Real Quick

Hey, not a lot of time tonight, but here are some game highlights from recently:

– I got a copy of Marvel Heroes a few weeks ago. I haven’t yet gotten a chance to play it, but the rules seem very complex for what doesn’t seem like a particularly heavy game. Does that make sense? I am a little concerned it’ll have what I call “phase-itis.” This is when games have several phases to each turn, simply for the sake of adding more complexity. Having said all that, it looks really nice, and I definitely am looking forward to getting it to the table. Maybe this weekend…

– Also obtained recently was a copy of Imperial. I’ve played this twice, and so far I’ve loved it. It definitely falls into the niche that I generally love. The gameplay is entirely driven by the players (almost no luck at all), but rather than becoming programmed and rote, it’s a very open design. You can play yourself into a corner if you’re not careful, but I sometimes appreciate a game that will allow you to screw up catastrophically. The nice thing is that it strikes a great balance between being open, but not being fragile. Being unfamiliar with the game won’t drag it down, which can be a big problem in games like Mare Nostrum. I’ve only played it twice, and it’s kind of a long one. Therefore, a review will probably wait til I have at least five games under my belt, maybe longer. But what’s my first impression? I think it might be the best heavy Euro game I’ve ever played. Better than Power Grid, better than Mare Nostrum. Yeah, it’s THAT good.

– While we were away this weekend, I found myself playing a lot of Puzzle Strike online. The implementation could be a little more streamlined, but I remember the days when it wasn’t even rules-enforced, so be thankful for what you have. I’ve been playing around with the rebalanced characters (available in the upcoming “Upgrade Pack”), and I’ve been very impressed with the rejiggering. In fact, I’ve liked it so much that I kind of wish the game had been delayed just a little longer to allow for these refinements to come out. But no matter. It’s still a great game, and it’s great online. Even better, you can play with the characters from the upcoming expansion. I tried one and got soundly thrashed by the AI. We can’t all be champs, I suppose.

– Jumping into a Hangout on Google+ with the guys from On Board Games in just a little while. Who knows, you might even hear my insights on their podcast.

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