Friday, July 8, 2011

The Labyrinth: The 7th Underground Wonder in Smallworld Village.

My my my. Titles galore came in today!

After several weeks, or hell, even months of saying "nope same old" or "nothing yet"
I can now say when someone walks in and asks: What's new? "LOTS!" back in response.
And that for me is refreshing...

It's been several years now since I started working at Minotaur.
Honestly I've always loved playing games but when I 1st started working here I played all types and always gave everything at least a try or two without reservation.
But I'm not sure I ever fully appreciated how important it was to have new games being released to revitalize our interest in gaming culture, the activity that we gamers have come to hold so dear.
When a new stand alone or expansion is released it washes in like a breath of fresh air and suddenly it heralds the start of dozens of new entertaining gaming evenings.

Nowadays I think I'm a bit more choosy in what I play...
I wont just try something because it's new or flashy.
And yet I find myself reading up about upcoming games before they ever hit the shelf, waiting with baited breath for titles I've been dying to try.
And on the other side of that coin I find myself dismissing certain games just because of the style of game play or the lack or excess of certain components.

"B-but the halo focus group really thought this would
be a good idea for the game, misters..."

I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing...
But I can say with confidence that this all star line-up of games that just came out are amazzzzzzing!

So where to start...
The original is such a solid game and already had expansions.
So did it really need something new to add to the Smallworld universe you might ask?
Maybe not but I'm so glad that they decided to develop the game further because Smallworld Underworld looks like one of the most enjoyable titles for 2011.
It's a stand alone game but can also be played and incorporated into the base game so it packs a double punch when considering its re-playability.
Complete with a new scaling board based again on the # of players, new races / characteristics, and new game mechanics like heavily fortified neutral races defending relics.
Words to describe it?
Simply Epic...
I haven't had a chance to play it yet but I'd easily vote it an 8 out of 10 with the possibility of rating it higher once we get a store copy or once someone brings their freshly bought copy wih them.
*breathes in deeply*
Gotta love that new bitz smell =P

But I was also so very recently exposed to a full game of 7 wonders.
My rating of this game has actually increased to an 8.5 out of 10 despite myself and I'll make that edit to my previous post shortly.
I found myself enjoying it a fair deal more than I though I would in terms of a drafting game. And the best part was that I could immediately see the scope of it as a 2player vs 3 vs 4 vs 5 etc! And it will literally be a different game with each play through due to the combination of cards in hand and the wonders being played make it one I'm looking forward to trying again soon, hopefully with the 7 wonders Leaders Expansion in tow.
It adds Leader cards into the mix to increase the methods in which to score, each one boosting certain colored cards or acting as point multipliers from what I can see. So again...if you own it BRING IT.
Can't wait to play this on a games night.

Cooperative gaming also just got Miskatonic as the new big expansion to Arkham Horror. Dominion Cornucopia and The Village both burst onto the scene as well so the shelves haven't had such exciting new titles for ages.
Next I have to hope that both Game of Thrones comes back into print and they make something new and cool in lieu of the tv series and all >.< It's a long shot but one can have dreams of a cool game in which stark troops battle lannister on a frozen battlefield in the north... Man oh man a risk style Game of Thrones would be an awesome addition to any gamers' collection compared to the more diplomacy based game that is already out.

But honestly I think that so many military games flopped recently that the corporate game designers must be banging their underlings heads together to straighten out the slew of less than successful games that have been coming out in this field.

Glad to see at least that the Eurostyle games are still doing things right and producing quality over shiny unit pieces.
And many of them have both!
Gorgeous bitz and the game play still rocks.
Definitely July has been the best month for board gaming this year so far.
But as good as it's been there are more titles on the horizon for the start of August.
So keep tuned in to this station for further updates!! Same game time same game channel!!

This has been the Labyrinth and I'm Henry McCulloch. Game on!

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