Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What's the Buzz?

I played another 9 games today. The recurring theme for me seems to
be that if I had high expectations, I find myself a bit disappointed
and if I wasn't expecting much, I find myself pleased. The major
exception remains Friedemann Friese's new game (co-designed with
Marcel-Andre Cassasola-Merkle, which I forgot to mention yesterday>Report-2
) which I expected to be good and now having played it
three times can continue to enthusiastically recommend it.

Kreta, I had no preconceived notions about other than it being Stefan
Dorra (a plus) and Goldseiber (neutral). It's pretty good. Nothing
revolutionary, but nicely done. Australia was a bit of a surprise;
it's a light, simple, fast Kramer-Kiesling game. Better than
expected, but I didn't expect much. Louis XIV, I expected great
things and I found it good, but probably not great. I'll play it a
couple more times before I really decide. It may be great, yet.
Submarine, all the reviews seemed to say it was very dry. Well, yeah,
I guess, but I've played drier games. Clever mechanics that combine
in interesting ways. I liked it.

As for what the "buzz" is this year, I wouldn't say it's particularly
focused. Last year, St. Petersburg, Power Grid, Goa and Ticket to
Ride had a lot of play and a lot of positive buzz. The new stuff is
getting a lot of play, but not a lot of overwhelming consent on what's
great. Loius XIV seems to be in general impressing most people
though, and Heckmeck im Bratwurmeck is getting a lot of positive
comments and play as a filler. A couple of well-developed prototypes
are getting a lot of positive opinions and I hope they see publishing.
Everyone I've played FFFF with has enjoyed it a great deal as well.
Ticket to Ride Europe has also been well received, though not getting
as much play as TTR did last year.

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