Ryan and I did our best to play games every night of Hanukkah. Though we did skip a night after I had a spectacularly bad day, we did end Hanukkah with an impressive tally of gameplay. As I mentioned earlier this Hanukkah, we played the card games Trifecta, and Romans Go Home. From there, we trotted out new finds and beloved classics on our quest to play a game for every night. For brevity, I’ll only include games we successfully completed. Counting my last post, we did manage to hit our goal!
Cold War: CIA vs KGB
Fantasy Flight Games
Cold War is a card game where you and your opponent battle each other for global influence during the Cold War. Player with the most victory points wins. I found the mechanics to be enjoyable, whenever I wasn’t confused by them. We had an older copy of the game that we weren’t able to play, because it was missing one of the spy cards. Strangely, a brand new copy showed up for us a few days later after we had expressed our sadness about being thwarted in our quest. If you enjoy Cold War flavored entertainment, it may be a hit for you. If you like competitive card games, so much the better. If you want to learn more about the game, check out the FFG webpage for Cold War.
In Pandemic, you and your fellow players are out to save the globe from deadly diseases that could end life as we know it. We played with the On The Brink expansion; specifically the Virulent Strain, the expanded roles, and best of all: the petri dishes.I’m honestly fond of cooperative games because you succeed or fail as a group. It also means I get to avoid wearing my “sore loser” face, which tends to appear when I am soundly trounced in competitive games. Even when playing Pandemic without the more breakneck expansion goodies, it’s one of the more well paced games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. If you want to learn more about Pandemic, check out the game over at the game’s site.
Days of Wonder
In this card game, Camelot is rife with rumor and full of uncertainty. If you take on a quest and fail to do so in time, dire things will happen. Like, lose your first turn kind of dire. Which we did. Still, I looked through the game and poked through the rules after our terrible loss. If you like games that combine cooperative with competition, and like games with the possibility for a traitor among you, and you like Arthurian myth, then this is the game for you. To learn more about the game, check out the Shadows over Camelot game page.
Brooklyn Indie Games
In Ghost Pirates, you and your opponent are Captains of ghostly pirate ships. Your goal is to kick their butt off their ship. Seriously, you’re trying to get them off their ship while not being shoved off your own, or being consigned to the bottom of Davy Jones’ locker after they blow yours up in a hail of canon fire. The ships shift and move as you add and remove cards, a cute tip to the spooky circumstances surrounding your ships’ geography. To learn more about Ghost Pirates, check out their page.
I played this game on my birthday this year, and was killed horribly by my friends and loved ones. I also had to lock the bedroom door after I did, and spent a day or so shaking it out of my head. There are two play books for this game from D. Vincent Baker. One of you is the other player. The other is the MC. The MC portrays the environment the other player is in, the basement of a factory; far from the sewer line they entered by, the young, athletic spelunker has to survive alone against Murderous Ghosts. The mechanics are solid, the playbooks give just enough guidance, and there’s a little something clever in the game. If you get too scared as the other player, there’s a page you can turn to. I won’t tell you what it says, only that when you do, the game stops. To grab your own copy, go here.
I’m still learning how to play Gloom. The aesthetics of the game are adorable and macabre, which leads to me reading my cards more for the color text than their rules. You and your fellow players each control a bizarre, strange family. Your goal: kill off every character in your hand with terrible events, while showering love and joy on the other player’s families. If you like Edward Gorey, macabre humor and spooky stories, get thee to the Gloom page.
I love spooky games, so leave me any recommendations for more in the comments!