I had a pleasant almost-weekend at Jyväskylä (from Thursday to Saturday) and as usual, games were played. I took with me the games my mother had bought (Africa, 6 Nimmt! and Vom Kap bis Kairo) and some of my new games (Coloretto, King Lui and Amun-Re).
Coloretto was a huge success! We played 14 games and had lots of fun! I’m assured it’s a great game and definitely one of the best games released this year. It’s definitely on my DSP vote list. Everybody liked it, it was easy to teach and fun to play. It’s the perfect little filler game.
King Lui got a bit less enthusiastic reception — we played only eight games. But I like it too. It’s not as good as Coloretto, that’s easy to see. Coloretto is much more tactical, the decisions in King Lui are less interesting — many times the games were effectively won or lost on the last round by big, random point swings. Some of which, of course, might be removed by experienced players. Still, Coloretto is a more elegant game than King Lui, while King Lui might just be a bit more “fun” with it’s colourful theme. Both are certainly games I’d introduce to non-gamers.
Two games of Amun-Re were played and those were the most interesting games of the weekend. I was really curious what the game would be like. I had a good impression of it — I like the components (even though the board could be better) and the theme. The game turned out to be rather good as well. The system is logical and elegant. The rules left some unanswered questions, but when we played our second game we had little problems with them.
I won both games and I think there’s definitely some strategic depth to the game. The good doctor has designed an interesting composition of mechanics. I especially liked the idea of two kingdoms and the partial board reset. I even used it to my advantage in the second game. Getting lots of money seems to be essential, as buying lots of pyramids (which is the easiest way to get money) is very expensive, thanks to the escalating prices.
I have heard complaints that the power cards are unbalancing, but it wasn’t a problem in our games. Some are better than others, sure, but I think everybody could get as many cards as they wanted most of the time. Of course there’s the luck of draw, but I don’t think it’s too random.
So, I like the game and I want to play it more to find out if that holds. Our first four-player game took two hours and the second game with only three players just an hour. The box says 90 minutes, which might be just about it with five players. I want to try the five player game, but at least four players was better than three (which wasn’t bad). Looks like another good game from herr Knizia!