Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Card Sleeves Bit Me!

Designed by Dave Chalker
Published by Mayday Games
2 to 6 Players (Although the game is really designed for 4 to 6)
20 Minutes
Push Your Luck, Hand Management, Player Elimination

Sometimes you just need a good quick game where you can laugh and not take it too seriously. "Get Bit!" is such a game. Each turn you choose a card and then simultaneously reveal that card with the other players. Players have 7 cards numbered 1 through 7. Playing a low number means that you move first, but that isn't a good thing in this game as you are all in a line swimming away from a hungry shark! If you pick the same number as someone else, neither one of you will move and all the other players will swim right past you and you may lose a limb.

This is the deluxe tin edition - which may lead you to ask what is the difference between this and an original version. Each game includes 6 guys ready to be torn limb from limb and a set of cards for each. Oh, and the shark - a very hungry one. With the deluxe tin version you get - well, a tin for starters. I like tins. They are sturdy although they don't really stack well. This tin and the artwork is great. The deluxe version includes stickers that can be applied to your little swimmers too with a few different ones so you can customize them. I really like the fact that the guys have faces and personalities.

The game play is simple to learn and play and it really is a fun filler game or family game. The game is quick to play and it sure is fun to tear off limbs of the little guys. The game is an elimination game, so you may have someone get eliminated early on and sit out doing nothing - on the other hand, the game is pretty quick. I enjoy the game, but I did feel that it may be a little too random. Your played cards stay in a pile in front of you until you are either bit or you have played them all - then you get those cards back into your hand. So, there seems to be some strategy or memory involved of what has been played. If you like a good strategy game with little luck, I wouldn't recommend this, but if you want a fun quick game where you push your luck and tear off limbs of little guys swimming away from a shark - well, then this is a perfect game for you and that is How Lou Sees It!

Also, I wanted to note that Mayday Games provided this complimentary for a review along with some card sleeves for my Dominion game. They are very nice quality sleeves designed to fit the cards perfectly - and they do. I don't really play with sleeves, but I tried them and they are nice. They were very slippery on one another though and I kept dropping them as I tried to shuffle them. The other thing is that they don't fit back in the original card divider that comes with the game. I see the benefit of sleeves with games such as Dominion though where you will shuffle the cards frequently - and well, Mayday sleeves are nice quality and are available to fit many different games nice and snug. Great fit and great quality sleeves indeed! Thanks Mayday!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Quantum Me This, Quantum Me That

Designed by Eric Zimmerman
2 to 4 Players
60 Minute Play Time
A Simplified 4x Game, Area Control, Space Exploration and Battle

Quantum is a game full of colorful dice and cubes flying through space in epic battles to dominate any of the near planets. The game has very nice quality components (the first run of this game here in the states had some dice that were not that great and were oily/sticky - but Passport Game Studios replaced these with new top notch dice when they were able).

The instruction book does a pretty good job with presenting the rules and providing illustrations and examples. There has been some rule changes that you may need to double check on Board Game Geek along with one specific card text that really should be changed. The player boards are a really nice reference and even though each board/player utilizes the same mechanics, the artwork for each board of the ships is different for each race. It would have been nice to see some special ability for each race, but I hear that may be in the works for a future expansion.

The game is won by simply arranging your dice ship around a planet so that they total the number on the planet. Placing a Quantum Cube on a planet takes 2 of the 3 actions you have each turn. You can also place a cube if you win enough battles destroying your opponents ships. The game is that simple. Move the dice around and attack others who dare challenge you.

The use of the dice number is pretty brilliant where the 1 represents the largest and slowest ship, but is the most powerful in battles down to the 6 which is a little scout that can move great distances but won't usually last against a 1. The number shown on the die is how many spaces that die can move and extra dice are rolled in battle and added to your ship number - the lowest winning.

A fun game that has some good strategy but has plenty of luck with dice rolls makes for a fun colorful space game that feels different and refreshing and that is How Lou Sees It!

Friday, June 6, 2014


Featured Kickstarter Interview

Luchador!Mexican Wrestling Dice
Interview with Game Designer Mark Rivera
Game Published by BackSpindle Games

Hi Mark! Thanks for taking the time to answer just a few questions. Hopefully they will help everyone get to know you and the game you designed better.

Q - First, can you tell us just a little about yourself, your background, and when you started designing Luchador? (Is that cheating? Is that technically 3 questions?) :)

A - I'm an expat American living in the UK for quite a long time. I'm a Learning and Development professional during the day. I'm a Mormon 24/7.

I've been gaming since I was very young with my family (the usual... Monopoly, Game of Life, etc.) and was probably around 12 when I discovered war games (1862 by Parker Brothers and Battle Cry) and D & D. Late teens and I got into war gaming seriously playing Avalon Hill Games and subscribing to Strategy and Tactics Magazine so I was a gamer during the first golden age of war gaming (yes, I'm that old). I even went to the 2nd (I think) Origins Convention sponsored by Richard Dunnigan's SPI war games company. My interests expanded into Warhammer 40K and American style games.

About 4 years ago I started the Boardgames in Blighty blog writing reviews and news pieces.

Interestingly, I started designing war games in the late 80's but with moving to the UK, it all took a back seat. A few years ago, I collaborated with Michael Fox of the Little Metal Dog Show and designed Ace of Spies which was published by Albino Dragon and about 18 months ago, I submitted my design for Luchador to Backspindle Games.

Q - Now that we know when, how did you come up with the idea and what was your inspiration?

