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Mikko's Gameblog
Mikko Saari writes about board games.
Mikko Saari writes about board games.

Mikko's Gameblog's posts

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Second part of my Top 100 list, with ranks from 74 to 50. 

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I started one of these highly popular Top 100 projects. This first part covers ranks 75–104.

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I wrote a review of Realm of Wonder, an upcoming Finnish game, set for an Essen release. It's an interesting fantasy adventure that reminds me of Talisman, but is clearly a more modern and more streamlined design. Neat as it is, it seems a bit under-developed. 

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Realm of Wonder is a new big box from Mindwarrior Games, coming out in Essen. It's a sort of modern-day Talisman: move around on board, having adventures, killing monsters and trying to achieve the winning condition and make your way to the center of the board.

Interesting, but the game fell a bit flat for me. Too ameritrashy: combat, take that -cards, beat the leader... All the sort of things I don't like.

The game does look good, so check it out if you're interested in that kind of thing. Realm of Wonder is fairly simple and should work as a family game – I would've enjoyed it when I was 12. Now, Indifferent.

Om Nom Nom is a second-guessing game. There are dice, which represent prey. There are two levels of predators and the goal is to eat and to remain uneaten. Try to read the minds of your opponents! I've never enjoyed that. Indifferent. 
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Koboldbande or Troll Trail is a simple co-op game for 4-year-old children. Nice, looks good, easy to play – but quite easy, so this doesn't work too well for older children. But, if you have 3- or 4-year-olds, and want a nice co-op – Koboldbande is a good choice.

Troll Trail (aka Koboldbande) is a simple co-op. Draw tiles, trying to build a path across the forest to a treasure chest. Dragon wants to get there first, and players must find three keys on their way. Very simple, and seems quite easy, but I can see this working just fine for 4-year-olds. Indifferent.

Battle Sheep is an abstract game with cute plastic sheep discs. Build a board of hex tiles, then start conquering. Each player starts with a stack of 16 sheep. When you move, the stack moves in a straight line as far as it can, dropping at least one disc in the starting hex. The winner is the player with the most sheep on board when nobody can move anymore. Pretty nice, and the simple rules, nice bits and engaging gameplay make this an award hog, I believe. Indifferent

I got my preorder copy of Subdivision yesterday, and I already played three games against my son. The game says 13+ in the box, but I believe that's just to avoid testing – my 8-year-old son played this just fine. He won the first game, then I learnt how to play and won the next two games pretty easily.

I have some concerns over replayability, but so far it's good. People who like interaction are going to hate this, as this is a very dry interaction-wise, but those who like simultaneous solitaire puzzles in the style of Take It Easy will find Subdivision delightful. Suggest

My brother visited, and brought with him Cthulhu Gloom, as he knew I wanted to try that. I've never played even the basic Gloom, but find the idea of partially transparent cards interesting.

It was. The basic gameplay here offers pretty much nothing – play cards, either to improve your own position or to hinder your opponent – but the theme is funny and well executed. I'd assume the game can become rather unbearable with a larger number of players, but with two, the "take that" element wasn't bad.

A nice, light game, with a funny theme, then. Indifferent.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – The Liberation of Narnia is a fairly awful memory game. Roll a die, try to find a matching card from a face-down array of cards. The goal is to create a route across an 6x4 array of cards. In the end, there are two cards: one is Aslan, the other is the Witch. If you find Aslan, you win, if you find Witch, all that you've done is reset and you start again. Awful, but the cards are shield-shaped, which is kind of neat. Avoid

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Board games, after a long break! Today's goal was clear: reach 1000 BGG ratings.

Red is a new mini game from Carl Chudyk and Chris Cieslik. Play a card and/or change the goal. Only requirement? You need to be winning after your move, otherwise it's game over for you. Fun little filler. Suggest.

Pick-a-Pig was familiar: I've played Formissimo, which is the original version. This one's cuter. My kind of game, I quite liked it and managed to win, despite failing two rounds. Suggest.

Tutanchamon, a Knizia game from 1993 got the honour of being the 1000th rating. Not bad, but I'm annoyed for losing to a king-maker move. Bunte Runde is the better version of the same idea. Indifferent.

Irish Gauge is from the latest Winsome set. Seemed a bit daft at first, but there's a game in there, and it's somewhat interesting. A B level Winsome. Suggest.

Ark of the Covenant was a surprise. Wife of one of the guys was browsing a thrift store and sent photos of games to him. I saw the Ark for 5 euros and took it, and she delivered it right away. My friend got Himalaya for couple of euros. What's even better, inside the Ark box, I found a cheap Indian Ludo/Snakes pocket game, Knatsch and a mass-market Narnia game. Sweet.

Ark is quite good, too, a solid Carcassonne variant with good ideas and special rules. Suggest.

Morels is a two-player card game about mushroom collecting. Pretty nice, a mellow set-building game.* Suggest*. 
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Ropecon, part four:

Haste Bock? has the cutest components, but the rulebook is quite an off-putting wall of text. Well, we managed to figure out how to play, and after a while got a hang of what to do. This kind of pushing and shoving is not my cup of tea, but it was tolerable with just two players. Indifferent

Mont-Saint-Michel looks great – it's a Drei Magier game – but the rulebook is rather atrocious. I guess we figured out, it's a fairly simple game in the end. Players move six pawns around, trying to collect points for the pawns. The trick is that nobody knows who is who. You get couple of peeks for the identity of the pawns during the game, and as it happened, I didn't figure out my identity at all during the game. I only knew which two colors I wasn't. Now that doesn't help playing well... This was an odd game. Avoid

Sorry! Sliders is a silly bit of sliding and bumping. I've got Compact Curling which is based in the same kind of sliding mechanism, but is a better game. I also have a Crokinole board. So, not much use for Sorry! Sliders, but since it's such a quick game, I wouldn't mind playing it occasionally – it's decent fun. Indifferent

Zauber Stauber is a program-your-flight-path game, and the flying is not easy – the paths are pretty hard to see well, at least for me. Not to mention other witches suddenly appearing in front of you, blocking your way. Fun idea, but not enough game in it, I think. Indifferent

I'm now just ten ratings away from having 1000 BGG ratings.
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