Today is my birthday, I turned 24 and will spend the day corralling middle schoolers, then having my usual campaign of Gloomhaven in the evening. That means that I had to celebrate my birthday yesterday with my family. This probably won’t surprise anyone, but celebrating to me meant playing board games…with some cake. The picture above is all the games that my family and friends gifted me for my birthday. I am shocked at how many games my family gave me. All of these games were new to me, and I had never played any of them before. Yesterday I got to sit down and try Giant Kingdomino, Azul and Grimm Forest, so I figured I would give my first impressions of them!
Kingdomino- Something about this game just clicked with me. It was so satisfying to have the really large tiles and at the end to have a perfect 5×5 square. The idea of score multipliers is one that I really enjoy in Bunny Kingdom, so I was happy to see it implemented here as well. Even if at times I had no crowns in an otherwise large region, like in the forest in the picture. If you have not tried this, and you are a fan of light strategy games, I would suggest checking it out. I will do a full review of it later this week though.
Azul- I loved Azul. It is a very thinky game and I have not quite figured out a strategy for it yet. We played this maybe 4 times yesterday, and each time all of my opponents doubled my score. I do have to say though that we had multiple games that ended or could have ended on round 2. I didn’t feel like I could get into a good grove with that happening. I am not sure if I missed a rule there, but it seemed odd that could happen. However, I really enjoyed the tile placement, and determining which tiles to take at what times to get the best return. The other struggle was trying to determine whether or not it was worth it to take the first player token. Almost every time I took it, I got slammed with a lot of negative points in the last round.
Grimm Forest– First off, this game’s theme is hilariously deceptive. Despite the cute little miniatures and storybook theme, this game is about as cut-throat back stabbing as you can get. The fable cards can really mess a player’s strategy up. Plus forcing friends on another player can entirely change how they have to play. The sheer amount of player interaction in this game is something I really enjoyed. Players were almost always thinking about what other players would be doing, or playing cards that directly interacted with other players. It is something I do not always see in resource collection games, that I really enjoyed in this one. The other thing to note with Grimm Forest is the quality of the components. When I opened the box I was in awe of the nice insert and high quality miniatures. Honestly, I don’t think I have been that impressed by the quality of a game I have gotten in quite some time.
I still have yet to play Between Two Cities: Capitals, Lucidity or Feast for Odin. Hopefully in the next week or so I will be able to play those games and get a feel for them. Tomorrow after school I am going to start staining my Broken Token organizer for Scythe…I have never done one before so that will likely be an adventure.