The next night I watched a play through of Mombasa and realised that, despite it's high rating on BGG, it looked rather too Feldy even for me. So today I took that back and exchanged it - this time for two (one new, one second-hand) games that Andrew and I played tonight. I also rented a game that the ship refused to sell...
Here's how the games rated with us.
Pueblo was a Kramer and Kiesling creation from the early 90s that was possibly inspired by Tetris. The players are constructed a 'pueblo' for tenancy and the chieftain strides around the complex making sure you're not making your own colours (rather than his preferred neutral colour of beige) stand out too much. Despite the potentially high AP factor it played reasonably quickly - I did well during the building, but at the end of the game the chieftain makes a final inspection, and at that point I came spectacularly undone:
Andrew - won convincingly
Sam - lost convincingly
Next up was Billabong, the rental. This is like a less-boring Chinese Checkers - or a less random Camel Up - as players race their kangaroos around an oasis, trying to be the first to get all their kangaroos 'home'. Kangaroos can move one space at a time, but they can also jump. The catch - or the advantage - here is that they can jump over another kangaroo for as many spaces as they are behind it - thus (as long as there is space on the board) a kangaroo three, four or six spaces behind yours can jump three, four, or six spaces in front of it. And as you can jump backwards, diagonally, and multiple-y, it was deceptively thinky too.
go let it out
Andrew - lost
The final newbie was Knitwit, Matt Leacock(Mr Pandemic)'s attempt at a Codenames-style word association - without clues this time. Players add a loop to an expanding board with a word attached, and after that, a spool - each spool ends up with at least one (or two, or three) word to define it. Players then write a definition of each spool: for instance, my living, slow and moving word was Sloth. My electrical word was Dishwasher. And so on. But speed also plays a part, and Andrew defined all the words way before I did:
We both really liked it, but thought it'd be better with more players.
There was just time to bash through that snappy game of Russian Railroads (I won) and several games of Cube Quest (Andrew won most of them, although I beat him once by trying to flick his grunt off and careering down the table into his King...) before calling it a night.