Monday, March 20, 2006

Friday Board Game Recap

Friday's game night at Great Hall was sparsely attended, but I got to play three games that I had never played before. All of the below games took the three players we had.

Firstly, we played the Hollywood! Game. (BUY ME!, BGG) I've had this for about a month or two before I got a chance to play it, basically picking it up because it features movies, was about seven bucks, and claimed a game time of twenty minutes. The game plays a number of rounds equal to the number of players, and the basic mechanic is shifting dibs on various cards in order to form tricks consisting of a number of film cards with matching suits (Action, Horror, Romantic Comedy) topped with an actor card. Points are awarded based on the value of the actor multiplied by the number of cards in the trick. There's other fiddlies as well, but the real game is in marking your territory and watching other player's choices move your markers. We played a second round and the game really came together once we knew how it played. I'd like to see it with four.

Secondly, we played Syzygy. (BUY ME!, BGG) This is best described as segregated boardless speed Scrabble. Each player starts with nine tiles out of some three hundred or so, and each player arranges them to form a separate legal crossword-style set of interconnecting words. First one to do so yells "Draw!" and everyone draws a new tile. At this point, everyone tries to incorporate this tile into their grid and may rearrange every letter at will. Play continues until players have all the tiles, and the person with the fewest unused tiles wins. This was lots of fun, and of course I wonder how it plays with the maximum six players. Sadly, it felt like a three-way game of solitaire. I'm not sure how to fix this to promote actual interaction.

Finally, we played Blokus. (BUY ME!, BGG) Chances are medium good that you've seen this colorful game set up somewhere. It's won several awards, and with good reason. With three, all four colors still get played and it's a nice feeling of maneuvering. Sort of like Qix in the sense of claiming territory. Evidently the smaller two-player version cuts to the chase rather faster. I liked this, but haven't quite grokked all the strategy. Ah, perhaps next time.

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