Rising Waters, Virulent Mutations, and Scary Monsters!

Gwen, Samantha, and I had a pretty active gaming weekend; a very nice change from the usual pattern, which would be Gwen falling asleep due to pregnancy and work-induced stress, and then me going upstairs to the game room to play something all by myself.  Well, actually, that’s exactly what happened on Friday night, but I was happy to get in a play of some solitaire Macao rules that I’ve been working on (and which I’ll post as soon as I get in another play and have a new computer to do some photoshop work for a player aid).

But anyway, the rest of the weekend was just packed with gaming!  Okay, “packed” may be a bit misleading, but we did play games on both Saturday and Sunday.  After Samantha was safely tucked in her bed on Saturday, Gwen and I pulled out Forbidden Island for another go.  I wanted to jack us up to “Elite” level, but left it at normal since it was only Gwen’s second game.  We had two mobility roles, with Gwen being the Diver and me being the Pilot.  The good thing was that it wasn’t a big deal for us to get back to Fool’s Landing once it was cut off from the rest of the island, but the bad thing was that it was hard to put together sets to claim the treasures.  We still managed to win, but it was with only a handful of tiles remaining and a notch or two away from death on the water level thingy.  We had fun, and will definitely continue to play this.

Before we turned in, though, we pulled out “the game that started it all” as far as Gwen and boardgames are concerned, Ticket to Ride.  As usual, we played the “Mega Game” from the 1910 expansion, using all the destination tickets, longest route and the globetrotter award.  Neither of us scored a ton of points, but Gwen still managed to beat me by a good 30 or 40. 

On Sunday, we didn’t go to church due to some utility issues there (it’s hard to take a pregnant woman to a place where the bathrooms don’t work), so we spent a good portion of the morning and some of the afternoon up in the game room.  The first thing that we did was to enjoy a game of Go Away Monster! as a family.  We took turns pulling pieces from the bag, shared them as needed, and told lots of monsters to “Go away!”.  Samantha definitely seems to enjoy this, and it just makes my heart super happy (as Kai Lan would say) to see her having fun with a game. 

Chip lent me Snail’s Pace Race a couple of weeks ago, so we then tried it out as well.  Unfortunately, Samantha doesn’t seem to have quite enough patience for rolling the dice, reading them (which she can do pretty well, since she’s got most of her colors down), and then moving only the correct snails.  She mainly wanted to play with the dice and snails, but since it’s not actually my game, I didn’t give her free reign with the bits.  Maybe I can try this again later when she’s a bit older. 

Our play of Forbidden Island got our juices flowing for Pandemic, so we ended up playing 2.5 games throughout the day while Samantha played alone.  In all three, we used both the Mutation and Virulent Strain challenges with 5 epidemic cards.  Both of the games we completed resulted in the end of humanity… but at least it was a colorful and interesting end (as you can see below).  We sort of ran out of time in the third game, so there’s still a game of Pandemic set up in the game room.  Hopefully, it will end better.    

Now, I haven’t been as pretentious as some other bloggers recently (love ya, Eric), but I too have been recently added to Out of the Box‘s press list, and had a big box o’ (free) games arrive at my house last week.  So Gwen and I got in a play of both 7ate9 and Harry’s Grand Slam Baseball in between longer games over the weekend.  

7ate9 is exactly what I thought it would be; a fast and fun real-time game of card manipulation and simple math.  Similarly, Mark Johnson‘s frequent descriptions of Harry’s Grand Slam Baseball were also very accurate.  It’s a very simple back-and-forth baseball-themed card game, but it does actually “feel” like a real game in a lot of ways.  It’s very random, but there’s a modicum of hand management involved, so I had fun with it.  

Samantha celebrates our “win” in Go Away Monster!


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