Social Isolation Report – Days 22-28

Day 22 – Chronicles of Crime (Print and Play)

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Day 22, I played Chronicles of Crime, the free scenario. Chronicles of Crime is a game about solving crimes.  During the game, you’ll be using your phone to scan in locations, suspects, and evidence.  Once you think you’ve got it, you return to the police station and present the case.  The app will then tell you if you are correct in certain areas.  Based on how well you do, and in what time you complete it you’ll get a rating for completing the task. It doesn’t reveal the correct criminal unless you have it.  So you can look at replaying that scenario.

I’m not one to usually like games that require apps to run.  This is usually because I fear for the longevity of the game.  It works now, but will I still be able to get the app and play the game years down the line? With that being said, I found this game plays really well and has changed my views on app based games.  While I still have my worries about the longevity, the game play certainly made up for that.

I like that you’re playing out an episode of your favorite crime drama. I’m a fan of CSI, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. I found the ability to use VR technology to inspect the crime scene to gather clues was fun.  Then piecing the clues together and proposing the suspect to the captain was engaging and fun. Now, this game might not be for everyone due to how it’s played.  This says this game plays 1-4 players, but it’s just giving roles to the players. Everyone is working together, throwing ideas off each other and it’s trial and error with those ideas.

Day 23 – Hearthstone

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Day 23 I played Hearthstone. I know, I know. This isn’t a board game, and it’s an app.  This week was a little rough for board games daily, but I managed to get a game in every day.  Hearthstone is a CCG, or collectible card game, published by Blizzard Entertainment. It is based off their World of Warcraft lore. In this two player game, players are creating 30 card decks using different classes and fighting each other.

I used to play this a lot, but then drop out of it due to other focuses and lack of time. Well, social isolation will have you looking to fill your time. I downloaded it again, and found they had a lot more cards to explore.

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Not so CCG.  What I like about this game is how you can break down cards in your collection and create cards you want or need. This means if you do the daily quests and buy the free packs of cards you can eventually make the cards you want.

My favorite deck to play just got upgraded. I like playing a Hunter class and having lots of explosive cards in there. Literally. I like the minions and cards that bring bombs onto the field and hit random enemies.  It’s a control deck where I’m destroying minions the opponent brings out and filling my board with weak minions that when they die throw bombs. Then I destroy my minions and laugh as everything explodes. It’s great fun.

Day 24 – Dinosaur Island (Solo)

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Day 24 I played Dinosaur Island. This is a worker placement game with dice rolling, and tile placement. The solo version uses a deck of cards that double as your objectives.  During the game, you’ll play 7 rounds and try to complete 7 objectives. The earlier rounds you complete your objectives, the more points you’ll get. If you don’t complete a objective in a round, you have to discard an objective.

The solo cards are also used to simulate another players actions. At the beginning of the round, flip over the solo card and remove dice and items in the market based on the card. It’s really easy and frustrating to follow.  Frustrating because you might be banking on a die or item in the market for the next turn.  Still, easy and creates tense moments in the solo version.

Dinosaur Island is a bit of a table hog.  There’s four phases that use game boards and the score board. Then, there’s a bag of meeples to keep on the table, and the phase 2 board also uses space around the board to set up.  Each player then gets a phase 3 and 4 board, meaning at a total of 4 players, there will be 11 game boards on the table. . .

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The Jurassic Park fan in me loves this game!  The 90s kid in me loves the art and color of the game!  The components are top notch. Recessed play boards, dinosaur meeples, and the dice. I have a problem. I like dice too much. These are some of my favorite dice in a game currently. They’re amber colored, big, and chunky.  Each one is slightly different too, so each game has a different outcome when playing it.

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Game play, there is a lot when first playing this game.  I like that they break it down into the different phase and that phases 3 and 4 can be done almost simultaneously. Phase 1, you’re using your scientist to claim Dino-DNA, expand your dinosaurs you can create, or even gain another worker. The scientists come in different values, probably based on their years in the field, and that can change how much DNA you extract. Phase two, you’re taking turns buying items from the market. These can be upgrades to your lab, attractions, and staff. There’s a rotating market where things eventually fall out as new things come in. Phase 3 is the main worker placement. You’re using your workers around the park to create dinosaurs, increase security, get money, upgrade enclosures, or research DNA. Phase 4 is your park board. You’ll be placing tiles collected here. Then, based on how exciting your park is, you draw meeples from a bag.  Some meeples don’t make you any money.  The attractions and enclosures will earn you points or money based on the area.  Careful, if the threat level is too high and your security is too low, a dinosaur might escape and kill a visitor. This is bad for business, so you won’t get the points or money that visitor would have earned.

That’s a really quick breakdown.  I enjoyed all the different phases and how the game changes each play. There’s different dice, dinos, staff, attractions that come out.  Then I like the discussions of filling your park up, upgrading your enclosures, or making sure it’s safe and secure.

