On my table: Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game
What do you base your decision on, when you evaluate a game? Clever mechanisms? Interesting theme? Aesthetic appeal? All of these, I suppose. But the first thing I ask myself is 'did I have fun?' And then, 'do I want to play this again?'
The answer in the case of Legendary Alien is yes, and yes. So where exactly does the fun lie in this game? After all, with regard to deck building, it doesn't do anything innovative. Is it because of the Alien movie theme? I have certainly enjoyed most of the franchise, but I'm not one of those people who quote lines and remember every single scene. What is it, then?
The conveyor belt. That is, for me, where all the tension is generated, and makes me want to revisit it. On every turn, the enemies progress step by step in a series of rooms. You can't see what they are, only that they are approaching. If you don't have enough attack strength to reveal them on time, they will reach the Combat Zone, and strike you. It is exactly this simulation of the enemy's movement, the fact that you see it coming, but don't know what it is, only that it might be something really nasty, that makes the game fascinating.
I'm not saying that it is perfect, of course. Especially the last movie seems impossible to beat unless luck helps you achieve a specific card combo. It is, however, a very engaging, and truly entertaining game. This is something I don't come across very often, so I consider it the utmost praise when I finish a session, and think 'oh, what a fun game!'