We’re already a week into December and it’s been a good month so far. My family has had a sleepover in the living room in front of the Christmas tree (We have 5, 3, and half year old kids). I’ve played a bunch of new games. I just transferred my Belgian Dubbel from the fermenter to the carboy. It should be ready soon! And as a bonus it has been warm enough to melt most of the snow!
With a few weeks left until Christmas I’m sure a bunch of you are making your lists of board games you’d like to get. If you don’t have any ideas of games to get, or if you are not a gamer and want to know what to get for those awesome family members of yours who enjoy games, then check out these helpful gift guides from the folks at iSlayTheDragon:
- Light Games Gift Guide (Typically small box games at lower prices)
- Family Games Gift Guide (Big box games that are relatively easy to teach and play)
- Gamer Games Gift Guide (Big box games of deep strategy and lots of interesting decisions)
Those are nice lists but they are a little restricted. I’m planning on posting my own list this week, so keep your eyes open for that and make sure your non-gamers relatives who need some Christmas ideas for you get a look!
And now, let’s get to the Boards and Barley!
Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale (2011)
Brewed by Unibroue in Canada and aged three years in my friend Adam’s basement! This was an amazing brew and I am now inspired to purchase and age my own bottles for future enjoyment.
This brew was a Belgian style brew that hit all the right notes. It was excellent. If you haven’t had any Unibroue beer I highly recommend any of them!
- Lake Louie Warped Speed Scotch Ale
- Samuel Adams Winter Ale
- Next Door Brewing Squirrel Chaser
- Next Door Brewing BomBAR’d
- Lake Louie Milk Stout
- Deschutes Chasin’ Freshies IPA – Oh man, this was fragrant and hoppy!
This one has had a lot of hype and coverage. I had heard good things and some mixed reviews. The thing that stuck out from the hype was that people were describing this as a fresh take on The Settlers of Catan. That piqued my interest.
After playing it I can definitely say that it has elements similar to Settlers. The overall gameplay is pretty similar. But rather than having settlements and cities you have cards. The cards you purchase allow you certain abilities based on the dice roll value. So you have to plan what cards you want and then whether or not you want to roll one or two die. I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to playing it again (and doing better).
- Camel Up
- Ticket to Ride
- Kingdom Builder
- Uno (My 5yo daughter has been really into this lately, except when she loses)
- Tic-Tac-Toe – Played with my 5yo daughter. She got frustrated that I beat her every time but I was trying to teach her the secrets.
- NEW: Pairs – I’m amazed that this simple pub game earned $330K on Kickstarter. The art is very nice and I’d play it again with the right crowd.
- NEW: Evolution – This was better than I expected. I really enjoyed it despite playing really horribly. The mechanics of the game are really clever. I’m looking forward to playing again.
- NEW: AttrAction – More fun than you should be able to have with magnets. It was actually a pretty fun experience.
- NEW: Temporum – I could sense the Donald X in this game. It had some really cool things going for it. The downfall is that games can be drastically different depending on the combination of cards that are dealt. I enjoyed it despite that and I’m looking forward to playing it again.
- NEW: Colt Express – I think this game could be a lot of fun… when you’re not getting shot! There are some really neat programming things going on in this game. Unfortunately my programming led to me being shot 10 times! I lost.
Overall it has been a great couple weeks with all the new games I was able to play. That being said, my gaming group still has over 10 games that are owned but unplayed. Must do more gaming!
I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I had a couple new game designs I’ve been working on and that I was going to blog about them. And you probably noticed I haven’t blogged about them. In fact I’ve been pretty quiet on this site as of late. That’s because life is pretty busy with a full time job and three kids, one of which is a 6 month old.
I will be writing an article for each of my current designs: Ziggurat and Impossible. Those should be coming out this week in addition to the Holiday Gift Guide I plan on writing. I’m setting myself up for failure here, but I’d rather have my hand forced to actually put some content here. I’m looking forward to hearing what you all have to say about Ziggurat and Impossible.