Ridere, ludere, hoc est vivere.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Summer vacation gaming

Our friends gave us access to their beach house in Rodanthe, North Carolina, for a week this summer.  For me, the best part of a summer vacation is simply sitting without a care in the world and reading a book or playing a game, and we did plenty of both.  I finished three books (including Girls on Games, reviewed in my last post), and we played games every day, including my sons, who are not normally enthusiastic gamers.

In Dead of Winter, we "Find a Cure," and two players
satisfy "Justice" and "Collector" objectives
Our 20-year-old Liam had discovered Dead of Winter (designers Isaac Vega and Jon Gilmour, artist Fernanda Suarez, publisher Plaid Hat Games) on Tabletop Simulator with friends online, so we picked up a copy from Amazon and brought it with us on vacation to try as a family.  It was a huge hit, and we ended up playing twice.  There were plenty of B-movie moments - like when the principal and the student are searching the school for supplies, and the zombies are outside, and the principal says, "I think I can take out one of them" - you can hear the audience shouting along with the student, "No, don't go out there, it's too dangerous" - and he gets bitten and turns and kills the student, too.  We ended up playing DoW twice that week, and we plan to play again this Labor Day weekend.

First game of Evolution: Climate, in which I finished last
The big hit of the week, though, was Evolution: Climate (designers Dominic Crapuchettes, Dmitry Knorre, and Sergey Machin; artists Catherine Hamilton and Jacoby O'Connor; publisher North Star Games), which my friend Glenn Weeks had picked up for me at Gen Con (even though I did not expect North Star to have it yet).  We absolutely love this game, and in our first session Liam rocked us all with a burrowing pack-hunting carnivore that we just couldn't beat.  Carnivores are tricky - more than once I had a carnivore go extinct just one or two turns after bringing it in.  Sometimes we just had lots of fat herbivores sitting around the table seeing who could eat the most, until the climate dragged down the food supply and suddenly there were populations starving.  We like this game so much that we've played again several times since we got back, and it remains on the top of my "want to play next" list.

The other family games we played were old favorites that included Survive: Escape from Atlantis, for the first time using the Giant Squids expansion.

Kathy and I played a number of two-player games as well, including Splendor and a 2p-variant of Puerto Rico.

So, yes, it was a relaxing vacation.

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