What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – June 1-7

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We open this week’s blog with Greg’s play of his last Deckscape game, The Mystery of Eldorado, “This is the last of our Deckscape games and it took us a bit longer than the others, clocking in around 80 minutes total. We did manage to end with no penalties though (we earned a few but were able to get rid of them) so that was our final time and was fairly respectable. Sometimes we have a tendency to overthink things when there is a simple solution, but overall we did pretty well. I hate building a house of cards though! We must have spent over five minutes just on that.”

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Greg also finished reading White Sand by Brandon Sanderson. “This is one of Brandon Sanderson’s earliest story ideas but he never got around to publishing it. In the end it was made as a graphic novel rather than a regular novel. It’s part of his Cosmere, just like his Mistborn and Stormlight Archive books, but is set on a planet where half is in permanent daylight and half is permanent darkness. It follows the story of the Sand Masters – daysiders who have the ability to manipulate the sand. After an ambush, the leader and most of the strongest sand masters are killed, and it falls to Kenton, the son of the old leader but a very weak sand master, to try to save the group. Brandon Sanderson is great at world building and this is definitely another interesting planet and magic system. With it being just a relatively short series of graphic novels it doesn’t feel quite as fleshed out, with as much character development as he usually puts in, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. If you like his other work you should check this out.”

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Sam played Ex Libris while out camping! “It was too windy to play on the picnic table, so we made the car work. This game is one of the most charming games I’ve ever played, I still love reading all the book titles every time I play and having a different theme to your library keeps it interesting as well. For this game I was a trash golem and my sister was a snowman and we both curated our libraries very differently. I ended up winning with a score of 67, and Cassie lost with a score of 34. Very different libraries.”

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Jenn and Renee played Santa Monica again, “We used different starting player boards and a different set of end game scoring objectives, which changed our strategies, but I found the 2 sand dollar bonus actions also changed the game quite a bit as well.  Christopher saw us playing and asked to play in the second game. We were surprised at how quickly he picked up the main mechanics and was able to focus on the scoring objectives on the cards he was selecting. We’re definitely enjoying this game and knowing that Christopher likes it, I can see us playing it a bit over the summer.”

Renee is also continuing to enjoy The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine, getting in a few rounds every time Jenn, Adam and her are able.

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Renee, Jenn and their Dad also got in a game of Red7, “I’ve always loved this card game and it’s one our family used to play a lot when it first came out, but enjoy pulling out every once and while. It’s a deck of 49 cards in the numbers 1 to 7, each number in 7 different colours, the colours themselves ranked so a red 5 is higher than a green 5. The colours themselves also have rules associated with them. On your turn you must play a card to your ‘palette’ so that you are winning the current rule or play a card to change the rule so your played cards are winning. The game comes with basic rules and built in expansions with additional rules and mechanics you can add to your game play to up the complexity.”

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We finish this week’s blog with Greg’s play of Escape the Room: Secret of Dr Gravely’s Retreat. “This is another brand of Escape Room game, and is one that doesn’t require an app. It uses a solution wheel not too dissimilar to the ones in the Exit games, but rather than using decks of clue and solution cards it has envelopes, and when you find the solution to an envelope you open it. Inside the envelopes may be more envelopes, as well as components to help solve other puzzles. I’m only aware of two games in this series and I’ve now played both. Out of all the escape room style games I’d say I’ve found these ones to be the easiest. There are hints and solutions on their website but we didn’t need to use them at all. They also suggest that they are for 3-8 players, but Tracy and I had no trouble just the two of us, and we finished much quicker than the allotted time. Despite feeling pretty easy I did enjoy it as it had some different types of puzzle.”

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