Nov. 9th, 2011

glittertigger: (Default)
I spent Friday evening testing two new games from the Cambridge Games Factory. The first was Montana which uses poker hands to bid for control of areas on a map. We played with 3 and 4 players and the maps for different numbers of players seemed well-designed, and the scoring mechanism fairly simple and well-balanced. I didn't see the point of the custom five-suit pack of cards, although the pretty graphics were fine. I would have preferred a traditional pack, so that you didn't need to recalculate all the probabilities, which didn't add significantly to the game. I enjoyed it but I'm not sure I'd play it enough to justify the $23 dollar price tag.

The second game was Pala, based on bidding and trick-taking. The game has six suits based on colours - three primary and three secondary - and there is an interesting colour-mixing component. It's very simple to learn (my host confirmed that he's found it to work for children significantly younger than 11) but allows for plenty of sublety in play. It also supports up to six players (edit: up to five, my mistake) which is useful. At $13 it seems good value and I'll probably buy a copy when it's available over here.


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