Insta-Impressions are a series of raw initial observations about games over on our Instagram account. Not intended to be highly complex or nearly as comprehensive as our standard reviews, these offer up visually fun and timely feedback of games hitting our table that may take months to get reviewed in full, if ever.
Happy Friday! We’re back from Gen Con, recovered from con plagues, and are jumping right into our assortment of games we brought home with us across six states. We’ve amassed our assortment of Instagram-based mini observations of games played over the last week to share with you here. You can see more of these and other photos over on Instagram.
Potion Explosion 💥 is a unique game about mixing magical elixers. Players take colored marbles from a set of tracks, trying to score match-3 style combos as they go. These marbles are put onto color-coded spaces and players get points for filling all the slots on a potion. The marble-pulling is really what makes this game, though the colorful artwork doesn't hurt. I loved trying to find the best moves I could to set off a chain of combos, and this game will probably appeal to fellow puzzle lovers! There was some strategy, but it wasn't very deep, so I'm not sure how often I'll go back to it once the novelty wears off. I'm definitely enjoying it now, though! -Erin
Ryan: Potion Explosion really has that ‘Bubble Breaker With A Purpose’ feel to me. This isn’t an incredibly complicated game, but it satiates that corner of your brain that likes puzzling out those mental challenges of figuring which marbles to grab to achieve your goals. It’s also very visually appealing, both from the colorful potions with indented spots but also, naturally, the dispenser.
I was a little perplexed by the timing of the potions and order of operations on using them on your turn (it seems that you can use them before or after your pull, based on the rules), which can make chaining a number of potions together incredibly powerful, especially in games where you really need to pull off the right set of moves. That made it lighter than I expected, but I’m already down for playing again..
Agility is a two-player game about adopting dogs and racing them through agility courses. Players use treats to get pups, each of whom has special skills when it comes to racing. Some are great at running though tunnels, others clear open ground in a flash. Players then use treats to get their dog through the obstacles. There's a fair amount of strategy involved in the card play and rondel movement, but it's not a complicated game to learn. Definitely helps to like dogs, though! I'm not completely sold on the art, but the components themselves are well-made. It was great to find a two player game about something other than combat, too! -Erin
Ryan: I have to confess that I’m enjoying Agility much more than I initially thought I would. This little game wasn’t even on my radar, but I’m glad I’ve gotten to check it out. I second Erin that it’s hard to find interesting two-player games that aren’t about tactical battlefield combat (I don’t mind them myself), and this one certainly takes the case. The dog meeples are excellent, the rules are straightforward, and I’ve been pleasantly impressed not only with the rondel-style actions but also that the types and locations of those actions are fully capable of being randomized for even more variety and replayability. I’ve played it several times now and am finding it to be an excellent little two player strategy game.
You can discuss this article and more on our social media!