A year has gone by since my review, so, what are my thoughts now? Well, Nusfjord is, er, nice!
Nice. Now there’s a word. For Nusfjord it is a double-edged sword, I mean, if you described a car as ‘nice’, would you go out and buy one? If you had a meal at a restaurant, which you thought was nice, would you leave a big tip? Didn’t think as much.
On the other hand, you wouldn’t mind driving around in that car or eating that meal either, you just wouldn’t go out of your way to do it or want to pay the asking price. This is Nusfjord.
Everything about this worker-placement game, from the artwork and components to the gameplay, can be described as nice. I enjoy playing it. My daughter thinks it’s okay, even my wife doesn’t mind the odd game and she’s a non-gamer. But whenever we’re trying to decide what to play, Nusfjord never gets a mention… shame really!
You see, in amongst all that niceness is a highly enjoyable game. Yes, it can be a bit like you’re all playing a solo game together, but there are many games that share that feeling. And the theme isn’t going to win any prizes, as building your fishing village can only be described as, well, nice. But it does have a few things in its favour. It has a simplicity about it that makes it easy to get back into, even after a long spell away (it has an excellent set of rules to thank for that) and the game time is finally balanced, long enough to feel satisfying, but not too long that it overstays its welcome.
Though it is simple to play it also has a good deal of depth to it that rewards repeat play – getting to know what cards are in the decks and how they work together is a big benefit. This, though, has probably been one reason why I haven’t played it solo anywhere near as much as I’d expected. It’s one of the few games my wife will play, and so I don’t want to go into a game with the unfair advantage of knowing it inside out and being able to rack up a decent score without too much effort. As an occasional player, she’s never going to get that insight into the game, and I want her to enjoy the experience, not feel like she’s there just to make the numbers up.
As for the solo game, I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s made me think and stretched me to try and do better. Maybe, because I haven’t played it as often as I’d like, is why I still do enjoy it. If I’d got to the point where I felt I could no longer improve on my score, then I may have lost the love for it, but playing every now and then brings out the competitiveness in me and I work hard to beat my last score.
And so, the game might just come out once or twice a year, but at least it’s still getting played, and if my wife enjoys it then it gets a big thumbs up from me. Nusfjord, it’s a really nice game!
Knowing what I know now, would I still have bought it? Remember what I said earlier, about that nice car or meal? Well, I got the game for a bargain price of £17, so it was a no brainer really. If I’d had to pay the full RRP of £50+, then that’s all so a no brainer, it’s nice, but not that nice!
Will it remain in my collection? Certainly. It is one of the rare few games my wife will play. It’s a game that easily introduced to others, though maybe not total non-gamers, and everyone will have a ‘nice’ time. It also has a pretty good solo variant, which I really like, and so it’s here to stay.
One Year On – I’ve found that Nusfjord has many positives and very few, if any negatives, but it doesn’t set me a light with the want to play. It’s a good competitive game to play with friends and family, as long as everyone’s on even terms with the game, otherwise an advantage can be had by a player with greater experience. It isn’t an aggressive worker-placement game either, as there is always something for you to do if others have taken the action you really wanted, and you never feel disadvantaged. There’s a decent amount of depth, enough to give my old grey matter a good warm up, and it’s interesting to see how the cards work in conjunction with one another. I really like the solo variant, though I just haven’t got it to the table as much as I’d like, for reasons mentioned above, but that may change. What more can I say, Nusfjord is just too damn nice for its own good!