A - I blame the awesomely "Bance" guys from the Flip the Table Podcast. They simply tweeted one day that it would be great if someone would design a good wrestling game and we tweeted back and forth a bit and thought, "well why not have a go?"

Q - I really don't know much about the game and I bet some of my readers are in the same boat. I just keep seeing pictures of what seems like a really fun dice game. Can you give us all a low down of your smack down successful game?

A - Well, at its core, its a dice game set in the world of LUCHA LIBRE where 2 players face off, roll wrestling dice against each other at the same time (yes, you can knock each other's dice out of the ring) scoring Hits, Blocks, Counter-blocks, Pins, and Misses. Unblocked or Uncountered Hits allow players to roll their Hit Die scoring damage against their opponent. Hits range from chops and elbows to Chair and Table smashes. 2 Hit results on their wrestling dice can be traded in to roll the special move the big chunky Luchador! die which can cause more damage but risks causing injuries. BUT, its glorious!

Players that are weakened enough can be pinned by rolling the Pin die. If a Pin result is rolled, the opponent has to survive the referee's 3-count or lose the match.

The game can be learned in 5 minutes and games last 10 - 15 minutes. There are rules for 4-player Tag Teams which makes it all even crazier.

Luchador 1st ed is designed for the widest possible accessibility so its an easy game to learn and play.

Luchador 2nd edition, now on Kickstarter, adds more complexity with individual strengths and weaknesses for the Luchadores, 2 new Luchadores, a 3-D ring, individualised Killer combos that call for more decisions, and new match types.

Q - What does a typical turn or round look like?

A - Typically, each player rolls their wrestling dice, only dice that stay on the board count, results are compared, results applied, hit damage is scored and Pins rolled for and applied if the targey opponent is "pinnable".

Q - What is your favorite thing about the game?

A - The smack talk which is hilarious and referee 3-count which is very tense and loud and has the potential for reverse Pins.

Q - This was a successful Kickstarter already, why Kickstarter again for version 2.0? 

A - Actually, 1st edition went straight to print so Backspindle Games could deliver for Essen 2013. 2nd Ed needs Kickstarter to raise the funds to publish. Backspindle is a very small company and see Kickstarter as a great way to raise capital.

Q - Who is your favorite wrestler?

A - Have to say The Rock and Rey Mysterio

Q - What is your favorite board game?

A - Tough call. Currently its Memoir 44.

Q - If you had to recreate the game with same mechanics but using a different theme other than wrestling,  what would it be? (Space, Midevil, Western, just for example)

A - Probably Horror/Scifi Wrestling

Q - Is there something more you wanted to incorporate into the game, but had to leave it out or one reason or another (maybe too pricey, or it didn't translate well into the board game medium)?

A - Well there are limitations in terms of what translates to the dice game. Some matches are too difficult for instance. It would be cool to have an actual Cage for Cage matches but too costly... A ring made of wood or heavy plastic but costly... Minis are very much a nice to have and not really necessary...

Q -  If you could play your game with one famous person today, who would it be and why?

A - Rey Mysterio. I think he would like it.

Q - One word to describe you?

A - Charming

Q - One word to describe Luchador?

A - Crazy

Q - Anything else you would like to add?

A -  Luchador started out as a game for wrestling fans but it turns out all types of gamers and non-gamers love it. Lots of families have really enjoyed it, so winning the Best Family Game Award at UK Games Expo last weekend was especially gratifying.

Please check out the Luchador! 2nd Edition Kickstarer project!

Well Mark, thanks again for your time and for answering my questions! I hope that I can get my hands on a copy one day soon! Best of luck on the Kickstarter!

If you are interested in learning more about Luchador! or how you can support the project, head on over to their Kickstarter page and until next time, that is How Lou Sees It!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hanabi Is On Fire!

Designed by Antoine Bauza
Published by RandR Games
2 to 5 Players
25 Minutes
Cooperative Sequence Deduction and Memory Set Building Card Game

Oooo....Awwww...Ooooo...Awwww. Firework displays can be some of the most amazing and impressive shows to watch in the night sky. There is always a lot of excitement in the air, along with all the ash of course. Hanabi is also a pretty exciting experience and fun for the entire family.

Hanabi won the Spiel des Jahres (or Game of the Year award in Germany for 2013) and for good reason. Being a set collecting game where you are all holding cards away from you so that all the other players can see your cards and you can see everyone else's cards except your own - I have a hard time saying that the theme really thrives in this game. The game is a set building game where you have to play in order cards in each color 1 to 5. I like that the goal is simple and the game play is very easy to learn and play too. You can either give a clue (if a counter is available), play a card to the center, or discard a card (gaining back a counter). So simple!

The blue counters are limited however, so you may need to make a best guess to discard a card to gain one back for the team. If you choose a card to play to the center and it's wrong, Ssssss, the fuse shortens - you have 3 chances for a mistake. The clue giving can be very strategic, but it can be hard sometimes to not give more information than you can. 

The game is light and is very enjoyable, but some may have a hard time with the game if they don't have a very good memory or are not very good at making logical deductions. For me and my wife however, this is a perfect game. It definitely is going to be different with 2 than it is with 5, but I have enjoyed both ways and will continue to do so. Lots of fun. I do need to mention however that the cards just barely fit in the box - too tight for my liking. I don't know if it is just my copy of the game, but it seems to me that they should have made the box slightly bigger. The counters are good quality though and so are the cards. This game is definitely worth your while and that is How Lou Sees It!