You see: December 29th is so boring that they didn’t even consider it.
But into this blustery, slightly rainy evening I went to Sam’s for a little light gaming. We tried Inka – a new game whose four-page rule book didn’t seem too daunting. In this, each player has to get to the centre of the board, collect three treasures, and then get to an exit. They do this by rotating or sliding trapezoidal floor pieces and by hopping nimbly over snakes.
|I point slightly to the left of Sam's blocking counter for illustrative purposes|
It’s a puzzle game where you can foil your opponent by blocking a tile, meaning it can’t be moved. There’s a lot of Analysis Paralysis, and I found it fairly frustrating. The rules are simple, but still not properly explained. It’s not clear when a piece can rotate, nor what the effect the blocking piece has. Sam enjoyed it, though. Mind you, he won both times. It might be more interesting with more than two players. It'll probably be a lot longer, too.
Then Sam suggested a quick game of Alhambra. Since it was a two-player affair, the imaginary player Dirk joined in and quickly proved himself to be an adept opponent. We had barely got started when the first scoring card was revealed. This gave Dirk, with his six tiles, a commanding lead since he won most categories. As the game progressed, I found the cards and tiles synchronised perfectly while Sam grimly watched one opportunity after another going begging. Dirk, meanwhile, remained in the lead with me in close contention.
As we approached the final scoring round, Sam managed to get a few more tiles on the board, but he was finding it frustrating and the five buildings in his reserve can’t have offered much comfort. I was having quite the opposite experience and was able to overhaul Dirk in the final reckoning. My score was 140 (just one off the high score) to Dirk’s 123 and Sam’s 61.
Finally we rounded of the evening with a game of Tsuro. I enjoy this game when it’s two-player, and we ducked and feinted around the board, playing cautiously, until my tiles forced me into a straight duel with Sam, which I promptly lost. Oh well.