Game Night

Apples to Apples is a fun game, and one you can play with all kinds of different people, but really is best with just the basic kit. The various expansions all seem to have specialized the nouns/adjectives which seem to make finding reasonable matches just a touch too hard. A shame, since the re-playability of the basic set is capped by the number of cards.

Ave Caesar is apparently a highly-desired collectors item, but I must admit I don’t quite get it. It’s a nice enough game, but pretty simple and not a tremendously interesting game, a middle-of-the road resource management game*. I’d own it if it were a $10 small-box card-game, probably – it’s a decent enough game – but I’m not quite sure why it fetches such a premium, given how many similar card-resource-management games are around. (* – I had originally credited this as a Knizia game, which it’s not – it’s from Wolfgang Riedesser).

Urland is I think a good and under-rated game. Not a game I’ll play every week, but one with a lot of interesting choices. It’s actually been quite a while since I played (I was inspired to bring it out after playing Wildlife last week), but I remember it as being light-ish – but compared with the lighter fare we usually play on Fridays, I was pleased with the level of subtlety in Urland. If there is a complaint, it’s the difficulty of bidding given the wide range of power in the mutation cards (Turbo, Warm-Blooded, and Muscles are all pretty killer, while Wings and Eggs are fairly marginal).

High Society got another go after I had played it and enjoyed it last week. I must admit to being not quite as thrilled this second time around. Bidding feels a bit like a crap shoot. Like most bidding games, the idea is to find the lots that are being undervalued by the “market”, but in High Society by the time you’ve figured out where the market is going, the game is over. I still like several aspects of the game, especially the “reverse bidding” for the bad cards, but I might just find the game frustrating in the long run. It has probably blipped off of my “buy” list for the moment.

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