It’s been a while since I reviewed board games here so I’ll provide three quick ones of games I’ve played lately.
Snake Oil is a fast and fun party game in the vein of Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity. Unlike those two games, Snake Oil involves a bit more skill and creativity.
Each player draws a hand of six item cards (e.g. hammer, jetpack, lunchbox) and then one player draws a customer card (e.g. caveman, teacher, astronaut). Each other player then has 30 seconds to make a sales pitch to the ‘customer’ based on two items from that players hand. For example, a player might try to convince the ‘caveman’ that they are in desperate need of a jetpack-hammer (maybe for better hunting mammoths). After each player makes a pitch, the player with the customer card decides which was best. The next player then becomes customer and another round begins.
I like this much better than Apples to Apples or Cards Agains Humanity because there’s more skill involved. The pitches are a great exercise in constrained creativity and improv. The rounds are fast and fun and the game is a perfect filler while waiting for other friends to show up or to kick off a day of gaming.
The rules are very similar to Descent but a little more streamlined, especially around line-of-sight and movement. It has a similarly massive campaign but includes a new Skirmish that pits two players against each other.
I’m two missions into a campaign with my brother and a friend and I’m greatly enjoying it so far. Skirmish mode seems to work well, though I’ve only done one mission. I’m looking forward to seeing how the game evolves over the course of a campaign.
Welcome to the Dungeon
Welcome to the Dungeon is a cool new game from Japan. I grabbed it after seeing a stellar review on Shut Up and Sit Down. It’s a very quick game that involves a little bluffing, deduction, and gambling.
Players take turns sending a hero through a dungeon. Each round, player build up a dungeon full of monsters - each turn they secretly add a monster or discard a monster but if they discard a monster then they need to make the hero weaker; they can also pass and remove themsleves from the round. As the round progresses, the dungeon gets harder and the hero gets weaker - the goal is to either intimidate other players into passing or to pass once the dungeon is too hard to beat. The final player who hasn’t passed has to fight all the monsters and possibly die. First to beat the dungeon twice wins but if you die twice, you’re gone.
The game is fast and fun and will likely be getting serious rotation this summer.