New Year Gaming

Hey PI-Fans,

Just a heads up if you aren’t already aware of our New Year Operating Hours. We’ll be closing early on the 7th and remaining closed on the 8th.

Anyway.

Over the Lunar New Year period, I’ll hopefully be spending time with friends and the section of family that doesn’t regard me as an abject failure for managing a Games Store and I expect many of you will be too.

Well, the spending time with friends and family part anyway. 😉

One thing I’ve found is keeping a couple of board games around during the period  works out pretty handy. Here are some of my personal recommendations for the New Year.

– Kenneth, Games @ PI Manager

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If Chinese New Year gatherings are anything like I remember, we’ll be looking for fast playing, simple to teach board games where you can clear the table in half-an-hour or less – that means no Twilight Imperium, folks. Games need to be portable too, so that rules out a good chunk of the board game market.

This simple criteria, therefore leads to me recommending a happy array of multi-player card games and a healthy spread of microgames.

 

Sushi Go
Number of Players: 2-5
Playing Time: 15-20 Minutes

A game of grabbing incredibly happy sushi off a restaurant conveyor belt, in Sushi Go, players grab cards representing various sushi offerings from hands of cards and adding them to their score pile before passing the hand of cards on to the next player. A game of snap judgement and planning ahead, the winner of Sushi Go will be the player who has chowed down on the greatest number of points at the end of the game.

 

Love Letter
Number of Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 15-20 Minutes

Love Letter is a game of courtly intrigue where players try to sneak love letters to the heir to the throne. With a deck consisting of 16 cards numbered from 1 to 8 representing courtiers and palace staff, players try to end the round with the highest value card in their hand while sabotaging the efforts of their rivals to do the same by using the abilities of the staff they are currently influencing to hinder the other players.


Saboteur

Number of Players: 3-10
Playing Time: 30 Minutes

A classic game of dwarven miners – a hidden team of Saboteurs must work to stop the industrious team of miners from striking gold and steal it for themselves in this race against the clock. Will the miners manage to place down enough tunnel cards to reach the gold before the deck runs out or will all the “sabo” cards being tossed around doom this expedition to failure?

 

The Resistance Avalon
Number of Players: 5-10
Playing Time: 30 Minutes

The Resistance Avalon is a hidden traitor style game where a small team of villains has infiltrated King Arthur’s Avalon with the goal of bringing about it’s collapse. The identity of these knaves is known to Merlin the Wizard, who while aiding the heroes in their quest to deduce the identities of the traitors among them, must keep his identity secret, for Mordred, leader of the traitors actively seeks his destruction, and if he identifies and slays the great wizard, all is lost.

 

Image previewThe Resistance Avalon
Number of Players: 3-8
Playing Time: 15 Minutes

A game of incredibly lost spies, Spyfall pits one player against the rest in a game of quick thinking and nebulous comments. At the start of a round, all players receive cards showing a location, except for one player receives a card that says “Spy” instead of the location. Players then start asking each other questions about their location, trying to deduce the which player has no idea what is going ob. But beware giving away too much information through the questioning, for if the spy can figure out where they are before they get caught, then everyone else loses.


Coup: Rebellion G54

Number of Players: 3-6
Playing Time: 15 Minutes

In the dystopian future, it doesn’t take much to launch a Coup, just a few bribes in the right pocket, and you intend to ride this tide of revolution to victory. In Coup: Rebellion G54, the last player with influence in the game wins, with influence being represented by face-down character cards in your playing area. Each player technically can only perform general actions or those allowed by their character. Of course, since your cards are face down, you’re allowed to lie through the teeth and actions always succeed unless challenged. Woe to the player who gets caught performing an illegal move however, for the penalty must be paid in influence, putting them that much closer to elimination.

 

BANG! The Dice Game
Number of Players: 3-8
Playing Time: 15 Minutes

In this blazing fast push-your-luck dice game of Wild West action, the outlaws have taken arms to kill off the sheriff, but the lawmen aren’t going down without a fight in this spin-off of the classic BANG! Card Game. In BANG! The Dice Game, players roll dice to try building sets of symbols. Players unhappy with their rolls can always push to reroll the dice, but the more they roll, the greater the chance of getting caught up in an Indian attack or getting blown away by Dynamite. Play continues until one team meets its winning condition – and death won’t necessarily keep you from winning as long as your teammates pull through!

 

Empire Engine
Number of Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 30 Minutes

 

Many people think of wargames as being a Risk level endeavor – this game can change that. A completely pocket sized wargame, Empire Engine places you in charge of the economy of a nation as you produce resources and wage war upon your neighbors.  During the game, players simultaneously choose actions to attack, defend or collect resources. The player who scores the most points for the goods, soldiers and inventions in their score pile at the end of the game is the winner!


Card of the Dead

Number of Players: 2-5
Playing Time: 15 Minutes

In the survival action card game Card of the Dead, players are trapped in a town full of zombies. In game terms, from a deck of cards containing zombies, items and events, players are dealt a hand of cards. Each turn, players draw a card. If the card’s a zombie, the player places it in front of himself; if not, he adds the card to his hand and plays one card of his choice. Certain items give the player a chance to flee. The player who first lays down a predetermined number of escape cards – or who is simply the last one alive – wins the game.

 

Image previewCards Against Humanity
Number of Players: 4-30
Playing Time: 30 Minutes

The infamous NOT SAFE FOR WORK  “party game for horrible people”, in Cards Against Humanity, players try to respond to open ended topic questions with the ‘best’ (or possibly most inappropriate) answer to score points. Designed to appeal to a very specific sort of humor, and even more likely to offend the sensitive sort, I have major qualms about placing this on the list, but if you’re hanging with the right sort of crowd this new year, go right ahead.