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emspace

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3
Go to the The 7th Continent page

The 7th Continent

8 out of 8 gamers thought this was helpful

I was very happy with this game for the first 2 sessions playing the Voracious Goddess curse scenario.

By the third session, my interest and excitement had worn off completely. Playing the next 7 sessions to finish the scenario was torture, even though we unwittingly cheated for the first 5 games until we realised what we misinterpreted what we were doing to shuffle discards back into the deck.

We also misunderstood a key card, or rather, didn’t realise we’d found an object that would’ve given us more information, so we spent 2 extra sessions wandering around looking for something we already had.

But had we interpreted the rules correctly to begin with, then proceeded towards the finish properly, playing the first scenario would still have been about 5 sessions, or 12 hours, too long.

The exploration is fun the first time through. But having to put everything away and respawn island tiles every session is tedious and the opposite of fun.

The character you start with gets no better with any of his/her available skills than they were to start with. You will pick up more advanced skills as you play, but these are not specific to any character. In fact, the longer you play, the less your character’s unique abilities matter.

There’s no real strategy; you make decisions based on the chances the group will succeed or not based on what skills or objects they’ve got in the moment.

Perhaps with repeat play, knowing where each island tile is and what’s on them, the decisions about building skills for characters could matter more?

I played this game in a group of 4, and perhaps it would play faster and be less tedious as a solo game. But the thought of setting it all up and organising cards on my own…feels more like work than play for me.

There were 3 more curses in the base game, plus we Kickstarted the second edition so we have expansion scenarios being delivered in March.

I never want to play this game again and I’ll consider those hours of my life I get back to be blessed. I would prefer to play Robinson Crusoe, die horribly of bee stings within 2 hours, and get on with my life.

Traded this for Gloomhaven.

WHO THIS GAME IS FOR:
• Solo (or 2) players who want to take their time (days and weeks and months of it) immersed in the story and world, agonising over every card draw.
[EDIT]
• Solo or 2 players who want to play a video adventure exploration game with cardboard and don’t mind having to fiddle with setup and tear down
• People with big tables to play on, perhaps even to leave the game state as is between sessions. This really helps minimize some of the tedium of reopening locations and speeds up the game while making it easier (by not having to turn over explore tiles again for spaces you’ve already seen before).
[/EIDT]

WHO THIS GAME ISN’T FOR:
• Groups of 3 or more who want to make strategic decisions that will matter.
• People who are averse to sorting and filing hundreds of cards over and over and over again.
• People who hope this will be like Myst. (Puzzles include Spot The Difference or Find The Hidden Number. So, really, there are no puzzles.)

8
Go to the Codenames: Pictures page
19 out of 19 gamers thought this was helpful

The mechanics of Codenames: Picture is the same as in the original Codenames: Two teams appoint one member each to be a “Spymaster” who will give one-word clues to their team to help them identify that team’s codename cards. The first team to identify all of their own cards wins. If a team chooses the card assigned to the assassin, they lose.

It’s a very simple set-up and the rules are easily explained. I’ve found it doesn’t take more than a couple of rounds before everyone gets the idea.

This does not mean the game play is as simple as it sounds.

In the original Codenames, since all the cards were words, the Spymasters were constrained by not being allowed to give clues that included any of the codename words laid out or included parts of any of those words. This added a level of difficulty in choosing the best clue word, and sometimes resulted in forfeiting the turn when a Spymaster accidentally picked a forbidden word.

With Codenames: Pictures there’s no restriction on not using the exact word to describe any element on any picture card in the grid.

A question that comes up with new players is, “so, why can’t the Spymaster just say ‘duck’ to point to a card with a duck on it?” Ah, well she can, but that might only result in that team identifying the single card, while the challenge is to identify as many cards as possible each turn to beat the other team. There’s no joy or tension or creativity with each team picking out only one card each turn.

The fun is also partly in having everyone get a chance to play the Spymaster in order to understand the challenge of coming up with the best clue to uncover the most of their own team’s cards at one time … without giving away any of the opposing team’s cards or, worse, the assassin’s card. Even when Spymasters make mistakes — which is bound to happen — this often ends in hilarity and group in-jokes for years to come.

Great high-five moments come when a Spymaster brilliantly picks a word that helps her team uncover 5 cards that don’t at first glance have any obvious similarity.

Other times, when spy teammates are arguing over which card to pick from the clue, it might come down to ceding to the person who best understands the mind of the Spymaster and what he might be thinking.

YOU WILL PROBABLY NOT LIKE THIS GAME IF:
• you can’t take teasing when you mess up
• you tend to take words or pictures too literally; or you get hung up on only one possible meaning for a word or one possible interpretation of an image
• you find illustrated drawings difficult to interpret
• you don’t like team competitions, even very friendly light-hearted ones

YOU WILL PROBABLY LIKE THIS GAME IF:
• you really enjoy word association games
• you enjoy lateral thinking challenges
• you enjoy games with lots of social interaction and table chatter
• you often get together groups of 4 or more friends or family who might not otherwise play board games
• you enjoy games with minimal set-up and break down and explanation for new players
• you want a game that is playable in any language

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