Date: August 1-4, 2002

Place: Savannah, Georgia

Reporter: Susan Rozmiarek

Wow! I played 35 games in four days. It was great. Here are some of my ramblings on the games that I played:

Made my want list:

Zoff Im Buffalo:
Very cute and clever. I was extremely happy to get it from the prize table since it doesn't seem to be available anymore.

Schnšppchen Jagd:
There are just so many different trick-taking card games out there and this one had a particularly unique feel to it. I played a 3-player game, which is supposed to be the optimal number and was immediately taken with it. (It didn't hurt that I won!)

Trendy:
A very simple little trick-taking Knizia card game I had never even heard of before. It is light, but would make a nice opener or closer for game nights.

Too Many Cooks:
Yet another tricking-taking card game by Mr. Knizia. It seemed light at first, but after making a few blunders, I realized there must be a little more to it. I'm looking forward to trying it again. Greg does a great impression of the Soup Nazi!

Blokus:
I'll say the same thing about this game that I've said about Pueblo and Dvonn. I don't usually like abstracts but I sure did like this one. Hmmm, this is starting to look like a trend, but I'm not ready to admit it yet.

Emerald:
I looked at this when it came out late last year, but I didn't find much information or commentary about it. I had forgotten about it until I spied it in someone's pile of games and got to try it. I'm really glad I did. It had some elements of Cartegena and Midnight Party (a dragon replaces Hugo). A fun, light game that is simple enough for the kids, but has enough there for the adults. It is also quick, and would make a good lunch game.

Quandary:
I continue to be amazed at these games that are so simple, yet so clever. This is a Knizia game that fits its name perfectly. Plus, it had these nice, thick, pretty tiles that made my inner parakeet go wild. Alas, it is out-of-print. I have since scoured every nook and cranny of the web looking for a copy and have found nothing but scores of others looking for a copy, too. I know there is another version with cards, but that one just won't do. Anyone want to sell me theirs? smiley

Would play again:

Squint:
By nature I'm pretty much of an introvert so I haven't played many party games in the past. I've always been shy of "performing" in front of people. However, I am finding that as I get older, making a public spectacle of myself can actually be fun sometimes. Who cares what others think! Anyway, on to Squint. This game was a hoot. I'm not sure if it was due to the game itself or the people playing. It was probably both. If more people in our gaming group liked this type of game (they don't) I might buy it.

Nautilus:
Very attractive looking game with lots of neat bits. I thought the game play captured the feel of the exploration theme very well. The rules were a bit fiddly, but after a few rounds of play they became clearer. I enjoyed playing this game, but it is a bit long and rather pricey. I might pick it up if it went on sale, but we already have several exploration games in our collection that are as good or better so I don't really feel compelled to get it just now.

Settlers of Canaan:
Another historical scenario for Settlers, this time with a Biblical setting. I'm told it is very similar to the Cheops scenario which I have but haven't played yet. It is a stand alone game, unlike the Cheops scenario. The board is a bit strange. I assume it represents the actually geography of that region. The game has a few changes to fit the theme (plagues, priests) but it still mostly felt like the old Settlers. One addition that I really liked was a scoring track to keep track of players' victory points. No more of that laborious counting of settlements and bonuses; one glance at the scoring track and you know where everyone stands. I liked the game, but didn't think it was anything special. It should definitely appeal to those who collect all things Settlers.

Keep it away from me!

How-Ruck!:
I went into this game thinking that I was guaranteed to like it. I thought it would be another "Lost Cities" type game that I would love. Well, I was wrong. The game felt way to chaotic for my tastes. I felt that the decisions to be made were either obvious or just guesses. I won my third barrel and the game by playing a single action card that automatically wins the round when played (and I was way behind in the round). Now, both my opponent and I were learning the game and didn't know about that card, so she might have prevented me from playing it, but still, it felt like a cheap win to me. I played it a second time with Ed and we aborted the game early. Not for me.

Pick Two:
Let me say up front that this is probably a very good word game. I am just so lousy at word games. I enjoy an occasional game of Scrabble and actually win sometimes. But this game- the pressure just KILLED me. Plus, I was playing with word sharks. These guys/gals (you know who you are) were GOOD. While I was still fumbling around trying to make simple little words from my initial tiles, these folks were shouting "pick two" every 10 seconds (it seemed). You should have seen the pile of tiles in front of me. Man, if you enjoy tension that sends your blood pressure soaring, check this game out. Me, I'll go back to playing Boggle, Jr. and try to regain some of my self esteem.

The rest:
I also got to play several old favorites. I especially enjoyed my second playing of Volldampf. This game really clicks with me. Pig Pile, Can't Stop, Flower Power- I can't even remember them all. Thanks to everyone who taught me new games and/or invited me to play. My only regret is that I didn't get to play a game with everyone.

Loads of pictures from Gulf Games 10 can be found in the Gulf Games 10 album in our Photo gallery.


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