Mythos Tales Review

Mythos Tales Cover
Mythos Tales Cover
Released 2016
Designer Hal Eccles, Will Kenyon, Jason Maxwell, Tim Uren
Publisher 8th Summit (Website)
Players 1 – 8 (1 – 2 best)
Playing Time Varies – Allow 3 hours per case
Category Cooperative
Choose your own path
Storytelling
BoardGameGeek View on BGG

Tales of otherworldly horror shouldn’t apply to the purchasing process

There is a bit of a story between myself and Mythos Tales. Way back in February 2016, 8th Summit started a Kickstarter project for Mythos Tales. The idea? Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective mixed with Lovecraft. A game I enjoy (check the review) and a universe I love? Instant mix!

A significant promise was to fix proofreading issues that plagued Consulting Detective. As the Space Cowboys reprint wasn’t on a radar, this was great to hear. It all looked like a passion project from a company with a small catalogue.

Then the problems started creeping in. Delays in production are common in Kickstarters. The gaps in communications are never a great sign though. Finally, Mythos Tales was ready! All I had to do was pay for shipping. Well, this is where things got hard. The payment site didn’t exist, and when it finally worked wouldn’t accept most credit cards. Seemed to be a region based card check issue or similar.

Not a problem – I will message them. No one ignores an email asking how to give them money! Well, 8th Summit and Spiral Galaxy (the company fulfilling the project) sure did. I sent an email every couple of weeks for three months. Without any response from Spiral, my pledge was cancelled. So I got my money back, but I wanted the game. So, with a US order to place I got the first edition of Mythos Tales finally.

Mythos Tales Kickstarter PnP Reviews
Cases had been played before hand - I felt safe. I wish I had these PnP cases.

First Edition

So I started playing my new shiny copy of Mythos Tales. I had been looking forward to this for a couple of years at this point.

Like the Ysarti version of Sherlock Homles Consulting Detective, skip this version. Full price for a terrible experience. The map was missing buildings and addresses. The first two cases had major breaking story problems.

You can imagine how layered my disappointment was. I went to BGG where there was an unofficial errata, and the corrections just kept coming. And then even worse – the revisions stopped coming. It looked like everyone stopped trying to make corrections halfway through the story. For myself, after the second case, I couldn’t do it anymore. Mythos Tales was a bad experience in my mind.

Mythos Tales Map Errors
On the left, you think 'Special location?' - On the right, the corrected map

But like Sherlock and Star Wars, a New Hope emerged.

Scrolling through Advent Games, I saw Mythos Tales appear on the New Arrivals list. Curious, I clicked on it to see the description. And sitting there in bold at the top of the entry, I saw this:

**Reprinted Second Edition with fixed updates.

A quick search of BGG showed that corrections from the errata had been included in a new edition. So, with a sale on and hoping that the end product would live up to what I backed, I bought the second edition.

Mythos Tales Second Edition – The Review

You can imagine with all the obstacles I would be against Mythos Tales. It’s why I described my journey to here in such detail. I don’t think anyone can say after hearing the whole story I don’t want to love Mythos Tales. But does it deserve it?

Mythos Tales has eight cases that follow each other in a campaign style game. While anyone can play any case, there are benefits in playing them in order.

The similarities with Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective are immediately clear. You have a map of Arkham, a list of contacts to help you, and a directory. Instead of Holmes as your mentor, you are working with Professor Henry Armitage. There are many names well known to Lovecraft fans like this, which was nice. If you don’t know the mythos, you are not at any disadvantage.

Mythos Tales Components
The nice thing about these type of games is you only need light to read - easy travel games!

The gameplay is almost identical to Consulting Detective as well. You have a casebook with numbered text, and you decide where to go and read the next lot text. There are a couple of new mechanics that are used in individual cases though, which was a bit of fun.

My favourite of these new mechanics was only used in one case and involved Nocturne. Basically, you could take Nocturne and explore ‘Dream Arkham’ as well as the ‘real world’. This added both a unique twist to the story and an alternative storyline to follow.

Another unique twist is that you can get help or a handicap depending on your score in the previous case. The handicap is usually one less turn, but there are other rewards I don’t want to spoil as well.

