The Seal of Disapproval: March Crowdfunding Grumpy
JW: I don't remember allowing pets in here, what's this? I nearly stepped on it. Eeww, it smells!
Athena: It's cute.
JW: You know you'll have to feed it, right?
Athena: (throwing a fish): Catch! Good boy.
You know we needed one. I'm really fed up with all the campaigns that don't give us any info about gameplay or solo rules. It takes me hours of research to end up with nothing. And if we don't write an announcement, the fans complain about us ignoring those games on purpose.
JW: I guess you're right. But man, that smell.
Athena: You'll get used to it. (throws another fish) Yes, again, good one! (yells after the fish) So, You've Been Eaten.
Athena: It was the first game I used the seal on this week. It should have been published over a year ago and still no info. We'll find out when it's live on Kickstarter, like everybody else.
JW: Yes, I had that problem with Aeon's End: Legacy of Gravehold. Wasn't able to write an announcement until the day after it launched. Not even the live date had been shared. "Solitaire Times: you read it here last". Give me one of those fish. (throws it) Oh. Ehm, is he able to go to the balcony by himself?
Athena: Anyway. March. Springtime. Will you visit the Keukenhof?
JW: I'm not sure yet it will be open this year.
Athena: Then I have good news for you: Gift of Tulips will make it possible to make a virtual visit.
JW: Oh! now I get it. The box said "Amsterdam's Tulip Festival". No idea what they meant. But of course, the Keukenhof. That's in a whole other province. They should have hired a cultural advisor. But yeah, tulips, windmills, Delft blue - makes me feel all nostalgic.
Athena: Aww, you look like a postcard! "Greetings from Holland". But let's get back on topic. There's also Floriferous if you want more floral notes. The goal is to "find the most joy". Since you didn't find it in Herbaceous, Herbaceous Sprouts and Sunset Over Water.
JW: Right! I'll put it in my Whatnot Tolike Cabinet. I see Pencil First can't afford Beth Sobel anymore. Which is actually a huge improvement. The cards are looking good! I don't understand the theme, but hey. You pick flowers, then a card with a cup of tea is awarded at the end to the player who has collected the most stones. Whatever.
Athena: Ah, here is a game inspired by a theater play! Chekhov's Three Sisters. I'll play as Olga the spinster, I guess.
JW: Athena, I hate to take you out of your ivory tower, but Three Sisters is a roll 'n' write about growing pumpkins.
Athena: Oh man, another roll 'n' write! Let's move on to other games, please.
JW: Everdell is getting more expansions and a Big Box. This time you have to plant a tree in your backyard to play it. The solo mode was said to be mediocre but who cares.
Athena: We've said it before, we'll say it again: anthropomorphic animals can sell anything. The Silverwood Grove creators sure know this. All they have posted on the game page is pictures of cutesy animals.
JW: Do we have anything that isn't about flora and fauna?
Athena: You love dice games. How about Long Shot: The Dice Game ?
JW: It's a long sho... sorry. But maybe you can help me out. It's a 1-8 player game about horse races. Sure. Fine. Whatever. The game description says "In Long Shot: The Dice Game, you and up to eight players will strategize and push your luck". So what do "you" in this description do, if you're not one of the 1-8 players? Hm? Hm? And do we need "you" when playing solo?
Athena: You got a point there.
JW: Who's "you" ? Man, this is freaking me out.
Athena: Calm down. Maybe another dice game then. In Eternal Palace you roll dice to reach a location and then improve it to please the Emperor.
JW: But if a location is inaccessible, you can reach it by paying fish. Fish! They've got seals guarding the Palace! Aramini should have stuck to Sprawlopolis variants or at least hired a cultural advisor. Seals are not used as guards in the Far East, they're used as food.
Athena: (nods her head towards the balcony) Sssh. It may hear you and get upset.
JW: Oh, yeah, yeah. 😬 Quick, let's change the subject.
Athena: There's also Stellaris: Infinite Legacy. But only if you buy the expansion - which includes super useful components for 5 and 6 players. It's not solo out of the box, so that's a no from me.
JW: I'm interested in the concept. Most Legacy games are very finite. No ending this one though. Once you're in, you're in for life. Plus, it advertises replayability, so that will give us infinite times infinite, which is like (counts on fingers), still infinite but way more.
Athena: My funds are finite though. I'm not paying extra for the expansion.
JW: You've played most of Robinson Crusoe. Interested in the fancy Collector's Edition? It's got minis.
Athena: Minis, scenarios for children and a big box. Exactly what the game doesn't need. About time they designed a new game instead of pumping this one up with nonsense. Talking about minis. Remember the Sadlers selling all those minis without a game to use them in? This time they'll do the opposite, and publish a miniatures game without the miniatures: Lasting Tales.
JW: That is not confusing at all. But the game was designed by somebody else. Or written? It's a rulebook with an epic narrative campaign. So what is this like? Me reading the Lord of the Rings while moving half-painted halflings that I had lying around as stand-in hobbits through a cardboard terrain of Middle-Earth that I've got to build myself?
JW: And it costs money?
JW: Huh. Where's our pet seal, I feel a strong urge to disapprove.