02CFA: Gaming Labor

Wednesday - Robinson Crusoe: The Book of Adventures

With Tobie flying out for his work trip tomorrow morning, the thing I was most hoping for was for our copy of the Collector's Edition of Robinson Crusoe to arrive before his flight. We had been looking forward to this game for quite some time now, mainly because he had won the contest for submitting fan scenarios for what is now called The Book of Adventures and we wanted to see his game in print. This game has always been very near and dear to Tobie's heart and it's one of the games that brought Portal Games to our attention. But we also knew that the local fulfilment center had only shipped the game out yesterday, so it was a pretty near thing.

But let's talk about last night first.

Given the Labor Day holiday today, we have arranged to game with our friends last night as a supplementary game session on top of our typical Friday night schedule. And with a few games having arrived on Monday, we had some new options for games to play.

We kicked things off with Let's Go to Japan!, which I've been rather looking forward to for some time. Maybe the game resonates with me on an additional level as I honestly want to visit Japan someday - hopefully soon! So a having a beautiful board game all about planning a trip felt like a great option. And the final product is really great.

We sort of kept up an inadvertent Japanese "theme" with our next two games being those published by Saashi & Saashi. The first was In Front of the Elevators, which is a tricky queue manipulation game that feels like an upgrade to games like Guillotine. We followed that up with Come Sail Away! This game was actually designed by Singaporean designer Daryl Chow of Origame fame and it feels soooo different from all of his other games. I guess it's because Origame aims to create very mass market/family-friendly games that appeal to a wider audience while this one feels a bit more complex and thus more challenging. Both are great games and I'm glad that Tobie managed to find copies of them on the secondhand market.

Our last game sort of related to the Japanese theme was Splendor: Pokémon and I was happily surprised that I won at the last moment all while assembling a Lego-style Psyduck figure. Then we got to try the new Printing Press game that shares some gaming DNA with Gutenberg but feels a little simpler or at least easier to teach, maybe? Then we ended the game session with Cascadia: Landmarks as we had to stick something we already knew how to play as the sun was coming up. And thus it was a totally great game night from start to finish.

Given the holiday, we fully intended to sleep in and then maybe play a game or two whenever we'd wake up. However, that was not the case as I somehow managed to rouse myself to respond to the building intercom. It turned out that the courier service had been to the building a few times today in an effort to deliver all the crowd-funded games that I had been anticipating this week. 

And yes, this included Robinson Crusoe.

Even Tobie managed to drag himself out of bed as there were four different boxes that we needed to haul up. That definitely gave us both a shot of adrenaline that was way more effective than just coffee in terms of waking us up. But yay, the games had arrived!

So instead of exploring a game or two in our collection or watching stuff on streaming, I ended up devoting the day to unboxing and organizing all of these games. The latter was particularly pertinent as for Robinson Crusoe, what Tobie had pledged for was an upgrade kit to store all of our existing game content along with the deluxe upgrades. That meant retrieving four different game boxes from various shelves around the Sietch, checking for duplicate content across the various expansions and figuring out where all the bits and bobs were meant to fit in the big box. And we naturally had to document Tobie's scenario in the Book of Adventures and celebrate his immortalization as being part of one of his favorite board games.

Seriously, I wish game publishers consistently included a guide for how they envisioned their big box insert to work for all game content versus the community being left to figure things out. One company that shines in this area is Eagle-Gryphon Games - and their new Inventions game was one of today's new arrivals.

It had been the same situation for the Collector's Edition of Firefly: the Game that had arrived on Monday. That involved me corralling like 4+ boxes of game content to fit into that giant crate of a game box. But at least that box had labels on the various slots and bins that helped to indicate where things should go.

All these consolidation efforts have freed up some space here and there. Some games have "graduated" from the couch but some of the new games have taken their place instead. But I'm pretty happy with how things are for now, so it's a start. I also got to do the initial unboxing and organization efforts for Inventions and Dog Park (with the New Tricks Expansion). All that's left to break down (my term for popping everything out of their punch boards and such) is From the Moon.

Then I have to learn how to play all of these games. That's another possible activity to keep me busy while Tobie is away. It should make for an interesting weekend one way or another. I just need to get through the rest of this workweek first.