Game Night: Week 111

Pandemic- Photograph courtesy of The Board Game Family

Barret smirked, “She likes to win.”

I wasn’t quite sure what Barret was hinting at- of course I enjoy winning, but I also realize it’s not the most important part of a good game night. What keeps friends friendly and coming over for more game nights is a big wheel of camembert cheese, a couple of glasses of wine, and good-natured rivalry.

And of course the games.

Pandemic:

Despite the name, this game inspires friendly camaraderie and is good choice when playing with sore losers (note to Barret- that does not include me). Pandemic is one of those few games where either everyone wins or they all lose.

Each player has a different role with a special skill they can use as they travel around the globe curing disease, building research centers, and preventing further outbreaks. It is a fun strategy game, but because of its all-or-nothing approach to winning I wouldn’t describe this game as addictive. I mean, there are only so many times you can save the world without trash-talking other players.

Dominion

Dominion:

The first thing that struck me about this game was the amount of cards in the box- it looked a library card catalog. Thankfully you don’t have to put all five billion cards in play; they are just there for different options and variations. Because of this, the game play is significantly longer than Pandemic.

To start, the player begins by purchasing services like a blacksmith, village, or market before upgrading money and then eventually buying titled land. Although the design and illustration choices leave much to be desired (why would a gold coin card and silver coin card use the same image?), the most important part of a fun game is its playability.

In this regard I think it really depends on the group- Dominion could either be an overly lengthy exercise in card shuffling or it could be a strategic game of kingdom building. I don’t want to call myself a shark, but let’s just say I won because I was counting cards.

Monopoly Deal

Monopoly Deal:

 Seriously? Growing up I had played more than enough Monopoly to last a lifetime. In fact, Monopoly had a monopoly at my house: Texopoly, Star Wars Monopoly, Disney Monopoly, and of course Monopoly Monopoly.

I was so completely over that game.

With a top up of red wine and a handful of olives, if I hadn’t been dealt a hand I would have sat this one out.

All of the properties traditionally represented in the board game were still there, however the simple and clean graphic design reminded me a little more of Uno than of its namesake. After a few rounds I came to the conclusion that Hasbro had realized what was missing from the board version (fun, speed, deception and portability) and had finally included it in the card game.

I was really surprised at how much I was enjoying the game and I’m not just saying that because I won. Really.

About: Pandemic, Dominion, Monopoly Deal

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