Monday, July 25, 2011

Board Game Review: Anima

A friend picked up the game Anima: Shadow of Omega recently, and I was able to try it out with him. It reminds me a bit of Arcadia: the Wyld Hunt, if you combine it with team-based RPG video games like Chrono Trigger. But I get ahead of myself. Let's start with the ratings:
Strategy and Randomness are rated from 0 to 6. A 0 means the rated aspect plays no part in determining the game's outcome; and a 6 means that it is the only factor that determines the game's outcome. Complexity is also rated from 0 to 6; a 0 means that it's so simple a six-year-old can play it, a 3 means any adult should have no trouble playing, and a 6 means that you'll need to refer to the rulebook frequently. Humour can be rated as 'None,' meaning the game is not meant to be funny, or it may have one or more of the following: Derivative (meaning the humour is based on an outside source, such as a game based on a comedy film), Implicit (meaning that the game's components are funny, such as humourous card text), or Inherent (meaning that the actions the players take are funny). Attractiveness has nine possible ratings. Ideal: the game is beautiful and makes game play easier. Pretty: The design is beautiful and neither eases nor impedes game play. Nice: The design is beautiful but makes game play harder than necessary. Useful: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but eases gameplay. Average: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Useless: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but makes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Utilitarian: The design is ugly, but eases gameplay. Ugly: The design is ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Worthless: The design is ugly, andmakes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Average Length of Game Play describes how long an average game will probably last, give or take.
Strategy: 2
Randomness: 4
Complexity: 4
Humour: None.
Attractiveness: Pretty.
Expected Length of Game Play: An hour.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Board Game Review: Hive

Here's a review of a really interesting and innovative board game. Part of the innovation is that there is no board. It's called Hive, and if you're interested, you can play it online. And let's not forget the ratings:
Strategy and Randomness are rated from 0 to 6. A 0 means the rated aspect plays no part in determining the game's outcome; and a 6 means that it is the only factor that determines the game's outcome. Complexity is also rated from 0 to 6; a 0 means that it's so simple a six-year-old can play it, a 3 means any adult should have no trouble playing, and a 6 means that you'll need to refer to the rulebook frequently. Humour can be rated as 'None,' meaning the game is not meant to be funny, or it may have one or more of the following: Derivative (meaning the humour is based on an outside source, such as a game based on a comedy film), Implicit (meaning that the game's components are funny, such as humourous card text), or Inherent (meaning that the actions the players take are funny). Attractiveness has nine possible ratings. Ideal: the game is beautiful and makes game play easier. Pretty: The design is beautiful and neither eases nor impedes game play. Nice: The design is beautiful but makes game play harder than necessary. Useful: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but eases gameplay. Average: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Useless: The design is neither beautiful nor ugly, but makes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Utilitarian: The design is ugly, but eases gameplay. Ugly: The design is ugly, and neither eases nor impedes gameplay. Worthless: The design is ugly, andmakes gameplay harder than it needs to be. Average Length of Game Play describes how long an average game will probably last, give or take.
Strategy: 6
Randomness: 0
Complexity: 2
Humour: None.
Attractiveness: Pretty.
Expected Length of Game Play: 30 minutes.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

3 Player Chess

Some years ago, I saw an advert in a catalogue for a 3 Player Chess Set. I thought it looked really nice, but I didn't want to spend the money to buy one. Instead, I came home and made my own. It looks a little like this:

A wooden board that looks vaguely like a trefoil with squared-off leaves. Each player's section is four rows, warped into a pentagonal shape with the central columns stretching in length to reach the centre of the board, where the three sections meet. The closest section is occupied by the normal chess pieces, in red, whilst the pieces on the far right section are white and the ones on the far left are green.

I didn't bother with the labels on the edge, and the pieces don't look exactly like that, but otherwise, it's a pretty good comparison. However, the disadvantage to making my own board was that I didn't have the instructions for it. I tried a few times to get people to work out the details with me, but it never really quite happened.

Until recently.