Ramblings 012 – Dinosaur Tea Party

Dinosaur Tea Party 20181119

Stripes in the Orange Room?  I don’t think so!

Another Saturday, another Rambling!

Today Alpal and I discuss yet another surprisingly simple fun game from the Restoration Games Stable – Dinosaur Tea Party.

What is it? Remember Guess Who? Now add Dinosaurs having High Tea. Yes, that sentence is correct 😀

Have a great weekend everyone!

JohnHQLD

Last Week’s Gaming – January 14th, 2019

20190114 Escape the Dark Castle

Escape the Danger of Suprise Bowling in the Shadows. Also, Unusual Animals on the Frontiers, having a Tea Party.

This was a huge week for getting games to the table – so big, there are a couple I had to defer to this week!

Let’s get straight into it.

Planet Surprise

An Alpal special she has been holding onto for a little while, Planet Surprise is incredibly well named!  The premise is simple – each player is exploring a galaxy, and the player that finds the best planets overall wins.

Played over 10 rounds, the mechanics are fairly simple.  In player order, the player decides what action to take, and then a planet on the card is scratched (like a lottery ticket).  A score will be revealed – positive and negative! – and after 10 rounds highest score wins.

An interesting diversion, but not a game easily found.

20190114 Planet Surprise
Never realised how much fun a bunch of scratchy tickets could be!

Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger

Alpal, Rabbit and I started playing this last year, but it fell to the wayside.

As a pre-games night warmup, Alpal and I are doing a turbo run through the game to see how we fare – no looping back to see what we missed!

This will be fun to knock out, and I really want to see how it ends overall.  Expect a full review in a few weeks – we are doing a chapter a week roughly, and I will probably replay it more cautiously before the final write up.

20190114 House of Danger
Playing through the first chapter, we are not doing as well on the psychic scale as the first run

Shadows: Amsterdam

Similar to Istanbul The Dice Game, Shadows: Amsterdam has all the makings of making it instantly into my top games of all time.

It’s a game that suits so many situations, and potentially different kinds of players.  While played in two teams, like Codenames it has that “Oooh that looks interesting, can I join?” that lets you instantly drop new players in.

Games of Shadows: Amsterdam rarely takes more than 15 minutes so far in my experience – if you haven’t had a chance to play it, please do!

20190114 Shadows Amsterdam
Such a fun little game, and easy to teach and play! Get your non-gaming friends in on the action.

Dinosaur Tea Party

Restoration Games continues their hot streak of tweaking old games and making them awesome again.

Technically, Dinosaur Tea Party is a reworking of a game called Whosit?, but that isn’t a game I am familiar with.  So description wise, it’s Guess Who? for up to 5 people.

Randomly assigned a character with specific traits, you are invited to a morning of High Tea – except no one knows who anyone is.  If you can correctly name a player after observing their traits, you are rewarded a sugar cube – first to three cubes wins.  Simple!

A lot of fun, and able to be played with a wide range of people.

20190114 Dinosaur Tea Party
For some reason I took the pic upside down... Oh well! If you want multiplayer Guess Who, here is Dinosaur Tea Party

Unusual Suspects

Keeping up the Guess Who? with a twist theme, Unusual Suspects hit the table this week.

One player is a clue giver sets up 12 pictures randomly selected from a fair sized deck of choices.  They then draw the culprit (random picture from within the layout), and the game begins.

The rest of the group draws 2 question cards and selects one to ask.  These are all fairly random, like “Is a coffee drinker?” or “Takes Public Transport?”, and the group must eliminate pictures based on the response.  If they eliminate the culprit, it’s an instant loss.  But if they eliminate everyone but the culprit, it’s a win!

It’s a game of stereotyping, but overall in a lighthearted way.  Lots of fun and joking was had with Unusual Suspects, and I suspect it will be pulled out a few more times over time.

20190114 Unusual Suspects
Unusual Suspects - or Stereotypes the game! Do you have the same impressions from just a picture?

Concept Kids: Animals

Concept is a great game, but to me, it is one you have to be in a certain mindset to play. Formalising Charades, clues can only be given by placing coloured blocks linking ‘Concepts’ on board.  And the answers can be very detailed – it’s not an easy game for younger players!

Enter Concept Kids – same theory, but simpler execution.  We played Animals, which focuses on guessing different types of animals. The core of the game was the same, but the clues are all slanted to identifying animals.

Yes, it’s aimed at kids game, but it was still a fun game to play with the five of us in a relaxed chatty atmosphere.

20190114 Concept Kids Animals
How many legs? Does it crawl or run? Clues aimed at the theme make this Concept easier for younger players

Bowling Solitaire

Bowling Solitaire is a game I can see myself getting addicted to.  Luckily it’s not only Alpal’s, but it’s a bonus game that comes in Elevenses for One!

The idea is pretty straightforward – set up the 10 pins, and ‘bowl’.  You can clear up to 3 pins at a time, done by adding up the value of the cards and matching the last digit to a number on your ‘ball’.

So in the picture, if one of the piles had a 6 on it, I could take out the two 3 cards on the second row – 3+3=6.  Or if I had a 5, I could take out the outside of the left hand side – 7+3+5=15, so the last digit is 5.

