August wasn’t a game heavy month but I feel like I managed to learn a variety of games if not a lot of games.
I got my goal of learning at least one Roll and Write out of the way with Winnie the Pooh in the Honey Heist. It is a cute side roller that makes really good use of its theme. It’s not my new game to play every day but it is sweet.
The highlight of my game learning was Fishing Lessons by Scott Almes. A year after the death of the family patriarch, the Williams family is going on a fishing trip in his memory. The programmable action cards are themed as memories of lessons he taught.
The lake cards form a line that the boat card moves over and whose location dictates what lake cards you can manipulate. By having a one-dimensional area to play in (Lineland in a reference to Abbot’s Flatland), Almes lets minimalism define the game’s limits in a way that doesn’t seem arbitrary.
I need to play Fishing Lessons more but the initial plays are very promising and the theme clicks for me.
After years of reading about Micro Space Empire, I finally played it, albeit in the form of a set of tables instead of cards. Frankly, It shows its age with how limited the decision tree really is. I did enjoy it for how it used its theme with brevity.
Finally, I played Bolets, a tiny puzzle game that started out as a contest entry. It feels like a mashup of Ricochet Robots and an NES game. I felt like it’s very simple mechanics hid a decent number of decisions and design elements. Really, the opposite of my reaction to Micro Space Empire.
As I said at the start, August wasn’t a crazy month for gaming. But I can see both Fishing Lessons and Bolets ending up in regular rotation.