There are games for all people, all occasions and all tastes. We have covered a number of them, from the comedic stylings of Last Will, to the po-faced politics, warfare and diplomacy of Rex. Today, I’m going to talk about three small, quick games that sit in my desk at work, that frequently get played with a few colleagues during our lunch hour. So, grab your sandwich and your cup of tea and get ready to play some games.
Age of War
You are a feudal lord during the Warring States period of Japanese history. You are ambitious and you know you must conquer certain castles to become ruler of the land. You send messengers to your loyal lords, and tell them to bring what troops they can. When the first troops start trickling in, you’ll make your move.
Age of War is a dice rolling game about collecting sets of castles. Each castle card has a set of requirements necessary to roll to capture that castle. Each requirement is made up for a mixture of cavalry, archer, infantry, and general (or daimyo) symbols, which correspond to the different faces on the dice you roll. Roll the dice, and match one set of requirements from the dice you roll (for example, archer and cavalry). Roll the remaining dice, and try to match another requirement. Miss a requirement, and lose a dice anyway! Meet each of the requirements, and the castle is yours. There are a number of castles to capture, either from the middle of the table, or from your opponents already captured castles.
This game is quick, usually finishing in less than 20 minutes, and everyone can get involved easily. Everyone knows how to roll a dice and match a symbol. The randomness of the dice ensures plenty of last grasp defeats and victories, ensuring everybody has a good time. At the same time, the closer you get to claiming a castle, the less dice you have, meaning your chances of getting that castle are reduced. Designed by Reiner Knizia, published by Fantasy Flight Games, this small, affordable box is a fun, push your luck game with gorgeous cards and great custom dice.
Deep Sea Adventure
You attach your helmet, check your oxygen, and follow your air hose back to the central oxygen tank. The oxygen tank. Which you share with your most bitter rivals. Curse the lack of funding for treasure divers. It’s bad enough those scoundrels are sharing a submarine with you, but oxygen too! If those so called treasure hunter pick up too much treasure, breathe too much oxygen, it could be the end of YOU!
Deep Sea Adventure is a small game from Japanese publisher Oink Games! The graphic design is simple, yet effective, and the game overall looks great. In this game you are a diver trying to acquire the most treasure over three rounds. But the more treasure you’re holding, the more oxygen you consume and the slower you move.
This game is essentially roll a dice and move your dude. But it’s different from those roll and move games of your childhood. First, you’re not rolling a single six sided dice, you’re rolling two six sided dice, with the number ranging from 1 to 3 on each dice. This means the potential numbers you can roll is smaller (2 to 6) and certain numbers, like 4, will appear more often. In addition the more treasure you carry, the slower you move. 1 piece of treasure reduces your roll by 1 point.
This all comes together to make a tense game of push your luck, where you’re never quite sure if you should keep going to find more treasure and run the risk of passing out and dropping all the treasure you do have, or pushing onward for one more round to get more treasure. It’s fun, challenging, and everyone I have played it with, in work and in different game groups, love it.
Ohkyuu no Sasayaki (aka Palastgefluster)
You are at the royal court. Plots are afoot. Sinister plots. Of course, you are plotting too, but you don’t want the King to know that. How do you stop the others from advancing their plots? Simple. The palace staff will whisper of the plots to each other, but if two or more of the same staff are seen together, well, then the King will get suspicious and you’ll rise in his estimation!
I feel like I’m cheating a little with this; one of my colleagues brought this back from a recent trip to Japan, and I don’t think it’s available in English. It is a Japanese edition of a German game where you’re trying to get six of the seven characters in the game played in front of you. Similar to the incredibly popular micro-game Love Letter, when you play one of the characters in front of you, they trigger some kind of action: swap a card with the deck, swap a card with another player, show your hand to the everyone at the table etc. If you get six different characters in front of you, you get a point. If you get a duplicate character in front of you, everyone else gets a point! First player to six points wins, or in our case, whoever has the most points at the end of lunch wins!
This is a relatively new addition to the lunch games rotation, but we’re enjoying it immensely so far. The art is gorgeous, reminiscent of Final Fantasy in many ways. The game is about clever card play: even if you can’t win, try to make another player lose! Of the games I’ve mentioned so far, it’s probably the one that requires the more brain power and thinking, which can be a nice change in and of itself!
So, there you have it! The three games that grace our lunch time and keep us entertained. Do you play games at lunch, or have you played any of the games mentioned above? Let us know what you think!