It’s less than two weeks into February and I have already purchased three boardgames. OK, to be fair I bought them all at bargain prices. One is meh, one is sorta hmm, and the third is Yah! – a winner.
DiceAFARI is from Stratus Games was published in 2012. BGG rating of 5.6. It looks like this originally was a late 2011 Kickstarter project that raised $5,130 of $5,000 with 117 backers. I guess it went to retail after that. GeekMarket has a copy for sale at $10; I got mine for only $3.99.
I’m glad I didn’t pay more. I mean, the concept of a game board laid out like an animal is cute enough, but the constant die rolling makes it feel like whatever strategy you try and follow is overcome by the luck of the roll. I bought this one as a filler game for Mrs. RockyMountainNavy’s elementary school-age students to use. For that purpose and audience it is probably alright enough. I don’t expect this one to come out on family game night though….
La Isla is a 2014 Stefan Feld design published by Ravensburger. Rated 6.9 on BGG. It can be found on Amazon for $19.82 but I got my copy for $5.99.
Yup, it’s a Eurogame. The map setup alone gives it randomness between plays and I like how each card has multiple uses. Alas, like so many Eurogames, this one dissolves into multi-player solitaire. The theme is also not that incredible – more than once I saw it referred to as ‘Pokemon the Eurogame” which is so appropriate!
I bought this one again to use with several of Mrs. RMN’s older students. Some call this title a good
gateway foundation game that introduces some advanced gaming concepts in a relatively easy to digest package. In my mind the game occupies a similar space to Queendomino – built upon an obvious simple game but introducing some advanced gaming mechanics. Alas, I think Queendomino pulls it off better than La Isla….
Speaking of a game where theme is great – as in Great White – there is JAWS by Prospero Hall from Ravensburger (again) in 2019. Sporting a strong 7.5 BGG rating, this game is a two-act play reflecting the movie so perfectly. Full retail is $39.99 (!) but it can be found more usually at $23.99. It was on sale for only $11.99 this past weekend making it an oh-so-attractive bargain.
Unlike the other games I bought this one expressly for the RMN Boys and myself to play. The Boys are game to play but don’t get into the theme as much as I do. I guess that is the difference in the generations; when I see JAWS I remember standing in line at the movie theater and going in only to come out swearing NEVER to swim in the ocean EVER! By today’s standards the movie is admittedly tame. My bet is many other gamers are having a similar experience; older gamers are enthralled by the theming while younger players indulge their seniors – and get a good game out of it along the way.
Overall, getting all three games for less than the regular price of JAWS is a sure financial bargain. I think even DiceAFARI, the weakest of the three games, still fulfills a purpose on the game shelf. La Isla will get played, occasionally, as an alternative to other Eurogames. JAWS will probably be used extensively this summer. I also suspect theat JAWS could make an appearance in the Neighborhood Gaming Gang rotation as it’s literal ‘eat you’ theming appeals to the emotions that Survive: Escape from Atlantis does.