But?

Of the eight cases, two seemed broken but weren’t. There was a more significant jump in logic required than the rest of the case suggested, but the solution was logical.

One case is straight up broken though. Even after reading every passage, I cannot see how the ‘correct’ solution can ever be attained. You can finish the case sure, but you know that a large piece is missing.

The second edition is a vast improvement for Mythos Tales. That said, there is still a lot of work to go before there is a polished product.

20190204 Mythos Tales
New rules and a teasing of increasing difficulty through the cases makes me look forward to the next game

The errata is now also working against you. There is no distinction between first and second edition. Some of the help threads contradict what is written in the book. Some threads reference something that isn’t there anymore. It can be confusing.

Short version – Skip Case 6. Every other case, just do your best. When it’s done either play it again with different choices or pick it apart as a group, and you will see what I mean.

Should we play Mythos Tales?

If you enjoy Consulting Detective, Legacy of Dragonholt or similar games then yes I think so. The ‘choose your own path’ game system has been around for a long time, and for a good reason. If I was asked Mythos Tales or the original Consulting Detective, it would be a tough choice.

In Mythos Tales, the difficulty gently increases. The introduction of new rules or special conditions is mostly clear. Some more examples of the rules would be helpful, but that is my biggest concern.

Even after all of the problems from the Kickstarter onwards, I enjoyed Mythos Tales. What better result can there be?

Until next time,

JohnHQLD
Mythos Tales

Summary

For all of the ups and downs, Mythos Tales is a great take on a known formula.  It still has some corrections required. I also don’t like that all of the cases are in a single book – it makes it a bit unwieldy to hand around.

But there are some unique twists, and the core story is obviously made with love.

If you enjoy this kind of game, or if you are a Lovecraft fan, there is a lot here to enjoy – typos and all.  But one more reprint to correct the last of the issues would put Mythos Tales at a 9 for me.

Overall
8/10
8/10

Pros

  •  Unique additions to a known format
  •  Eases you into more difficult cases

Cons

  •  Still not a polished product
  •  Best solo or two player
  •  Needs one more pass to fix the problems, then it’s a 9

Last Week’s Gaming – April 15th, 2019

20190415 Tetris 99 Winner

Subtitle

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Mythos Tales

So the final case has been played.  This game has left me with a lot of ups and downs.  From the Kickstarter itself, the poor quality of the first edition, inconsistent case quality, it’s been a journey.

Expect the full review soon now, but the final case was a great night.  It was indeed an interesting round, with many possible choices.  Harls and I were wary as there are only a few pages to the case, but they were good ones.  Multiple choices, red herrings, logic leaps that are actually achievable – it was a great end.

20190401 Mythos Tales
It almost always looks like the same shot. It's a book, a map, and some cards - it's hard to get action shots 🙂

Dice Town

I have been trying to play Dice Town for quite some time, and thanks to Alpal I got the chance this week.

Even though my luck with dice isn’t great, Dice Town is definitely a great time.  Essentially poker Yahtzee, players roll dice to make the best hand you can.

But it’s not straight poker – each ‘card’ has a corresponding ability section on the game board.  Win these sections, and you can get points and use special abilities.

Playing a couple of rounds, it was a great time and I am sure I can talk Alpal into a few more games for a proper review 🙂

20190415 Dice Town
It may look complicated, but Dice Town is a great quick fun game

Istanbul The Dice Game

Ahh, Istanbul the Dice Game.  I don’t know what it is about this version of the classic game, but I love it.

Roll the dice, and adapt your strategy on the fly.  All three of us ended up with the 6 rubies required for the end game, but Elle definitely took home the tiebreaker.

Istanbul the Board Game is a great puzzle that I enjoy, but the Dice Game still gives me the same feeling in a lighter game mode.  Always a lot of fun to play.

20190415 Istanbul Dice Game
Roll your dice, and try to get more rubies than your opponents

Tetris 99

Tetris 99 has an event going this weekend, and I played quite a few games.  Even got a couple of wins, which was a great feeling 😀

If you have a Nintendo Switch and Online, grab yourself Tetris 99.  It’s free, it’s fun, what more can I say?

