Catch-up: Kraken-Alarm, Forbidden Island, Railroad Barons

Time for another catch-up post… It’s the Spring season for board game translations and those (and couple of other projects, like publishing the premium version of my WordPress search plugin Relevanssi) have kept my evenings busy.

Here’s some new games I’ve played recently:

  • Kraken-Alarm is a funny children’s game from Kosmos. It has a long stick in the middle of the board and a wrecking ball tethered to the stick. The game is about going around the board and collecting animal tokens. It’s a memory game, basically. If you end up in the same field with the cute small octopus, the big octopus will get nervous and the wrecking ball is let loose. If it hits your ship and capsizes it, you lose food. Lose all food and you’re out. The game is great fun, though it’s fairly simplistic… but the wrecking ball is great, especially as the ship has a tendency to jump back up when the ball hits it again, and it only counts as capsized if it remains that way. Very exciting, both for kids and adults.
  • Forbidden Island is old news for most folks, but I hadn’t tried it. It’s coming out in Finnish (Pandemic we had already last year). I’ve played couple of games with Nooa, who likes it, even though he doesn’t quite get it. In practise I play solitaire, that is, with some suggestions from Nooa. It works, and the game is fun. It also looks spectacular. I hope it sells well, it sure deserves to. Pandemic is getting the expansion in Finnish, so it has done well.
  • Maskenball der Käfer is a very simple co-op for kids. It’s super cute, though, and works well with adults and kids co-operating. I’m thinking my daughter might actually love it, but it’ll has to wait a while still — maybe next year.
  • Railroad Barons is a clever two-player version of 18xx. It has a notoriusly bad rulebook, but with the updated rules it was easy to play. Some have claimed it takes 2.5 hours (pretty bad, considering the box says 45 minutes), we took about 70 minutes. Not bad. It’s not a superb game, but I like it, and do want to play again. I’ve got a feeling it’s a bit difficult niche game and won’t get much play, but at least it’s a small box.

Here’s a cool photo to wrap this up:

Mr. Ship, meet mr. Wrecking Ball

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