Friday, February 1, 2008

Basic reading ability is needed to fully enjoy this post

I haven't played a lot of games lately, I've been spending more time reading than playing. Still I have for the first time been playing a Pokémon game (I know, I'm about ten years behind the curve). I've hit a point where I'm finding it hard to continue since it is so repetitive, but what got me is this warning on the back of the package:

It's just sad that Nintendo feels the need to say that you need to be able to read to play their games. Did they get a lot of complaints from illiterates and parents who bought the game for their four year olds?

Also a coworker wanted to know about what board games to play with his wife. I lent him a small selection of games I intended to give him a taste of the range available. It's not the ideal set, but I selected from my own collection what I thought would be easy for two unexperienced players to learn on their own:

10 Days in Africa - This Alan Moon game is a lot like Rummy in its design. That gives them a foundation for understanding and the game's rules are easy to understand. Each player tries to built a run of ten countries in their hand linking them by being neighbors or through special forms of transportation.

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers - I prefer this version of Carcassonne to the original. Carcassonne is a great game for introducing someone to modern board gaming since it is easy to understand and play.

1960: The Making of the President - Neither of the other two games I provided were very thematic and I wanted to include something that took the complexity up a bit without going off the deep end. Most of my other heavily themed games either require more players, need a player that is attached to the theme, or take the complexity right off the scale of what I would want to show a new player. The card game mechanics of 1960 and the election theme should make this one easier to follow.