Rachel – Best Game Fest

Firstly, I played Turtle Wushu. The game is a carbon copy of Johann Sebastian Joust, but with turtles. Because of its repetition, I lost interest in the game quickly. When I pulled my hand out of the center to start the game, the turtle always moved to my disadvantage. Over enthusiasm kills.

Then I played Unwanted Entities, in which teams represent development committees that have to group their own colored buildings in neighborhoods and cast out uncolored sticks (the unwanted entities.) The metaphor is pretty heavy handed: the poor/homeless/racial minorities drive down property value, so get rid of them. Using colored sticks to represent “affluent” majorities was a good choice, but it could have been pushed from primary colors to those of “race.” The group of neighborhoods spread out enough that running from neighborhood to neighborhood was a strenuous activity. Players really worked hard to push out those poor people. This would add to the shock of realizing you’re playing as a bigot, if that information wasn’t given to you at the beginning.

Then I played Mont Trottoir, in which teams “climb a mountain” by reaching landmarks and thwarting the other team’s progression. Of the games I played, I found this one to be the most fun. The presence of a godlike referee was distracting; the opposite team did a good enough job of checking your moves. The card system was also distracting. While the different special abilities added a vengeance dynamic, holding the cards and trying to remember them got in the way of grasping for landmarks and communicating with the team. Other than that, I found this game to be the quickest to understand and sink into.