When we think of spring in ye olde mid-atlantic US, we think flowers and pretty yards. Lots of green and smatterings of color. I’ve got two new games to recommend that have that same spring-like beauty… but also fun and strategic game play. They may look light and frilly, but they aren’t. The added bonus us they are relatively short games and ones the whole family can enjoy.
First up is TOPIARY from Renegade Game Studios, which gets added bonus points for its inclusive meeples (male, female, non-binary, and wheelchair). In Topiary, you are out visiting a botanical garden where the topiaries are laid out in rows and columns. The goals is to “stand” at the end of a row and see as many topiaries as you can. The game is laid out in a 5 x 5 grid randomly, with the center topiary face up. Players take turns placing their meeples (or part visitors) at the end of a row, column, or diagonal. They then take one of the face down topiary tiles in the row they just place their meeple. They replace it face up. The object is to get the rows you are viewing in numerical order, as the lower numbered topiaries are shorter than the hight numbers. Once a high number is placed in your row, you can’t see beyond it. Players take turn placing meeples and flipping tiles. You get points based on what you can see, plus added points for having the same shaped topiaries in your view. There are variations you can play to up the strategy of the game. I have to say, I’ve played it three times, and have never scored very high even though I knew what I was doing… yet I still love it. It’s a challenge for me now to get better at it!
My second recommendation for a game that is as lovely to look at as play is FAIRY TILE from Iello. (out right now ONLY in indie game shops, thanks IELLO). First of all, pictures can’t do this game justice, you need to see these pieces and cards up close and personal. I have this game on our demo table next to my desk and I can’t stop looking at it. Now on to the game play. In this game you all are telling a story by moving three figures (princess, knight, and dragon) around and expanding board. Each player is handed a random stack of cards. There are two lines of text on each card (as well as an exquisite illustration). THe first line of text is your goal and will read something like, “The princess meets the dragon on the mountain”. You have to get the princess and the dragon to a mountain. You do that by moving the figurines… however… everyone else will be trying to move them too to meet their goal, AND each figurine can only move one way, much like in chess. The princess can only move 1 spot in any direction, the knight moves 2 and has to be 2 spaces from where he started, the dragon can only move in a straight line to the edge of the board. On your turn you move 1 figure or you add a new tile to the board. Once you complete the task on your card you place it down and then draw your next card. The player that gets through their stack of cards first wins. Once they are done, they then get to read aloud the second line of text on the cards which tells the “fairy tale” of the princess, knight, and dragon. This game has great replay, as the cards and tiles are always random.
So now you have two new games to bring home for those rainy spring days when you are stuck inside. Enjoy! and #PlayMoreGames