So here's the review of Lift-Off, over on No High Scores. It's a fun game, but I have to admit that I'm disappointed that it isn't just a little more kid-friendly. It has enough "game" there, not to mention Euroglyphics, that keeps its more accessible qualities behind the hobbyist wall. Sort of like how Pompeii has all of that weird set-up and a two act structure. This one has a moon thing going on that I do not like that sort of interferes with the more simple (and more fun) semi-co-op elements of it. It does look really good, and if you like a little take that in the mix it's there. Overall not bad at all, and probably one to look at if you want to entertain some older kids or gamers that want something similar to Survive! but with a little more to consider.
Forbidden Stars has landed. So far, after soloing it a bit last night, it feels good. There is some StarCraft in there and you can tell that design was a starting point, but it definitely feels like it's own thing. I get a sense that it may actually be better for two than for three or four, with the four player game likely resulting in not much more than longer games. I think three might be pretty interesting because of how the objectives and the map work. I'm not sold on the combat just yet- it is awfully kludgy with temporary vs. persistent attack/defense points, routing, card effects and a bunch of potentially cluttersome elements but I've also not seen how it works F2F with another player dropping cards yet. I can see why some folks were complaining that the combat is long- it is definitely not an engage, die roll, done affair.
There are some nice VERY abstract economy things going on that I like, I like how you get the fun of orbital bombardment without a bunch of extra ship rules or anything like that, and overall I'm impressed at how smooth it all seems. It is definitely a FFG design so those looking for a return to that kind of thing will likely be impressed. But the good news is that it seems like a return to the good kind of FFG design. More like Chaos in the Old World, less like Horus Heresy.
I still don't feel like there is $100 worth of product in the box...with that said, I'm actually kind of shocked at how alternately economical and extravagant it is. The miniatures are really good and there's plenty of them, but the card decks and chits are pretty much bare minimum in terms of quantity. I appreciate that
Also, dials. I swear FFG must have a desk where someone is paid to figure out how a dial can go into every game.
Having a buddy over tonight for a couple of late night Old Fashioneds and most likely a learning game of it...I think I have it down, we'll see how it teaches. He's played StarCraft, so it shouldn't be too bad.
I've got a full set of VPG's Darkest Night on the way. I've been wanting to try it and I've also had a hankering for some of that ol' VPG magic so that seemed like the way to go. Sure do wish that 2nd edition of Nemo's War would get the hell on out. I've actually been playing Infection: Humanity's Last Gasp on the phone, it's quite good. It's more or less a 1:1 transposition of the board game. It's well presented and I think it's one of those that kind of renders the physical game obsolete. It's pretty abstract, you're basically trying to make sets of protein chains (yee ha) to eliminate viruses. But if they get out of hand, they start wiping out humanity. There's a little economical element - everything costs money to do and you hire scientists and buy equipment to help. The first couple of scenarios are pretty easy but then around #5 it suddenly gets pretty freakin' hard. Good little game, glad I checked it out kind of on a whim.
Next week- Tigris & Euphrates, a game I have never officially reviewed.