Last Week’s Gaming

Snapping Bugsnax in the Infinity Gauntlet just for the Clank!

My holidays are progressing well. I can’t believe I am in the final week of it. The days go quickly when you sleep! But I did get in some gaming last week, including a couple of games I have been waiting to play.

What has surprised me is in the couple of weeks I have had my PS5, I have Platinumed each of them! Now it’s just trying to decide what to play that I can finish or put down for Cyberpunk 2077 next week.

But that I will talk about later. For now, let’s jump into what I played last week!

I enjoy the Love Letter games. My Marvel fanboy status is pretty well known. So when you make a Marvel themed implementation of Love Letter, you know I am going to get it. And last week, I got to play it!

Infinity Gauntlet is indeed ‘A Love Letter Game’, and not ‘Marvel Love Letter’. The basic mechanics are here, but the implementation is very different from Love Letter itself.

As I said in my Love Letter Review, I would put Infinity Gauntlet in the ‘very different’ category. If you know how to play Love Letter, you have a solid background. But there are quirks you need to take into consideration.

If you can get out all 6 stones, you win. Thanos does have allies to help him though.

The most significant difference is there are two teams and two decks. One player takes the role of Thanos and uses the Thanos deck. Everyone else is on the hero team and uses the Superhero deck.

Each round begins with Thanos playing a card. The Thanos player’s goal is to get all 6 Infinity Stones in their hand. Not in front of them – well not all of them. There is a minimum of 4 played stones required to be in front of Thanos. If the player holds the last 2 stones in their hand at the start of their turn, they can snap their fingers and instantly win.

The Heroes win by beating down Thanos. When a player gets a chance to attack, the Mad Titan can beat them. If the heroes get too badly beaten, they can lose just as if Thanos collected the Stones. There are power tokens that give the heroes that little extra ‘oomph’ when they attack, and they need it.

The heroes work together, so effectively have a single 'discard' pile. The health meter card can be hard to read in the distance though.

Infinity Gauntlet is an excellent version of Love Letter. Still, I need a few more games at different player counts to get my full thoughts for a review.

But if you have to buy a gift for a gamer, you will have trouble going wrong putting Infinity Gauntlet in their stocking.

I finally got to play one of the three specific games from my gaming challenges! Alpal had started playing Clank! Legacy solo, and wasn’t enjoying it as much as she could have. So Simon and I jumped into game 3 of a Legacy game. For me, to see how it runs to play a ‘proper’ run with Rabbit. It was great to just jump in and play with Simon, who was there for the games and catch up.

For those that aren’t aware, Acquisitions Incorporated is the Penny Arcade flavoured Dungeons and Dragons RPG games. Well, they have dabbled with other systems, but the big sessions at PAX and ‘The C Team’ podcasts are primarily D&D based.

I am hoping to start painting again with Rabbit. I won't start with these, but I can't wait to paint mine!

Clank! is a deck-building adventure where players try and steal loot and return home without waking the dragon. I personally prefer Clank! In! Space! (but not typing the title), but the series does tickle my funny bone. Once I finally get the overhead camera working the way I want, showing the solo mode of Clank! In! Space! is something I am really looking forward to.

Legacy games are games that let you change the board and destroy components. They are campaign type games that have a common starting point and thread, but everyone’s play tends to be very different by the end.

Throw all this together, and you have – Clank! Legacy.

You need cards to build your deck with. And the options are huge!

I can’t get into too much, because a) spoilers and b) I didn’t play the first two games, but there is a strong chance that different things will happen in your game.

Clank! Legacy does work a little bit differently. While the competitive nature of Clank! is still here (i.e. you can have a winner and a loser), there is also a cooperative aspect to the game. You are playing as a franchise of Acquisitions Inc., and have collective goals that need to be attended to.

Fail or take the ‘selfish’ option (or get caught more specifically), and you give your story enemies a leg up. Sometimes this is obvious what can lead to this, other times not so much.

All I can say freely right now is we had a great time, we are going to do another session this week, and I can’t wait to get Rabbit and maybe one or two others into our own campaign ASAP.

Bugsnax – PS5

Free on launch day with the PlayStation 5 (if you have PlayStation Plus!), the music and cute impression of the reveal trailer had me interested in Bugsnax. Well, I needed a break after all that Spider-Man, so now was the time.

My initial expectation of Bugsnax was a Pokemon-lite style adventure with light puzzle solving. Put a basic story that lets gameplay have a common thread, and I was expecting some casual gameplay time.

What I got was a cutesy style game that has some heavy and dark undertones with some unique puzzle mechanics.

This scene is about 5 minutes in. Poor Filbo oozes self doubt - and he is one of the happier characters!

There were a few Bugsnax that took me multiple visits and returns to work out how to catch them. This kind of challenge was welcome overall, and Bugsnax does not hold your hand in any way.

Story-wise though – wow. Every inhabitant of Snaktooth Island is dealing with a lot. A lot is going on, but the dialogue and interactions are surprisingly well done. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of kiddy eye-rolling jokes and awkward lines in the game. But the extended conversations show a lot more than I thought such a ‘cute’ game could be capable of.

The Bugsnack that knocked you out of the air at the start of the game is catchable. The way to do it though is... interesting.

I am currently writing up a formal review, but if you have PlayStation Plus, Bugsnax is a must-try. I got the Platinum in about two days of play, and I was taking my time. It’s not the longest game, but when it’s free that’s hard to complain about!

Oh, a quick warning – be careful what you feed the Grumpus. Nothing bad happens in the game, just some of the combinations I ended up with are almost Lovecraftian in appearance!

Their looks change on what you feed them. I didn't have a 'plan' and looks like this now haunt me hahahaha

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD
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