I had the chance to play twice this week and in both sessions, I revisited games that I had played recently, namely Keyflower and Puzzle Strike. Both titles got stuck in my head the first time I had a chance to bring them to the table and this, for very different reasons. One is a very thinky game where you need to adapt to what is available at the moment, the other is more of an optimization game where you need to build up your deck in order to beat up the other player.
Part of the reasons has to do with how little downtime there is in both games once you know how the systems work. Neither of them have very complex systems, but the decision space and the consequence of these decisions can be quite complex and have very deep ramifications, and this for different reasons.
I love games, but I think I love deep, thinky games that hurt my head even more. Don’t get me wrong: I love a short, funny game as much as the next guy, but give me a game that forces me to think long and hard and you’ve got me. It doesn’t have to be a long game, mind you, although I’m not averse to that either. But give me a game with some meat on its bones, a game where decisions matter and you can feel it when, a few turns later, you find yourself cursing over what seemed the right decision at the time and you’ve got me hooked.
Keyflower (Game Salute) by Sebastian Bleasdale and Richard Breese is such a game. With a very simple ruleset, this game gets its hooks in you and lets you sweat out every little decision. What’s more, it’s one of those games where you’ll find yourself thinking a few days later “Should have done this, then that would have changed to this”. In other words, it makes my head hurt and I love it.
A few new arrivals in the last few days: a big box full of bits and a tiny little box filled with funny looking dice. Both games were backed on Kickstarter and I’ve been eagerly waiting for them to show up. Which games? Keyflower and Dungeon Dice. Let’s check them out. Continue reading