Big Silver Masquerade
We played some great games this weekend. We got to revisit some games (Irish Gauge and ClipCut Parks) and explore some new ones. We had something old, something new, and something blue (or at least the cover was). Now let’s get to it.
The first game of the night was Big Dig from Tasty Minstrel Games. According to some folks at the table, Big Dig feels like the NES Classic Dig Dug, but I can’t confirm because I avoid manual labor at all costs, even in digital form.
In the game of Big Dig, each player receives identical player boards and a dry erase marker. Then three goal cards reveal the player objectives throughout the game. They consist of digging from one area to another or digging up objects buried in the dirt.
Players dig by drafting cards depicting polyomino shapes (think Tetris) that determine their dig pattern. Once all of the cards are selected, players flip the cards over, and the drafting begins again. The first player to complete all of their objectives wins.
Big Dig is a simple modification of the roll-and-write genre with easy to learn rules that should appeal to a wide range of gamers. It can be intense waiting and hoping that no one takes that perfect shape before you, which makes the game engaging. There is plenty of replayability from the goal cards and the double-sided player boards, and the manual labor is negligible.
If the theme appeals to you, I recommend giving it a try.
The Grimm Masquerade
The Grimm Masquerade is a social deduction game I can get behind. I love deduction games, but I usually don’t care for the bluffing that goes with determining the identity of the other players at the table. If the police ever questioned me, I would fold like a chair.
The Grimm Masquerade solves this with card play that eliminates uncomfortable acting and red-faced embarrassment. Each player is dealt a secret, fairy-tale identity such as Cinderella or the Big Bad Wolf. These characters are trying to collect some artifacts and avoid others. For example, Cinderella is trying to collect three glass slippers while avoiding two clocks.
Each turn, a player draws two artifact cards and must keep one and give one to another player. If a player gets three of their “boon” cards, they win the round. Likewise, players are eliminated when they receive two of their “bane” cards.
When a player collects two identical cards that aren’t their “bane” cards, the other players learn more about that player’s identity. As a bonus, those two cards can be traded in to activate special powers throughout the round. The game plays over three rounds. Each round ends when one player collects their three boon cards, or there is only one unidentified player left.
I like The Grimm Masquerade. The theming is amazing, in part because of the jaw-dropping artwork. The rounds go by fast, and there is no downtime. Every action in this game has value, and the meta of this game intensifies the more you play it. I found myself trying different strategies each round, and trying to bluff and double-bluff without feeling like an improv actor trying to say something witty. I approve!
You may recall that Silver was one of the games I was anticipating. If you want to refresh your memory, you take a look here. In fact, I might do that right now too. One sec…
Ok, let me start by saying this game did not disappoint. It was everything I expected, and I enjoyed playing it in an analog world.
The artwork is fun and immersive, and the production is top-notch. Amen to the folks at Bezier Games for making an insert that handles card sleeves right out of the gate. Oh get off your high horse, I don’t sleeve everyone of my games, just ones I think will hit the table a lot. Silver is going to get played.
|Doug Kotecki is the Chief Curator at Tabletop Game Gallery, and even though his brain tells him not to, he still loves Taco Bell.