Last Week’s Gaming

New Horizons for Quacks with Dead Cells on a Work/Rage Balance

When you are reading this, I will have almost finished my last week of holidays. When I am writing this, I have my last week of holidays to look forward to. The disconnect between the times is going to take some getting used to. Good thing I have plenty of gaming to keep me occupied in the meantime!

I have been working on the layout of the new site. I am about 90% of the way there with my gaming journal layout. When I have that nailed down, I am looking forward to sharing that side with you! Might be a few more weeks though, there is more customisation than I originally anticipated required.

But that is all technical and future stuff – this is Last Week’s Gaming! So without further ado, let’s have a look at what I got to play recently.

Quacks of Quedlinburg

Board Game Geek Link – Quacks of Quedlinburg

It has been a couple of weeks since I have sat at a table to play games. Last week, I got to do so with a couple of new players – Ricky and Izzy. We all met via friends of friends, so we all got together with the question of what to play.

What better choice than Quacks of Quedlinburg! Quacks has a low learning curve, no mean take-that interactions, and self-contained play. Also, a Rabbit favourite. Sounds like a winner to me!

The initial setup seemed more daunting than usual. Nothing serious, I forgot I hadn’t gotten around to putting the new tokens into the box. But there was a small period of faces with a “What have I gotten into here” expression on them.

Enzo decided he wanted to ‘help’ setup

The first game went like most teaching/learning rounds. A lot of information upfront, then repeating information for a few rounds. Luckily Ricky and Izzy have played deck builders, so the change to a ‘bag builder’ wasn’t too bad.

The issue is the number of choices of ingredients and their powers. Until you play with the ingredients a few times, seeing how they can be useful and in what amounts takes time. That’s without trying to memorise them all during a game!

But after playing the first round, we jumped straight into a second game. This round went much quicker, as everyone knew what the ingredients were. Ricky and Izzy also saw some of the strategies Rabbit and I used and were keen to try them out.

The Geek Bits components are nice to play with

We did make one huge mistake though. And it’s not the first time we have done this. There is a rule for the purple Ghost’s Breath where you can exchange them for upgrades.

That exchange word is pretty important, and for two games we forgot that aspect. So for the second time, I managed to score over 100 points – but I did it by cheating. 

I ended up with five purple tokens and regularly placed three out in my pot. This game me about 24 points more than I should have been able to get!

I thought this was an awesome mix. Then we noticed the word ‘Exchange’…

I never stopped the game because we were all playing the same ‘wrong’ rules. By the time Rabbit remembered and pointed it out, we had already scored in the second game. So, we kept going.

In the future, I need to keep that in mind. Or never again use that rule set for the purple tokens!

Aggretsuko: Work/RageBalance

Board Game Geek Link – Aggretsuko: Work/Rage Balance

Rabbit and I have been enjoying Aggretsuko on Netflix for a while now. The pent up office rage is something we both empathise with. So when I saw the new Work/RageBalance from Renegade, I knew we had to play it.

You start with a hand of cards denoting your work for the day. Like any day in the office, your goal is to clear all your jobs (cards). If you can’t, then those cards signify overtime.

Each round is a work day. And like any work day, there’s a lot to get through!

You clear work by playing sets of cards, similar to poker. As the play progresses, you need to play a higher set than the person before you. So if the previous player plays a straight with 6 as the highest card, you need to play a straight with at least a 7 high. Or a flush, full house, etc.

The ultimate hand is called a Rainbow Bomb. A four-card straight with one card from each of the four suites. It sounds simple, but it was harder to pull off than we thought!

You play sets of cards. It’s hard to make it look exciting, but the art is fantastic for fans of the show

Aggretsuko: Work/Life Balance is like so many other games, and yet different enough to be new to everyone. One thing is for sure – we had a lot of fun playing Work/Rage Balance. I thought we would play a round or two and move on to something else. Instead, we played for the entire afternoon!

If there is one gripe I have about the game, it’s that the rules are a little vague. Once you know how to play, they probably make perfect sense. But trying to work out how to play the first time is a little tricky. 

But once you do have it worked out, a lot of fun is waiting for you!  

Dead Cells

Played on – Nintendo Switch

Another week, another attempted Dead Cells run. I know that beating the Hand of the King once isn’t the true end of Dead Cells, but I would like to do it once.

And I have come so close a couple of times now. How close? Close enough that I was happy to record an entire run. I didn’t win the fight, even though I came close. I needed to heal, and I didn’t get a window to do so.

But I made it into the final third, so I am sure I was close. I have almost finished the first run. Unless there is another phase after beating the Hand or a final desperation combo, I’m there.

Three times I have tried to beat The Hand. And three times this…

I have a night to think about what I want to do with Dead Cells. The way I see it, I have two choices. First, I can spend a day practising against the Hand in training mode. This should let me do a clear run next week.

The other is I let Dead Cells lie for a while and pick up Metroid Dread. Listening to people rave about Dread only increases my anticipation. But that will most likely relegate Dead Cells to the backlog pile again.

What to do, the eternal question. While I decide, here is a recording of my last run if you would like to see what Dead Cells is all about!

Animal Crossing New Horizons

Played on – Nintendo Switch

It’s been nice kicking back and building up a new island. I have been playing New Horizons again for a week now. Overall, I am happy with the progress I have made.

I have opened the Museum, placed the campsite and upgraded Resident Services. Redd is now at my island, so Art donations will be starting soon. My home even has three rooms now – plenty of space for turnips!

Exploring the island, fishing, swimming, all the fun stuff

And after the Direct last week, I will need to keep that progress pace up! There is a lot to get done before November 5th and the free 2.0 update.

It might seem superficial, but I am looking forward to the updates. Kapp’n and his mysterious island cruise is my favourite addition. No more waiting for seasons to find new things!

Harv’s Place I have always ignored, but now that it is becoming a shopping centre of sorts, that will change. And Brewster’s cafe will be a nice new virtual catch up space.  

In case you missed it, you can catch up with the Direct here.

Check out the Animal Crossing Direct

And then there is the paid DLC. Here is where my enthusiasm takes a gut punch. If you are an Animal Crossing fan, then you have likely been waiting for Happy Home Paradise.

Adding more finishing touches to my home and island isn’t a priority. Its inclusion in the extended Switch Online membership sounded good. That might push me to refine my home and island a bit.

But that price. If you want all the benefits – N64, Sega and Happy Home Paradise – Nintendo Switch Online more than doubled in price. Ouch.

My concern is the muddy communication from Nintendo about the extended Switch Online. But that is the topic of another piece. For now, I am enjoying meeting people and collecting on my island of Game Room.  

Little victories almost daily – keep the happy vibe going!

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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