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’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.
T.I.M.E. Stories ⌚ is a 2-4 player narrative game put out by Asmodee. You all play agents traveling around to prevent temporal anomalies. The catch is that there's no way to investigate everything you need in one play, so you have to run through each scenario 4-5 times to win … which is good because the base game is about $50 and only comes with one scenario (which isn't replayable). It's a lot of fun if you like narrative games as much as I do, but a big portion of it is trying to work together and remember things from previous games so it can also be frustrating. Don't want to say much more because of spoilers, though. -Erin #boardgames #timestories #games
Ryan: Yeah, T.I.M.E. Stories certainly isn’t easy to go into thematic detail of because of the spoilery nature behind the one-and-done campaigns, but the mechanics flow quite nicely and allow you to dive into the flavor of your characters as much or as little as you want, which I appreciate. The whole idea of ‘resetting’ after each playthrough is also really novel. It puts it somewhere between a typical board game playthrough and a full Legacy-style game. Based on my experience thus far I’m really enjoying what TIME Stories is doing, but I can also see why some would hesitate on investing in it.
Grand Austria Hotel
Grand Austria Hotel 🏤 is a 2-4 player strategy game put out by Mayfair. Players are hoteliers trying to satisfy guests. Lots of symbols and down time, so it's probably more fun if most players are familiar with the game. We ran into a problem with a runaway leader – Ryan took the lead and was impossible to catch up with, which makes it a little less fun. Still liked it though, but need to try it again before I form a real opinion. #boardgames #review #grandaustriahotel
Ryan: I got to try a demo of Grand Austria at BGGCon, but this was my first full game. Needless to say, there is a lot of downtime in this game – and this playthrough was only with 3. I envision 4 player may be problematic in that sense. That said, I love all of the moving pieces in this thinker – definitely a game that favors Architects and Tacticians. I did sort of run away with the game here though, and I’m not sure if that was due to a runaway leader issue or a lack of a catchup mechanic. GAH does seem punishing at first glance if you fall behind, but more playthroughs will be needed to know for sure.
Karuba 💎 is a family game put out by HABA, and it was a lot of fun. Players are trying to build paths through the jungle to get their meeple to their temples. It was actually more subdued than I was expecting – I think because there's no time limit on placing your tiles and no interaction. It's really puzzly and fun, but I was expecting something more lively. That said, I'd totally play again. -Erin #boardgames #games #karuba
Ryan: I too was surprised at how light the game was, and especially how solitary the gameplay can be. In some ways it almost felt like a more creative version of Bingo, with one person calling out the tile you have to place. If you go into it expecting something more interactive (as most family games tend to be), it can be a bit surprising. That said, this same tile calling system rewards you for carefully and strategically placing your tiles for maximum treasure goodness. It’s certainly a light game, but there’s subtle buildup to Karuba that will make most people seeking a casual game want to wipe your board and play it over again.
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