Day 25 – Solar Draft

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Day 25 I played Solar Draft. This is a drafting card game about creating a solar system. It involves cute art on all the different cards. Building your system of 8 planets. Planning your drafts and playing the best planets you can.  You can read the review here. I enjoyed this one because of the ease of it and the cute art.

 

Day 26 – Galaxy Trucker (App)

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Day 26 I played Galaxy Trucker in App form. Galaxy Trucker is a tile placement real time game. Players are racing against the timer trying to build their gilapi of a space ship and go out trucking. Along the way, they’ll encounter different planets they can get supplies from, abandoned stations to raid, space pirates, meteors, and fly through war zones. Based on your space ship, you’ll either succeed or fail some of these obstacles. Sometimes meteors and lasers will hit your ship and destroy part of it. When it does, you’ll lose money at the end of the round.  If you ever don’t have crew members or thrusters you can be forced out of the round.

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The app pulls the frantic build of your ship into a small screen. I like that you’re planning out your ship, trying to plan on any obstacle that comes your way, and praying it all comes together like you planned. Then, a series of unfortunate events tears your ship apart. The app adds a campaign aspect to the game. You’re picking the planets you’re flying to and doing missions based on those routes.  You can upgrade the shape and size of your ship.  It’s a fun way to waste some time at the end of the day. I really like this adaptation of a board game into app form.

 

Day 27 – Ghostbusters: Protect the Barrier Game

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Day 27, I played a version of Ghost Fightin’ Treaure Hunters. This one is based on the remake of Ghostbusters that came out in 2016. Yes, I’m acknowledging that the movie was made. I’ll leave it at that. Ghostbusters: Protect the Berrier is a cooperative game that involves dice rolling and a tiny bit pick up and deliver. You’re trying to remove all the devices from the game board before the building gets overrun by ghosts.

This has quickly become a family favorite.  I wasn’t expecting too much from the quality as this was a reskinning and pushed to profit off the movie. Well, the movie didn’t do so good, so the game didn’t sell too many copies. You can probably find it pretty cheap online. The quality is still pretty good. The figures are a nice plastic, there’s some tokens which have a nice thickness to them, and the dice are good quality. No stickers to put on, so that’s a plus.

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Game play is easy. There’s a movement die you roll. You add a ghost to a room if there’s a ghost on the die face, and then you move your character. You pick up any devices in your room. You then can fight ghosts that are in your room. You need to roll the color of the ghost on a different die to fight it off. You can’t leave a room if you have the device and there is a ghost.

Ghosts multiply. When the deck of cards runs out, or you get the shuffle card, you shuffle the discard pile back into the deck.  This means rooms will start getting multiple ghosts. As soon as you reach 3 ghosts in a room, then the ghost gets upgraded to a green ghost. Those are harder to fight off. Once there are 6 green ghosts on the board, you lose the game. You win the game if you remove all the devices before that happens.

This is a nice switch for the kids. Usually they’re all about winning the game and beating the other players. Competition is strong between them. It’s nice to have a game that we’re all working together and trying to achieve the same goal.  What tops that is the ease of the game. Roll, add a ghost, move, collect, fight, and repeat. So the game you’re working together to try and clear rooms and collect devices. For us, there was a comedic element to the game play when we were fighting different ghosts and rolled what the other needed. Then again that happened. And again. And again.

 

Day 28 – Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (D&D 5E)

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Day 28, I played a session of D&D 5E. Now, I did this over Tabletop Simulator and Jitsi Meet. I tried using the Steam voice chat, but we were getting some feedback from it so we switched to something we knew would work. I had myself and 6 players in the sessions, and wasn’t sure what to expect with playing this way.

Overall it worked really well.  The table I used to play on, digital and loaded with extras, have everything we needed. That’s if we chose to use them. Most of use ended up using real dice and being honest about the rolls. There were digital dice, dice towers, and calculators in the game if we needed them.

It wasn’t too bad to use the game. I did accidentally delete part of the table, things got knocked around, and it was a little shaky to begin.  We soon got our footing, and ended up playing a 3.5 hour session. I feel confident that the next timer we play it will be better.

I liked that I was able to set up the maps, monsters, and everything before we started. I was then able to use a Fog tool to hid things I didn’t want the party to see. Then, with a click, I could reveal the next room.

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Overall, a good week for gaming. Some news and an extension from the government means that I’ll be keep playing more games throughout the next couple weeks. I’ll try to do a new game every day. However, I’m taking the next couple days off to spend more dedicated time with my kids during this Easter weekend. We can’t do a lot, but we can make the weekend fun and entertaining with them.  Now, off to create another Lego robot, color, or play a superhero game.  The last one isn’t a board game, and it should be called “I always lose.” Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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