Catching up on Games (2/20/23)

There’s been a lot since November, the last time I did one of these. I might have to make these posts more frequent so there’s not such a pileup!

  1. Unsettled
  2. 7 Wonders + Expansions
  3. The Unseen World
  4. Now or Never
  5. Oak
  6. Paladins of the West Kingdom
  7. Winds of the North
  8. Yamatai
  9. Res Arcana
  10. Raiders of the North Sea + expansions
  11. Planetarium
  12. Formosa Tea
  13. Hanamikoji
  14. 7 Wonders Duel
  15. Mosaic
  16. Carnegie
  17. Flamme Rouge
  18. Everdell
  19. Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game
  20. Star Wars: Outer Rim + Unfinished Business
  21. Endless Winter
  22. Scarlet Heroes
  23. Age of Steam
  24. DinoGenics + Controlled Chaos
  25. Marvel United: X-Men
  26. Caverna
  27. Great Western Trail 2nd Edition
  28. Dune: Imperium
  29. Asgard’s Chosen
  30. Beyond the Sun
  31. Dead Reckoning


We tried out another “planet,” though this one had us stranded in space with asteroids. Lots of funky movement and puzzling out the board. Still a fun puzzle. Still kind of annoying writing. It’s weird, though—for a really successful Kickstarter (over $2-million), this game seems to have gotten overlooked. Almost no one talks about it. Not sure what happened.

7 Wonders + Expansions

This was our first game with the new edition. We definitely didn’t play enough of the old version to know if the balance changes made any real difference, but the new look is great. We added all the expansions, and Armada I think is still my favorite. Really adds depth to the game.

The Unseen World

This is my horror gamebook, and I played another campaign after the PDF was released so I could make any necessary changes before finalizing everything for the print version. Wasn’t much to change, but it was good to give it one last spin. Really happy with how it came out, and I’ve definitely made more money on it than I expected, even if it’s not much.

Now or Never

We enjoyed Near and Far, but my brother and I liked this one a little more. It’s still pretty long, but there’s a lot more to the game. The resources are weird with no theming. The rules for the building grid are weird and make no sense. But the exploration and combat are really fun. There are tons of ways to customize your character and party. The writing could still be better. It’s okay, but not much better than Near and Far. The campaign doesn’t look quite as interesting though. And I think if this gave players more stuff at the start, they could have shaved off a couple of rounds and cut down on the overall length. It definitely could have been fewer rounds.

I also played solitaire. The solo mode is pretty easy to operate, but you can’t play with the story mode or campaign. Your goal is to hit 100 points. If you do, then it becomes beat-your-own-score. I broke 100 on my first game. So, not really something you’d replay much, just more of a way to learn the game.


This was a big surprise for us. We went in knowing almost nothing about it, but we normally like Game Brewer’s stuff. And we were still surprised by how much we liked it. The unique workers, hand management, cool abilities you accumulate, and choosing how you’ll score at game end. There’s a lot of cool stuff in here, a really nice production, and a fun theme.

After playing 3-player, my brother and I played it 2-player. It’s a bit tight at 2 because of how the dummy works. Basically, the start of every round has spaces already taken up. It kind of replicates another player being there, but even if you’re first in the round, spaces are taken; there’s never a time when things are completely open. So it’s artificially tighter than it should be if you had more players.

Paladins of the West Kingdom

We like Raiders of the North Sea (though really just with expansions), but this one fell pretty flat from our first play. It really has no theme. And for all its complexity, it felt a bit repetitive. It was all very “meh” for us at 2. At some point, we’ll give it another try, but it’s way down the list of games to go back to.

Winds of the North

This is the current big project I’m working on. I use to write regular session reports from playtesting, but it was pretty time-consuming, especially given how much I’ve had to playtest. But after finishing The Unseen World, I went back and knocked out another full campaign pretty quickly (played roughly an hour a day until I finished). I like where the game is at, though there are still a few things to tighten up. I’ve also drafted a new, more complex combat system that’s been a lot of fun to play.


My friend bought me a copy for Christmas (it was a good deal, especially given that the game is well out of print), so of course I had to play it again. This was our first 2-player game of it, and it was a bit long. At 2-player, it’s very crunchy because you get 2 turns each round, not just 1, and there’s a lot of extra planning that goes into each decision because you can combo turns together. I’m not even sure if I enjoy it at 2, but maybe it will get a little smoother with more plays. 3-player definitely felt better overall. Still a really neat game with great components. It’s a real shame this didn’t do particularly well.

Res Arcana

Even though this type of game is usually up my alley, something about it didn’t grab me when I looked into it. So I was still a little unsure when I borrowed my friend’s copy and tried it 2-player. But I actually did really enjoy it.

Your deck is really small, but the game does a good job of capturing the feel of playing a limited format of a collectible card game. And it’s a pretty quick game too. It’s hard to say how the replayability is in the base game, but it’s been a solid experience for the two games we’ve played so far.

Raiders of the North Sea + expansions

We borrowed our friend’s copy to play 2-player with both expansions (the only way to play, really). I had forgotten how good the game is with the expansions. It honestly feels like a different game. I’ve been tempted several times to get Raiders of Scythia which has all the best parts of this one packed into the base game. We also borrowed my friend’s playmat for the game, but it’s slightly larger than the boards and doesn’t fit on our table.

I was really surprised and disappointed that for whatever reason, the solo mode for RotN is not only out of print, the publisher refuses to reprint it, won’t release print-and-play files, and the app has a cost (small as it is). I don’t know, it feels really weird. I (and MANY others) would gladly pay more for a physical set of cards or just print my own. I don’t understand the stubbornness against the solo community.


Other than appearing on the Dice Tower’s best covers video, I don’t think hardly anyone knows about this game. But my friend loves space-themed games, so he has a copy with the expansion. My brother also likes space games, so we borrowed it to try out.

It’s okay. I think we both found it a little too simple and repetitive. Not much strategy or tough decisions, even when compared with other light games. But the expansion has modules, and a couple of them sound interesting, so we might try those out at some point.

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