Ever wondered what games the guys behind the counter enjoy in their off time? Wonder no longer! This is What We're Playing!
Ben - Unearth
Well folks, this month I've been delving into an exciting new game from Brotherwise Games: Unearth! Its sharp geometric artwork drew me in immediately, but the deceptively thoughtful gameplay truly amplified the experience. And considering how badly I lost, it says a lot that I couldn't wait for round two!
The game itself is fairly simple: you play as a tribe of Delvers seeking relics in lost cities from long ago via a bend-your-luck dice placement system. Each die represents one of your delvers and rolling them provides different effects. The great part is that no matter how “well” you roll, there is always a strategic benefit to further your plan. Roll low, and you're adding resources toward building wonders. Roll high, and you're competing with the best of them to claim ruins.
Each path to victory is viable and can mix in interesting ways to maximize your end of game point totals. Add in the special delver cards you gain while exploring, and you'll find that Unearth harbors some serious complexity beneath its colorful surface. We have a demo copy at Top Tier, and I highly recommend giving it a go as soon as possible!
Nick - Arkham Horror: The Card Game
I have been playing Arkham Horror: The Card Game. Arkham Horror is a Living Card Game as well as an RPG. The game follows you and your friends as you uncover evil plans of cultists as well as fighting monstrous creatures from beyond the veil. What I like about the game is that you create your character by making a unique deck that you will use for the game. As you complete tasks and progress through the very deep story line you gain victory points that you use to purchase additional and more powerful cards to add to your character's deck.
What I love about the game is the great story it tells. With the core set you have three scenarios, and once you have completed them, there are expansions that bring you even farther down the story. Every month Fantasy Flight releases a Mythos Pack that is another chapter in the story line. Another thing that I like is that the characters have lasting effects from previous encounters with monsters and taking injuries. I have really enjoyed this game a lot and couldn't recommend it enough. With smooth game play and the ability to play with 1 to 4 players it is a great time and a great price for a ton of fun!
Corey - 7 Wonders
I played 7 Wonders for the first time a few weeks ago and all I could wonder was "How in the world have I never played this before?" This game is simply incredible and I've been constantly asking people to play it since. Seriously, ask me about it next time you see me. I might even play a round with you!
The game plays out in a series of Ages, in which you draft cards to build your city. Buildings (cards) can be simple resources like clay pits or stone quarries, or other more advanced constructs like barracks to create a mighty military, a temple to cultivate culture in your city, or an observatory that supports scientific advancement. Some cards are free - usually basic resources like wood and ore - while others often require resources or gold to build. Certain cards reward you with gold when you build them, but one potentially lucrative method for obtaining gold is having desirable resources that your neighbors need. Players can pay each other to "borrow" resources they might need to build their city, but only from the people directly to their left and right. The same applies to military conquest: you can only attack the players next to you.
Each player is also attempting to build a Wonder for the ages, which usually rewards victory points along with some in-game benefit like extra military strength or free resources. Each stage of a Wonder must be built in order, but this can done at any time. In fact, certain Wonders benefit from being completed early, while others work better late in the game. Don't worry if you don't complete yours though, as this is not required to win the game.
After three Ages the game ends and each player adds up their victory points, which can be acquired in many different ways, and the player with the highest total wins! Maybe you decided to focus on military and culture, while another player across the table attempted to gather as much gold as possible and construct their Wonder. Watch out for the player who took all the science buildings, because those points add up quickly! Whatever your chosen path to victory may be, I definitely recommend giving this game a try. If you do, come talk to me because I'd love to hear what you think about it!
That's all this time around, but be sure to check back in next month for a glimpse into what's new, what's good, and What We're Playing!