Game Session for the Week of 9/29/17

What I’m Playing

Hey, all. Dave here, checking in with this week’s batch of games that have hit my table.

Triplock

The neoprene mat in the middle has the yellow chips with the symbols on them that you are trying to rearrange, sandwiched between two “fail-safe” chips that prevent you from knowing what’s inside: kind of like a distant evil cousin of an Oreo cookie.

Triplock is the abstract brainchild of Chip Theory Games, and will be available in wide release in November 2017. I managed to snag an early backer spot in their most recent Kickstarter, and have played through the first and second set of solitaire scenarios.

The competitive game doesn’t interest me as much, although I could see where a competitive, abstract memory game that allows you to mess with the order and visibility of the objects your opponent is trying to remember could have a delicious “take that” component.

But, back to the solitaire game play. I found the difficulty uneven, as some challenges didn’t faze me at all, while others that relied heavily on memory were quite brain-burn-y in a fun way.

Basically, the game tries to fool you into forgetting, by flipping and rotating stacks of poker chips with symbols on them. All the while, you are trying to arrange the symbols in a particular order to either score points or simply unlock a lock and move forward in the story. If you like a quick puzzle over coffee or lunch break, Triplock is worth a look and has excellent, durable components to travel anywhere.

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

The Sailor joins yer motley crew of scalawags and ruffians stranded on the cursed isle.

This game is a staple in my collection, and is like the gift that keeps on giving, really. I recently acquired the “Sailor” character from Portal Games’ website, and have been playing through the scenarios again with this new addition to the crew.

The Sailor has some useful powers, like turning perishable food into preserved food, and also ignoring rivers while moving about the island. In addition, he or she can re-roll a die by spending morale tokens, which has saved my salted bacon on more than one occasion. If you’re looking for a tough survival challenge, this game delivers (but can be crushingly frustrating if you really like to win most of the time.

I’ve gotten the first scenario down to a science, but subsequent ones can still give me grief.  Still, this is worth checking out, or expanding if you already own it.

Aeon’s End: War Eternal

This is the war that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend! Some people started fighting it, not knowing what it was; now, they’ll continue fighting it forever just because…

I played this with a friend who was a Kickstarter backer, but according to Cool Stuff Inc., the street date is in mid-October, so you won’t have to wait long, if you’re interested.

The premise of this game is basically in line with what I like to think of as Deckbuilding 3.0 games, like Xenoshyft, Battle for Greyport, and well Aeon’s End. In each of these games, you are building a deck of cards to defend not only your own life, but also that of a base or location, all while being pestered by foes little and huge.

I’ve found Aeon’s End strikes an ideal balance between very challenging and overly punishing, that its other 3.0 brethren don’t care to do.  (This is definitely in the eye of the beholder, though.)

What’s new in this expansion are updated components with better art, and also new mages and monsters. The boss I played against had a unique feel, which continues the fine tradition of the base game, where no two Big Bads are entirely alike.

So far, this expansion felt like a “more stuff” expansion, rather than a gameplay revolution, but that was fine with me, as the base game was one of my favorites of last year.

That’s All He Wrote.

That’s it for this week, but check back next time for some more news and updates. I’ve got a raft of Kickstarters (fingers crossed!) due in the next three months, so, in the words of Mr. Rogers: “You’ll have things you’ll want to talk about. I will too.”

See you on the flip side.

— Dave.
Twitter: @ptboardgames

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