Nina's Stillwater Calendar

Saturday, February 17

Game Reviews

We played the Order of the Stick game this morning at our local game store for about 2 1/2 hours before throwing in the towel. I felt like I was working too hard to play the game to have any fun. So this post is dedicated to the best games we have found so far (like to purchase, we weren't considering games that don't require anything except people). Keep in mind I like easy to learn, fast-paced games that are still fun the 50th time I play them.

Best Strategy Game: Settlers of Catan
Easy rules and fast game play set this strategy game apart from the competition. The high cost ($40 for the base set and every expansion) is a turn-off. We bought it anyway. If you like Settlers, you may enjoy Basari or Puerto Rico. While not a strategy game, Basari also requires negotiation and some of the same types of shifts in tactics. I haven't played Puerto Rico yet, but it has gotten great reviews. Like Settlers, players grow stuff and try to use resources to their best advantage.

Best Group Game: Set
This game isn't turn-based so people can start and stop playing whenever they feel the inclination. It is fast paced and very quick to learn. It is also suited to all skill levels. Like Pit, only with more thinking required. The short learning curve and ease of moving in and out of the game make this my choice over other great group games like Bang! and Hex Hex, both of which have slightly longer learning curves and require everyone to sit still and play.

Best Puzzle Game: Rumis
This game involves placing 3D block, like Tetris pieces, to achieve certain objectives. The extra dimension is more challenging than you might think.

Best Stupid Game: Munchkin
Of course! Hilarious, but unlike Order of the Stick, quick to learn and play.

Best Couple Game: Oshi
Keep in mind that I am not considering old classics like Go. Oshi is a new favorite of ours and has the potential for lots of strategy without requiring as much deep thought as Go or Chess.

Best Memory Game: Gobblet
You are trying to get three in a row, which sounds easy until your opponent covers some of your pieces and you are trying to remember where they were.

Best Word Game: Quiddler
I am always sick of playing Scrabble about 2/3 of the way through. Fortunately, there are many other choices for word games out there. Quiddler is an easier, quicker version of Scrabble played with cards so no board for the cat to jump on and ruin. I also like Boggle and Wordspot, both word-finding games.

And a few other games:

Ticket to Ride is easy to learn and a lot of fun to play, but a pain to score and I found it got too boring too quickly to be worth the money I spent on it.

Most anything by Cheapass Games is cheap (duh) and fun. Their hit game is Killing Dr. Lucky, which is like Clue, only backwards since the homeowner isn't dead yet. But we like Ben-Hurt, a chariot racing game like Circus Maximus.

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