RogerBW's Blog

Someone Else's Garden Games (November) 17 November 2021

All right, not actually in the garden now that it's a bit nippy, but in a well-ventilated room with masks…

I'd asked about Spirit Island, because I didn't get into it when it was shiny and new, and enough people whose opinions I respect rave about it that I thought I really should give it a try.

And they were right. We played a hybrid of core game and expansion content (not wanting to separate the expansion cards), and towards the end I felt things getting away from me a little, but I got a good sense of this starting with the bones of something like Flash Point (or, if you must, Pandemic) and building something really intricate on top. Definitely up for playing this again, though it's a pity about the length (about two hours for this three-player game, though some of that will have been delay from my learning the rules).

On to something a bit shorter, and frankly athematic as far as I was concerned: Sumeria, a very dry design from 2009. There's area majority, there's set collection, there's card manipulation, and while it's not at all my sort of thing I did find it enjoyable – but I'd have preferred the board in stark black and white with lots of hexagons…

Next, Lemminge, and I don't think I've met anyone who dislikes this yet. It's quick and light and easy to teach, but there's a remarkable complexity of game from these very simple rules.

Cosmic Frog, a gorgeous production of a game I could never see myself buying because (like Cosmic Encounter, which I owned and sold) I wouldn't get it out often enough… but it was great fun to play. Rather more explicitly confrontational than most modern games but sometimes that's what one wants.

And finally Ominoes, another game that perhaps isn't a masterpiece but is quick and straightforward, with interesting subtleties of strategy if one wants to develop them.

[Buy Spirit Island at Amazon] [Buy Ominoes at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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