Game report

Keep poking

I have not yet passed peak mon. A few walks in town brought my ball supply to new heights, and if I keep moving in the city regularly it is never likely to drop. Again, it feels weird to have a game where my physical location matter so much. Tram rides take on a new dimension too, they cover a lot of ground and pass lots of stops at speeds where you can still pick things up on many of them. (Eggs pick up distance very slowly, but that seems about the same on a tram as when I walk or bike.)

All aboard

Yesterday was another of those super warm (by Swedish standards) summer days.

What better time to travel uphill by bike at mid-day to sit indoors and play board games for a few hours, right?

I got to try the Game of thrones board game for the first time, and (SPOILERS!) it was good.

The other said it captured the feeling of books and TV series, but what do I know …

One player had played before while the other three of us were new to the game except for looking at some host-recommended walkthrough videos. There were quite a few rules and special cases, but overall I found the rules easier to grasp than I had expected. The whole system felt like it fit together very well. Quite a few mechanics were thought out so that opportunities for mistakes were minimised, and the clear phases of each turn made me feel I never had to keep quite so much in my head at once.

Come to think of it, the board itself was probably the most difficult part to keep track of. Many areas of the board quickly became cluttered with markers, tokens, indicators and what have you, some of which were added, maniplulated and removed each turn. It was simply hard to glance at even a part of the board and tell what was going on there, except for "oh, a lot".

The game also felt pretty speedy for the first play of. I look forward to future plays where all players know the game better, I can see things moving at pretty high pace.

How about computing it?

I love a good board game, but once you kick your mind into the right thought pattern it becomes fun to imagine how a computer could make everything easier and more efficient. There does not seem to be an IOS (or PC) version of Game of thrones, but it would do so well with all the tokens and rules moved over to a machine. With all the phases and options within them, learning would probably speed up quite a bit too as the game would only need to explain a few concepts at a time (plus it would prevent any illegal moves) enabling you to pretty much feel your way forward.

Heroes who are also brothers

… yeah, I guess I have been a bit more into games the last few days. Last night I also finished Brothers: a tale of two sons, so now I have both to pick my next game and something of a lump in my throat. It was an odd little game though, taking me a good chunk of the play time to get into. The key for me was how little of the beautiful world I actually needed to interact with. Once I realized how clear the path was I could start moving faster and easier, taking in all the visuals and the mood as I went. In the beginning I was running around, trying to interact with everything and making myself just a little bit frustrated with how slow everything went.

I did miss most achievements, but that is something to replay for in the future and the story instead got a much better pace.

As a game, Brothers balances right on that edge where some types of people can start to criticize the game-ness of it, arguing it should have been a movie or something instead. But everything about this story becomes stronger by my interactions, by me controlling the brothers. Sure, the story could have been strong in a film too, but as a game it gains unique strengths it could have nowhere else. Not even watching the game would be the same, Brothers should be played all by yourself, enjoyed and immersed in for the one or two sittings it lasts.

Some might also complain about the length. Ignore that, the length is perfect. Explore more or play again to extend it.