JW and I had one of our usual "what to buy next" discussions the other day. I had browsed the local shops to check what's available, and, as I was in an Ameritrashy mood, I swayed between Jaws of the Lion and Bloodborne: The Board Game. Bloodborne, however, is expensive. No Pun Included says it's a mediocre game. And the box is too big for my limited space. Jaws, on the other hand, has this practical but awful-looking spiral notebook which reminds me more of homework than gaming. It doesn't excite me that much, although I may end up liking the card play. In the end, I decided I wasn't even willing to tackle a new rulebook, and returned to point zero. JW, who didn't intend to buy anything, went ahead and ordered Jaws for himself.
I had been thinking about playing some of the older games I have for a long time now, but newer ones kept stealing my attention. I also tend to play certain games I like on repeat, while others sit on the shelf, neglected. So I set to myself the challenge of revisiting the solo games in my collection (approx. 45), and play each of them at least once. This is easier said than done, of course, and I may give up eventually if it feels like a chore. It should also reveal how well my games stand the test of time, which of them are perennially enjoyable, and which ones will head to the sell pile. I will try to keep a record of these revisits here, in short Table Presence posts, although I won't set limits on how long I will spend with each game. So, the first one I picked was:
I had actually started to miss this one, so it was easy to bring it to the table. I bought it sometime in 2017 or 2018, with the intention of playing it co-op with my then-BF. I think it plays best as a solo game, because it requires extreme concentration. I lied to myself that I would manage to win this time around. Have you ever seen a fisherman beat an octopus on the rocks, to make it soft enough for grilling? That's how this game is beating me up. Relentlessly. It never feels unfair, however. Yes, there are dice rolls, but it is mostly a matter of perfect coordination of the ninjas.
I can keep the ghosts under control for most of the game, but at some point my focus weakens, I make a mistaken move, and all hell breaks loose. The board gets filled up, the ninjas begin to fall one by one, and as soon as Wu-Feng appears, it's game over for the Chinese village.
I know there are strategy tips and folks who have figured it out and can win regularly, but I'm not as smart as them, and I don't want to be told the solution. I really like it even if I'm losing.
Verdict: Still great fun. I'll play this some more until I either get tired or win. Yeah, nah, until I get tired. A keeper.