Monday, May 4, 2020

Board Games as Travel

by Hannah

We are all feeling inert at the moment, so why not use board games as a method to travel from the comfort of your home? We all wish there was a way we could get out and about, and there are several games that I think can be great at simulating that experience. The games I would like to include in this article are Terraforming Mars, Tokaido, Brass Birmingham, and Fog of Love. These seemingly disparate titles are great games for transporting yourself to a different time and place and have brought me great comfort during these times. They are also great potential gifts for anyone in your life who is struggling right now.

Tokaido


Tokaido is literally a game in which players take on the role of travelers attempting to out-vacation all the other travelers. Sounds like paradise right? As someone who hasn’t been on a true vacation in roughly two years, this game is a great hold-over until I can get the real thing. The mechanics are simple—your traveler selects a space to move to and resolves whatever action is shown on that space. You will collect souvenirs, view beautiful panoramas, visit and pay tribute to the temple, work for more money on the farm, and rest at the inns along the way, as you attempt to score more victory points than anyone else. The game pieces and the imagery are lovely and perfect for transporting you to another place and time.



Fog of Love
    
Fog of Love is a great game for simulating date night, as it comes chock full of options for scenarios to help you and your partner feel like you’re leaving the house without actually doing so. The beautiful game components and the roleplaying aspects of the game allow you room to simulate delightful or disastrous dinner dates or coffee dates, as well as to bond over reliving those meet cutes or awkward first encounters. The game actually manages to explore the development of a relationship in a real and interesting way, especially as you both try to achieve the same end result by reading each other’s characters and motivations. It does also work to restore a sense of normalcy that may be suspended at the moment for people in a romantic relationship. My partner and I love it!



Terraforming Mars



Terraforming Mars is a crunchy, engine-building game in which you play a corporation attempting to terraform Mars. I know this seems a bit strange as a choice, but honestly the game is very cathartic for travelling from home. The game board is an image of the surface of Mars, and each card that you can add to your corporation’s operations has an image of a different Mars-related thing, whether that is a greenhouse on the surface of Mars or an ocean. While it is not in my favorite art style, the game does work visually somehow, and in playing it you do feel very far away from all of the craziness going on right now, especially as you work to make a whole new planet habitable.



Brass Birmingham

Brass Birmingham will take you to a different place and time in which the opportunity for riches abound for those with an aptitude for business and the guts to take risks. You will take on the role of a famous businessperson from the era of Birmingham’s Industrial Revolution, and you will attempt to build your empire by creating trade routes, producing goods, selling goods, and ultimately earning victory points. The game board has a night and day side that are identical that act as an extra layer of flavor. The game’s color palette mixed with its artwork really make you feel like you are in the Industrial Revolution as it’s happening. The historical background provided for each character you can play as also just adds to the feeling of being transported. This game is also really crunchy, so I’d recommend giving yourself a minute to learn it, though once you do it feels very intuitive.



Other Recommendations:

Century Spice Road, Century Eastern Wonders, Century A New World, Metro X, Miyabi, and any of the Ticket to Ride iterations. To find these games go to our website store.labyrinthgameshop.com . If you're curious to see one of these games reviewed for game of the day, then please let us know in the comments section and we will do our utmost to write up a brief review in the game's description on our online store, if we have not already done so.  

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