So another week has past and it’s time to catch up with the comings and goings in my boardgame journey. This will also be the final post of 2022 as next friday is Christmas Eve Eve and the following Friday I will fly back to Germany. Also it’s the holidays and I’m taking a break from board game work and will be only having board game fun!
After I landed back in Ireland on Tuesday, I arrived at my parents to 12 packages that have been waiting for me during the year. Mostly kickstarters that I had backed. I got to work opening all the boxes and organising all the pieces. It took me nearly the whole day just to organise everything and have a quick glance over the rulebooks. Also tired from a long day of travel, I settled down for the night and would look to get playing over the following days.
Wedenesday saw me try out the first few games from the pile. Starting with Growing Season, a game inspired by Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley, two games that are close to my heart. The game was pretty easy to get into and it ramps up really quickly. On turn 1 you can barely grow some wheat and then quickly you have cows and chickens and friendly looking sprinklers earning you a lot of money that you don’t know what to do with. I easily beat the easy mode of the solo game but I can see me struggling against the higher difficulties. Whats more is that I can see this being a quick fun game to play with others and the small twist on the deckbuilding is really interesting.
Next up was Spires End: Hildegard, a choose your own adventure game with fantastic artwork. This is probably the best choose your own adventure game I have played. It flows seemlessly and the mini games inbetween following the story is quite fun. I barely made it past chapter 1 before meeting my demise and will be returning to this one as soon as I have worked through all the other games.
Yesterday I tried out 3 more games, Mechanical Beast, Flamecraft and The Transcontinental. All 3 of these games are once more really beautiful to look at and are also deceptive in difficulty. Mechanical Beast is an interesting little puzzle, especially once the rooms begin to collapse around you as you try to escape from the belly of the beast and while it comes in a small box it’s definitely more thinky then you might expect. The same goes for Flamecraft, which looks really cute and you could easily mistake that for it being simple. In reality it has a lot of moving parts going on that I didn’t even come close to winning the game but I definitely had a lot of fun losing. Lastly The Transcontinental looks complex but the rules are actually much more straight forward than you might expect. Well, excluding the solo rules which I never really got a grasp on, which is disappointing because I am not sure how often I will be able to take this game out for multiplayer. There is definitely a good game in there, with lots of interesting decisions and fighting for territory as you build the railway across Canada.
There was also, however, one other surprise package in there. A particular boardgame created by a particular Irish designer. A few months ago I put in an order on thegamecrafter.com for a production of Roll Into Town and it finally arrived. I have to say, I am pretty impressed with how well it came out looking. There are a few things I am not too pleased with, mostly the game name doesn’t really stand out from a distance but the game components themselves are very impressive. The gamesheets are fantastic and the custom dice came out so much better than I could have imagined. It looks so good to have a box on your boardgame shelf with your own name on it. I will put up some pictures of it over on instagram in the following week. On top of that Diceathlon now has it’s own page on BGG with the game files and logo awaiting approval. However, no word yet on the results of the contest.
So thats me done for this year, it was an adventurous year for me, moving to a new country, learning a new language and getting two board games developed. It’s time to sit back and relax for a few weeks before it all starts over again in 2023. Hopefully by that time I will have worked out a smoother format for these posts.