“That Through the Ages is a good game, but it’s too long, too complex, not accessible enough. We need to make it shorter, faster. I know! Let’s make Through the Ages meets Hearts!”
In the hands of Hollywood, that’s how we get the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; in the hands of Antoine Bauza, it’s how we get a masterpiece. Over three periods, you use a simple mechanic of pick a card, play a card, pass what’s left of the cards to the next person to build an empire of armies, markets, and secret societies – all of which lets you generate stones, wood, clay, money to build more, more, MORE! That being said, 7 Wonders may offer too many options and too many strategies for someone not deeply into boardgaming or who suffers from analysis paralysis. It’s a great game – one that you should introduce to people who like Dominion or Sushi Go.
Carcassonne is everywhere – at your local game store, at Target, likely in your house. If it’s not, stop now and go get it. It is so easy that you can – with minor modifications such as removing the farmer rules – teach it as young as six but, like poker, being truly good at it requires hard earned time spent being stabbed in the back. It’s a tile-laying game where you place meeples to claim castles, roads, cloisters, and farms/fields that you get points for when you complete them. You can teach it in just a couple minutes and play time will be around 30 minutes (longer as you add more expansions). But beware – as you play with more experienced players, it will be as much about denying your opponent that castle he or she has been working on as about completing your own projects. And, as a bonus sentence, go buy the app for whatever your platform of choice is. It’s one of the best implementations out there.
While sushi itself may give you worms, Sushi Go Party is nothing but a fit of giggles suitable for ages 5 up in a short 15-20 minutes. Based on the original Sushi Go card drafting game, the Party edition expands on it to give you more options of cards and actions. It maintains the same easy rules that can be taught, the same cute artwork, and the same set-making joy that forces people to decisions – do I take the card I want or do I deny my six year old daughter this other card, making her cry? One of the greatest improvements over 7 Wonders is that there is direct interaction cards, giving a bit more directness to being cutthroat without moving into the “take that” territory. Go buy it!