I’ve got some cool stuff to talk about, but first we want to give a huge shout-out to all of the great guests at our Splendid evening, and to publisher Asmodee for pushing against the tide and helping brick and mortar stores create splendid events with exclusive items. Keep an eye on our calendar for the next catered Cloud Cap Presents evening where we’ll be playing the amazing game, 7 Wonders, and again getting our hands on some exclusive swag.
Here are some other upcoming events you may be interested in:
Dames and Games, a ladies only game evening every first Friday, July 3, 7pm, $3.
Magic the Gathering Origins prerelease, Saturday, July 11, 1pm, $25. Space is limited so RSVP.
Star Realms Showdown, Saturday, July 25, 7pm, $10. Space is limited, so RSVP.
Now I want to tell you about a strange little Eastern European card game called Spyfall that has finally hit retail shelves thanks to the publisher Cryptozoic. When this puppy shot to the hotness last year I literally snorted at it because by all accounts I should not like this game. Why? Well, for one thing, it requires a large group, and I’m just not normally a large group kinda guy, unless there are lots of corners. Also, there is very little strategy in Spyfall. OK, maybe there is, but it sure isn’t any kind of strategy that I’m accustomed to.
Spyfall is a social deduction game where one player is a spy, and all other players are upstanding secret agents, but nobody knows who is who. All players except the spy have a card telling them the location of a secret meeting, while the spy is trying to fit in with the agents and uncover the meeting location. On your turn you simply ask any other player one question about the meeting location. Agents are trying to find the spy by asking them a question and having them trip up on the answer, the spy is trying to use the questions and answers of other players to identify the meeting location. So questions and answers all have to be a bit vague, yet informative.
While Spyfall is a social deduction game, it is not the drunken screaming contest known as the Resistance. Spyfall is more like Dixit in that it forces blood into the shriveled capillaries buried within the dark recesses of my abstract verbal brain. Whether I’m the spy or an agent, I agonize over questions and answers. It’s very uncomfortable because my brain is much more accustomed to staring at an insanely busy game board while working through complex equations about how best to move hundreds of cubes and cardboard. Sometimes I feel like a grumpy old man playing those games, but every time I play Spyfall I feel like I’m getting younger, like my mind is reverting back to the more flexible days of youth. That, my friends, is rarely a bad thing, so I highly recommend Spyfall, just be prepared for a difficult and seemingly broken challenge, oh, and lots and lots of baggies.
Speaking of baggies, how about a way to get rid of them? The answer lies with a line of game pimping devices from the unaptly named company, Broken Token, that will free you from ziplock burping forever. Broken Token makes custom laser-cut wooden game box inserts. While I’d heard of their products many times, it was not until I saw demos at the trade show in March that I became wholeheartedly convinced that spending an extra $25-$30 on a cherished game was well worth it. My number one game of all time, Mage Knight, is now more beautiful than I thought possible, and a tad heavier. Our 7 Wonders game with all expansions is pristine, and Lords of Waterdeep with the expansion fits snugly now. The Broken Token box inserts are about more than just storage though, they are rapidly accelerate game setup and tear down. 7 Wonders with all of the expansions can be a nightmare to setup, especially if you have to open and close 20 different baggies. Now, the cards are neatly organized and all the bits come onto the table in the same trays used to store them. We’ve gone from 20 steps to 5 steps for set up. Furthermore, when the games are all packed away, I can take them with on a neck-breaking rollercoaster ride and all the pieces stay in their happy homes. If there is a game you love, a game you want forever and will play many, many times, do it a favor and give it the Broken Token treatment and watch a huge smile spread across it’s face and yours.
What I’ve been playing: My game group is still sticking mainly to older games, too many new ones has us a bit jaded when so many great ones just collect dust on the shelf. The newest game we’ve played is Murano by designers Inka and Markus Brand. We also recently played one of their older out of print games, Guatemala Cafe. This married design couple is best known for their highly praised game, Village. Every time I play one of their games, they inch further up my list of favorite designers. Elegant rulesets, reasonable playtimes, and good strategic depth and player interaction. Charon Inc. is another of their hidden gems. Other games we recently played were multiple rounds of the fantastic dicey Space game, Quantum, an epic 5-player game of Spartacus, and a completely imbalanced game of Age of Steam.
On the horizon: GenCon 2015! Too many games to talk about, so I’ll write a separate post soon!
Happy Gaming everyone!