We visited my sister to help with half-term, and this gave us an opportunity to play RoboRally, which I gave Erin for her birthday. I was a bit nervous about this game because it seems that players either like or hate it. I think the key is a person’s special awareness skills, and we predicted that my brother-in-law, Paul, would be good at the game. Erin, Elaine and I played a 3-player game in the afternoon, primarily to learn the rules, which are fairly simple. In the evening we played a 5-player game, and sure enough Paul excelled by reaching the 2nd marker first. He did this even after having to power-down for repairs, only to be shunted into a laser beam which totally nullified his strategy and wasted a couple of turns. The game plays fast due to the timer, which prevents analysis-paralysis, but takes a surprisingly long time to complete. Paul had to retire to bed at this point, but the rest of us carried on. I finally reached the second marker and then rapidly moved to the 3rd winning marker. Erin was hot on my heels whilst Elaine seemed to be stuck in her own world unable to progress even to the 1st marker but judging from the laughter she was enjoying herself. At the end of the game we were all buzzing and agreed that it was a lot of fun. This is a game that needs to be light-hearted and the competitive nature of players needs to be muted. The more players the better because this increases the interaction element, and the course needs to be short with potential bottle-necks. The final verdict was “Hit”, and we can see this being played again over the Christmas period particularly after a few glasses of wine!
Erin and I also played a 2-player game of Forbidden Island. I was surprised how difficult the game becomes with only 2 players! Your hand limit means that you can only effectively target 2 of the 4 objectives initially, and therefore, you need to work your way through the deck twice to succeed. Meanwhile your limited manpower restricts your ability to prevent the island sinking. We played the ‘normal’ level game, and had only collected 2 objectives before the island sank (actually Fools Landing sank) which lost us the game. I certainly think the restriction on the number of cards in a players hand needs to be lifted is playing with only 2 players.