On this Saturday, March 9, 2019, your mission, if you accept, will be to go to Epinal to discover the fun festival and come back with game reviews. Confident in our abilities, proud to receive this quest, we set out on a fun adventure. For the first time, I went to the festival Jeux et Cie d'Epinal, in France. Fortunately, to help me and support me in this heavy task, Barry (second time at Epinal) accompanied me and guided me in the pouring rain (as well as play the role of chauffeur).
After several hours of driving, we arrived at the site: the Congress Center. Easily found, rather well located when you come from far away and with plenty of available parking spaces, the mission seemed to be starting on a good track.
This is a free festival, which offers you the chance to discover new or old games in a good atmosphere and for all tastes. That's what the poster promised us. Once inside the room, we actually find ourselves in a family atmosphere, dare I say zen. The stands were quite spaced out, a lot of tables available, people were smiling, even very welcoming. On site, besides the games we found some service in terms of restoration (although I found the thing a bit expensive), games to bring back (wide choice in the local game stores). As for the types of games, the target audience is still family and children even if, here and there we did find games a little more focused on the expert public. The demonstrators and volunteers present were very good, friendly and quick to explain the rules with joy and good humor. A nice surprise for a festival this size. It is regrettable that some publishers did not make the trip or bring protos to test, while others were just not present. Overall it's really nice. Too bad it is a bit far, (a 3 hour plus car journey) if not with pleasure I would go back (especially in such a charming company). Especially since the festival only lasted for three days! Wow.
As for our original mission ... So we tried no less than thirteen games. Here are these titles with a (very) short summary and opinion. Plus we pick out our top 3 gaming experiences of the event.
Attention, these opinions are first impressions within the framework of a festival (noise/fighting for a table/rules not explained correctly/fatigue from continuous playing), as always in this type of events. These opinions can change by playing the game in other configurations, like at home or different player counts or after watching a Rodney Smith video =).
This is a “my cup of tea” game, not quite reaching the cerebral; Total Recall (mind-fudging), pleasure levels I get when combating in Splendor, but still very light and enjoyable encounter. Maybe we will see an expansion that adds powers to each type colonist or maybe an interfering parasite from the dark recesses of LV-426. With that, I look forward to seeing what the future hold for Ganymede.
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Do I like holidays...?
Well, not really. Sitting by a pool. Looking at other city centers. Exploring old buildings. Trying to find somewhere nice to eat! Not that I hate all of that, but doing it every day, for a week! Phew!!!! And all the while I am doing that, I'm thinking of all the other things I could be doing, at home. Music. Videos. Playing with friends. Removing weeds.
I am somewhat sidetracked. I should be talking about games. Well, I'm just getting to that.
Just before leaving for this vacation, I prepared in my head a small list of games that would slide into our baggage. Small games that squeeze into small spaces (due to player 4 being a baby and more luggage then everyone else) and be squeezed into those small pockets of time that happen while away (before lunch, before bed). I also wanted to take games that hadn't seen the light of day. We are so use to playing Quirkle, Codenames, Splendor and Timeline in our everyday lives, change would be good.
So I packed four games that I wanted to play because they hadn't been played much or not at all. This list consisted of Harald, Kenjin, Elder Sign and Songbirds (which I was in the process of reviewing). But when they were put on the table to be played, my family had difficulty understanding the rule (maybe because they had their holiday, relaxing heads on) or they were not interested in playing that type of game... They stated that the would rather play Splendor or Qwirkle. =(
Both games got a lot of plays, in those quiet moments of the day when we weren't at the pool or wondering around a tourist attraction.
You're probably asking yourselves, "Barry, was this a cunning ploy on your behalf to get more games?" To which I will honestly say "no." But I will probably use it in the future if I feel the need to get hold of some new games.
***A Review of Reviews 1:39
Burky & Badger: Micro-mania
Burky & Badger Spoiling Storytelling
***First and the Last 8:12
***Question Time 15:33
What games to take on holiday?
***The Monthly Giveaway 20:02
This is one of those "easy to learn and difficult to master" type of games. Where the rules give you only one of two actions to preform each turn. Buy a plot of land or construct a warehouse. And by the time it is your turn, you will have already decided what to do...fast paced decision making each turn.
Each space on the board has a number allocated to it. There is one card of each number in the deck and you will have a handful of ten cards, or plots of land to start the game. Buying another does nothing but give you more possibility's on your successive turns. As there is no hand limit, you are only restricted to the money that it costs to buy a card. Also restricted by your conscience, as you know that at the end of the game there is a penalty to pay for each remaining card in your hand.
It's not until you buy the right to become the owner of an enterprise that things become doubly interesting. Not only is your stock worth four time the amount to you, but also watching as other players either help you grow bigger or play elsewhere. Or worst of all, swallow your enterprise with their own, when they merge them.
Find out more by clicking the link to Kickstarter below or watch the video.
what's my name?
You will then construct a civilization, from nothing. You won't be needing any wood or clay to build the temples, treasury's, market or war machines. They just come into being. You are a God, are you not...?
And Heroes. Every Greek God had heroes, why can't you. Create one that works for you. Make them in your image or not. Throw the other gods off on who you are. The last thing you need is for them to know what your objectives are. Because they will hamper you, burden you,
call you funny names.
a god's game
In the draft phase, players will have five cards to draft from. But only a maximum of three can be constructed. The other get turned into different values of currency, depending on the card drift turn. Some constructions will give you civilization tokens that will be used by certain Gods to gain more points. This is a good way to get "found out" by the other players, as to which God you are.
In the second round there are only four cards, of which only two can be constructed...
In the kingdom phase, you get to active and use the actions of the buildings you have built to give yourself more civilization tokens and money. Money is used to use the buildings of the other players at the table. Don't worry. They won't rob you blind. Unless you are on the opposite end of the table. The further away the building you with to use is, the more it will cost. Luckily, they don't collect your money, they just gain some culture, in the form of a 1 pointed token.
Finaly, there is the supremacy phase, where the owners of the most Military and Science tokens will receive a four pointed, Supremacy token. Big points that are added at the end game.
"I am he"
The game becomes even more intense if one of the players is Tomorrow. They can score big if they can divine every players God.
All in all, a very deep and tactical drafting game that plays quick, doesn't flood the table with too much information and has you double guessing everybody's agenda. Check out the How To Play video below.
Or click the buttom below to find out more about the Kickstarter
Guilou & Arnauld
Act In Game
Alderac Entertainment Group
Blue Orange Games
Burky & Badger
Catch Up Games
Clyde & Cart Press
Cool Mini Or Not
Czech Games Edition
Druid City Games
Fantasy Flight Game
Flying Carpet Games
Golden Egg Games
Holy Grail Games
How To Play
Inside Up Games
Jolly Dutch Productions
Jumping Turtle Games
Junk Spirit Games
La Boite De Jeu
Lucky Duck Games
Meeple City Games
My Cup Of Tea
Next Move Games
North Star Games
Oka Luda Editions
Paris Est Ludique
Plan B Games
Renegade Game Studios
Second Gate Games
Sorry We Are French
Tasty Minstrel Games
The Flying Games
UK Gaming Expo
White Goblin Games
Yoka By Tsume