In June 2018, I reviewed three games; let’s take a look at what I think of them now, one year later.
This is still one of my wife’s favourites, unfortunately my daughter doesn’t agree, so it doesn’t hit the table as often as it deserves.
Over the last year or so a couple of expansions have appeared, developing the gameplay to include such things as cobblestones, the effects of weather, breakaways, muscle teams, and something that I’m interested in, solo play.
The solo rules come in the Peloton expansion, unfortunately it hasn’t been easy to get hold of recently though, as it has been out of stock – re-stock expected imminently!
What I really like about this game is the fact that it is so easy to teach and play, and yet has a delightful array of strategy hiding behind its simple game mechanisms. Things won’t become obvious on the first play-through or two, but slowly understanding dawns, as you work out differing methods of making the most of your two riders.
Tactics such as blocking off the road at the peak of a hill – one that my wife has become particularly adept at – are a joy when pulled off, but the main meat of the game is contained in what cards to use, and thus discard, and which to re-cycle.
Ideally you want to play Sprinteur cards that enable you to follow behind your Rouleur, and make use of his slipstream, and if need-be, your Rouleur takes all the exhaustion cards. Of course, it’s never that easy, mainly due to the cards in each of your cyclists decks differing just enough to make it difficult for you, and you’ll be wanting to save all your big numbers for a fast finish – or are you willing to try a breakaway?
Its simple and fast gameplay make this a joy to play, and with a theme that differs from the usual run of the market, it means it’s unlikely to get replaced once in your gaming library; plus, it can be fun to play with the kids.
One year on – I still really enjoy playing Flamme Rouge and think it’s a great game, it’s just a little unfortunate that its theme doesn’t appeal to everyone, so it’s not getting to the table as often as I’d like.
If you’ve got 10-minutes to spare and want a game to occupy everyone, then you can’t go far wrong with this, especially if introducing it for the first time.
Set it up, let everyone pick a playing piece, and then, to show everyone how to play, you go first – simples!
There are a few very light tactics you can use, but on the whole it’s just a fun, simple game, that looks good, especially those playing pieces – apart from the baby poo brown of course!
Anyone can win, and that in itself is a good thing with a game like this. Yes there’s player elimination, but lets face it, the whole game is only going to take a few minutes more once you get knocked out, and even the youngest of children shouldn’t have a problem with that.
If you’re considering buying Tsuro, it may also be worth checking out Tsuro of the Seas and Tsuro: Phoenix Rising. The former adds sea monsters, which will devour your ship if moved onto it and also removes your tiles as it randomly moves around the board.
Phoenix Rising, released this year, introduces a new board that allows tiles to be flipped during play. It also has life tokens and some pretty neat player tokens, though I have to admit I still prefer the original ones.
Both of these offer the same offer similar gameplay to the original, just with more bells and whistles, and at a slightly higher cost – you pays your money, you takes your pick; for me, I just like the charm of the original.
One Year On – A fun 10-minute filler, ideal for those moments when you’ve got a house full of non-gamers to entertain!
Sometimes you come across game that is innovative, colourful and family friendly, and yet nobody wants to play it – for us, that’s Concept.
The idea of placing cubes to represent concepts and give the other players clues to your phrase is a novel one, but somewhere along the way Concept has lost the ‘concept’ of being fun. If you struggle to guess the first few phrases, then it all becomes a bit frustrating and, well, boring, but really it shouldn’t.
As a family we often, somehow, fall in to the odd game of charades, and we have a good laugh together whilst playing it. So what is it about Concept that puts everyone off?
I’ve though about this; I’ve talked to everyone I’ve managed to get to play it; I’ve watched others playing it in video’s, and many appear to get on with it; so here’s my conclusion – for the kind of game it is, it’s just too damn difficult!
Charades is fun, simple to play and makes everyone laugh at the person whose trying to act out that well-known film title. Anyone can play, even if they get a bit confused when trying to tell you it only has one syllable and rhymes with trampoline!
But playing Concept isn’t; you really have to stop and think, especially if you’re the one giving the clues, and everyone just has to be on the same wavelength, otherwise they’ll never have a shout at getting it right.
Now I know for a fact that, if you put the time into playing it, and everyone starts to gel with the clue giver, then this can be a rewarding game – but I’m sorry, for us it just hasn’t been fun, and a game like this should be, so now it hides away at the bottom of the shelves, awaiting a new home.
One year On – I’m sure this game will work for the right kind of group, but for us there are better ways to spend our time.