The forest ratmen were on the loose, overrunning the land and pushing out stout elves, heroic dwarves and berserk trolls wherever they found them. As the ratmen invaded region after region, other factions left this world, but not for long. They only retreated for a little while as they regrouped and then returned with fresh vigour but reduced strength. The battle was on and there wasn’t much room for everyone on the map. After all, it was a Smallworld by Days of Wonder.
My two best friends were here and we decided to go out into the yard and see who else was about. Chef and Prince were hanging around the street at the back of the house, while Smoke and Doc were playing tag. Blitz and Sweet Pea were up the ash tree in the neighbour’s garden. It was a motley crew, but we usually got up to some fun. Suddenly I had an idea. It would be cool if we had a little competition with all the other kids in the neighbourhood and see who could build the biggest and strongest Fort by Leder Games.
We had been transported to another world, another time maybe. The stars were all wrong, not matching any of the charts we had on board our ship, the Manticore. Captain Sofi Odessa decided we should make landfall and spotted a natural harbour nearby. As we got closer, we saw an old woman waving to us from the shore. It seemed like she had been expecting us. Once we had dropped anchor, we went to the starboard side to speak to the woman and find out what she wanted. She was clearly excited to see us and immediately told us that we were here to wake the Sleeping Gods by Red Raven Games.
Building the Colossus was going to require a lot of resources. Some iron for the base, many carefully hewn and ornately dressed stones to create a strong structure that would represent our most revered sun-god Helios. Chares, the sculptor, oversaw the project from start to finish to ensure the Gods would smile on us and our country’s fortunes well into the future. We all knew it was going to be hard work, but it seemed that the Gods helped us along and building the whole structure was over more quickly than anyone expected. In fact, it was so quick that we couldn’t wait to build yet another One Card Wonder by Ape Games.
There was one creature waiting in each corner of the square battle arena and a tower of tiles was in its centre. It was the quiet before the storm as the players looked at their five tiles and silently contemplated the best way of playing them. It was vital that tiles were placed in the right place at the right time to score the most points, while denying other players their chance of racing into the lead. After all, only one of the players would be victorious in this Kombo Klash by Hub Games.
I had to get my message to the Princess. It was vitally important that she would hear this, but I had to be extremely careful. Many people were plotting against her, and against me, so nobody could be trusted. I had to try and get past the guards, the handmaiden and others to reach her. My heart was beating in my throat and my emotions were welling up. I tried to keep it together, because I was so close to delivering to her my Love Letter by Z-Man Games.
It was the fifth factory you had visited today, as you were trying to find three turquoise ceramic tiles to complete your pattern in the King’s palace. You needed three – exactly – no more, no less. The first factory you had visited had no turquoise tiles, the second had four, the third had only one and the fourth had two. The factory you were in now, was the last one that made these tiles, and if it didn’t have the exact number of turquoise tiles you needed, you had to go back to the previous one and make do with two, which would put you behind schedule and make the King angry. Yet, you were in luck. The factory overseer told you that they had your tiles and exactly three of them. You were so pleased that you found three tiles that were all Azul by Next Move Games.
I slammed down Cowgirl and immediately opened the bidding with a “Klik”, which was countered with a “Thwak” and to which I responded with a “Splat”. A “Twang” played by the other side brought us level again, which meant I could still win this. After a moment’s hesitation, the other side played “And” and immediately put down Wheel-Demon, closely followed by “Zooom”, giving them the leading bid. However, their unexpected move actually gave me the advantage. I put down “Kerunch”, which they countered with “Eeeek!!”, which I trumped with “Crrash”, which they… no… they couldn’t keep up. The bids were level, which meant I was victorious and was inching closer to victory with another two Heroic Echoic by Happyclash Games.
With a loud “Bang!” the head flew off, followed by a “leg-splosion” that severed both legs, leaving only the body and the left arm. It wasn’t pretty. Yet, you knew you could turn it all around. There were still plenty of options. You just had to duck and dive and try and swap body parts with another robot to boost your own. You were sure that in the end you would be a Bots Up.
I know, it’s not yet Christmas, but bear with me on this one. Cracker Games by The Dark Imp is going to be on Kickstarter on 1 September 2020 and is scheduled to reach backers in December, before Christmas. So, yes, lead times are a bit longer. However, even if you’re not in the mood for the festive season, the Cracker Games are worth checking out, as you’ll see in my review below.