Once you can’t do this, that roll is over and you continue on in the frame.  Scoring is traditional ten pin bowling scoring, so 300 maximum.  But it’s a quick logic puzzle with a goal, and that’s what makes it a lot of fun!

20190114 Bowling Solitaire
20 cards and 15 minutes. Such a simple concept, but so much fun

Alien Frontiers

Alien Frontiers is a game lots of people have told me I would enjoy, but somehow got knocked down my on my ‘to play’ and even my ‘to buy’ lists. That changed this week, with Alpal happy to show me one of her favourite games!

Similar to Roll Player, Alien Frontiers is a simple logic puzzle involving luck in rolling the right dice. It has that ‘itch’ that’s perfect for my brain – a puzzle that can be solved, with all the information in front of you, but against other people.

In some ways, I think I will prefer Alien Frontiers multiplayer and Roll Player solo, but I need to get more games in of both before I can declare that is the final call.

20190114 Alien Frontiers
Another game that people have told me for years I would enjoy, Alien Frontiers has finally been played!

Escape the Dark Castle

I have spoken about Escape the Dark Castle before on the site – both in a review and a whole game with Alpal on Blatherings.

The expanded Kickstarter has been shipping, and Alpal was lucky enough to get her copy first. So naturally, we had to get a couple of games in!

We only played with the initial expanded content – more story openers, some new end bosses, some more items, and cards that end your story.

It was as fun as always, and we had a blast doing this again. Maybe in the near future, we can do another playthrough with 3 players to show off some of the changes!

20190114 Escape the Dark Castle
Once again, Alpal begins getting her pledges before I do! Escape the Dark Castle - always fun

What about you?  What have you been playing?  What are you keen to play?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

Last Week’s Gaming – November 19th, 2018

Pokemon Lets Go Eevee is Happy 20181119

When I hear Tales of Explosion Criss Cross, put down the Bones and have a Tea Party is my motto.

So many games played this week – and more to come!

Aetherworks has sent notifications that Kickstarter games are coming, including Fireball Island and Tokyo Series!

In the meantime though, no time was wasted in trying quite a few new games.

Dagon’s Bones

Showed Harls how to play this little kit and he had the same opinion I do – great for more than two players, and a fun little filler game.

Personally, I wouldn’t play more than four players still – but I need to put that to the test.  The limit comes only from downtime between rolls.  Each player only really having one roll means limited downtime, but it’s still a factor.

This little Kickstarter surprise has a home in my games bag all the time now, mainly because it is so small and simple it fits in a pocket nicely.

Dagons Bones Gameplay
Dagon's Bones - 3 dice and some coins. There really isn't much action to show, but it's an interesting premise

Mythos Tales

Another game I was showing Harls, this Consulting Detective style game has been on my ‘to play’ list for a while.

A couple of years ago, I backed the Mythos Tales Kickstarter and had a not great experience.  I then imported a retail copy and was disappointed with misprints and errors in the run, and I never finished the series.

A few weeks ago I bought the reprinted version with the corrections and replayed the first case.  The short version – we enjoyed it, and Harls was keen to play the second case immediately.  I was tired so pulled the plug, but more games will happen soon so that I can do a formal review soon.

Mythos Tales 20181119
Mythos Tales - A map, a book, a directory, and some newspapers. And the reprint made case one a great time.

When I Dream

Oh, this was a surprise hit.

I had heard about When I dream a while ago, and I was excited when Alpal got a copy.

Essentially it’s a word based social deduction game.  One player is blindfolded and the other players have to provide clues for a word shown in the middle of the table.

The catch is Fairies want the ‘Dreamer’ to get the words right, the Boogeyman wants them to get it wrong, and the Sandman wants an even split.  The Dreamer has to work out from the clues who is who and guess appropriately – based only on words provided.  Another one for a full review after some more games!

When I Dream 20181119
It doesn't look like much, but I guarantee when you have people playing attention will be given to your table.

Potion Explosion

So Potion Explosion is an App I play fairly often, but I passed on the board game.  I had a lot of trouble discerning the colours of the marbles, so the app made my life a lot easier.

This week though I got play with a reprint copy, and my much has changed.  The colours are easier to distinguish, and the cardboard quality is definitely better.

And I enjoy this game.  It is a brain scratcher with a simple veneer, and the pattern recognition and logic puzzle nature of the game is very enjoyable.

A full review and a Ramblings comparison of the Board and App versions are coming soon!

Potion Explosion 20181119
A lot of pieces are involved, but Potion Explosion is an addictive puzzle game of the highest calibre.

Dinosaur Tea Party

Do you remember Guess Who? The two-player deduction game where you ask the other player questions like ‘are you wearing a hat?’ to deduce their identity.

Restoration Games seems to, and they have made a multiplayer version where players are Dinosaurs at a Tea Party, trying to guess each other’s identities.

This was really cleverly done.  Each character is beautifully drawn, but for colour issues or clues that can be missed, each character has the relevant clues on each card for easy reference.  It’s also completely open information – your answers are put in front of you in the form of tea bags.

