Writing on game components is BARBARISM. At least it used to be.
I've got two for you this week- one that about five of you will care about, one that maybe one of you will care about. First up is my Head to Head with Kyle Mann over GMT's Talon. I waffled on it a bit, wavering between three and four stars on it but I realized that what it does- making a SFB/FedCom style game highly playable and fun is definitely worth the higher mark, although I think something is lost in the streamlining and the game's fiction is…better left undiscussed. Kyle gave it five stars, which I think is over the mark, but that's how he saw it. Here's the link for that one.
The other item is the new Iello reprint of Wolfgang Kramer/Michael Kiesling classic, Mexica. This was the third of the Ravensburger/Rio Grande "Mask" trilogy and it seemed to never quite get the attention that Tikal and Java did. Which is a shame, because this one is really just as good. It's a good game with lots of aggressive blocking, some area control, some building and of course action point budgeting. The new edition has cool resin buildings and a warpity-warp board. Here's that link.
Aside from that, I haven't played a whole lot this week after having a minor surgery (guts were poking out of my body) so I've not been out nor have I had folks over. I did do a little solo messin' around with Shadowrun: Crossfire, which I got in a "why the hell not" trade. It's super dorky, it really puts me back into the late 80s and early 90s. It comes with a full background book that reads like an RPG setting guide. Other than reminding me of the feckless days of youth, I dunno, it's pretty unremarkable. Either that, or I think I might actually hate the game. There's virtually nothing in the game that I find compelling, interesting or even average. It all just feels very low-end, like the kind of game you buy when you just start getting into games and you think it's awesome... but you really haven't played much else so you don't know any better. It feels kind of like a mish-mash of ideas better served elsewhere The sticker thing on the cards is kind of dumb, but whatever. It's on trend. I love how the game goes to great lengths to make it seem like an RPG (You pick a race! You pick a class! You spend money and can level up!) but at the end of the day it is about playing the right color cards to move a marker. And it's co-op, so you can play those color cards on OTHER player's cards, whoo ha. I've got the expansion and the character pack mixed in, I really have no idea what is what at this point or if anything makes it materially better. Pretty sure this one is on the outbound.
I'm awaiting the arrival of Titus Tentacle today from HABA. I've loved every HABA game I've played lately, so maybe they'll score another hit with me.