Crossing Tokyo with Architects impressing Sifu

It’s been another interesting week, not only for me but for the world as a whole. As selfish as it sounds, I would like a week to go by without another world-changing event taking place. Please universe?

That aside, a couple of games have me asking questions of myself for very different reasons. So it was good to jump into Board Game Arena and play some relaxing quick games!

7 Wonders: Architects

After discovering 7 Wonders Architects recently, I was keen to jump back in and play a few rounds. Alpal and Rabbit were keen as well, so we settled in for a few rounds.

7 Wonders Architects is an incredibly versatile game for many collections. Last week, we used it as an opener. A small game that we could play and chat over while we settled into the day.

We played for an hour and got six games in on that time. Six! That would have been three or four around the table with a physical version. But we could have played for another hour.

20220307 - 7 Wonders Architects - Having everything out makes gameplay simple to keep track of
Having everything out makes gameplay simple to keep track of

I will say that Alpal surprised me this round. She won the first three games in a row, and one by a margin of 20 points! Now Alpal is not a bad games player, but longer-term strategy often falls away to a narrative piece as she plays. I would love to know the narrative in her head as she quietly gathered point after point!

Even with a bad night’s sleep, I fell into the gameplay groove. The play is simple enough that I could almost play on autopilot. Having everything out in front of you makes a huge difference. Having the resources reset rather than epic engine builds also helps. An early miscalculation does not cost you the game.

20220307 - 7 Wonders Architects - I wish this was a mini rather than a cutout
I wish this was a mini rather than a cutout

I bought the physical version after the first time we played 7 Wonders Architects. I have one (ridiculous) complaint on the physical version – the cat statue is cardboard. There is a mini version as a promo, but I haven’t looked into getting one. Rabbit is considering making one out of clay, which is more personal and always fun.

Last-minute addendum to this week’s journal entry. While 7 Wonders Architects is a versatile game, short and light enough to slot into many game nights. One catch – don’t leave it as a closer. It’s not because the game isn’t good enough or fun enough. It’s because you don’t want a game with a high ‘One More Time’ factor to end the night!

King of Tokyo

I thought ending the day with King of Tokyo would be a lot of fun. Kaiju Yahtzee – what could go wrong?

Well, Board Game Arena threw me a slight curve. When starting King of Tokyo, I didn’t realise settings can’t change once a player accepts an invitation. This means we played with “Battle of the Gods: The Revenge” curse cards.

20220307 - King of Tokyo - Confusing Options Defaulted
The defaults are great for game veterans, but maybe too much for beginners

This adds a deck of cards in the centre of the table containing random rules. When resolving your rolls, there is now also a d4 with various symbols that can affect your strategy.

For example, you can lose electricity stopping you from shopping. Healing can be disabled unless you hold the scarab card. Points die can become invalid. If anyone rolls an Ankh, they usually get a small reward. Roll the snake, and pay a penalty. The river symbol is a neutral roll, and the Eye of Ra changes curse cards.

This variant is fun, but for learners I don’t see why it is on by default on Board Game Arena. If this was someone’s first play the number of things going on could be off-putting.

20220307 - King of Tokyo - Curse Cards in Play
Not too different from the base game in terms of table content

Straight up, this was borderline too many shenanigans for me for the day. I was hoping for an autopilot dice roller and got something I needed to track. King of Tokyo got ‘thinky’ for me – not what I was expecting! That doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun with new rules, only that a headache I was trying to avoid catching up with me by the end.

We did have a lot of fun playing, and Alpal was on an absolute roll with the random shenanigans. We played a few games with the normal ‘knock everyone else out’ happening, and I suggested one more game to end the day.

This ‘one more game’ of King of Tokyo took an uncharacteristic 20 minutes! Not only that, Alpal ended up with a double win. She not only hit me with enough to knock my monster out for last monster standing, but she scored well over the 20 VP needed in the same roll!

20220307 - King of Tokyo - Alpal was going to win in every possible way
Alpal about to win in every possible way

I thought I was in a pretty good position with some power-ups. The curse cards and die rolls were definitely on Alpal’s side for this round. Yes, she was lucky, but that is all part of the chaotic fun. It just goes to show – there is no such thing as a foregone conclusion in King of Tokyo!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

I had an emergency at work this week, which meant I had a very hectic morning. Not unusual in itself, but I missed my 8 am session of Animal Crossing New Horizons.

What made that day different was I never twigged I hadn’t played Animal Crossing. So my Nook Miles ABD streak was broken, Unfortunate, but not the end of the world.

Usually, I realise at the end of the day I hadn’t fired up my Switch and choose to play or not. Missing this has me wondering how much longer I will be playing Animal Crossing again.

20220307 - Animal Crossing New Horizons - Stitches is still talking to me
Stitches is still talking to me, but he still freaks me out a little

I have needed to take an afternoon and clean up the island of Game Room for weeks. There have been plenty of Sunday afternoons I could have sat on the couch and I still haven’t attempted it.

One of my villagers has moved on, and I am making no effort to get someone else to replace them. Curlos isn’t a bad character, only very meh. This is my attitude to Animal Crossing New Horizons as a whole right now, as I am not progressing anything.

20220307 - Animal Crossing New Horizons - Curlos has moved on
Curlos has moved on, but no one has leapt to move in and I am not phased

If I sat down for an afternoon and cleaned things up like I have been talking about, I would have things to do. I could move to Happy Home Paradise, and start working toward new goals.

Like a lot of gaming, it boils down to motivation and desire. I enjoy the 8 am Animal Crossing New Horizons session. But is it the game I enjoy, or the regular stress-free break?

Let’s see what happens during the next week. I am going to try and take my breaks, but change from Animal Crossing New Horizons to whatever I want to play. It could be interesting what I pick.

Sifu

I sat down with Sifu a couple of times this week, and beat Yang! Not only did I beat the final boss, and finish the game, I managed to spare him and unlock the true ending!

So a second game has been finished in 2022. The question now is do I want to go out of my way to Platinum it?

20220307 - Sifu - Yang battle is on a different level
Yang battle is on a different level

I have been playing Sifu on PlayStation 4 and 5, so I have two separate trophy lists happening. On PS5, I have 3 trophies left for the Platinum. They are: Finish the game at 25 or less, hit 3 people at once and see every takedown in the game.

Beating Yang at 25 or less is doable, I need more practice. And I have the other two trophies on PS4 but here is the kicker – I don’t know how I did it!

Hitting three people at once I can do, but seeing every takedown is going to take some effort. The only reason I say this is I have unlocked it on PS4. I have played significantly more on PS5 so I would have thought it would have popped there naturally!

20220307 - Sifu - Early runs are good for grinding
Going back into the game makes you feel like The One or Neo

Sifu has been a lot of fun, and cathartic at the end of some days. The internal debate on whether to take on the Platinum challenge is real though.

I have the desire and drive to take on Yang and try and get that fight won below 25. If I do that on PS5, then an occasional run where I enjoy the combat could unlock the rest without effort. Sifu on PS4 would take some effort though, as I have a few more trophies to unlock.

None are particularly hard and I know how to unlock them. I would need to do some particular runs while the techniques are still fresh in muscle memory. This is a couple of hours at worst? How much would the cathartic Sifu session feel like work for the final trophy grind?

20220307 - Sifu - Student Calls
Will I answer the call?

The other side of the coin is I dropped Pokemon Legends: Arceus and Horizon Zero Dawn for Sifu. I don’t regret the change, but I do want to continue both games. I am worried that both games will need a restart to get used to the controls again.

See how things run next week!

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know! 

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Until next time,

JohnHQLD