Today I thought I’d do something different. As part of my New Years resolution, I need to play all the games I own before playing any new ones. I need to Kick my ‘Unkicked’ Games from Kickstarters. It’s a working title. Honestly I’ve never stuck to a resolution before though, never seen the point, finding it ironic that people binge out on food and drink to then jump to the gym with the whole ‘New Year New Me’ thing, only to do the same again next year. But anyway, my ‘resolution’! I recently realised how many games I’ve backed on Kickstarter is getting on the high side. That being said, the number of those games I’ve played doesn’t match. Only a few unplayed but still unplayed nonetheless! So I started hunting through my lighter games and found a few I need to play and a few I’ve played, loved, but never mentioned! So today I’m going to talk about some games I’ve owned a while but only recently played, and about some filler games I absolutely adore but don’t play anywhere near enough!
I backed this in 2015 and it was funded early 2016. As soon as I got it, I punched the board and left it, and nearly 4 years since its funding I’ve finally played it! It’s a semi cooperative family filler game for 3-5 players, but you can easily do 2 players with a ghost player, choosing random cards for them (we did and the ghost won!) Having learned and played it recently, I can guarantee it’s very short and easy to learn. The game relies on a team of Dungeon Busters going through dungeons, defeating monsters and getting loot. Players choose their attack powers in secret, playing lower power cards results in getting the loot, but not cumulatively beating the monster’s health means you lose loot! You’ve got to be deceptive and cooperative. Communication is essential for a good full run, but working together throughout is optional.
My only qualm is that the scoring at the end is a bit messy, you get points awarded for just about everything! Also, the monsters encountered are limited and the game’s replayability is hindered because of this. But again, there’s a big emphasis on filler! I personally enjoyed Dungeon Busters, but can’t see myself playing it frequently and on a regular basis. It’s clearly a good warm up/filler game but beyond that it struggles.
Escape the Nightmare
I adore this game. The purest definition of anarchy. The artwork is hideously gorgeous and is done by several artists to reflect the cards theme. Players take on nightmares and wardens in a really-time, communication and trading based game of match 4. It’s for 3-7 players but I can’t imagine a successful game with more than 5. You need to work together as a team to defeat Wardens of nightmares, all whilst being chased by something; requiring you to count down aloud whilst trading. You countdown for IT’S COMING from the outset for a set amount of time downwards until you trade the IT’S COMING card.
The timer resets when the IT’S COMING card is traded, but communicating amongst the madness can be impossible! It’s very easy to become lost in the game, and multitasking and tracking both yours and your team’s cards is essential. On top of this madness, each nightmare gives you a trait based on the most recent you received, some require you to do something, some prevent you from doing; lying always catches my group out, as does the ‘do not trade with’ cards. These are removed from you once you gain a new card but that can be hard to do! Wardens are defeated by collecting 4 of one type of one nightmare, and the IT’S COMING, and yelling pause! Then the cards are shuffled into the deck and the Warden is discarded. New cards are distributed to that player and a new Warden is drawn. The new Warden’s power takes immediate effect. If you are DOOMED once (lose), the game is forgiving and you get a single extra chance. After that, no second chances. Some of the nightmare types are also very unforgiving, the most obvious one to me being Abduction, where having a certain hand of cards means immediate failure.
My only qualm with this one is that it is heavily reliant on players following the rules unchecked. I trust my group and the people I play with, but understanding the rules and following them can be two entirely different things! Luckily, the game is versatile in the changing of difficulty and play type, although we have only won on the easiest difficulties.. My group struggle with the counting AND trading AND suffering. I love this game but my group despises it, which is why it’s not a frequent on my table!
The polar opposite of Escape The Nightmare! This game is for 2-6 players and is a maths/logic based game. It is very laid back and relaxed feel, and the artwork is beautiful! You need to think logically as a group as it is a completely cooperative game, no gunning it! It’s quick and easy to play and learn and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. You get two fates (1-7) drawn from a bag at random and play one on an Arcana card that will help the group guess he fate you played. If you get 2 and 5, and the ‘Difference between fates is exactly 3’ Arcana card, you’d ideally play a fate on that Arcana. Should you have no Arcana cards that match, you’d play it on the Hour card then move it to the right, which can be equally as helpful!
If the group guesses right, they move the fate track up, if they guess wrong and move the doom tracker up. The group doesn’t need to guess though! However players must remember that Arcana cards ‘fade’ (are discarded) after so many fates are played on them; if they fade on an incorrect or no guess, you move 2 extra doom!
The game is incredibly easy but unforgiving if poorly timed. This one is my partner’s absolute favourite filler, I personally find it too mathematical. Enough thinking and logic and you’re guaranteed a win, but we’ve never played with lots of players, where I can see the difficulty ramping up due to the pace that Arcana cards would fade.
Flanx (Previously called The One Minute Game/OMIGA)
This is without a shadow of a doubt the shortest, fastest paced filler game in this list. It’s only for 2 players only as the core rules go but there are lots of variants available, it comes with rule variants for toddlers/kids and a 4 player option.. The game is very lightweight, only requiring a table space. Quick to pick up and put down in public or on the go! It’s a dexterity and logic based game where more logical and tactical players easily do better. The aim of the game is to play types to flank your opponent or get behind their cards, all cards must match the pattern and players play at the same time.
Myself and my partner loved it. It’s easy to understand and quite fun. There isn’t a grand amount to say about this game sadly, it’s a pick up put down game but there isn’t a grand amount of excitement for the next game as it doesn’t have anything in it that resounds as memorable other than the actual gameplay at the time. It would probably be more appropriate to say the game is played in matches with two players pitting it off against one another. Still, I’d recommend it’s one you have in your collection if you’re a gamer on the go!