Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday Shopping Stuff- Fleet

I had a chance to play several games last week that were fun, fast, and family friendly. One, Garden Dice, is pretty ideal for all ages. The second, Fleet, is better for older teens who can calculate and manage "economies."

In a game of Fleet you create and manage a fleet of fishing vessels in Nunavut, Canada. Players can buy boats and fish for shrimp, lobster, tuna, or other sea thingys. Players can also invest in wharfside pubs, casinos, and fish processing ships. The winner is the person who can land the most fish and generate the most victory points.

Fleet's main game mechanism is a set of auctions. Players bid for "licenses" to seek out certain kinds of fish. A license will also allow you to get some in-game bonus. One key to the game is to bid for the best licenses and not pay too much. The other key is to most efficiently create your fishing fleet and then catch lots of fish.

It's clearly personal taste that makes the theme of Fleet so appealing and the theme of Garden Dice so unappealing. I also like auction games. Fleet seems to have a number of routes to victory and that's always appealing.  Finally, the components of Fleet are really top notch (like Garden Dice's are). This is another family friendly game that's fun and inexpensive and is absolutely recommended for older teens and groups of gamers.

Holiday Shopping Stuff- Garden Dice

I did originally start this blog to talk about games for kids. Last week I got a chance to play two games that would actually be big hits for younger players or games with the family.

Garden Dice is a game about planting and harvesting vegetables. The players get a rectangular board and a chance to roll four dice. Based on the dice results you can buy seeds, plant them, water the seeds, or harvest the vegetables. You can always do one or more things in a turn, the question is just how best to use your dice.

Garden Dice has a good degree of potential strategy as players try and plant in the best locations, collect the best harvested vegetables, and occasionally unleash a bird or rabbit on their opponent's plants. In fact it has more than enough depth to entertain experienced gamers. At the same time if you're old enough use numbers and colors you can probably play the game at a basic level at least. The game components are colorful and cheery and the theme is pretty inoffensive.

The garden theme did nothing for me so I don't think I would play or buy this game for myself. I would, however, heartily recommend it to anyone shopping for kids or for a family appropriate game. It probably would also be a good filler game or something to play though later in the evening after the serious gaming is done.