Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Games we people play

We are a game-playing pair, Marc and I.
We love a good sparring match that involves teeny playing pieces, pages of silly rules and the opportunity to control a make-believe world for just a little while.
As a result, we usually get games for Christmas and spend most of our holidays learning new games.
This year, we got a stack that included a couple that we approached with much caution.
One was from my brother and his wife who are also game addicts.
My sister-in-law dropped it off in the afternoon and by evening we had it open justifying the early open by claiming we needed to know what not to buy them in return.
It's called "Stone Age" and at first, we were overwhelmed at the rules.
New stack of fun
"Why does Darrell always give us hard games?" I asked as Marc read the rules out loud for a long time.
Then we decided to give it a whirl and see what happened.
We loved it!
It went quickly and the little villagers made baby villagers and the whole tribe tromped around gathering wood, clay, gold and stone.
They went a' hunting.
And they got hungry so we had to feed them at the end of every turn.
We've played and played and introduced it to several other households.
Another game is from Marc's oldest daughter and her husband. They like complexity as well so we looked at this one with suspicion.
It's called "Power Grid" and I sat glumly through the reading of rules once more.
But this one proved to be fairly easy to set up and handle.
Basically you buy cities and fuels and power the American nation, pipeline by pipeline.
It's interesting and forces you to rely on the more expensive but less finite fuels...sounds like a lesson in environmental science but it's not. It's more about linking cities and doing a bit of math.
Then we had one biggie left to try, called "Castle Panic!"
This one looked impossible, sort of like a copy of Dungeons and Dragons with a boatload of monsters who try to take over the Castle.
Once again, this game proved to be so much fun...especially when we played with a couple of grandkids.
You have to share the fight and combine efforts to defeat the 49 -- yes, 49 -- monsters.
The last time we barely had a castle tower standing but we won.
It's a keeper as well.
Now my only question is, who can come over next to play? We have choices...

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