A couple more games at different player counts to make sure, but I think this will be another Restoration Games winning review I believe!

Dinosaur Tea Party 20181119
Essentially this is your 'Guess Who' board. Dinosaur Tea Party is quick, fun and I can see expansions coming.

Criss Cross

There seems to be no way I can keep up with Dr Reiner Knizia’s released games.  Criss Cross is another Alpal special, and one that is so simple it’s annoying that you don’t just beat it the first time.

The idea is simple – roll two dice that have half a dozen different shapes, and fill in a Sudoku or Magic Square style grid with the values.  You get points for the horizontal and vertical lines with grouped matching shapes and lose points if the lines do not have any matching shapes.  The diagonal is counted twice.

It sounds easy, but you also have to write the shapes next to each other.  Alpal absolutely blitzed me in the game, but it was a lot of fun and one I can see myself playing solo just to try and beat my score.

Criss Cross Alpal Whooped Me 20181119
It's not much too look at, but Criss Cross will be an addictive puzzle to solve. And Alpal WHOOPED me!

Spyro Reginited Trilogy – Spyro the Dragon

Even though I was a PlayStation player, Spyro the Dragon was a game I never played.

It wasn’t because it was ‘childish’ – Jak and Daxter were right up there for example.  It just never squeezed in between the Final Fantasy and Metal Gear Solid marathons, and when the sequels came out I just never went there.

With the buzz and excitement over the Spyro Reginited trilogy, I decided to give it a go – and wow.  The platforming is what I remember of ‘old school’ PlayStation 3D games, but so much smoother and control wise much more forgiving.

The platforming is not forgiving at all though.  Missed by a pixel?  Try again!

Spyro Reignited Trilogy Thor 20181119
The developers obviously had a ball making this game. You even get to rescue Thor! An old, rambling Thor, but still...

It was fun to explore, and easy enough to get a hold of without the handholding tutorials I am used to with today’s games.

There have been updates such as the rescued dragons are now unique in look and the advice they give you, and these are very much appreciated.

The gorgeous stills you will see do Spyro an injustice though – the animation and world are better when you play.  The little touches like grass parting as you charge about and the expressions on the enemies are amazing.

From a ‘this will be a quick bit of fun’ game to probably ‘clear an area a night’ affair, Spyro is the light but challenging game I have missed playing lately.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy Progress 20181119
I am only a bit over an hour in, but I seem to be making good progress. This is basically the tutorial world though, and I am looking forward to more to come!

Starlink

This is a game I started and then about 30 minutes in decided to put away.

I didn’t put it away because I wasn’t enjoying Starlink – I decided to put this in the ‘I need to give this dedicated time’ group of games.

I thought Starlink was a “Go to Area X and kill all the bad guys” challenging but mentally relaxing shooter.  The opening tutorial type engagement certainly looked like this was the case.

But then it turned into an open world sandbox adventure game with plenty to see, explore and unlock.  I was discovering new species, collecting items and found a way into a ‘secret’ area – all from 10 minutes in.

Starlink Main Game Begins 20181119
I expected a cute generic wave shooter with a toy gimmick with the ships and weapons. What I started deserves my full attention.

The way Nintendo has integrated Fox McCloud and the Arwing was quite cool as well.  Obviously, I haven’t seen how fully the story integrates, but an extra ‘makes sense’ cutscene meant that the Starfox team felt natural to be there.

I can see why people are playing this on the Switch, and I am glad that I have followed suit.  More of this will be played, but probably later.

Pokemon Let’s Go – Eevee

*This has been edited as originally it was showing only placeholder text.  Ooops!  Thanks to everyone that pointed that out 😀

Well, last Friday was the day – Pokemon Let’s Go is now real 🙂

I have been playing Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee, and Rabbit has Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu on the new Pokemon Switch.  We played for a while single player in the same room and had fun comparing the little differences in the game.

Now I am not a hardcore Pokemon fan, and the lighter mechanics in Let’s Go seems to fit into that pickup and put down category nicely.  The controls in handheld mode are great, and the graphics are gorgeous.

Pokemon Lets Go Eevee is Happy 20181119
Eevee is happily sititng on my head as a walk around Professor Oak's office

I will say though I don’t like playing with the Poke Ball Plus under normal conditions.  For some things like it’s amazing – it took two throws to get used to catching pokemon, and then I was nailing excellent each time.

The problem is the Poke Ball Plus only has 2 buttons, but the game expects you to use at least 4.  For 95{dfca638b9dbdbc1caf156b9b6679a983a965572ca56a786c9cf360ad3783820c} of what you are doing the two buttons (OK and Back) is fine, but having to shake and hope that the game knew I wanted to use the Y for info not the + for menus was frustrating.  When I don’t have to get so much extra info though, it might be more fun!

Also, I am taking the Poke Ball and my Eevee Rabbit for a ‘stroll’ while at work tomorrow, so expect some news on how I found that!

And there are more coming!

So many games played this week – and it’s not slowing down for a while!

What about you?  What have you been playing lately – any of these, or other games you think I should be keeping an eye out for?  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD