What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – July 26-Aug 1

Greg and Tracy to a stab at Exit: The Deserted Lighthouse. “Wow, this one was tough. It’s rated as a four out of five difficulty, so it should be hard, but we really struggled. We also hadn’t looked at the play time, so we ended up doing it over two nights as it was longer than anticipated. I don’t know if we were rusty from not doing many escape rooms lately, but we needed a lot of clues for this, and I’m pretty sure I could have sat for hours and still not figured some of them out without the help. The jigsaw puzzle element didn’t really add anything for me either – it just meant it was more time-consuming. Overall this was a dud for me, unless you like spending a bunch of time doing small puzzles and feeling stupid. I hope the other puzzle Exit game I have (The Sacred Temple) is better.”

So, they tried Exit: The Sacred Temple to find out. “This is another of the puzzle versions, so after our disastrous play of the previous one my expectations weren’t that high. This one was rated as 3/5 difficulty though, and I don’t know if it was just down to that, or the fact that we’d recently played the other one and were a bit more in the zone, but we actually ended up not needing any clues. There were some more interesting puzzles and we managed to figure everything out in the end. I’m still not convinced that the jigsaw puzzle element really adds anything though, so I’ll be more excited to see more of the regular version of the Exit games in the future.”

Greg hadn’t played many roll & write games for a while but then the physical version of Clever Cubed came out and he had to pick it up. “I tried a solo game just to grt back into the swing of it and I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoy this series. I scored ok but not great, which isn’t too surprising, and means there’s lots of scope to play around and improve.” Like Greg, Renee also picked this up. “I definitely like this more than Twice as Clever and might even like it a bit more than the original. I definitely recommend this to anyone who loves roll and writes.”

Greg played a couple of four player games of Hanabi with Tracy, Lani and Matt. “We did reasonably well, scoring 22 both times, but definitely have room for improvement in speeding things up and maximising our clues. It’s a great game for something so simple.” They also continued their campaign in The Crew, successfully completing a few more missions. “We’re now up to mission 44 I believe, so we’re getting towards the end of the 50 missions.”

Kris finished his Necromunda Gang this weekend, The Red Cog Ogryns. “They took a bit longer than I planned as initially I was just going to do them with basic contrast but I got carried away with building up some extra highlights to add depth. They probably took 18 to 22 hours total in the end but I am happy with the results and glad I finally got them finished!”

Renee and family played a bunch of games on their family vacation this past week, including the new arrival Dice Miner. “This is a dice drafting game in which everyone gets a character with specific abilities, the dice types all have different scoring rules and you get to share beer! It’s a quick and easy to learn game which got a lot of plays – we all had a lot of fun with it.”

They also played Calico a bunch of times, both with and without the tile objectives. “Both versions continue to be a fun challenge for everyone, we definitely recommend this game both for its solid mechanics and cute components. Other games which hit that table several times included Morels, Coloretto, Sky Tango – all fun filler games perfect for some plays before dinner after an afternoon in the sun (and smoke).”

Renee played a couple of Exit games with the group as well. “This time Jenn and I got to play with 3 other players which was a lot of fun – more lightbulbs going off to help with the puzzles. The Sunken Treasure was an easier one which used the different sea creatures on the dial in fun ways to create codes which I thought was clever. Dead Man on the Orient Express was bit harder, with puzzles being presented in a non-linear fashion as well as feeding us nibbles of clues as to who the murder was, which was the final puzzle of the game, putting together all the information we had gathered in a classic murder mystery.”

Jenn, Tamara and Renee also tried Rising Tide again. “We really did lose it on one turn – being one water cube short after the sea level rose thanks to a storm card, just before we were going to build the dyke to reclaim the very sea which did us in. We really need to figure out how to manage the water better. We’ll just have to keep at it!”

Greg and his group got another chance for some face to face gaming and played through Scenario 6 of Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. “As the Demolitionist I brought in my one card that helps destroy objectives, and overall it wasn’t too difficult, with fairly weak monsters. Having said that, they did Nickel and Dime us down until three of us were close to death. In the end we had enough to get the job done though, and worked better as a team.”

Tracy and Greg tried Tuki, a little spatial game, where players have to build the pattern on the card using their set of coloured blocks and some white snow blocks. “The last player to build it takes the card, and when a player gets five cards they lose. I’m not sure if Tracy was just tired or if spatial puzzles are more my thing, but it was a bit of a blowout. There is an advanced game using a fourth coloured block too, for when it gets too easy with just three.”

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