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The Diary of a Madwoman - Part 8

Entry 14; Family Day

Another gaming day, we wanted to get our numbers up so we bashed through a few games in the afternoon before having a zoom meetup with family in the evening.

Games played that day; The Logo Game, Isle of Skye, Clank!, Caper, Villainous, Mysterium Park, Stramash, High Stakes.

It’s hard to pick what to talk about, there is so much to say about the games from this day! The Logo Game is a game I got years and years ago, when I was addicted to some logo app which I played in the library whilst I should have been revising. It is a quiz type game, but it’s a lot easier than most others and a lot is multiple choice (multiple guess) work. It has escaped the guillotine this time.

Isle of Skye is a thinkier and better version of tile laying. Premise is similar to Carcassonne but you set prices for the tiles you take. Players can pay you the cash for your tiles or not, if they are not taken then you pay the bank the price of them. The scoring changes each round as well, which shakes up what you are trying to score. I think Isle of Skye is a lot more difficult a game, but at two especially it plays incredibly quickly. We have the Journeyman expansion too which evens up play a little and prevents runaway victory still further. It also levels up the weight of the game a lot. Which in my mind means there are days you want it with the expansion and other days when without it is just right.

Mysterium Park is the other one I wanted to expand on, this game is so slick. It is a trimmed down and improved version of Mysterium. Players work together to interpret “visions” from the ghost player that pertain to one of the suspects or locations. For me it scratches the Dixit and Cluedo itch at the same time. I have been running this lots over Teams as a team building exercise with work, although it was new to MJ. It has gone down a storm with loads of people, I think Libellud should really be paying me commission as I know that over 5 people have since bought their own copy...

Normally the 27th is the day my extended family comes to meet up with us and we have a huge buffet spread and generally have the annual catch up. “Oh my, how you’ve grown”, well I mean I have aged, I haven’t grown for 15 years! This was of course not going to happen this year. We were not able to see any family unfortunately. So instead we decided that we would play some zoom games.

My mum is an avid Azul fan (I mean since about June, but she loves it), and is usually up for games. My littlest sister previously said board games were for when you were mind numbingly bored only, oh what a pun. Although Sagrada (her favourite), Jaipur and also Can’t Stop (she really can’t) on Board Game Arena have firmly changed her viewpoint. My middle sister though, well growing up she was the reason we couldn’t play Cluedo or anything that needed three players, she will not play games. She doesn’t like them, or rules, or learning things other people know already. So her turning up was a surprise to us all!

Deciding on what to play was a bit of a headache, we wanted something easy as everyone had had too much plonk and too much food to use much in the way of brain power. But because it was over video call, all our normal favourite family games of Rummikub and cards were out. So it would need to be a new game. That was easy to teach and mega easy to learn. Tall order. We eventually decided on Herd Mentality by Big Potato Games. This is a quiz game. Ah I hear you cry, you two suck at quizzes. Correct! However in Herd Mentality, you just have to write the same as the majority of others to win points! Also the questions are things that you can’t get wrong. Like “name something purple” or “name a famous John”. Which MJ came up with what I see as a mad answer, but I will leave judgement to yourselves dear reader. A famous John, what would you say? I’m thinking; John Lennon, John Major, John Lewis… I tell you what I bet none of you said. John the Baptist. He was so adamant that this was exactly what everyone else would have written. Spoiler, they hadn’t. No one had. But he went to great lengths to explain why John the Baptist was the “right” answer that we all should have written. Writing an answer that is in the majority wins you a cow point, and it is the first to 10 points. Writing an oddball answer that leaves you out of the herd earns you the pink cow of embarrassment. You can still accrue points whilst you are in possession of the pink cow, but you cannot win. And the only way to get rid of the pink cow is for someone else to give an off the wall answer to “how many times should you use the toilet a day?”.

Entry 15; The almost final hurdle

Don’t worry guys, we are nearly there. The last few games were on 28th and 29th, days 3 and 4 of Betwixtmas.

Risk, Cthulhu Tales, Mr Jack Pocket, Dobble and Spirit Island.

Risk is a game that can outstay it’s welcome immensely. Previous games of Risk have resulted in my Auntie seeing red through her red wine fog and flipping the board. It can be a dangerous game; world domination. I want to love Risk more than I think I do. Maybe we have grown out of it? We definitely won’t be sitting down to another 2 player version though. The neutral armies really do just elongate the game. Also I am pants at rolling dice. I threw 5 one’s in my first five turns. Poor yellow infantry were slaughtered.

Another biggie is Spirit Island. This is the heaviest game we own. It is a hard co-operative. It’s also the game with the most interesting theme. You play as spirits that are trying to protect your homeland from invaders (people). You play cards to push the explorers back and generate fear to win. It gets a 10/10 from MJ and the same from me. It is hard, but so very satisfying to win. The game takes 90-120 mins most of the time, and you often feel like you are losing until suddenly you catch a break and pull off some combotastic masterstroke.

We played Cthulhu Tales too which I can safely say is nothing like any other game we own, or any other game I’ve played. It is a story-telling game set in the Lovecraft Realm where you are trying to explain to Sanitorium staff that you are not in fact mad, and that there is a perfectly logical reason for why all these crazy things have happened. We really enjoy this at two, because we both want to be inventive and imaginative in spinning our tale. This game needs the right crowd, and the right mood to work. But I like it, and the art is a chef's kiss.

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