The world is in a collective hold for the moment. While we can’t be meeting and playing games at the level we’ve become accustomed to, that doesn’t change how much we all love the hobby. We decided to take a look back at some of our favourite games in the past few years.
Quacks of Quedlinburg
In this amazing family strategy game, you spend nine rounds buying ingredients and creating concoctions to sell to the rubes in the local market. As you acquire items like mushrooms, pumpkins, moths, and crow skulls they are added to your bag. As a new round begins, you pull ingredients from your bag to make a potion worth points and money. Careful though! You run the risk of adding too many unsavoury items and spoiling the whole broth. With countless combinations of ingredient powers to play with, Quacks is a ton of fun. You might bust a couple times in a game. In fact, you probably will, but pushing your luck and reaching into the bag for one more ingredient is sooo hard to pass up. As an additional side none, Quacks has one of the best catch up mechanics we’ve seen in recent games.
This game shouldn’t be a s much fun as it is…or it shouldn’t have taken us this long to come up with it. The Mind is a deck of cards ranging between 1-100. Each round you’re dealt an increasing number of cards. The goal is to play out the cards in order…without saying a word. You have to simply play based on the cards in your hand and what you know of the other players. It’s easy enough in round one when you have the 98 card, but by the time you’re in round four with the 13, 19, 56, and 78 cards it starts to get a tad bit more tricky to know the right time to play. You do have some Shurikens that can allow everyone to discard their lowest card and some lives for when you make a mistake. You can earn more of both as you pass levels, but don’t take them for granted. One bad round can really cost you. The Mind is the type of game that you finish and immediately want to play again. In our books, that’s the sign of a good game.
In the Hall of the Mountain King
Ok, we’re going to toot our own horn here…toot toot! We’re pretty proud of how In the Hall of the Mountain King turned out. You play as trolls returning to your mountain home after years of exile. You have to restore it to its former glory. HotMK is really two puzzles at once. On one hand, you have the mountain itself, where you build tunnels, workshops, and Great Halls to earn glory. Of course, you have to collect resources to pay for all that building. Your Trollsmoot is a growing pyramid of recruited trolls that produce resources in a cascade whenever you add a new worker. Getting the timing just right is important to maximize the goods you have coming in. The Trollsmoot is a very cool mechanic and it also doubles as a timer for the game. Once a second player has capped their Moot, game end is triggered. So far, we’ve been super happy with the feedback we’ve gotten. You can find HotMK at our web shop.
Cold Water Crown
Who would’ve thought you could make a game about fishing? In Cold Water Crown, you’re looking to win points for collecting fish from different environments, including the River, Lake, and Shore. The really neat element is how you take your actions. Everyone starts with an angler token on its ‘1’ side. You’ll place it out on an available space on the board on your turn, and take the associated action at a strength of 1. Then, you’ll pull a different angler token off the board and also activate the action space from where you took it. You flip the token you took to its opposite side, so if you took a 1 strength token, it now flips to its ‘2’ side. Next time you perform an action, you’ll be able to do it better. You are trying to cast out your lures from different sections of your personal board to catch different types of fish. Big fish are great, but you’ll also be rewarded for catching different types and ones with specific tags. Cold Water Crown is a surprisingly fun and simple game with a unique theme.
In Res Arcana, you play Mages looking to control different Monuments and Places of Power. Each round, players collect essences which can be spent to build artifacts from their hand or to activate them. You’ll get a different magical item to assist you each round as well. Spending resources to build cards from your hand is not completely new, but in Res Arcana, there is a completely new tempo. Rather than slowly building an engine over the course of the game, you’re racing to get to 10 points first. You have to slap together your strategy quicker and more effectively than your competition. Res Arcana is a race disguised as a tableau builder. There was already a lot of variety in the base game, but with the Lux et Tenebrae expansion hitting retail earlier this year, it’s a perfect time to try out this unique card game.