The quiz picture this time is a party game and although they are not my preferred type of game there are quite a few (including this one) that I find a lot of fun.
The last quiz picture was correctly guessed as A Fistful of Penguins a fun filler game from Wattsalpoag Games who tried to launch Echidna Shuffle through kickstarter earlier this year and although the designer Kris Gould has some excellent titles under his belt (Claim It, Buccaneer Bones, Jet Set and Switching tracks to name a few) sadly this one did not get its funding.
A very quick review this time as I have been reading several rule manuals and this has taken up a lot of time however I am now capable of playing and teaching Haspelknecht, Martians: A Story of Civilization and Papà Paolo. I have picked Sagrada a nice lightweight game of placing dice in a grid to score points, it plays in about 12-15 mins/person and it even has a solo variant which I have played and seems to work quite nicely. The box contains several small decks of cards 4 player boards and 90 dice in five different colours (18 of each), the first deck of cards contains frameworks for glass windows laid out in a 4x5 grid (these are what you place your dice on) 2 of these double sided cards is dealt to each player and they choose one each to play and slide it into their player board, this also gives a level of difficulty (3-6) which is equal to the number of tool tokens you get given.
Next 3 tool cards are dealt out, you may use only one per action and they will cost you tool tokens and they help you place the right dice in the correct positions, then 3 goal cards are dealt out, these show what points are available in the game e.g. 5 points for a multicolour column, lastly each player gets a secret goal this is just a single colour for which you get “pip” points at the games end.
The game lasts 10 rounds, each round you will get the opportunity to take 2 dice, therefore all players can complete their windows but there is no leeway for error, the start player takes one more die from the bag than twice the number of players and rolls them, each player round the table then may take a die place it on their window, the last player gets a double turn and each other player takes their second die in reverse order, the last die is placed on the turn track. There are numerous rules of placement, each die must be placed next to another die on the window (orthogonally or diagonally), no die may be orthogonally adjacent to a die of the same number or colour, a die placed on a non-white window space must match the number or colour shown on the card.
The game does play quickly but there is still plenty of challenge as players try to place difficult dice whilst also trying to score points from the goal cards and not leave any dice for your opponents, good planning ahead is rewarded however there are elements of luck such as the colours you need being drawn from the bag or your needed numbers rolled but there is also skill in choosing certain dice to keep as many future options open as possible also a keen eye on your opponents choices and needs helps improve your chances. Overall it is an enjoyable game and fast playing, very colourful and fun, our table had a good time, I trailed miserably behind the other two failing on most of the goals and missing 2 dice from my window at the end, I was definitely out-played by the others.