The Battle Royale format gives the games an interesting twist.  But at the end of the day, it’s Tetris – what can you really say about it?

A new patch has made the controls a little more sensitive, but everything is still working great with the Joy Cons.  I haven’t tried the Pro Controller or the Hori controller with the new version, but I am sure I will soon.

20190415 Tetris 99 Hard Start
Well this was a fun way to start. A few pieces in, and the pressure starts to mount

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

Last Week’s Gaming – April 8th, 2019

20190401 Mythos Tales

The tale of the ‘WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?’

So I didn’t get to do much gaming this week, but I have finally got around to that old gaming tradition of the ‘Shelfie’ 🙂 Let me know if you see something you would particularly like reviewed!

Mythos Tales

One more case down, and one more to go!

After the very frustrating Case 6, Case 7 taught Harls and I a thing or two but we didn’t feel bad for our lower than normal score.

Case 7 went back to difficult and stretching logic, as well as taking advantage of well-established gaming norms.

It was fun, but we are both looking forward to finishing the final case soon 😀

20190401 Mythos Tales
It almost always looks like the same shot. It's a book, a map, and some cards - it's hard to get action shots 🙂

The Game Room Shelfie of ‘What have you been doing?

So I have mentioned a few times the size of my collection, and as I am moving in the near future this was just a great time to start reorganising my games.

And it needs it.  Over a year of throwing in new games and Kickstarters where I can, waiting for upstairs to cool in the Australian heat, has lead to an interesting file system.

Alpal came over and instead of playing games as usual, we played ‘what do you want to take home’ and ‘this belongs over here’.

That counts as a game doesn’t it?  Blokus eat your heart out :p

Move0-Entry
How bad could it really be?
Move1
Starting the circuit
Move2
Turning, Turning - yes the corners are full of games
Move3
A lot of busy and quickly changing games nights has led to expansions in the wrong spot
Move4
The Gaming Canopy, Mansions of Madness figures and a box of Arkham LCG block a shelf
Move5
And another corner full of games
Move6
This corner is easier to get in to, as it's not against the wall on the other side
Move7
And the circle is complete. Well, you would think it is...
Move7a
The corner from the opposite side - and showing the hidden top shelf
Move8
What do you do when the shelves are full? Use the wardrobe!
Move9
I could probably go a little higher, but I already don't like this system
Move10
Dungeon Crawl Corner?

Any ideas on new a new filing system?  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Better yet, let me know what games you got to play – some of us had to get some games in!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Last Week’s Gaming – April 1st, 2019

20190401 Mythos Tales

A Tale of 99 Mazes Dies Twice

So it was a quiet week back into it, but I am finally back into playing some games!

Mythos Tales

Case 6 has been played, putting Harls and I one step closer to finishing the campaign for good 🙂

We didn’t score well.  I forgot to record the score, but it was only 5 or 6.  I was playing tired and not in a great decision making place. Harls had been up for quite some time himself.  I thought all this contributed to not making some leaps of logic and underperforming.  After looking at some FAQ’s and their answers not adding up, I am pretty sure we hit our first ‘broken’ case.

I need to go through each section to make sure, but hopefully the last two cases work better than this.

20190401 Mythos Tales
It almost always looks like the same shot. It's a book, a map, and some cards - it's hard to get action shots 🙂

Magic Maze Kids

I got to catch up with Alpal after a few weeks, and she pulled out Magic Maze Kids for us to chat over.

Magic Maze is a game that I enjoy but does have a reasonably harsh set of rules for social gamers. No talking, limited moves to each player, that kind of thing.  I have seen many adults fudge these rules to win the game.

Magic Maze Kids is the same basic gameplay but in a smaller play area.  Two adults playing meant that we kind of blitzed the timer, but it was still a lot of fun to play.

20190401 Magic Maze Kids
The Kids version has simpler paths, but adds 'blockers' to puzzle around

Something I thought that was clever especially for younger players was the tutorial boards.  They all looked fairly linear, but when you are trying to explain the concepts I thought they were a great idea.

And for the ‘challenge’ part, you have animal blockers that must be worked around.  If you have younger players in your group, definitely give Magic Maze Kids a good look!

