Fauna, Nile, Tornado Alert!

Fauna boxGood day of games today. I finally got Fauna on the table — I had the game a year ago, when I did the translation, but I never played the German version as I wanted to wait for the Finnish edition. Now it was time! And why not, Fauna is a pretty good game. It’s a trivia game that offers lots of possibilities to guess and follow somebody else, as guesses are made on the table. You score best for exact hits and less for almost correct answers.

It’s a clever system and a fun game, but for some reason I’m not terribly thrilled. Maybe it’s the animal theme? I think I’ll probably just keep Arvuutin for my trivia game needs, even though Fauna is probably a slightly better game.

Nile coverI didn’t have to ask my brother twice to play Nile and Petri who played it with me the last time joined us, so we got to try the three-player game. It was fast and fun. Nile is very good with three, as it is with two. Not terribly deep, but light and fun. I’ll have to write a proper review some day, Nile is well worth it.

Tornado Alert! boxFor the last game we tried Tornado Alert!. I played this Finnish game last week with my brother and I missed a crucial rule. No wonder the game felt stupid. Now we got that rule right and fixed another small error, too. Turns out Tornado Alert! is a decent game. It looks like something fun, light and easy-going, but actually takes some concentration and focus.

The game is about collecting cards from a central pile. Players take turns placing a card on top of the pile and everybody but the player who last played a card can slap the pile to take N cards from it, where N is the value of the last card played. In the end you count the average value of the cards you collected. There are some complications to it, but that’s pretty much it. You play three rounds and the weakest score from everybody determines the winner.

It seems the best strategy is to grab couple of medium cards and stick to that. Getting a high average is easier the less cards you have! Slap any combination of 2 and any card that’s at least 3 and you’re guaranteed an average of 2.5 or more, which is likely enough to win the game.

Of course, that kind of situation might not happen, in which case you’re forced to take something else to avoid getting 0 points. In our game Petri got great first two rounds with averages of 3 and 4, but got 0 in the last round and lost. I won with an average around 2.3.

The game doesn’t quite work as well as it should. Tornado Alert! could use more development. There are also some issues with the physical production: the box is unnecessarily hard to open, the cards are amateurish and the art ranges from odd to ok. I’ve also read plenty of better rules.

With more development and higher quality components the game might be very good, actually. The idea is nice and unusual.

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