The Re-Review: A New Year

Baseball Highlights 2045

Baseball Highlights 2045

  • 1 play with 2 players
  • New to me

I had high hopes for Baseball Highlights 2045, I had seen such good reviews of it over the past few months and while baseball isn’t something I watch often now, there was a bit of nostalgia from my childhood of playing and watching baseball. In addition to the theme, the game looked generally good, with an interesting play structure and a relatively short game.

However, it felt very one sided for my wife who could never get the cards she needed from the shuffle. She always felt like she never had the answers to my cards and looking at the game we played, I easily saw her point. In addition to that, the game is just okay, there’s nothing here that would keep me coming back for more.

Not recommended.

Pairs

Pairs

  • 4 plays with 6 players
  • Played before

I still think Pairs is a fun little filler game and it was a fantastic one to bring along on my recent vacation. Easy to pack, teach, and play. At some point, it’s more of an activity than a game, but it has minimal decisions and it’s something most people can understand pretty quickly.

Recommended.

Spot It!

Spot It!

  • 5 plays with 6 players
  • Played before

I also brought Spot It! on my cruise and it slightly edged out Pairs as the preferred game. It’s another one that’s pretty each to teach and understand and age is not a determining factor in whether you’ll win or not.

Recommended.

7 Wonders: Duel

7 Wonders: Duel

I continue to enjoy my plays of 7 Wonders: Duel as I work my way towards 10 plays for my 2016 10x10 Challenge. In these three plays, I got to see three different endings: a science victory, a military victory, and a points victory. I love the pressure created by the different game end conditions.

Highly recommended.

Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia

  • 1 play with 2 players
  • Played before

I brought this out with Scott in an effort to play older games and try to see if it’s one I wanted to keep in my collection. After our play, I’m not so sure. There were a number of rules lookups which likely doubled the length of the game and given it’s rather light and dice-heavy gameplay, extending the length can really hurt this kind of game.

I’m not planning on selling it right now, but it’s certainly on the short list.

Not recommended at the moment.

Forbidden Desert

Forbidden Desert

  • 1 play with 4 players
  • Played before

I think this particular play was my very first win of Forbidden Desert which is a little embarrassing considering how many times I’ve played this game. I was the Climber which let me bring someone with me when moving and climb blocked tiles, so we combined that with the role that could move other players to move the two of us around quickly and efficiently. In the end, I brought everyone onto the end game tile for the win.

Recommended.

Mission: Red Planet

Mission: Red Planet

  • 1 play with 4 players
  • Played before (sorta)

The second edition of Mission: Red Planet is new to me, but I’ve played the previous edition before. However, I had only ever played it two players and it was pretty abysmal at that player count. With four players, the game really shined and was a good combination of chaos and control. I went for a Phobos heavy strategy where I used the Soldier to eliminate other astronauts and land on Mars, but in the end it wasn’t quite enough to wrest control from another player who had holed up in the center locations.

Highly recommended (at the higher player counts).

Orléans

Orleans

  • 1 play with 2 players
  • Played before

I continue to really enjoy Orléans, especially it’s bag-building mechanic. There’s no theme here and typically that’s a deal-breaker for me, but the various mechanics lead to an interesting and balanced game where victory is not prescribed and there are multiple, different paths to victory. In this last game, I managed to win by going whole hog on goods and traveling across the board. I also had the ability to sneak in up to four tokens into the Beneficial Deeds board, snatching away some of the citizen tiles from my wife.

Highly recommended.