Tetris 99

When I got sick, I couldn’t handle Resident Evil 2 or any of my backlog.  This meant a lot of picking up and putting down the Switch, which didn’t make me feel any better.

So what about playing a game that is already pick up and put down?  The Battle Royale format worked well here, so I played a heap of Tetris 99 over the last couple of weeks.

And after 205 games, I finally came first!  And then promptly left the pics at home so I can’t add it here 🙁 So expect to see a random Twitter/Facebook posting in the near future!

20190218 Tetris 99
It's old school Tetris multiplayer on a massive scale. Can't complain about my first attempt! 😀

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

I have never been a ‘Soulsborne’ player.  This describes a player of the incredibly punishing games series Demon Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne.

If you haven’t heard of or played these games, developers From Software basically hit you over the head from the get-go, until you master the game or give up.

They are all pretty, and I appreciate the concepts but were never games I wanted to go back and punish myself with.

20190401 Sekiro
It's a shot many saw in the promotional lead up, but the game looks this good

Then last year, I heard that the beautiful looking but probably not for me game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice started life as a Tenchu game.  The Tenchu series, while clunky and badly dated now, were favourites of mine back in the PlayStation One days.

So I spent a few hours thinking I was making progress, meeting a new bad guy that taught me otherwise, and starting again.  I don’t know how far I am going to make it through From Software’s latest offering, but it will be interesting to see.

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

Last Week’s Games – February 18th, 2019

20190218 Kingdom Hearts 3 Black Pearl

Tales of the Railroad beating Downforce are overstated :p

A quick week of gaming this week, culminating in finishing the Kingdom Hearts 3 story!

But enough of that particular game, I got to play lots of other fun ones as well 😀

Mythos Tales

After the nice increase in difficulty and pace in the first four cases, we were thrown a little by the straightforward nature of this case.

It is disappointing that some misprint issues from the first print run have started to appear.  Not enough that we were overly disadvantaged, but enough that it threw the pacing.

We did well though – so well in fact, that we lose a time unit in case 6.  So as I said, not enough to ruin the case, but now we will have this doubt for the last cases.  Time will tell how this plays out though – it will be interesting.

20190218 Mythos Tales
Case 5 down, three to go. Exploring Arkham is taking a few interesting turns.

Railroad Ink

Railroad Ink was a game that had me curious to look at, but not to buy.  Luckily Alpal is still on a Roll and Write kick, so we got to play 🙂

Similar to many other Roll and Writes, Railroad Ink has you filling a series of road, rail and stations to connect as many exits out of the grid as you can.

Everyone works with the same set of die rolls and abilities, but it’s all down to how efficiently you play that get’s you the highest scores.

20190218 Railway Ink
Another wonderful Roll and Write diversion, the basic game holds a lot of possibilities.

I am a little puzzled that the four expansion modules have been split over two box sets,  For four extra dice (the only difference between the red and blue versions), I can’t see anyone objecting to paying an extra few dollars to the base.  Instead, Horrible Games and CMON have opted for making people buy the base game twice for the ‘entire’ experience.

I will need a few more games and some with the advanced rules in order to see if this could be justified somehow, but on the surface, I find it puzzling.

Downforce

As I have said, Downforce is one of those games I will play and keep coming back to.  Alpal, Rabbit and I had a few rounds during the week, and as usual, it was a great time.

We had one of those games where Rabbit was just destined to win, with a fantastic combination of randomly dealt cars and hand of the movement cars.  But as usual, even with the writing on the wall of how things were about to play out, I was still having a ball even though I was set to be in outright last place.

Downforce 20181008
Always a fun racing game! One day my car/s will be in that top spot 😀

Alpal decided to be the agent of Chaos though and put one of my cars into second place at the cost of her own points.  Always one to mess with the status quo is Alpal 😀

Tetris 99

During the week, Nintendo held their February Direct event.  As usual, a whole bunch of things were announced.  I can now play Final Fantasy IX on the Switch, with the original Final Fantasy VII coming next month.  DLC announcements and game release dates galore also dotted the Direct.

But one announcement that took me by surprise as I thought it a massive swipe at the current Video Game landscape.

That announcement?  Tetris 99.

