This week had a lot of ups and downs for me gaming wise. I will let the individual entries outline the details. The Facebook post and video game challenges hold a couple of clues if you are keen-eyed though! 🙃
I have upped my board game challenge to 200 games for the year. This is because of the incredible rate we are firing through games on a Saturday! Remembering we didn’t start playing until February, I was halfway through the challenge already!
Other than that, I hope you are OK and looking after yourself.
We needed a game to topple Alpal’s winning streak this week. I also needed a game that didn’t engage too much of my brain, as I was finally relaxing after a long week. So we picked 7 Wonders Architects, a game that we tend to share out some wins.
Well, guess who won the first game? Looking at my game stats, I was surprised to see Alpal has won half of the games we had played. Somewhere from the back, she has become a 7 Wonders mastermind!
We had a lot of fun though. One game we play is nabbing the cat every chance we get. This ‘rule’ got broken a lot this week though.
I say rule, but it’s a silly bit of fun. Having the power to see what the central card is can be nice though. Rabbit even tried a military strat this time, which was unusual.
It does go to prove though that there still isn’t one dominating strategy in 7 Wonders Architects. The subtle deck shifts with each Wonder having their own deck also helps with this.
Sure, you could play with specific Wonders and decks and try to min-max the game. But why take the fun out of the game that way?
I have owned a few versions of Fluxx over the years. One specific version I still need to play is Fluxx: The Board Game. One day I will get this to the table.
While I was looking at a quick game to play on Board Game Arena, Star Fluxx appeared as an option. I floated playing Fluxx to Alpal and Rabbit, and both were keen to give it a try.
We had all played Fluxx before in differing flavours, and it felt like the right amount of chaos to end the day.
The goal of Fluxx is to have Keeper cards in front of you that match the Objective. You start by drawing a card, then playing a card. It is all simple and straightforward. At first, anyway.
You see the vague Objective description is deliberate. You don’t know what the objective is until someone plays it, and other cards can change this at any time.
Every rule has a similar override somewhere in the deck. Draw 4 cards, Play all but 1 card, hand size limits and other allowable actions all get added and removed as you play. Fluxx as a game title makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
Shares something with another popular chaotic card game, Munchkin. That shared bond is that the game is not for everyone. A game with random rule interactions can cause unease or conflict around the table. Fluxx is a lot more forgiving in this sense, but I have seen enough players argue to throw up the caution.
The problem is for most people, the only way they will know if they will enjoy Fluxx is to play the game. When introducing people to Fluxx, I will usually play with 2-3 new players, and take the game very easy. I let the players come to grips with the flow of the game on their own, and avoid playing anything with a ‘take that’ element if I can.
This isn’t to take it easy on new players and try to lull them into bigger games. I play Fluxx this way because there is enough to try and follow with the changing rules as it is. Adding direct player shenanigans is often that final straw that sours a new players experience.
Saturday’s Board Game Arena catch up with Alpal started with a long-overdue chat. Not about anything in particular. Even though Rabbit, Alpal and I have been playing online for over a month, we hadn’t caught up properly for ages. Board Game Arena makes it too easy to jump straight into a game!
And after a nice catch-up, I thought it would be best to start with Incan Gold. That way we could keep talking and being chatty without switching on ‘game brain’.
Well, this seemed to work well for Alpal. In the first game, she pushed her luck to the point that she hadn’t scored a single point most of the game. On the last expedition though, she managed to score enough to win the game!
This went on for the first three games. Alpal was on fire! The cards were definitely with her. Alpal reaped all the Incan Gold!
Rabbit and I even tried to goad her to stay and push her luck too far. Well, that backfired almost every time. On my screen, getting through an entire row is pretty rare, so I was egging Alpal on to “Finish the row”.
Well, most of the time she would indeed draw. But instead of matching traps, she would draw a massive jewel haul!
It was a great run of games and silly fun, which is always the goal of a chill games day. And even though I have played on Board Game Arena for a while, it still surprises me how easy games like this are to play.
Without having to do any shuffling, setup or in-game tidy up, games are so quick to play. You can almost finish a game of Incan Gold on Board Game Arena by the time you set up a physical version.
I still love playing physical games on the table, but Board Game Arena makes sense for a lot of games. And Incan Gold is definitely one of these games, especially when players are physically apart.
So my plan this week was to sit down after Board Game Arena and try and clean up my island of Game Room. With this in mind, I continued to fire up Animal Crossing New Horizons every day to try and keep things going.
Firing up the game on Friday night, I realised I had missed the ABD miles bonus on Thursday. I couldn’t tell you if I played the night before or not. Now, we are talking about a video game. Missing a bonus isn’t the end of the world.
But when I saw the streak had broken, something in my mind broke a little. That was when I decided that I had enough of Animal Crossing New Horizons.
The reboot of the site in 2022 meant taking down my previous Animal Crossing play sessions. This means I am unsure of how clear it is that this is my second play of Animal Crossing New Horizons. I don’t mean I didn’t play for an extended period and picked the game back up, I mean I started from scratch twice.
I only dabbled in the Happy Home Paradise DLC, which I do think is a little unfortunate. I got into decorating my home more this time around, and the couple of homes I decorated when the DLC came out was fun. There may be more fun there to be had, but not this time around.
What did surprise me is I am not sad about leaving any of my villagers this time around. I wasn’t picky with who wanted to come live on Game Room as I wanted to pump up the population. That might have had something to do with this disconnect from those on my island. But right now, there is no one I want to say goodbye to and let them ‘move on’ so to speak.
With all that in mind, Saturday morning I wrote up this journal entry and deleted Animal Crossing New Horizons from my Switch. I look forward to seeing what the next Animal Crossing iteration looks like and giving it a try. But for now, this ends my run with this version of the game.
After taking a week off from Sifu, I decided to have a play. There was no push to do anything other than relaxing after a hard day with a fun game.
During this chill run, I earned two of the three remaining trophies. Hit 3 people in one attack, and saw every takedown in the game. This meant beating the final boss at age 25 or less was all I needed for the Platinum!
So the next night, I decided to buckle down and try for the Platinum.
I had to start from scratch. The checkpointing system in Sifu is a little strange. It saves your progress at the start of each level (hideout) at the youngest point you reached there.
Usually, this is fine. But I had been upgrading in areas to get other trophies and having good runs. This meant I was overpowered for much of the level, and underpowered for later boss fights!
So a from-scratch run, focusing on upgrades to make the final fight easier was on the cards. This did mean that the normal level enemies became smidge harder as well.
But about 3 hours later, I finally beat Yang at the tender age of 22, losing only to the last two bosses a single time. I will take that as a win!
This was all on my PlayStation 5. I have also been playing on my PlayStation 4, and I only have the same trophy to unlock to Platinum Sifu twice. I am not trying to do it right away, but I might try it next week. As a lunch game, Sifu is quite a good choice and my PS4 is up in my office!
Oh and just as a side note – when playing on Sifu version 1.5 on PS5, the game ran incredibly well. I did this final run on version 1.7, and the camera seems worse and some enemies spawn out of bounds, making progress impossible.
I recommend Sifu as a game, but I hope there is another patch soon to fix up the small bugs introduced in the latest version.
What about you? I hope you got some great games in. Or are you looking forward to a new one? Let me know!