Monday, April 11, 2005

Friedemann Friese strikes again

This evening proved more successful in terms of finding good games. I
played Carcassonne: The Discovery, by Leo Colovini, Fiese Freunde
Fette Feten, Gone Fishing, and Heckmeck im Bratwurmeck. The Discovery
is a nice distillation of the Carcassonne mechanics down to a very
basic level, with a nice variant of meeple management. Gone Fishing
is a nice 2-player bluff, tactical and memory game. Heckmeck is a
very nice little dice game by Knizia. Reading the rules, it doesn't
sound like much, but it works very well.

Fiese Freunde Fette Feten is great. By a good margin, it's the best
game i've played so far. The goal of the game is to live out your
life according to a dealt out set of "goals". These goals include
things ranging from "get married and have children" to "start a cult"
to "have a heart attack", so maybe milestones or the like may be a
more apt description. Through card drafting and auctioning, you have
various life experiences like "love at first sight" or "go to bible
study with a date" which have various effects, like starting
relationships or increasing various attributes like religion, drug
use, wisdom and illness. When things line up, you can achieve your

The game offers some very interesting choices, as often it is hard to
sequence your goals, as they may be conflicting. The auctions and
drafting provide some nice player interaction, but further players can
become "friends" or even get married and share some of the benefits
and penalties of various life experiences. Of course, that can
change. One of things Friedemann said he was trying to accomplish
this game was a game that is fun and has a amusing and entertaining
quality but is a serious strategic game at the same time. It's rather
entertaining when you can lose a game (as I did) by failing to have a
heart attack because I didn't smoke enough. Oh well.

The art is beautiful, as Maura's work usually is, and rather funny.
There is a moderate amount of language in the game, so it's worth
waiting for an English version, especially since the theme is all the
richer when the names of the cards are understandable. Jay Tummelson
of Rio Grande flippantly reassured us he would be publishing it,
though Friedemann seemed to think (perhaps correctly) that there may
be some issues with some of the art in the US for being a little

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