For the first game review post, you get a double-header. Spiffy, I know! I’ll talk about Hey , that’s my Fish! and Citadels, both Fantasy Flight Games.
The most recent game we’ve played is Hey, that’s my Fish! We did so because the youngest, henceforth known as Q, was getting frustrated with not being able to get on our Citadels games. More on that later. Hey, that’s my Fish! is a hex-based tile game in which players try to get the most fish. The rules are simple. Everyone starts on a single-fish tile (there are also two- and three-fish tiles). In our 4-player game, we each controlled two penguins. Movement is based on straight lines in any direction, much like the Queen in chess. When you move to a new square, you pick up your starting square. This continues until no one can move anymore and you count up the fish you’ve collected. My eldest, L, went straight for the 3-fish tiles. I moved around considering trapping my wife, E, but didn’t do that right away. Great ease of play, with some pretty cut-throat strategies if you so choose to employ them. We all had a good time. The one complaint is that we spent a lot of time rearranging the tiles after someone moved. A frame or grid could go along way in helping this, but a minor nuisance.
Now, the game that has seen the most play time recently is Citadels. This is the first game that my daughter will bug me daily to play and the first that the wife is willing to play regularly as well. That’s saying quite a bit. A city building game, which for our 3-player version, each of us took on the role of two characters a round, claimed gold, drew cards, built districts. Repeat until someone has 8 districts. Each round, the characters you can play can change based on which is randomly discarded, who the king is (they get first pick), strategies, etc. Quite a lot of fun. Our first game was very friendly. Assassin didn’t kill, Thief didn’t steal, Warlord didn’t destroy. This lasted one game. Totally my fault. I unleashed my wife’s wrath when I had the Assassin kill the Architect (which she happen to have). Citadels is a great little game, quick to pick up, quick to play. I’d say our games take about 20 minutes. Now, we aren’t excluding Q to be mean. We are having her watch the games to try pick up the feel for them. There is a fair amount of strategy involved and she could easily become frustrated. Working on that.
These past few months have been fantastic. I LOVE that my family is finally digging gaming together. I’m working on finding more cooperative games to drag them into to balance the “someone has to lose” games.