The Re-Review: Ketchup

Roll for the Galaxy

Roll for the Galaxy

The shine is starting to wear off to some degree. Most of our plays have ended with a landslide victory, or at least it feels that way to the loser. We still enjoy the buildup of the game and the engine building, but losing feels worse than it used to. We’ll likely try to finish up our 10 plays to see if it is as bad as we think, but we won’t force ourselves to finish if it’s truly wearing thin on us. On the other hand, we’re at 14 total plays, so I feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth.

Tentatively recommended.

7 Wonders: Duel

7 Wonders: Duel

This game on the other hand is getting closer and closer. In our most recent game, Shannon and I both came close to alternative victories (science for myself and military for her), but we ended up scoring points and I barely managed a win at 79-75. I love what this game has done with so few components and such a clean experience. It’s fast and easy to teach.

Highly recommended.

Codenames

Codenames

  • 2 plays with 6 players
  • Played before

Codenames is one of those games that will come out time and time again when we have large groups. It’s hard to play just once and it rewards creativity and taking risks.

Highly recommended.

Wits & Wagers

Wits & Wagers

  • 1 play with 8 players
  • Played before

The second of three party games we played in one night, Wits & Wagers is a trivia game for people who hate trivia games. Instead of having to know the answer yourself, you just need to have either a ballpark figure or an idea of who actually knows the answer. Bet on the right answers and you’ll win. Pretty simple stuff.

Recommended for a crowd.

Monikers

Monikers

  • 1 play with 7 players
  • Played before

This was the first time I’ve ever played Monikers as described in the rules. However, this is based off an older folk game, so it’s fitting that you can mold and shape it to be what you want it to be. However, we played the rules as written, divided up into teams and scored points. I liked the team play, the only problem was holding back answers when the other team was playing, but that’s a good problem to have. I keep letting the winners make cards and it should be interesting to see the game after we’ve plowed through those.

Recommended.

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization

Through the Ages

  • 1 play with 2 players
  • Played before

Listen, I talked about this game recently and I mentioned that it’s easily in my Top 10. It’s a fantastic game with smooth mechanics and a sense of progression as you build up from an ancient society to modern day life. This is likely a Top 5 game for me, I just don’t know what it would oust. If you haven’t played this because it’s missing a map or because it looks too complicated or would take too long, then do yourself a favor and try it out online. It’s free to sign up and can be played out over the course of several weeks. Then, once you’re hooked, pick up a copy.

Highly recommended. One of the best games I’ve ever played.

Alchemists

Alchemists

  • 1 play with 2 players
  • Played before

Hmm, this particular play of Alchemists worries me a bit. I really love what Alchemists did when it introduced an app into game play, and how it made a deduction game without having a cat-and-mouse sort of chase. However, if you make one small mistake in your cauldron (by putting the wrong result in the right place, or the right result in the wrong place) you’re done. The earlier that happens, the worse an experience you’re going to have when you realize that everything is all wrong. That being said, I’m not selling this one yet as I want to try it again playing a bit slower and more deliberately to see if it’s as good as I recall.

Recommendation on hold.

Port Royal

Port Royal

Port Royal is a cute push-your-luck game, ostensibly about being a pirate or something, I’m not sure. Either way, it’s fun to try and see how much you can get away with. This was the first time Shannon had played the game and I think she liked it for what it is, a filler.

Recommended.

Arcadia Quest

Arcadia Quest

The campaign continues and I managed to squeak out a victory here by taking advantage of Scott being in the wrong place at the right time. We’re still finding rules that I managed to botch, but for the most part things are starting to go pretty smoothly. The games are getting a bit longer as we progress through the more difficult and larger levels, but I think the play length should remain under two hours per game (nothing like the hour per game at the beginning of the campaign).

Highly recommended.