What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Aug 8-14

Renee picked up the new arrival So, You’ve Been Eaten. “This is a 2 player game in which one player takes on the role of a space miner who is mining for crystals inside a beast’s digestive tract; so, you know, you have to be eaten to do the mining. The other player controls the beast and its immune reactions to try to ingest the miner. The game includes 2 solo modes, allowing you to play as either the miner or the beast with either a robot minor or hibernating beast as your competitor. Hilariously the game includes instructions for a 0 player mode in which the robot minor plays against the hibernating beast. I played a solo game to learn the basics, playing as the miner. It was fun, but I’d like to try it as a a 2 player game as I think it would be a bit more interesting. While this is the retail version, it included upgraded wooden bacteria and acrylic crystals.”

Renee, her Dad and Christopher played Potion Explosion for the first time in years. “It was fun to revisit this classic! You remove marbles from the dispenser, collecting everything involved in the chain reaction and assign them to your potion bottles to complete potions. These potions provide end game points but also special abilities in future turns. I like the tactile nature of this game, handling the marbles, the clink of the marbles causing the explosions. It’s an easy game to teach and learn, and fun to plan the best way to make use of your potions’ abilities on the race to most points.”

Marvel Dice Throne showed up right after Greg left for his vacation so it had been sitting patiently awaiting his return and he finally got it to the table. “I tried out Black Widow against Tracy’s Captain Marvel for this first game. I have to laugh a bit as thematically this feels like it would be very one sided, but obviously in the game all characters are pretty well balanced. Black Widow was a fun character to play, starting slowly but building up as you add more and more upgrades. I was taking a beating from Tracy seemingly always having a Cosmic Ray token to spend and often rolling her Aurora Wave ability. Luckily my agility tokens started working to save me a bunch of damage, and I was chipping away with Time Bombs. I hit her with my Grapple II ability for 13 undefendable damage, leaving us both at 8, and on Tracy’s turn I had some good fortune as her Cosmic Ray only added 2 damage and I was able to survive on 2 health. I ended things in style, with an Ultimate, but it was a very close game. Looking forward to trying some of the other characters now!”

Tracy and Greg played three more games of Marvel Dice Throne over the week, testing out all the characters between them. “Matchups were Miles Morales Spiderman vs Loki, Black Panther vs Thor and Doctor Strange vs Scarlet Witch. None of the games were blowouts but some did feel as though one character had a slight edge. It was neat to see the different play styles they all had, and we’re definitely looking forward to trying some of them again, or switching out to try characters the other person used. I enjoyed all the characters but so far I think Black Widow might be my favourite because I’m a fan of upgrading my abilities and that’s definitely her thing!”

Renee read Kindred by Octavia E. Butler, in which Dana, a black woman from 1976 is pulled back in time to her ancestors on a plantation in the Antebellum South in 1815. “I found this a fascinating read. By putting someone modern into the past, it allowed us to experience that time as an outsider would, shocking in its reality. It explores how spending time in the past changes Dana and her struggles with those changes, as well as her complicated relationship with both her white slave owning ancestors and her slave ancestor. While it didn’t spend much time exploring what life was like for her as a black woman in the 1970’s, from what was shared, it was also shocking how little seems to have changed since that time; expectation vs the reality of the promised equality.”