A friend of mine came in from out of town so I decided to go ahead and play some games already played, but really good games that he would enjoy (namely Lords of Vegas and Suburbia). Combined with a few games of Skyline on Thanksgiving with relatives and you would think that I didn’t have any time to play anything from the list, but thanks to a couple remaining games that can be played solitaire I got a couple finished. I have less than 10 to complete and 4 weeks to do it. With a little help with my friends and a bit of luck, I will get this goal complete yet!
First game from the list was Magic Realm as I hinted in the previous column. This is a fantastic game of questing and discovery. There are so many routes to play this game with a random board setup, random chit placement and 16 heroes that it is never the same game each time one plays! However, knowing how to play the different characters can be daunting (for example the black knight cannot kill many of the creatures that can show up at treasure sites until he gets a better weapon – one he may never find). Unfortunately with box full of spell cards, treasure cards, monster counters and assorted chits to set up before play can start, it is a hard game to get to the table. Not to mention that this game has a lot of rules to learn before one can play successfully. If you are intimidated by this (game rules can take upwards of 30 minutes to completely explain), this isn’t the game for you. Honestly, the individual parts are not hard to understand, but when you combine them into a playable whole, it is a complex, but very rewarding game. This is one of those games that has a computer version of the game which I recommend over the board game when you are first starting out (and if you don’t want a lengthy set up). Since this game can be found completely free on the web, I can’t recommend this one enough.
Next was Serpent’s Tongue – this is one of my Kickstarter games that I thought I would never see. There were a multitude of delays including a full rework before it was complete if the rumors are true. Imagine a game that pits two wizards in an arcane battle which in itself isn’t so strange of a concept. What sets this one apart is the fact that to successfully cast a spell you have to be able to read, vocalize and gesture your spell to your opponents! Yep – to cast a fireball, you must first have a fireball spell in your codex (your spell book), have any prerequisites components (that fireball might need an active volatile component to discard), pay the resonance and harmony cost and decipher the magical phrase. In my game, I was facing an assault squad that was ready to battle a mage (basically warded against magical damage). It turns out my only was to defeat them was to cast a master rift (and recite: “Metazhari Bibozho” without looking), followed by a spell that slows time (that requires a rift in play to cast) and then a temporal attack that required a slowed player. Even so, it was a pretty entertaining game and I would love to try this with a real opponent and/or teams. The vocalization and gestures for this game really set it apart. It’s too bad that it is such a niche game that it won’t see much playing time outside of conventions.
Finally I played a solitaire game of the first edition of Merchant of Venus. This is one of the few games that I still own both the first and second edition of. For some reason both of the editions made it to the list – probably due to the fact that I bought the second edition this year while I was working though this quest and felt that I couldn’t remove the previous version. In any case, I hadn’t played this game solitaire and felt that I already got the multiplayer feel for this game when I played the new version. The second edition changed some things for the better, but since the original game is complete in the second edition box (except for the number of players) – I figure there is something to be said for the previous edition. Since I already covered the second edition game in a previous column, I won’t go through all the details here. It was a fun game, but I quickly lost though I don’t know if it was my horrible luck, my strategy or a little of both. I definitely want to play this one solitaire again to see if I can do any better!
For the last couple of days, I have been working on getting a 3D version of Car Wars complete – I thought I would have it done for this week’s gaming, but it looks like I will need another weekend to work on it. Basically, I have the TV station left to complete and I am trying to make it look cool for the event that is 15 years in the making! Stay tuned for pictures.
Until next time – Play a Game!