Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Monday, October 29, 2007

Perfect 10's (Part 1)

Having been able to play a few of my most highest rated games over the past 2 months or so has led me to contemplate if they are still worthy of the "10" that I've given them at BBG. I'll attempt to evaluate them on how I feel about their merits TODAY and not let nostalgia or any other bias cloud my judgement.

First up: Colosseum - last played on 09/01/2007

Colosseum is still the new kid on the block. I played it an awful lot when it first came out and got all my family and friends hooked on it. I can specifically think of 3 people who I have directly influenced to get the game. Colosseum has many traits of other successful Days of Wonder games like Ticket to Ride, Memoir 44 or Cleopatra:

1. Its an easy game to play
2. The production values are very high
3. The game experience is varied enough to warrant repeated play
4. It's very fun to play - even if you are losing.

That being said, it's been 6 weeks since it hit the table and I find myself wanting to play something else when given the opportunity. That right there should be a warning sign, but I really think that it's more of a dynamic of the past few game nights than anything to do with the game itself. Lately the CVW has steadily been having 8-10 players show up for game night and I've been lobbying for games where we could all play at once as opposed to breaking off into two smaller groups. We had an 8 player Circus Maximus game a few weeks ago that was a lot of fun. We don't get the opportunity to play with that many very often and it was every bit the blood fest we expected and I loved it - even if I don't rate Circus Maximus higher than Colosseum.

The following week I pushed for multi player B-17 - as we had another group. Again, lots of fun was had from a game I rate lower than Colosseum - but the dynamics were just right to play B-17 on that night and we seized it.

Time will tell here. I think I'll need a few more games under my belt before I can tell if I've had my fill of Colosseum, or we've just had some unusual opportunities arise at game night.

Next up: Fury of Dracula - last played on 09/07/2007.

Where as I may be a little ambivalent about Colosseum, I'm 100% certain of my 10 rating for Fury of Dracula. I have yet to have a game of Fury od Dracula leave me wondering if my rating was too high or if I should re-evaluate it.

Fury of Dracula succeeds on many levels for me. The hunt/search mechanic feels as if it was designed specifically for Fury of Dracula - even if it has been used in other games before. The fantastic artwork and components enchance and enrich the immersive theme of traveling through old Europe as you conduct a desperate hunt for a nefarious villain. It is fun to be either a Hunter or Dracula, as each task has it's moments of tension, cunning and satisfaction when things go your way.

Update: - last played on 10/26/2007

As predicted, Fury of Dracula was played last Friday - before I had finished this post. We had a full 5 player game - one of whom had never played before. It was an amazingly close game ultimately, although Dracula had a quick 3 point lead after the first day had passed. It came down to the wire with us hunters emerging victorious after a very close pursuit across western Europe.

This game still does it for me completely. It is engrossing thoughout the entire game and even with 5 players, you never feel as if you are waiting for your turn. Still a 10.

I'll cover a couple more of my current games raed a ten in the next update... Seeya then!