Friday, February 01, 2008

Every Dog has it's Day (Puerto Rico, Blue Moon City, Zooloretto)

You know how it goes. You bring a particular game time and time again to games night in the hopes of it getting picked. Time and time again, it doesn't. Well, I've been dragging Puerto Rico along with me for quite some time, and I've noticed Zooloretto in Kozure's bag every week since christmas. As if to appease us, Bharmer picked both (coincidence? subtle suggestion? who knows?).

Puerto Rico

Ironically, I often put down Puerto Rico. There's something about the setup which really irks me (all the counting and stacking... it's right up there with Memoir '44 and Hey! That's my fish! for making me want to choose something else just because of the setup to game ratio). I also hate teaching it, as all the subsystems and buildings are hard to condense into anything which will keep new player's attention.

Still, despite all that, it's fun to PLAY. It's been so long, I can't remember the last time we did (cue Shemp: "Y'all got too many games").

I was the first player, so Indigo it was. I usually go for the money route, with markets and coffee OR the corn strategy. This time, I was the beneficiary of a particularly lucrative propector on round three and purchased the University. How often does THAT happen? So, with the hospice in tow I started taking on colonists like crazy with my eye on the 6 building that gives you a bonus victory point for every 3 colonists (oh, and I was brewing coffee and selling it to make ends meet). Wouldn't you know it, I pushed my luck too far and Bharmer bought the 6 building before I could.

Meanwhile, Kozure went the big money route (a new tactic for him), Shemp went Pure Corn (he practically refused to buy any buildings other than a warehouse) and Bharmer did a little bit of everything.

Outcome: Bharmer wins a close game. Kozure 2nd, Shemp 3rd and me last. Still fun, though.

Blue Moon City

I alluded to it in an earlier post, but this is my pick for top game of 2007. With 4, the margin for error is slim. In a repeat performance, Bharmer claimed the top spot with 4 offerings just as most of us were considering our 2nd. Hmmm. I blame the fact that Bharmer had THE ENTIRE DECK'S WORTH OF PILLAR CARDS in his hand, and we wasted precious turns looking for some.

BTW, the standings were entirely the same as in Puerto Rico.


I've played and enjoyed Zooloretto before, but I'm happy to state that it's much more fun and compelling with 4 competitive players that it was with 3. In my previous games, I was on the verge of getting maximum points every time. With 4, the competition for "stuff" was more intense and decisions seemed to matter more. I actually felt compelled to take an incomplete cart on several occasions! It will never be a favorite of mine, but it definitely is good with 4 and should be entertaining as a family game in particular.


  1. Blue Moon City... top pick 2007?

    We're talking about the same game here, right? Bizarro alien/fantasy world and dragon scales? :)

    This is definitely a game where I appreciate the artistry of the gameplay and design but am not hot about actually playing it. Card and board art puts me off a lot in this one.

    If someone rethemed this as a ordinary city-construction game, or, I dunno, yet another Roman Empire/Renaissance construction game, I might enjoy it. As it is, the theme just rubs me the wrong way on this one.

    I enjoyed Puerto Rico as usual. This was the first game I've played where I was swimming in money by the end. I got shafted a few times on shipment because I decided to go with an office instead of a warehouse early on in the game. Ah well, I nearly made it up in sheer volume of construction.

    Zooloretto. Still can't quite figure out the Spiel der Jahres tag on this one, but it's a solid game. Definitely improved with four players. We should try it with five and see how tight it gets.

  2. Yeah, we're talking about the same game. Honestly, 2007 wasn't a great year for me from the perspective of new games played. I really enjoyed Dungeon Twister and Last Night on Earth (for what it is), but Blue Moon City is the only game that I've enjoyed that has also been a hit with others I play with (in and out of WAGS). I hear you on some aspects of the theme (particularly the role of the dragons and inclusion of scales), but I quite like the card and building art otherwise.