January 29, 2004

Piecepack Session

by Susan Rozmiarek

All the recent activity on the Piecepack Yahoo group following the results of the latest contest, Solitary Confinement, compelled me to finally finish throwing together my own homemade Piecepack. It's nothing fancy. I simply downloaded the graphics from the Piecepack website and printed them out on Avery sticker sheets. I then stuck them on wooden discs from Hobby Lobby and squares cut from some scrap 1/4" plywood. Voila! Instant access to a hundred games. I really would like to make a nicer set. As Ed pointed out, given the amount of time and dollars spent on just this quick and dirty set, wouldn't it just be easier to buy a nice commercial one? He's right, of course. I guess it is just the satisfaction of creating one yourself.

I first tried out a few of the solitaire games available, while waiting for dinner to cook:

PieceGaps: A nice little puzzle game by Chris Brooks that is based on a solitaire card game, Gaps, which I've never played. This turned out to be much harder than it looks. I nearly won on my first try, but then couldn't even come close. I can see that there are some definite strategies involved that I am still trying to figure out.

Fujisan: Next I tried this game by James Kyle, simply because the staircase looked neat. Another puzzle game, but quite a bit easier. I won the basic game every time, but it was enjoyable figuring it out. I then tried the variant a few times and was unable to win.

Tula: Finally, I tried this older game from James Kyle. It reminded me a bit of card solitaire games like Pyramid, where being able to win simply depends on how the cards fall. There is only a very little skill involved, but it was a fun exercise. I only won one of the half dozen games I played.

I enjoyed all three of these games and am looking forward to trying out some more, especially the contest winner, Piece Packing Pirates. The rules to that one looked a little too long and involved for the time I had.

Froggy Bottom: After dinner, Ed and I played this two-player game by Clay Blankenship. It's a race game between frogs trying to visit their lily pads and get back home. It is another puzzle-type game, where you try to set things up for clever moves that allow your frogs to cover more distance in a turn. Ed wondered if it was a little too easy and wants to try using only one neutral color instead of two. I won, but barely. This game had some really good ideas and was better than many published games I've played.

The priest have almost reached the summit of Mt. Fuji in Fujisan.

Frogs try to hop from lily pad to lily pad in Froggy Bottom.

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at January 29, 2004 3:18 PM


This is great. Thanks for the nice session report.

Posted by: Iain on January 30, 2004 10:10 AM
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