For the 3rd night in our month of top 10s, we are looking at “Next Step” games. These are the games, that we wouldn’t introduce a non-gamer to until they have had some plays of the ones on the “welcoming” games list. And sure many of these CAN be played by new players, in our experience they often find these games a bit “intimidating” In this list we ordered by how complex the game feels to us.
1. Tiny Towns - Ever played Bingo? Than you can learn Tiny Towns.
2. Barenpark - Less abstract than Patchwork, which may make it a better choice as an intro to polyomino games.
3. Forbidden Desert - slightly more complex than Forbidden Island, but a deeper more strategic game.
4. Sagrada - a pretty dice drafting game about building stained glass windows with colored dice that do make it seem like building a window.
5. Quacks of Quedlinburg - theme may be a bit weird to some, but a great intro to bag building and press your luck.
6. PARKS - a clear step up from TRAILS from the last list. Beautiful artwork with more depth.
7. Takenoko - the adorable panda and the 3D aspect of the game make for an easy to understand game.
8. Century Golem Endless World - one of the harder mechanisms to teach in our experience is worker placement. Often because worker placement games are complex. This one is very simple and straightforward.
9. Space Base - not really a good intro to anything, but just a great simple game. Our favorite on this list.
10. Calico - Almost to the next level, whatever that is. Calico is mechanically simple, but makes your brain work hard. A good gateway into more complex strategy games.
And that’s it for another top 10. Check out tomorrow, for a new one.
Games that inspire me to create - Part 3. “Forbidden Desert” @matt.leacock
Forbidden Desert was the first game to really draw me into co-op games. I remember wanting to play again and again until I beat the first level and then moving on to the next challenging level.
Co-op and Solo games have really exploded lately, especially during the pandemic. I see more and more co-op games on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Gamefound.
From a creative standpoint I view Forbidden Desert like one big puzzle. Just like a rubix cube I know what to expect going into it but it’s mixed up every time. I know the core moves I need to make to start unlocking its mechanisms but if I’m too relaxed about my actions then I can quickly fall into chaos.
When I design games I want players to have a sense of importance and urgency to what they do on their turn as every action can really matter. I also love designing games that set up differently every game. You might have visited the magically forest before but this time your showing up at a different point in your journey with different circumstances.
My only complaint with a game like Forbidden Desert is that once you start to master the puzzle you start to lose the replay ability. I hope to learn from games like this in ways I can take the puzzle aspects and apply them to something more competitive outside of a co-op setting. 🏜 🎲 .