Issue 29: Cascadia, Regicide and Kabuto Sumo — plus, three games to play this year
Is Cascadia the game of the year? Who knows, but it's a lot of fun.
Hello! It’s been something like two months since you last had one of these appear magically in your inbox. I hope you’ve been having a fun, safe summer, and I hope you’ve either played lots of games or that you’ve had a nice break away from the table for a change of pace. (Your choice, really.)
I’ve not stopped thinking about games, but wouldn’t you know, the summer has seen me playing fewer games. I’m starting to realize that’s how most years have been for me. It’s a little cyclical. Maybe it’ll change some year, but I don’t mind, really. Variety is a wonderful thing.
The Summer of Games
I know, summer is wrapping up, and I came to a bit of a realization: Summer isn’t when I play games the most. Winter? Now that’s the stuff for me and getting in deep with games. But if I titled this The Winter of Games, that sounds pretty bad. Like maybe games are all going away. I don’t think that’s the case.
This was one of the hot games of summer 2021, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a puzzly little game set in, well, Cascadia — the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. — and it’s a good bit of fun. The hex tiles are pretty, the paths to victory are plentiful, and the strategy unfolds very nicely as the game goes on. With five different goal cards to focus on, you’re rarely left in a position of not having something you can do that would net you points, and avoiding that feeling of helplessness is really helpful in a game of this sort.
I really appreciate the work being done by Flatout Games, who
The only complaint I have is that I haven’t played it enough, which is really on me and not anybody else.
Also played: Regicide
It’s been long enough since I’ve written to you, dear reader, that I’m including two games I’ve played recently. The other is Regicide, which I learned about just before a little trip to Chicago with some friends. (Where’d I learn Regicide, you ask? Shut Up and Sit Down. Of course.) Anyway, it’s a cooperative game you can easily play with a 54-card deck (the normal 52 plus two jokers) in which you and your teammates fight off jesters, queens and kings, while trying to avoid losing so much health as to lose all your cards in hand. That’s how you lose. You win by defeating all 12 of those royal cards, and I’ll let you learn about the rest if it interests you. (Side note: We did not win when we played. We would have liked to have won, though.)
Also also played: Kabuto Sumo
Alright, folks. Do you remember those coin games at arcades where you’d try to push a bunch of coins off an edge so you get a ton of tickets? Well, this is that, except it’s competitive, and you play as wrestling bugs trying to knock other bugs out of the ring, all by pushing one piece on the board at a time. The concept is so simple, but the execution is more difficult than you’d expect. This feels like a very different kind of dexterity game than what’s come before, and I truly enjoyed playing it.
Three games you should consider playing this year
I know there’s not a lot of time left in the year. For Q4 2021, here are three games that I think you should consider playing to round things out.
Regicide — I know I just wrote about it, but I wanted to bring it up again. Yes, you can buy a deck of cards specifically built for this game, but you can also play it with face cards. You might have a deck of cards laying around already. Give it a go! I want to make sure I’m not only recommending games that you’ll have to buy.
Intrepid — This asymmetric co-op from Utah designer Jeff Beck has me excited. It’s sitting in my office just waiting to be played, either solo or not solo. I actually interviewed him just over a year ago, and I’ve been excited for the game since. I’ve had it in hand for a little bit now, so the fact that I haven’t played it is on me.
The Crew: Mission Deep Sea — If you’ve read more than one issue of this newsletter (and maybe even just one issue is enough, come to think of it), you’ll know how much I loved The Crew. This sequel to it is something I’m excited to play, and I can nearly guarantee you’ll have a good time, too. (Once I play it, I’ll feel very comfortable wholly guaranteeing it, but I’m hedging my bets a little here.)
Photo of the Week: Cascadia
I love a nice, colorful game, and Cascadia definitely is that. The puzzly nature really catches me, and the art is a real boost, too.
Season two of Vintage Sci-Fi Shorts is being released weekly (episode three just dropped on Sunday), and I’ve got a fun plan for a shortened third season, and I’m recording the fourth season as we speak. I mean, not literally as we speak, but I hope you get the idea. Did you know that before there was ‘sci-fi’, there was ‘scientifiction’? It’s quite a term, and it doesn’t really flow well.
Thanks for reading Don't Eat the Meeples. You can find me on Instagram and on Twitter. I even started a podcast this year, Vintage Sci-Fi Shorts, in which I read old science fiction short stories from the pages of old science fiction magazines.
If you like this newsletter, consider sharing it with a friend. Have a game in mind you think I should play? Just respond to this email, or leave a comment.