Okay. I meant to type these little mini-reviews out in quick order. But I got distracted by other stuff I wanted to write.
Anyway, I’m sometimes a substitute teacher and I approached these games as possible classroom exercises. I almost always have acccess to the syllabus so it will never happen but that’s where I’m coming from.
Seal has you creating a path for a baby seal across a grid of ocean bubbles, getting points for catching fish and saving tangled seals while losing points from anemone and sharks.
So, you’re drawing a line on a grid.
You roll one die. Each die has three possible line shapes, which include jumping over spaces. In the regular game, you cross off a shape once you use it. In theory (and it’s very unlikely) the game could end in four turns if you rolled the same number four times.
There’s a simpler version where you don’t cross off shapes. In the classroom, I’m more likely to teach it that way. Not to make it simpler but to encourage kids to make different lines, to make the decision tree bigger.
Honestly, Seal has a strong one-more-time feel. It is simple but it’s fun to explore the possible paths. I don’t know how much replay it has but it works for short term play.
You roll a die to determine which four-square shape you ‘drop’ down into a grid. If you’ve played Tetris, you know how it works. You get points (or lose them) by covering up symbols on the board, so it’s a bit like Reiner Knizia’s FITS in that regard.
Tetri Go is terribly simple but still offers a decent decision tree. It’s honestly one of too choices for the classroom because the core concepts of the game are going to be ones that kids already know but there is still room to think.
It’s also a game I’ve taken to playing if I want to get in a quick analog game in a few minutes. It only last eight turns and you need make up your mind what you’re going for in the first turn or two but I’ve had fun. 13 Sheep is honestly better but it’s nice to have another game in that niche.