One of the buzz games from last Essen was Endeavor. It took a while to arrive at our group, but finally we got to play it. We got the full compliment of five players and started to explore and colonize the world after a somewhat complicated rules explanation.
It’s a fun game, and looks really good. There’s only seven turns, so time is limited, especially as first turn or two are very small. Then you pick up the speed a bit and get some crew together and things start to happen. Ships are played to open up foreign countries for occupation. This all gets tokens, which increase the capacities of the players.
There’s lots of things to do. Improving different areas of your little empire are important, as problems in one area will lead to trouble elsewhere. There’s a good sense of scarcity in the game, you’re always missing something.
So, it’s fun, but perhaps slightly typical. So far I’m rating it a solid 7. Rating may improve and is unlikely to fall (I’m unlikely to play the game enough to get really bored of it).
My Spiele-Offensive order arrived, so I had those games with me. We had little time, but certainly enough for Kayanak. This was an impulse buy, based on Mark Jackson’s recommendation and seeing the game back in Essen 2005.
This is the fishing game. The box has metal balls in it, which are covered with a lid with holes in it. A piece of paper is put inside the lid, so you can’t see in the box. The eskimos start wandering around on ice and fishing. There’s a fishing rod you use to push holes in the paper and then fish for the balls with a magnet.
It’s a neat gimmick and one that’s guaranteed to entertain. I’m not so sure if this has lasting value, especially with adults, but it made a favourable impression and got at least one “I have to get this” comment.
There’s definitely potential for frustration — I won, because I managed to roll lots of useful actions, while other players had less luck with the dice. That’s something that’s fairly easy to improve with a house rule if necessary. It’ll be interesting to see how Nooa likes this.
I won, of course — I’m the best fisherman ever (when we opened the box after the game, it turned out the other guys were standing over huge amounts of fish while I was in a fairly dry corner — few more rounds and I would’ve lost).