As the tradition goes, we played some board games during Christmas. Johanna likes relatively few games, so choosing good games can be tricky. However, this time it was easy. I had just received Karibik which seemed like a good game to play with her. Light and easy rules, some random elements and what’s perhaps most important, well-integrated scoring mechanism. Johanna doesn’t like artificial scoring systems and point tracks, she prefers scoring systems that makes sense. Scoring in Karibik works that way.
It was a fun game. The rules are simple and the game is quite straightforward to teach. Players bid on ships and highest bidder gets to move the ship. Players aim to assault ports to get treasure chests and then move the chests to their hideouts. Money is scored when a port is assaulted and when a chest is taken home. Ships can interact with each other by stealing, swapping and giving treasure chests. It’s all very simple and interactive. It was so good that we played two games in a row (it’s also fairly quick, it took us about 20 minutes to play a game and it shouldn’t be much more with more players). There’s some danger of analysis paralysis when bidding, but it should be made clear that Karibik is a light, fun game.
We had wished for a new copy of Trivial Pursuit and got that. The one we had earlier from Johanna was from 1980’s and even the newer one played from 1990’s was quite dated, so it was obvious we needed a fresh copy. The new edition is actually quite interesting: in addition of the flashy look and delightfully smaller box, the game has been changed a bit. The board is now smaller and the re-roll squares have been changed to teleport squares. There are also a lot less question cards than in the old version. I think the old one had about eight packs, while the new one has just four. And of course it’s still bloody expensive…
Anyway, it was fun to answer some of the newer questions too. The game is faster now, and perhaps even too fast. I didn’t like the teleport squares, but changing them to re-roll squares is trivial. While the
early game is faster, the endgame is still slow when players try to hit the center. The questions have also their problems: the range from practically impossible to know (too specific local knowledge or simply areas completely unknown) to simple yes or no guesses. Of course that can be balanced — we immediately toss away impossible questions or give hints to make the really hard questions easier. Despite all these flaws, Trivial Pursuit is still a fun game to play. It’s also one of the rare decent party games that can be played in a meaningful way with just two players.