The sun is shining.
The heat is comfortable.
The wind blows genitally. Then a little more forceful, making cards fly off tables and frantic gamers scramble after them. Only to return to the table with a giggle on their lips and the game continues.
Yes, we are outdoors at a weekend festival called Paris est Ludique. Not "Gay Paris" but "Playful Paris." Where publishers from all over France come to demo their new game, classic big sellers and games for the future. First time and famous designers show up to to get reactions from their prototypes and maybe their signature on a contract. Also Belgium publishers get in on the act and somewhere, hidden away there is even an English one too.
But that is not what you see as you walk around the Pelouse De Reuilly. It's all the smiling faces from the thousand guests that are walking around. From the demonstrates, content to retell the story of why their detective is addicted to cigarettes or why it's important to save the animals in the zoo. Even from the security personnel, who are amazed to see some many gentle people having fun together. And these smiles reflect in the environment all around.
This is not the first time that I have been here and felt this ambiance. PeL (Paris est Ludique) is my local big event, where I get to catch up with friends and contacts that I have made over the years. It is the second best event that I attend every year, after Essen (nothing will beat that). And I enjoy every minute of the wondering and babbling that takes place there. It's family friendly exterior entices thousands of parent to sit down and have fun with their kids.
With it's outdoor events, gaming tournaments, there were also the awards for the editor and authors of games. So much going on but all well organised. A lager event that is getting larger and large. In fact, this years ticket sales were 7,000 more than the year precede. A total of 20,000...(your gonna need a bigger boat!)
So I played as much as I could, so I could show you what is new and coming to our hobby. And maybe a be of that smiling has been captured on video and rubs off onto you. Roll on PeL 2019... =)
Overviews and interviews from Pel
Having someone knock at your door, which you foolishly open, only to get stuck listening to that someone go on and on about something or other, is a memory that I am not fond of. And I couldn't just slam the door in their face or say "get the fudge off my land," with my Dorset accent. In fact, it's more that "a" bad memory. It's many bad memory's.
That's why I'd like to live in Small Town. If someone knocks on your door there, it's normally just a quick call to check who is there or what weapons you have. And normally, it's a detective. Some very Small Detectives.
Small Detectives is exactly that...Small. It's a mini Cluedo. It comes in a mini box. It has some mini decision for you to make. And a mini memory aspect too.
In this 2 to 5 player game, each players is trying to get to the root of a murder that has happened in Small Town. As the Police can't handle such a thing, they have contacted you and many other detectives (1 to 4 others, if your keeping count) to get this mystery solved. Doing some footwork, going from door to door, you will be collecting evidence that will eliminate the four suspects and four possible murder weapons. Being careful not to step on the toes of the other detective going around town, as this will reveal nothing. Occasionally, popping into the local bar for a swift pint and pick up some rumors as well. And finally, going to the Police Station to make your accusation.
The game uses a card drafting mechanic to move you around the town, getting you from door to door. Every turn, players will simultaneously place a card in front of themselves and then when everyone has concluded this action, they reveal this card, that dictates your action this round. These cards are also numbered, starting with the lowest, each player will preform their action. They may move the detective around town a number of spaces. The may send them straight to the pub (I need a card like that). They may make the houses in the street, swap places.
Each house in Small Town hides a secret. The backside of each house tile has either a person or murder weapon marked on it. At the beginning of the game, one of each of these categories is removed and placed under the Police Station. These are the murderer's identity and the weapon they used. By visiting the other house's in play, our detective players will deduce which of these two tiles have been removed.
The problem come (but also the fun of this game) from the possibility of another detective knocking on the same door as you. When all action are carried out, detectives that are alone at the door to a house, get the chance to see whats inside. Or technically, whats on the other side. Having two or more detectives on the same tile means no one get's a peak at the evidence, leaving a bitter taste as you walk away this round, empty handed. And then, when you are alone on a house, you look on the underside of the tile, only to see that it is a clue you've already seen! Somebody switched the tiles...GRrrrrr!!!
A point of interest is the local bar. There, you will have the chance to question one of the other detective about what they have seen. You present them with 1, 2,or 3 items that relate to the crime and they will respond with a "yes" or "no" response. Being careful about who you ask and what you ask is important in narrowing your search for the truth. But also a reliable way to get lots of answer, quickly.
And after a hard days work, in this case, the end of the round, players collect the card that the player to their left have just played. Meaning, if you were stuck with some un-useful cards in the last round, you may pick up better ones later, as you pass your ones on. Do you play you powerful 'Go Go Go' card now, allowing you to move wherever you want. Leaving this card to another to use or not, on their turn. Or do you save it for when you need to be the first player at the Station, catching the murderer.
This is a light, family style affair that will probably replace that space in your heart that was called Cluedo. It's speed of play will have you tense at the table for about 20 minutes. Just long enough for your tea to arrive at a drinkable temperature. You drink. Then you start you revenge rematch.
It's simple to learn, making it great for a family sit down. The memory aspect is not to large as there are only a total of six things to remember that you seen. Although, remembering where you saw them as them dance around the place could make your head scratch. The light iconography is quick to pick up and within a game, you'll know it all.
Playing with more players introduces more card with more specialize actions, such as; being able to look a two tiles or switch two played cards around, so you can collect a useful card for the next round. And more players means more chaos. More houses get shuffled around and there are more feet to step on as you walk your beat and knock on doors. Getting no response, of course. As the other players block your progress. This is a race against the others. Being efficient and retaining information is the key.
The box is small and portable. The components a small and solid. And the game is small, not taking up much of your time.
Technical Score 9/10
My BGG Score 6/10
(It's OK - will play if in the mood)
Combined Score 7.5/10
There was a time where you had to wait to see a review of a game before you even knew it existed. Not no more. For years, I watched Board Game Geek stream from the big events in the States, just so I could see the latest games. Even at the Essen Spiel, until I was actually there.
Twitch is another channel all to itself. And I thought about dabbling in doing live videos of game play, rules explanations and blogs. While keeping my Youtube channel full of fully produced content.
Obviously, it's early days yet.
I have starter tinkering with the components and idea of doing this, to try and broaden my viewing audience. Also the chance to pump out a little more, ad-lib content that will keep me up to date. As you know, I spend a great amount of time playing a game before I start a camera rolling. Giving you a rounded view of a game that has been played many times and not just a first impression, as many other reviewers do. Maybe I'll keep twitch as a "First Impression" channel for games that I have just that second played!
One thing that is evident is, if I live stream a play-through of a game with friends, if will probably be in French. All of my gaming buddy speak a little English and a lot of slang, so maybe it will be a little more adult.
I will give a try and see how it lands.
What do you think about a Twitch channel?
Players can climb up to ten mountains. Each Mountain has a value that you can get by adding two dice together. Players roll four dice and pair them up. They can move three mountaineering teams on three of the ten mountains but will need the results of the dice to correspond with the number of the mountain they are climbing. If with the dice you have the same value as the mountain your team is climbing, you can advance them. If you can not advance any of them, the fall off the mountain and restart from their last camp.
Ending your turn is your choice. If you stop before your teams fall off, they will set up camp. Therefore saving their progress.
A very simple concept that evolved in the days when Yahtzee was the only other dice game. And unlike it's predecessor, is still a great deal of fun. Although the Yahtzee mechanism has
been implemented into many game since King Of Tokyo hit the market, there are none that have this addictive dice rolling. Making Can't Stop unique and great fun for all.
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