Board game reviews: Post-International Tabletop Day Edition

International Tabletop Day has been and gone, and I’ve managed to play plenty of games with people over the weekend, and I should be able to get even more in tomorrow. As a result, I’ve managed to play some games that have been in my personal collection for a while, but haven’t had the chance to play (it’s not just Steam where I dilly, and indeed dally). Without any further ado, here’s three that I managed to play.

Witness

Witness

Like I said, I love licensed games.

Based on the thrillingly plotted and beautifully drawn (if downright wordy) post-WWII French comic series created by E.P. Jacobs, Witness is basically “Grandmother’s Shopping” and “Telephone” rolled into one, with a healthy dollop of theme added in to spice things up.

The game comes with 64 cases for four players to solve – no more, no less. The titular characters are of course present, but two minor characters from the series are added to round things off. Each character has a clue for each case, which they whisper to the person to their right.

When that is done, the person to their left whispers the two clues they already know to them, and finally the three clues that person now has are whispered to the person on the right. After all that, everyone writes down all the clues, and tries to fit everything together before the answer is read out.

If that sounds a bit complicated… well, it can be for the first case (a relatively straight-forward murder mystery), which was all we had time for yesterday. One of the players couldn’t have been more than 12, and it wasn’t until we were done that I noticed that the suggested player age was 13+, so good on her for giving it a go.

In spite of the initial confusion, the general consensus was that this was a good game…albeit one that perhaps needed a few clarifications in the rules/answers. I’ll definitely bring it out again.

Shave A Sheep

Shave A Sheep

Another filler game – this time, one that didn’t leave players scratching their heads after the rules were read out – was Shave A Sheep, an offering from Lego’s occasional foray into the world of board games. The second-hand copy I bought came with the pieces already assembled, which was an oversight on the part of the seller. After all, where’s the fun in Lego that’s already been built?

However, the game itself is pretty straightforward; you have to let your sheep grow as much wool as possible, before the wolf eats it off (because that’s what wolves eat… wool) by rolling the dice. There are opportunities to scupper your opponent, by bringing the wolf round their way or even swapping sheep altogether. There were also rule variants, and even an alternate die layout, but we decided to get to grips with the basics first.

This was another game I played with the pre-teen, who enjoyed it enormously (the fact that she won probably helped) and everyone agreed that this was an excellent game for any age.

Dilbert: Corporate Shuffle

Corporate Shuffle

No, I don’t know what a “Great Dalmuti” is, either.

This one was, frankly, a bit of a damp squib, if only because we couldn’t figure out what we were meant to be doing. The rulebook seemed more keen on replicating the humour of the Dilbert comic strip than explaining the rules. I get the importance of keeping the theme, but knowing what to do would’ve been just as nice, if not more so.

Shame, really.

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