Last Week’s Gaming – June 17th, 2019

Box of Rocks came with Tiny Dino

Alpal, Rabbit and I managed to squeeze in a few hours of fun this week, and it was a great time.

Even playing some heavier than expected games, there was a lot of opportunities to simply cut back and enjoy ourselves.

But what did we play? Check it out below!

This week, we kicked off games with Rabbit testing her wits with the Box of Rocks.

A lot of fun was had, and a bit of useless trivia was learned (at least short term).

Ultimately though, the Rocks bested Rabbit. This time.

For such a ridiculously simple premise, it is amazing the amount of fun and flexibility this game offers. Feel like a trivia game, but don’t feel like playing with the internet? Grab Box of Rocks. I am getting seriously tempted.

Is the Rabbit smarter than a box of rocks? Wait and see!

I have heard a lot about Tiny Towns over the last few months. A lot good, and a sizeable chunk of ‘not worth the hype’.

After playing a couple of games and correcting a couple of rules muck ups (blank squares are always -1 point, not just in other modes John!) we had a lot of fun.

There was a lot of thinking involved. A surprising amount in fact. Tiny Towns merges tetrominoes style placement with combo building and resource management in a surprisingly deep yet easy to teach package.

Bottom line – I am buying a copy for myself. We played Alpal’s copy and I don’t think she will tire of it soon. That’s a big compliment to any game 🙂

I have heard lots about Tiny Towns, and I was really happy to play it

I got this delivered from the Kickstarter the previous week, and got the chance for a couple of games.

I was worried going in. The basic premise was fine, almost standard for roll and writes – roll dice, choose actions from roll, get the most points.

There is a Lite mode to learn, a Danger mode with breakouts and such, and a few expansions thanks to the Kickstarter copy.

The game - first impressions are good. The manual... not so much.

And it took me an hour to learn to play it. Putting all of the rules in one section for all game types was really confusing, and if that’s what hits retail I pity the people seeing what they are missing with promos and the like. And I still doubted myself as I was playing, and I was right to once. I was right the first time most other plays.

Welcome to Dino World is ultimately a fun game though, and coming to retail in a couple of months from what I understand. A formal review will be coming.

Also on a side note, Alpal has been playing with some Lego minifigs, and the results I think speak for themselves. I didn’t want to mess with Dobby before, and I certainly don’t now!

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 tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

Stranger Things LEGO set available from today

Do you want to explore the Upside Down?

LEGO is definitely not a company that shies away from a design challenge, and I can only imagine that is what Netflix series Stranger Things presented to them.

Available from today from the Lego store (as long as you are a LEGO VIP at least, Just 1st for the rest of us), you can spend AUD$349.99 for this 2,287 piece engineering and visual feat!

The set is called ‘The Upside Down’, and not only shows the Byer’s home from the series, but directly underneath is the alternate dimension Upside Down.

You can decide where to place the 8 minifigs and Jeep in the set, and even which side is ‘up’.  The trees on the side act as the stands for the set, with the house(s?) floating in the centre.

Everything looks normal in the Byer house. As long as you don't look too deeply...
If you would prefer to show off Will's adventures in the Upside Down, that works too!

I tried to look at the building instructions, but they aren’t online yet. Alpal will probably tell me it’s not a really hard build.  I am going to disagree – that looks like a lot of little fiddly pieces.

If you want to check out the Upside Down yourself, you can check it out on the Australian LEGO site here. Be careful though – it can be a dangerous rabbit hole, and not just because of the Stranger Things tie in.  I just found out you can make a LEGO Voltron!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Brixinit – Night in Gotham City – July 2018

Row of four minifigures

What is BRIXINIT?

BRIXINIT is a LEGO subscription box. The service provides a box of genuine LEGO parts, including minifigures, once a month via the post. The general philosophy of BRIXINIT is to encourage creative builders a chance to explore new techniques and challenges, whilst also building their parts collection.

They offer a three different levels of subscription, with the price difference roughly following the differences in number and rarity of pieces. For those who are not familiar with LEGO pricing, an average acceptable price is 10c per piece, with higher prices often garnered by larger pieces and pieces only available in limited sets.

In summary the three tiers are:
Level 1: Elements costs $25 and contains between 200 to 300 parts
Level 2: Advanced costs $52 and contains between 450 to 550 parts
Level 3: MOCBOX costs $120 and contains between 400 to 600 parts with a greater emphasis on rarity

For my first trial of the subscription service, I selected Level 2: Advanced. On to the first box!

Row of four minifigures
From left to right: Wicked Witch, Cat Costume Girl, Drax, Kiss Kiss Tuxedo Batman

Each box contains a selection of minifigures. In this box, I received four minifigures (although one was a keychain minifigure). Minifigures are generally desirable as a complete item so I decided to look up the average prices for the ones included in my box.

Wicked Witch: $2 this figure has appeared in two sets, one being a large Batmobile and the other a Dimensions Fun Pack

Drax (Jet Pack): $10 this figure was only released in one set, The Milano vs The Abilisk (76081) which originally retailed for $50

Cat Costume Girl: $3 this figure was packaged in its original blind bag packaging from the recent Collectible Minifigure Series 18

Kiss Kiss Tuxedo Batman Key Chain: $2 this was a promotional polybag included as a gift with purchase, however it was a fairly common inclusion in orders during the promotion

Box containing assorted LEGO pieces in red, oranges, black and grey
The box came with all these LEGO parts. They are all sourced from LEGO Batman themed sets.

As an interesting side note receiving the keychain minifigure prompted me to research how to remove the keychain. This was a fun side project. As you can see in the image above the keychain has been removed.

Each box also contains a “Challenge Pack” and a “Feature Piece”.

The inclusion of a written pamphlet of the history and potential uses of the feature piece is one of the main reasons I was interested in this particular subscription box. And this part lives up to my expectations. The feature piece for this month was the “Jumper” and over 20 were included in the total pieces.

The challenge pack is designed to help spark creativity and teach uses of the feature piece. The challenge pack for this month was titled “A Night In Gotham City”.  This months challenge was to build a microscale Gotham City using only elements included in the box. The pieces in the challenge pack along with the included pamphlet helped make this an achievable task.

You can see some of the skyscrapers I built for this challenge in the photos featured here.

Aside from the above special features, the BRIXINIT box includes a large collection of other assorted pieces. Mine all happened to oranges, yellows and blacks; I did confirm with BRIXINIT that this selection is variable between every box.

Below are some additional images showcasing the included pieces.

Image showing the details of the booklet, LEGO tyres and some microscale skyscrapers
The included Building Techniques booklet is very appreciated. I also received all these tyres!
A number of light bluish grey square pieces
A large packet of these identical light-bluish grey 1x2x1 bricks with studs on the side were included. Useful for building the BrickHeadz!
Some of the more unusual pieces included
Some of the more unusual pieces included this month

My final note on this first unboxing experience is in regards to BRIXINIT’s excellent customer service. I have found the team at BRIXINIT are keen to take on feedback and suggestions. As with my Board Game Bento subscription, this is initially a three month trial of BRIXINIT and I have high hopes for the next one!

Alpal