20190218 Tetris 99
It's old school Tetris multiplayer on a massive scale. Can't complain about my first attempt! 😀

Now I love Tetris, as discussed with the recently released Tetris Effect.  But the 99 refers to the number of players facing each other!  I have only played one round so far, and I came 13th – gotta be happy with that 😀

If you have Nintendo Online and enjoy old school Tetris, do yourself a favour and check out this free game.

Kingdom Hearts 3

No surprise this was going to be on the list – it is my game of choice at the moment.

I have completed the story and found all of the Lucky Emblems and treasures.  But like all Kingdom Hearts games, this is in a lot of ways only the beginning of the gameplay.

There are battle gates for example – a series of battles that seem to have replaced the old school Hades Cup.  I still have various challenges to complete, such as the Gummi Ship, Synthesis and Moogle Photo challenges.

20190218 Kingdom Hearts 3 Complete
The summary screen at the end - It serves to tell you how much more is left!

I have been playing for about 45 hours now, and I have been enjoying all of it. Kingdom Hearts 3 feels easier to get into, but that could just be my experience with the series and playing in beginner so I could get all the story.

Either way, in a couple of weeks the full review will be on the site for all of my thoughts to be told – once I have gotten the Platinum Trophy 😀

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

Last Week’s Gaming – February 11th, 2019

20190211 Rescue Polar Bears

A group of Polar Bears On Tour along the Highway are simply Tales

I cannot believe how quickly this year is flying by.  While some may think that it’s only February, but 10% of 2019 is already passed.  Time passes quickly.

But another week and some more games made the table – including some new ones thanks to Alpal 🙂

Mythos Tales

Another case down for Mythos Tales, making us halfway through the cases.  I have had an interesting history with this game, but the second print run has indeed fixed up many of the problems and issues.

Or so I felt until this case.  Harls and I played the case and got incredibly stumped.  We technically ‘won’ the case based on the score, but obviously missed half the story.

In the end, it turned out to be a side effect of the increasing difficulty level we have seen through the cases, and that makes me very keen to finish playing this series when we can 🙂

20190211 Mythos Tales
Case 4 done and dusted. The difficulty has been ramping up nicely.

On Tour

As I have said a few times, 2018 was the year of the Roll and Write.  The massive surge in this game style has opened the door to some wonderful diversions and great game experiences.

On Tour is a twist on some old game mechanics, but repackaging known qualities can still lead to a fun yet challenging time.

Adding randomisation with a combination of cards and dice rolls, the replayability of On Tour is pretty high.  The quality components make gameplay a breeze, but I wonder if it pushes the asking price up too much in the process.

I feel thoughts and a review on On Tour coming in the future.

20190211 On Tour
A possibly over produced roll and write, On Tour was still a great game

Rescue Polar Bears

Almost anything with a ‘social message’ is generally viewed at best as propaganda by many people.  This is sometimes understandable, but overall disappointing as many great messages are dismissed out of hand before being heard.

Rescue Polar Bears is such a game.  There is a strong message about Global Warming and its effects on the world but wrapped up in a Pandemic style cooperative game.

And it’s good.  True, there are better games overall, but Rescue Polar Bears will be overlooked as many as Climate Change propaganda by some.  I want a few more games, but expect a proper review once they are done.

20190211 Rescue Polar Bears
A very challenging cooperative game with a strong environmental message

Tokyo Highway

Having driven on many roads around the world, I have questioned many infrastructure decisions over the years.  There have been many times I have driven onto an offramp that somehow merges with an onramp and wondered ‘What clown designed this?’.

I may have found an answer if some of those designs came from watching people play Tokyo Highway.  An interesting dexterity game where luck and planning work hand in hand, there are complex strategies combined with an interesting filler experience.

Seemingly complex rules that are straightforward to implement can put off some people, but if you get the chance to try this game do it!

20190211 Tokyo Highway
A fun and intriguing dexterity experience, Tokyo Highway is an intriguing experience

Kingdom Hearts 3

Oh Kingdom Hearts, you are so amazing even after all these years.

Now, don’t get me wrong – it’s not a perfect game.  I don’t think such a thing truly exists.  But everything that made the originals great remains in spades, and I am enjoying every minute of it.

