise and gosh, we love the look and feel of the game.
In Cosmoctopus you play one of several cultists that are trying to unleash the cutest Old One onto our reality by gathering resources and completing constellations. If you are the first to make eight of its tentacles appear in your summoning portal, you win the game! While most games featuring Lovecraftian horrors are pretty dark, this one has a vibrant pulpy comics feel to it. All the components, art and font choices combine into a quirky eldritch engine builder in which you try to position the octopus on the right tiles, gather relics to boost your abilities and suffer hallucinations to get powerful one-time bonuses.
After one game, our first impression is that Cosmoctopus is a bit like Parks, Flamecraft or Chai. Its design feels like a combination of other games but the theme and presentation make it very suitable for a lighter game night or to engage more casual board gamers. It also comes with a solo/co-op mode which has you trying to summon Cosmoctopus before an investigator finds a way to stop your plans, so we’ll try that mode next time.
Dutch publisher 999Games also sent us a copy of Evergreen (by Horrible Guild) and The Wolves (by Pandasaurus Games), two games we missed out on last year on Spiel. We haven’t played Wolves yet but we did play Evergreen! In Evergreen, players all have their own nifty player board that represents a planet with different regions which they will try to develop during four seasons in the game and each season the sun will move to the other side of the board, changing the scoring. Trees that get hit by the light will score you points but trees cast shadows and same-sized or smaller trees will not score points if the sun is blocked for them. It’s a fun puzzle to figure out if it’s best to grow new sprouts or to grow (bigger) trees. In essence, the game feels like a solitaire puzzle game since you’re busy planting shrubs and growing trees in your own ecosystem but an essential part of the game is picking cards from the card row. Every round, there are as many cards as players in the card row +1 and all players take one card. The card that’s leftover, will be added to the fertility zone, and the cards that are in there determine how many points each region is worth at the end of the game. And there’s something to keep in mind… end scoring only takes the big trees into account. You count the number of big trees in an area and multiply that by the number of cards of that area in the fertility zone.
The game has way more layers than we initially thought and it was fun to see that although Heinze scored way better overall during the seasons, I scored very high at the end because I had three large trees in an area that was worth seven points, scoring me 21 points. We ended up with exactly the same score while we had totally different tactics in the game. This game is a bit in the same range as Tiny Towns for us, it’s not too complex but it’s nice and puzzly.
This weekend, we played a game from a totally different genre, uBoot! My lord, the game has a rulebook of 52 pages and there’s also a tactical guide. The purpose of this first game was to know how the different roles worked and what the game entailed and don’t sink immediately. We managed to finish the first part of the training mission but when we encountered an actual enemy that could shoot back, things went downhill… or uhm, to the bottom of the sea for us. Our torpedos kept missing and theirs did not. Ouch! You can read more about our first play on our Instagram! We’re hoping to continue our Descent campaign tomorrow and the rest of the week is quite booked solid. We have another game night on Friday and this weekend we’ll be painting random miniatures again with friends. Surely not a bad week to look forward to. 😀