Strange Prawn

Boardgame review – Taluva

I can’t control my brain

Things are definitely taking a turn for the autumnal up here in the far North. The leaves and the air both turn crisp, and the nights are fair drawing in. How delightful then, to be mentally transported to an island paradise in the warm Southern seas? Aah, when I close my eyes I can almost smell the salt on the air, feel the tropical sun dappling on my skin as I lay beneath this coconut-laden palm. Somewhere I can here the trilling of birds of paradise, mingling with the screams of the villagers as they flee yet another volcanic catastrophe…

Chaos in the Old World

I hear you talking you know. When you think I’m not around. I know you all think I’ve got it easy, being the incarnate manifestation of an aspect of evil birthed by the psychic agony of all the sentient beings of the universe. But it’s not all roses you know. For instance, after a hard day at the office, corrupting the pure and tending my pestilential wastes (yes, I know, there’s a cream for that), I love nothing more than unwinding over a nice board game. I know, I know… you’d think the last thing I’d want to do in my downtime is emulate my work slog, but it’s alright for the renaissance merchants and galactic warlords amongst you. Always managing to convert your real-life expertise into effortless victories – you don’t know how lucky you are. But where’s my game? Something that lets me take advantage of my… Wait! What’s this come tumbling through the vortex of despair to land at the foot of my throne of bone and brass? ‘Chaos in the Old World’ eh? Okidoke, let’s take a look.

Coup

Much as technology and my bank balance tend toward miniaturization, there seems to have been a recent trend for compact, fast but beautifully formed games, ‘microgames’ I believe the kids are calling them. The poster boy, or rather poster princess, for these recent offerings is undoubtedly the well-regarded Love Letter, a game that revolves around you passing a note of affection to the object of your amorous desires without the knowledge and interference of your fellow players. Brilliant.

[Review] Trajan

Trajan is a game from the labyrinthine mind of designer Stefan Feld, who also sired Castles of Burgundy, amongst others, into an unready world. Like many of his oeuvre the connection between the actual gameplay and the goodest of good emperors is perhaps tenuous, but you don’t buy a box of this many pastel wooden bits for a gung-ho weapon wielding imperial simulation, you buy it for the chance to experience the interlocking mechanics brought forth from the designers brain, and, given time, hone or even perfect your use of them.

Review: Tzolk’in

You can’t sit down at a table to play Tzolk’in without immediately noticing the big draw- and the thing that sets it apart from its numerous mechanic-sharing brethren- the huge functioning cog-wheels embedded in the board, baring their teeth at you in a brazen attempt at intimidation. Let’s put those aside for one moment however, and pretend giant wheels are run-of-the-mill.

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