Friday, April 30, 2021

I’m not firing Alhambra

 A bit ago, I wrote how I wasn’t convinced that Isle of Skye (as well as other games) could fire Carcassonne because it (and other examples) lacked a shared map that players kicked each others teeth out over. However, I can see an argument for for a game like Isle of Skye could fire Alhambra.

Everyone has their own map and the game has a simple economic engine that keep its going. Isle of Skye has more player interaction and variable scoring, both major pluses.

But I don’t feel the need to fire Alhambra. And, since it seems like it has no problem staying in print, the market agrees with me. I’ve gotten plenty of fun play out of Alhambra over the years and I haven’t even bothered getting any of the expansions.

This started out as a commentary about Alhambra and how it does the job a family weight game that you can plan a game night around. But it’s really returning to the idea of firing games.

Here’s the thing. A game being better than another, similar game doesn’t make the previous game bad. For me, for a game to be truly fired, there had to be something I was dissatisfied with in the first game. 

While the idea of firing games is quite useful (and important for future game design), I think you have to be very strict at both culling your collection and being a member of the cult of the new to actively use the practice.

I firmly believe that Alhambra can be improved on. I’m also perfectly willing to believe there are similar but better games. But it would take a profoundly amazing game for me to take the time and expense to get rid of Alhambra.

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