02CD0: Saturday Game Testing

Sunday Whale to Look

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 1212

Last night was pretty chill and Tobie and I spent the night experimenting with late-night keto food options and testing some of our newer games. As much as we enjoy having friends and family over for board games, we still have fun when it's just the two of us. And typically, nights like that are better dedicated to learning games together so that we can teach them to others during future game nights.

Our first explorations for the night were our newer Oink games. This Japanese publisher is dedicated to creating small box (think calling card box-sized) games that turn out to be surprisingly complex, which I suppose is very Japanese. We love a lot of their creations and they're always nicely surprising. Order Overload: Cafe is one of their more party-oriented games and one of the first cooperative games we've gotten from them. It's all about rattling off more and more coffee shop orders and the players needing to remember those orders. Tobie and I only got as far as Level 5 (out of 7), but it was still fun. Then we tried Whale to Look, which could have been a problematic theme given Japan's relationship with whaling, but it's actually both clever and adorable. It's not about whale hunting - instead, it's about tour operators bringing tourists out to see to spot whales. And I'm totally on board with that theme.

Our last two games were pretty random but both were different kinds of fun. Singaporean-crafted Oh My. Orchids! is more of an abstract card game that's a bit of a point salad experience with flowers. The economy is rather tight but it still plays pretty well. Tobie had mixed feelings about the art since the flowers don't super pop out at you, but I get that they went for more realistic-style art that feels like they're out of some botanical reference book versus really giving the flowers some vibrancy. And our last game for the night was Star Trek: Missions, which is a reskin of Fantasy Realms. We've never played the game that it was based on but were pleasantly surprised but how this version went. While I'm not a big fan of their washed-out art style (photo references made translucent against rainbow-esque color gradients), but the game itself is fun. The Mission cards give you sort of internal goals to aim for and the set of personnel and equipment cards end up following the mission like a sort of theme or an indirect story. For example, our last game had Tobie collecting non-Federation cards to depict the Klingon-Romulan war while I had a bunch of artificial folks because I went for a Trapped on the Holodeck scenario. Such fun!

Today we're waiting for family to come over for more gaming. I've tried to tidy up the Sietch as best as I can before they get here but it'll never feel quite up to snuff because it's my parents.