Some quick impressions on my experiences with a couple of new to me games.
Bears vs Babies
As I’m sure is beyond clear from the title and box art, this card game is completely absurd and ever so slightly disturbed. Players build frankenstein monstrous creatures by stitching together body parts to fight off approaching hordes of hideous babies and eat them if victorious. Highest combined value of eaten babies at end of game (collected points) wins. Three different types (land, air, and sea) of attacking babies and defending monsters, as well as the players being in control of when babies attack and thus able to perhaps force other players into action before they’re ready form the backbone of the game’s strategic elements.
The gameplay’s ok but seemed limited. It might have been a bad draw, and/or the player count leading to a limited number of actions per turn. Although I feel I got a good enough feel for it to know there are better games in this vein. But the ridiculous theme is main draw anyway. If grafting a pair of lobster claws onto a body wearing a tutu with tank treads for legs and a beaver head to fight deformed babies sounds hilarious the shallow mechanics likely won’t matter much. Wasn’t quite enough for me though.
In Shahrazad the goal is to lay out the twenty one tiles in such a way that no tile touches a lower value to its right and every tile is connected to the first and last columns via direct left to right path. After tiles that do not meet those conditions are eliminated score is determined by the largest connected sections of each color.
There are two player co-op rules, but this really feels like it’s primarily a single player puzzle, and that’s how I’ve played. It’s interesting and I had fun with it, but I think I’m done. The (admittedly reasonable) limits on column height makes it feels “solvable” in the sense of having a best strategy/layout to go for that doesn’t change much. The randomness of the two tiles in the player’s hand at any time doesn’t do enough to get by that. The second round where “eliminated” tiles from round 1 aren’t used can actually be more interesting because of having a different number of tiles, but it’s a direct result of playing poorly in round 1.
Overall I did really enjoy this for a little under ten games and do recommend it on a short term basis, but it unfortunately lacks in longevity.
Hope to be back with more soon.