I have fully finished a couple more worlds and jumped ahead a couple more.  Honestly story wise for the last couple of worlds has been a little wanting I think, but mid-game in an RPG is rarely the strongest area of play.

Each world has been fun and different though, so even through the ‘slow patch’ gameplay has been different and varied, encouraging just one more section to be played.  This pacing and variety is why I love the series, and I am glad it is intact in this newest version.

20190211 Kingdom Hearts 3
Loading screens are a play on Social Media uploads, and are fun to see - especially the hashtags!

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

Last Week’s Gaming – February 4th, 2019

20190204 Resident Evil 2 Results

A Tale of Lemonade and Blackmail

Board games this week took a hit playtime wise, thanks largely to two Video Game releases at the end of January.

Kingdom Hearts 3 has been taking a lot of my playtime, and I am loving every second of it!  But I am jumping ahead – let’s talk about what I played last week!

That’s Not Lemonade

Waiting for some people to arrive on games night, That’s Not Lemonade was a great bit of filler to begin the night with.

As I said in the review, it’s a light bit of fun that let us pass a bit of time.  No lengthy rules explanation and even the player that was fighting the pizza menu on his phone could join in with minimal downtime.

After a couple of rounds and confirmation that the fourth player would be longer than originally guessed, we moved to a slightly meatier time killer.

20190204 That's Not Lemonade
Taught and the first game played in less time than it takes to order 3 pizzas with a vegan option - on a mobile!

Archer Once You Go Blackmail

Love Letter is a great game, and as said previously the Archer version is still the hardest for me to categorise.

It still has the base Love Letter rules but changes the burn card to becoming part of the game, similar to Lost Legacy.  This changes the game just enough that I don’t call it pure Love Letter anymore, but not enough to change it to the big box premium versions.

That aside, the game did what it always does – the three of us had a great time playing until the fourth player arrived.  Another reliable light fun filler that will take about 20-30 minutes to play.

20190204 Archer Once You Go Blackmail
My only issue - first round Archers with calls of 'LAAAANNNNAAAAAAA' :p

Mythos Tales

The third investigation has finally been played!  While I had played the first two games with Harls, this week I decided to make it the main game for games night, introducing two new players for a four-person case.

Overall, it worked well.

The case itself said scoring was harder, but that said we beat the case well with a score of 15.  We didn’t get the ‘Beat Sherlock’ style score for the first time, but all four of us still had a great time.

20190204 Mythos Tales
New rules and a teasing of increasing difficulty through the cases makes me look forward to the next game

Resident Evil 2

So Monday night, I finished Leon’s campaign (Scenario A – Leon for the veterans).  Under the circumstances, I was pretty happy with my run – a B ranking (apparently saves don’t count anymore for your score so yay!) and I found a few bits and pieces.

I was exploring a bit, but when I found I could massively backtrack I just let it be.  Resident Evil 2 is amazing.  End of story.

I might just restart on Assisted mode (Easy mode) later and try for a Platinum run, because on Tuesday the next game came out…

20190204 Resident Evil 2 Results
Mix between enjoying the new visuals and getting through the story, not bad for a first result I thought

Kingdom Hearts 3

Well, I haven’t hidden how much I have been waiting for this series, and it is everything I was hoping for.

Right now I have 100 per cent on five worlds and am keen to get through the sixth world story.  I could be flying through the story, but backtracing a completed world and searching for treasures and other collectables is a heap of fun.

I will be talking about the game in more detail in a couple of weeks – I don’t want to spoil anything for new players.  If you want to know a little more, you can catch up with the last Blatherings and hear what I think 🙂

20190204 Kingdom Hearts 3 Memories 1
So much I want to show, but I don't want any spoilers less than a week in!

What about you?  I hope you have had a great week gaming.  Let me know! Feel free to comment below, or shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

Last Week’s Gaming – December 3rd, 2018

20181203 Banner

Tales of Scarabya Downforce of the Island – but no Yoshi!

Another busy week, but I managed to once again get in more game time than I originally thought!

It’s fun on a Monday morning to look at my BGG Stats app and see what I played.  Once in a while I even win 🙂

Mythos Tales

Second case in on Mythos Tales, and a few things are falling into place so much better.

