Last Week’s Gaming – November 25th, 2019

What a week!

It was a long week after coming back from a work trip, but it’s over now. Time to start a new week!

Alpal showed me a couple of really fun games that worked well with my tired brain ūüôā There was a lot of Pokemon in there as well!

Back when I was a youngling, I would receive presents of these mazes with small ball bearings in them. They were a dexterity puzzle game, and I am sure everyone has played one at least once in their life.

Slide Quest is a similar game with modern tabletop design. Underneath the ‘level’ is a single base with areas for holes (traps) and areas to put various other obstacles on the board. And there are 20 levels to complete!

I don’t think you could play this one solo, but if you play with a group, the cooperative nature of the game shines. A lot of people will pass on this, but if you want a simple small party game with a challenge, check it out!

There has been no tabletop game that made me feel so 'old school'

Ticket to Ride. Alan R. Moon’s breakout modern classic is a game that still tops many introduction game lists today.

Ticket to Ride: New York takes this familiar gameplay, but applies them to a single city. The most significant change you will see is you no longer use trains – taxies are the order of the day. Scoring has changed, and you can receive bonus points connecting to certain areas.

It’s simple, it’s super quick, but it’s still Ticket to Ride. Seriously, we played two games with three players in about 40 minutes, including setup etc. If I can convince Alpal to play a few more games, expect a formal review soon.

Want an uber quick version of Ticket to Ride? Pick up New York

Pokemon: Shield (Switch)

Pokemon Sword and Shield is a funny one to me. On one hand, I have seen people complaining about the changes. On the other hand, everyone I know that is playing it is having fun. I even know one person playing both at the same time!

At it’s core, Pokemon Shield is your standard Pokemon RPG. You can now walk around a 3D world, and there are new mini-games. There is even a dedicated wild area for Pokemon hunting.

I am up to the fourth gym, and have caught 62 Pokemon at the time of writing. By the time you read this I will probably have more entries in my Pokedex. If you have a Switch and are a Pokemon fan, give it a play and enjoy.

There is always encouragement as you make your way through the Gym Challenge

Onirim (Android)

Warriors of Waterdeep has been uninstalled. I have another ‘big’ game that I want to play, but Pokemon took over my at home playtime. Oh the horror :p

What I did do was go back to an old favourite – Onirim. A great solo set collection/card drafting game, Onirim is great to pick up and put down. You need to unlock 12 doors, which you do by placing three cards of that colour in the playtrack. You cannot play the same symbol twice in a row, so planning and some card counting does help.

I thought I had already reviewed Onirim on the site, but apparently I have not. Guess what’s coming up Friday?

I am playing with the expansions here, but Onirim is one of those games that gets in your head at any level

I love the world of Munchkin. It is a great parody of so many things that I love, while somehow standing out as unique.

When I fund out Munchkin was going digital, I assumed a digital version of the card game. Instead, we get a Munchkin theme and flavour over Overcooked meets Diablo with a dash of Mario Party.

And, it works. I have only played one proper game and the tutorial, and not even on the system I purchased it on – Switch. Munchkin Quacked Quest is on Game Pass, so try it out for yourself – you will know in 10 minutes if it’s for you or not.

This room just started. It looks peaceful. That won't last :p

So this one took me by surprise. Late Sunday, I thought I would finally sit down and look at some of the games that have been piling up. I started with the top of the pile (the latest acquisition), and that was Terminator: Resistance.

And played for about 9 hours straight.

As a shooter, it’s a fine stealth game. It’s on rails in terms of mission progression, but the areas are all large and great to explore. It takes a franchise I love, and tells it’s own unique story. You are just dropped into the shows of Private Jacob Rivers, and then off you go.

Example of an easter egg nod - if you know Dr. Silberman, this was great to find

Plenty of nods for fans, but none are required to enjoy the game. For example, I loved the choices of name during one quest, and Rabbit was very confused why I thought they were awesome.

Terminator: Resistance will probably be finished next weekend, so it might be my next review game!

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,


A Fake Artist Goes to New York Review

A Fake Artist Goes to New York Feature
A Fake Artist Goes to New York Feature
Released 2012
Designer Jun Sasaki
Publisher Oink Games (Website)
Players 5 – 10
Playing Time 20 minutes
Category Hidden Role
Deduction / Bluffing
BoardGameGeek View on BGG

A hidden role game with a major twist

When you have a large group of people wanting to play a game, party hidden role type games such as Werewolf, Spyfall or The Resistance tend to dominate in my gaming groups.

This is far from a problem for me Рin general, I love all of these games.  But for some others, not so much.  Having to sit with a group of friends or even worse strangers and lie can be too stressful for some players.

This coupled with a problem I have with a lot of these games – player elimination during a long game – means some games are better than others for a group game.

Here is where the deceptively simple A Fake Artist Goes to New York comes along.¬† A game lasts about a minute a player as a rule of thumb.¬† It’s in a tiny package just like all Oink Games.

And best of all – it doesn’t look or play like a hidden role game.¬† Tell someone they are playing Werewolf with drawings, and I can’t imagine too many people jumping in.

But tell people they are playing Pictionary with a twist, and you have a wider audience willing to listen to you.

