Yes, I know it’s Tuesday and not Saturday. But Saturday I was preoccupied wondering how he (Jonah) eats and breathes, and other science facts. And then Monday I was recouping from the weekend of laughing my ass off. So today’s going to be a bit of a catch-up day. Anyway, let’s get to it.
Today we have: Phara-Oh-Oh!, Res Publica: 2230AD, Quests of Valeria, Vinhos Deluxe Edition, Mess Machine, Tokaido App, T.I.M.E Stories: Expedition: Endurance, and Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle.
Board Game Quest:
Robbers raided pharaoh Anopheles grave long ago and stole the treasures buried with him, including his precious scarab beetles. Since that time, the mummy of Anopheles has been roaming the halls of the pyramid scaring away anyone who dares enter.
You take the role of a courageous hero, looking to break the curse of Anopheles. In order to do so, players will need to enter the pyramid and find enough scarab beetles to break the curse. While the pyramid is old, one trap is still functional.
Res Publica: 2230AD is a slightly modified and reskinned version of a much older game, Res Publica. Designed the Reiner Knizia, the original was set in ancient times, but now we’ve clearly progressed into the future and colonizing space.
Players will attempt to trade race and technology cards with each other to collect sets. Sets can be cashed in to complete missions or build useful buildings throughout the game. Each player has 4 missions and once one player has completed all of their missions, or the technology deck runs out, the player with the most points is the winner.
In Quests of Valeria, players will be taking turns recruiting adventurers and sending them out on quests. Each completed quest will not only grant the player precious victory points, but also bonus actions that can immediately be taken. After one player completes their 5th quest, then the game ends and the player with the most points wins.
I’m not going to break down every rule of this game because that would take forever. There are two versions of the game in the box: The “2010 Reserve” version, which is the original Vinhos, and the “2016 Special Vintage” version which is billed as a more streamlined, and (slightly) simplified version of the game. (There aren’t many differences between the two and the rulebooks do a good job of highlighting what is different. If you know one version already, you can quickly master the other.) Since I have the version with Kickstarter stretch goals included, there are also four small expansions included. Whew, that’s a lot to learn, explain and differentiate. We’d be here until the next grape harvest.
In Mess Machine, players are trying to build a toy without the automated circuitry destroying the whole product.
The design is a straight-up puzzle and literally looks like one. Each toy/image – there are four you can assemble – is represented as a picture with sixteen tiles. One of these sets are mixed up and arranged in a 4×4 grid, image face up. Your job is to reorder them so that the picture is complete.
The catch is that your assembly line machinery only has four functions – and may only run a limited time before it shuts down!
First and foremost, the aesthetic of the cardboard version has carried over perfectly to the small screen. The style is instantly recognizable, with heavy use of slightly-textured white space allowing the focus to remain on the adorable character design. Everything has been translated into 3D animated versions of their paper counterparts, given life with subtle animation that compliments the design. Characters jog along the path to their next stop, ships float at sea, the river water flows. The landscape is still mostly white, but bursts with color where the action is happening. The tiny icons from the board have been fleshed out into detailed little models; all in all, the charm has carried over and even been enhanced with these little details.
I have been a big fan of T.I.M.E Stories. At the time of its release the Myst style puzzles, accompanied by amazing artwork and interesting stories, made it one of my favourite cooperative game experiences. But this feeling has been eroded. The introduction of ‘escape room’ type games follow a similar concept and Mansions of Madness second edition and the Arkham Horror LCG have both made games that offer similar experiences in a much more re-playable format.
This meant that although I was eager to play the latest T.I.M.E Stories expansion ¬- Expedition: Endurance – as I played it the other games in this genre preyed in my mind. To remain king of the hill, T.I.M.E Stories would have to deliver an absolute blinder of a puzzle. Unfortunately, it failed.
theMCGuiRE review take a look at Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle deck building game from USAopoly. This is a great title for the whole family and uses a very good simple deck building mechanic with a story driven design. I absolutely love the tuck boxes, releasing rules and game play as you progress through.
The game offers 7 secret boxes, each having new rules and components for the game! So go pick up a copy at your favorite retailer and dive into the the world of Hogwarts!