I still feel Harls and I are in the ‘tutorial’ phase of the game, beginning to add in items found and other conditions to the gameplay.

Compared to my first experiences with Mythos Tales (which I will either Blather on about or do in a review, or both!) this is shaping up to be a really fun time.

Hopefully I can get in another game this week, next week at the worst.

Mythos Tales 20181203
Case 2 sorted, and in style! Remember though, always drink responsibly when pretending to be a detective

Scarabya

Scarabya is an interesting game.  Everyone has the same board layout, and the same Tetris type shapes to fit onto that board.  But you don’t want to fill it, you want to ‘trap’ Scarabs in areas of no more than 4 squares to maximise your score.

Scoring sounds weird, but is very simple – the number of scarabs x number of squares (up to 4) is your score.  So if you have 2 scarabs in a 3×1 row, your score will be 2×3=6.

It’s like a tactile roll and write – everyone has the same chances, it’s purely up to your skill and luck to maximise your score.  I can see myself getting a copy of this in the near future.

20181203 Scarabya
Almost a Roll and Write - everyone has the same board, the same pieces, and the same goals. It's only your choices that decides how well you do.

Downforce – Mario Kart Fan Rules

So before you get too excited – this is not an official game.  You need to have Downforce and Monopoly Gamer: Mario Kart in order to play it.

But if you have those (or stuff to use instead of Monopoly Gamer), then a quick look on Board Game Geek will show you these rules.

Now I was simultaneously in the wrong frame of mind to play, but that was also the perfect time to play.  You see I have been working to finish stuff for my job by the end of November, and the toll had started to show.  I couldn’t focus on reading the new rules, but I knew Downforce and most of the game was the same.

20181203 Downforce Mario Kart
It's Downforce, but with Mario Kart! And just like Mario Kart, be careful if you are in the lead!

So even though I probably annoyed Harls and Alpal asking the same question multiple times, the core Downforce gameplay was intact and fine.  That’s one of the reasons I love that game – here was a night I proved I could play on autopilot!

Almost all of the rules are clarified well, and the ‘Current Position’ rule we ended up deciding on the same rules having missed it in the text.  Translating Directly is my only question – is it in the same corridor of positions, does around corners count, that kind of thing.

But the game was Downforce brilliance, coupled with Mario Kart’s amusing unfairness – definitely recommend a game if you have the ability!

Treasure Island

Now this was a little surprise when I first heard about it on Shut Up & Sit Down.

Treasure Island is a one vs many hidden movement(ish) game where one player plays Long John Silver, and has buried a treasure on the Island.  The other players are searching the island as Silver is feeding them clues to the treasure, but also biding time to escape from jail and get it back himself.

Straight up, not the greatest rule book and I will say interesting colour choices for the markers.  But the fun of exploring the board and marking your progress and searches is great, and a few more games will bring a review with it.

20181203 Treasure Island
Cartography will become a skill by the end of this game! My only issue is really how busy the map actually is

Pokemon Let’s Go – Eevee

Octopath Traveler is still sitting to one side, and I will probably be jumping back in this weekend all going well.

This week, the little time I got to put back into Pokemon Let’s Go was well spent.  I have beaten the first gym leader, and am starting to make my way to the next town.

I put Mew in my Pokeball this week, and again with what I consider minimal effort Mew is now sitting on level 25.  The Poke Ball Plus is a great way to ramp up an individual Pokemon, but it’s starting to feel a little pay to win though.  But pay I have, and I now have a Magikarp sitting in my ball 🙂

20181203 Pokemon Lets Go
I know my progress has been slow compared to most, but this is a game I can pick up and put down without guilt. It's so much fun!

I will need to get to Pokemon Park (about 3/4 of the way through the game apparently) before I can try mixing Pokemon Go and Pokemon Let’s Go, but I will try when I can.

Bottom line though, Pokemon Let’s Go is a great relaxing adventure that I can see myself finishing relatively soon – OK probably over the holiday break, but for my play times that’s quickly!

20181203 Team Rocket
Old favourites are up to their usual shenanigans 🙂

What about you?  What have you been playing?  Let me know on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until next time,

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