A Fake Artist Goes to New York Components
As usual with an Oink Game, tiny packaging holds a lot of components, but nothing too complicated either

Now don’t get me wrong I am not advocating tricking people into playing.¬† It’s just that I know plenty of people that just don’t like Hidden Role games, so no matter how different or fun any other game may be, they stop listening.

Luckily the rules explanation is really short, so if anyone still doesn’t think they will be interested it’s not much time lost.¬† But I have yet to find anyone I have explained the game to like this not willing to play.¬†AndI have not had any players walk away unhappy or after just one game.

So set yourself up as the Question Master.  Players take turns with this role, and it makes life easier.

To do this, take a number of tiles equal to the number of other players.  Put the pad and all the coloured pens onto the table, and get everyone to pick a colour as you go off a little to the side.

Now I usually explain the below rules while I am writing on the tiles – it just makes life easier.¬† It also lets me ‘fix’ the first game so I know exactly who the Fake Artist is.

The Question Master pics a Topic that is said to everyone (e.g. Office) and writes a word associated with the topic on each tile (e.g. Desk) on all but one tile.¬† On one tile, you mark with an X or the word ‘FAKE’.¬† This is the hidden role in the game.

A Fake Artist Goes to New York Clues
I prefer to write the word 'FAKE' but it is up to you. Just be careful - it's easy to wipe the word off the tiles!

While I am writing, I am explaining to everyone that they are artists that have been invited to come work at a prestigious gallery on a painting.  But it has come to light that someone has managed to sneak in Рa Fake Artist!

Unfortunately, the painting needs to start now, but luckily all of the real artists know what they are here for (I hand out the tiles now).  Each tile is the invitation letter that tells you what you are here to draw, but keep them secret!  Everyone knows that the gallery is doing an exhibit on a subject (in this case, Office), but we can only find the Fake through their errors in designing the painting.

The Question Master then picks a starting player (Try not to pick the Fake Artist!), and the artists then take turns drawing part of the image with a single line.

Now some people literally draw a line, but the idea is to draw a part of the image (the desk in this example) without taking the pen back off the paper.  So for the desk, someone may draw a line as part of the desktop or side.  They may draw the outline of a phone because phones are on office desks.

The goal is to draw enough to let the real artists know you know what your doing, but without letting the Fake Artist know what is being drawn.

A Fake Artist Goes to New York Desk
This has been completed, but you can see the two lines drawn by each colour (player). One line seems to be very wrong though...

After everyone has had 2 turns (around the table twice), the artists try and guess which colour belongs to the Fake Artist.

A bit of discussion doesn’t hurt, but you have to be careful to not get into ‘It can’t be me because¬†my card says Desk’ territory.¬† Giving away the answer at the last minute hurts, and can happen in the heat of the moment!¬† So normally I give 30 seconds or just get people to point after a countdown of 5.

Now from here, there is a whole scoring system but to be honest I have yet to use it.  We just play rounds and have fun with the game.

It’s not the only deviation from the rules I normally make either.¬† I usually only play once around the table, to help with speed and also with keeping simple images vague enough to maybe throw the Fake Artist.

Once the vote is cast, if the Artists pick on of their own, the Fake Artist and the Question Master ‘win’!

If the Artists guess the Fake Artist, there is the last chance for them and the Question Master.  If the Fake Artist can correctly guess the subject, the pair of still win.

A Fake Artist Goes to New York Different
So the round has ended, and it doesn't look good for the blue player. But did they just have a different desk in mind? That's the sort of bluff that can save the Fake Artist

It sounds like the Artists have a hard time of winning, but not really.  You see one of the things I love about A Fake Artist Goes to New York is no one can draw really well in it.

By only having one motion to draw in coupled with a tiny pad, even talented artists are handicapped to draw like the rest of us.  And depending on your group, you can get cheeky and creative with your image.

A very literal group may just draw parts of a desk to show the desk, but in my example remember when I said someone could draw a phone because it sits on a desk?

If you just do the outline of a phone in one go (or phoneish¬†shape at least), you are adding detail to the image without detracting from the desk proper.¬† But if you draw part of a phone in detail, when people should be working on the desk, it’s a suspicious move.¬† But then again, so is drawing a phone in the first place!

A Fake Artist Goes to New York is one of those great games where you can make the game what you want it to be very simply.  Want more bites at an image with a smaller group?  Play the formal two rounds rule.  10 people waiting to play?  Keep the images simple and play one round.  Want a bit more detail?  Allow 2 touches of the pen.

A Fake Artist Goes to New York is one of those great party games where you make of it what you want.¬† It’s like Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, Joking Hazard, even Dixit to a degree – play the game you want to play with the tools provided.

A Fake Artist Goes to New York Old Game
Opening the box this was the last game played. I now wish I was writing the words on the old pages, I can't tell what this was supposed to be!

But A Fake Artist goes one step further because¬†it’s already language and scene independent.¬† Want a game full of inside jokes?¬† You are deciding the situations, so it’s easy!¬† Want an ‘After Dark’ version? Nothing is stopping you!

It’s this flexibility that makes A Fake Artist Goes to New York such a great game in my opinion.¬† And it certainly helps that it can be played almost anywhere and is so easy to take with you!

Until next time,