I like board games. About once a week me and three friends get together to play. Now I'm not talking about Monopoly or Cluedo. I'm talking about the new breed of board games. Games that are really more about the playing than the winning. Generally, if I have played a game and enjoyed it without winning, I think it's a good game. Now my son and daughter are getting to an age where they can play games that are more structured. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not a fan of the "classic" games and being an old school RPG'er at heart, I'm keen to find something that might be a gateway for them to get into board games. One that has proved to be a big hit with my son at least is called Mice and Mystics.
Mice and Mystics is a cooperative, storytelling board game. So, the players compete against the game and not each other. Paraphrasing the blurb from the publisher, here is the outline. The King has had an evil spell cast over him by the treacherous Queen Vanestra and he sleeps eternally. Prince Collin, who is his son and some of the other members of the castle are loyal to the king but have been turned into mice by the evil queen.
Even as humans the castle would be dangerous enough with Vanestra's minions around, but now it is twenty times bigger due to the fact that the players are mice. Their foes as they race to save the king will be rats, spiders, roaches. Skitterclack the centipede and last but certainly not least, Brodie, the castle cat. He is all kinds of mean.
The game has several boards that are double sided. Each side being a separate area of the castle. The edges are entrances to other parts and the boards can be flipped over to be under (or above) the previous board. Now, before each board is explored, a piece of story is read. Then the exploring, fighting and escaping takes place. Once a board has been explored, more story is revealed and another chapter starts. As the game progresses, the mice gain tiny equipment like a walnut shell breastplate, or a button shield. Pieces of chese can help the mice become more powerful, unlocking new abilities and helping them defeat enemies. A common dinner fork can be used as a catapult to fire grapes at roaches to keep them away from the mice, or even launch mice from the floor to a previously unassailable table top. The action is quite frenetic at times and we as a group have sometimes fallen foul to spiders, packs of roaches and of course, Brodie.
The game has a great mix of dice rolling, simple maths and of course the storytelling element, forcing the younger players to use their imagination. It's a great way to while away a few hours of an afternoon when the kids are bored of the Xbox. Can't recommend it enough. If you would like to find out more, have a look at the website here.
If you are interested in board games at all and fancy something different, have a look at Board Game Geek. I'm sure you will be able to find something that will suit your taste. I get lost there quite often...
Rocco's random number is 1758 which takes you to Bigger on the Inside. Wonder if that's a reference to Doctor Who?