What's on the Table (+Screen)? [Sept-Oct 2020]

I've had the privilege to play some interesting games this past month, both on and offline, so it only seemed appropriate to include the standouts in both media. Here are some quick impressions, including links to more comprehensive reviews where available.

The Cursed Dollhouse by ThinkFun

I’ve been looking forward to this game since it was announced and it delivered a good number of interesting and tangible puzzles. There were a few ambiguities and signposts that fell a bit flat for me playing solo, but thankfully the hint system was very well thought out. This is challenging to do when you have physical puzzles but ThinkFun used images effectively to show every step. Overall an enjoyable game and perfect for the spooky season.

Time: ~2 hours

Difficulty: 2.5/5

More detailed review of this game

10 Gallon Tank by Winsmith Games

This is not a puzzle game… but it’s been on our table a lot lately, because the Kickstarter just fulfilled. 10 Gallon Tank is an aquarium-themed set collection game for 2-5 players. Its closest counterpart is probably Sushi Go!, although I find the card-splitting mechanic in this game more interesting. It plays in 3-4 rounds, which go pretty quickly. The beauty is that this game is so simple to learn and play and feels balanced with various player counts. If you have kids around I highly recommend this as a family game.

Time: ~15 minutes per game

Scarlet Envelope games 0, 1, and 2

Game 0 was meant to be a Kickstarter exclusive introduction to the series. Game 1 (Newspaper) felt like a part of that introduction, setting the premise of the series using puzzles related to various future episodes. Game 2 (Cabaret in Lapin Blanc) introduced a narrative to the contents, which greatly enhanced the gameplay. The puzzles felt more like part of a mystery to take little bites of. Despite a couple of iffy/outside knowledge moments I am looking forward to the next chapter!

Game 0+1: ~1 hour

Game 2: ~1.5 hours

Difficulty: 1.5-2/5