December 2016 roundup

Over the course of December, I managed to play just 12 games of 10 different titles, with 7 of them being new to me. The new games were:


Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – 3 plays –  8 
First Published 2016

I purchased this from Amazon US, as it isn’t going to be licenced for release in the UK. A deck builder where you play through the seven books in the series with a new deck to be opened each game (providing you defeat the previous game). The first couple of decks are fairly easy because the game eases you into the gameplay, but the third deck ramps up the difficulty and we were defeated at our first attempt. Very good if you are a fan of the books or films.

Fabled Fruit – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2016

This is a very good worker placement / set collection game from Friedemann Friese where you only play with a fraction of the locations in each game but subsequent games start off from the set of locations that you finished the last game with. Play is very straightforward and very quick as you race to complete your sets or mess with other players’ hands to slow them down. Interested to see how each game changes as you play more.

Hanamikoji – 1 play –  8 
First Published 2013

I’ve been intrigued to try this ever since people got to play it at Essen but it doesn’t look like it’ll appear in the UK for a while so I created a homemade version and really enjoyed the way the game plays although it can be over very quickly if things don’t work out the way you’d planned. I’ll definitely be getting an official copy as soon as I can.

DREIst! – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2016

Simple card game of trying to get rid of your cards before your opponents can, by playing to rows or columns to make a row of three or more cards of the same colour or a column of three or more different colours. The solo game has a neat way for your AI opponent to play cards and my one play was very close.

Limes – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2014

I’ve been curious to try Limes for a while and picked up a copy just before Christmas. Reminiscent of Carcassonne, you’re laying tiles and placing meeples to try and achieve the best score when you have completed a 4×4 grid. Nice puzzle and plays identically as a solo and two player game.

Dice Stars – 1 play –  7 
First Published 2016

This is a very good “roll some dice and mark off things on your score sheet” game. The solo version that I’ve tried was a good challenge as the AI player scores each turn based on what dice you’ve left in the pool, which adds another element to think about when choosing which dice to use yourself.

Exploding Kittens – 1 play –  6 
First Published 2015

I got a chance to play this over Christmas and I quite enjoyed it despite me being first to be eliminated. The card play is fairly obvious but it’s meant to be played fast and you can never be sure of the outcome. I particularly like the fact that the deck acts as both a timer and to add to the tension as it is depleted.


I added 18 new games to the collection: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, Carcassonne: Star Wars, Basari: Das Kartenspiel, Noch Mal, Dice Stars, Legends, Arkham Horror: The Card Game, Limes, Romisch Pokern, X Nimmt, Schwupps, Freaky, DREIst, Sea of Clouds, Pocket Madness, Rent a Hero, The Game: Extreme and Abyss. I also reacquired 1 title so my total collection now stands at 561.

My list of unplayed games has shot up from 15 to 28 and my Game of the Month was Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle.