I made it a goal to play more games in 2013, and that includes games I completely missed when they were released. This week is the newest installment of me widening my board game knowledge, and taking the whole board down with me.
Designed by Joseph McEvoy
Developed by Andrew Hackard
Steve Jackson Games, 2004
The Stockholm Syndrome of games. This is how the group of friends I played with last weekend aptly summed up GreedQuest.
In GreedQuest, 3-6 players fight to get to the bottom of a highly inconvenient, infuriating dungeon. Once you get to the hoard of the dragon, you have to book it out before everyone else to win.
By going back through that same path of sanity crushing rooms.
Things I liked about it? It goes fast. Everyone plays movement cards simultaneously, there’s next to no opportunity to dither about decision making, rules issues are resolved with a simple booklet check.
The Stockholm Element: I hated all the rooms you could get stuck in, slowed down in, or outright trapped in and playing cards without being able to look. About halfway through my long sojourn in the Preplanned Encounter, I started to find a weird freedom in not knowing what card I’d play next. By the end of the game, I really liked GreedQuest, despite getting my butt kicked and losing horribly. Either I’m suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, or I’m becoming a more graceful loser with age.
Designed by Bruno Faidutti, Jef Gontier
Fantasy Flight Games, 2008
In Red November, your experimental submarine full of gnomes has gone full on, last hour of the movie disaster mode. Fires are burning, pressure is building, leaks are springing, and there’s a giant kraken outside. But don’t worry—you have vodka. Vodka helps you fight fires, and a little booze goes a long way while waiting for your rescue to arrive. The game is largely cooperative, which sated my love for co-op games without the scale getting too unwieldy (I’m looking at you, Arkham Horror.) But with cooperation comes risk—at a certain point a crafty crew member could try escape, leaving you all to a watery grave. There’s also taking your chances while disarming weapons or fighting fires. My third risky roll, I took the entire ship down with me. That’s a kind of winning, right?
Red November accommodates up to 8 players. Only LARP the vodka parts if you are all of age in the country you are playing in.
Designed by Richard Garfield
Have I talked about King of Tokyo before? If I could fistbump a game, King of Tokyo would get two fistbumps from me. King of Tokyo is the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny for Japanese monsters. I’ve played the game twice now, but this round made me love it. If you put six adults at a table after giving them enough sugar to drop a bear, you may conjure the rapid-fire go-big-or-go-home dialogue I was treated to while we battled each other to become the next monster to rule the ruined streets of Tokyo underneath its gargantuan feet. Or tentacles. Or rocket boots.
2-6 players, ages eight and up. Some of the best 30 minutes of your life.
Got a fast game you love to recommend for game nights? Leave suggestions in the comments!