Just a short session for me, as I had to pick up Kim at the airport.
Die Sieben Siegel – This is quite a neat new Steffan Dorra game. With so many of these small-box card games being endless rehashes of basic trick-taking games, it’s always nice to see one with a genuinely new and interesting idea. In this one, it’s basically just Oh Hell (without the growing hands, each hand is 15 tricks), but the kicker is that when you bid, you specify which suit each trick will be. This is clearly tough, but it also makes the play quite interesting because you know not only how many tricks each player thinks they will take, but what colors, and this gives you some interesting choices. I quite liked this and will probably pick up a copy myself.
Feurio! – The general buzz I’d been getting on this was a little mixed, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I actually quite liked it, though. The theme is really well done – I like how the fire spreads, I won’t say it’s “realistic”, but the game has a really good sense for its theme. The choices in placing your firefighters are interesting. The game is short. It could be over-analyzed, which is something to watch for, but it shouldn’t be a major problem as this is not an intense game. Not quite the sleeper hit that Trias was last year, but I’m happy with my purchase and it’ll be good for a number of plays anyway, I suspect.
Flaschenteufel – From the company that brought us the endearingly odd Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, we have another off-the-wall trick taking game. In this one, cards are uniquely numbered, and the high card wins tricks, with suit being relevant only for determining which card you can play (you must follow suit if possible, as usual). The odd thing is that there is a breakpoint, which starts at 19 – everything below the break is trump, and the highest trump played (if any) wins. Then, that winning trump card becomes the new breakpoint. The kicker is, the last person to win a trump trick is hosed – he loses points instead of gaining them. The other interesting thing is that the suits are not evenly distributed, with red being generally high, yellow being low, and blue being more even. This is a really neat game, a really different trick-taking game which presents a really interesting process of just figuring out how the game works, and this usually works for me. How long will it be good for? I don’t know, but Jekyll & Hyde did better than I expected in the end.