What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – June 22-28

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Sue also tried out the new Azul overlays in the Crystal Mosaic expansion this weekend. “I liked the overlays as well for the same reasons. And the new boards definitely provided extra challenges. Between the overlays and the new boards, I felt like there was good value in this inexpensive Azul expansion.”

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In a slight variation from their Escape Room Games Tracy and Greg  played through the first chapter of Adventure Games: The Dungeon. “Players wake up in a dungeon and are trying to escape by investigating the rooms, finding objects and figuring out what they have to do. There is an adventure book with all the story passages in for you to read, but we used the app which reads everything out for you. It’s not as puzzly as an Escape Room Game but it’s still fun and we have two more chapters to go.”

Tracy and Greg played the second and third chapters in one sitting as they played through the second chapter fairly quickly. “This definitely has a bit of a choose your own adventure feel to it, although it’s a bit more forgiving because you can back track and move around the map as you desire. It’s also the kind of game where you can’t always unlock all options available, so after we’d finished we were curious about some of the things we didn’t see. We ended with a fairly respectable 36 points (the best result is 50+ points) so I was happy with that.”

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Sue almost finished painting all her Heroquest heroes and villains. “I have loved Games Workshop miniatures for 30 years now! I had actually started these models years ago and finally finished them up. Today, painting the Chaos Warriors would be even easier than when I started these as they have silver primers now which would have done.. 90% of the work. I was, however, able to take advantage of the Medium Shade brush to apply the wash evenly to a large area. Even though I had originally painted the necromancer’s robe Evil Sunz Scarlet, I finished it off with the Blood Angels Red Contrast paint. The red Contrast paints are some of my absolute favorites!”

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Greg tried out a solo play of Axio, “Where you play on the 9×9 grid and just draw one tile to play each turn, so there’s no choice of tile to play, just a choice in where to put it. If you reach 18 in a colour you move to the next score board and then carry on. My pink/purple was lowest, in large part because I didn’t draw many of them, specifically towards the end. It’s not bad as a quick, solo, puzzly game.  Alex asked to play this later in the week and unlike the previous time she listened a bit more to the objective and worked on getting points in all of the colours. Luke helped by distributing tiles from the bag to us. It ended up as 11-10 to me, so it was a close game!”

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Danielle just finished Max Brooks’s new book Devolution. “It is fantastic! I bought it today and couldn’t put it down!!”

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Tracy and Greg played the co-op variant of Wavelength where you take turns giving clues for a number of rounds and try to maximize your score. “This game is hard! We didn’t do very well but I enjoyed it and look forward to trying it with more people. Tracy and I played another game of this another day to see if we could do better than our first, fairly dismal, performance. We did do better, scoring 12 points, but there’s still lots of room for improvement. It can definitely be tricky to come up with good clues some times though.”

Greg played a few games of Der Geheimnisvolle Zaubersee with the kids, starting with this German game. “It’s essentially a co-op memory game where the players flip a tile and then try to move one of the pieces across the lake on the lily pads. The game uses magnets and if the piece gets stuck you can’t move any further unless the creature on the tile you flipped matches the creature on that lilypad. If you ever can’t move any of the pieces the evil Ravenhorst starts moving out of his castle and pushes the players back towards the shore. If he makes it all the way out the players lose. You can adjust the difficulty by having 1 to 4 Ravenhorst tiles in amongst the creature tiles. We tried with just one Ravenhorst tile but still lost horribly!”

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Alex chose to play Tsuro, which is another game she’d played before. “Luke wanted to join in and kind of got the idea. He would give me the tile he wanted to play and I’d ask which way around he wanted it. Tracy came to help him towards the end as well. The picture shows the board state shortly before the end of the game (Luke was white, Alex was red and I was blue).”

Greg and Tracy tried out Galapa Go. “This is a speed observation game where a number of tiles with different mixed up animals are laid out on the table and then a card with certain criteria is flipped up. The players need to put their token on a tile that meets the criteria, and if they do so successfully they keep the tile. After most of the tiles have been claimed whoever got the most wins. I picked it up as a potential game to play with the kids to help with spotting patterns, etc. but wanted to try it out first. It was ok but definitely not at it’s best with two players.”

Flick ’em Up! is Sam’s favourite dexterity game for sure. “As per usual there were some amazing shots and some questionable decisions made. These cowboys always feel just slightly unhinged enough that it feels like a silly western movie.”

Renee finally had an opportunity to play In The Hall Of the Mountain King with Jenn. “I’ve been wanting to show this game to Jenn for a while after playing it a couple of times earlier this year. I was glad it was a 2 player game as it was learning game for her and a refresher for me. It gave us a chance to figure out all the elements of the game without it being too competitive. You’re building tunnels on the board, revealing resources, getting statues, building pedestals, and moving the statues along your network onto the pedestals. You gain resources by recruiting trolls which you add to your pyramid, getting their resources and activating the trolls below to gain their resources. There is a management aspect to the pyramid as you want to use the resources before recruiting another troll as well as making sure you’re focusing on certain resources so you have enough to do the actions your want to do. With 2 players there is more room on the board to explore your own strategy, but with more players there is a lot more competition for trolls, space on the board, great halls as well as tunnel pieces. I really enjoy this game so hoping we get in a few more plays over the summer.”

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Jenn, Adam and Renee finally had a chance to play The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine again for the first time in a couple of weeks. “We ended up playing the same scenario 5 times before we finally won it. We talked after every attempt about what we could have done differently and while it can feel like you’re a bit at the whim of the way the cards get dealt, the game offers some options (rotate one card before you start, use your communication token) that we tried to figure out how to use more effectively with each attempt.”

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