Why I chose Catacombs and excitment in games

So I was recently fortunate enough to win one of the BGA giveaways (Yay me) and threw out a few ideas for what to get, (sadly my no.1 pick #878: Vikings - Invasions of England had snuck above the $60 line a few days before).

In the running were #Root, #Days of Ire: Budapest 1956, #Spirit Island, and #Catacombs 3rd Edition.

I asked the hive mind of BGA for some thoughts and had a lot of positivity for both #Root (I think BGA loves this game more than anything!) and #Spirit Island. Less enthusiasm for the other two. I'll go through each one and why I did/didn't go for it:

Days of Ire: A game that is relatively new on my radar, I liked the 1 vs many or co-op options, thematically it is an area of history I know little about which would make it interesting. I kind of looked like a pandemic-esque kind of game but on the heavier side. In the end I figured while I would want to play it at some point I'm not sure how often I would get it to the table as I have a number of similar games (#Pandemic: On the Brink, #Eldritch Horror

Spirit Island: Looks incredibly cool looking co-op puzzler (lots of people commenting on it as a good solo game although I don't tend to play solo) lots of replayability with scaling and different spirits. I think if I didn't already know a couple of people with it (and I know it is next on the list for my brother to buy), this one might have taken it.  I figure I will get to play it sometime soon, and again, it would be competing with my co-op library for table-time.

Root: I surprised myself by not picking this one, I have loved the idea of Root for years, and for many years it hasn't been readily available in the UK (often just on the second-hand market for ludicrous money) I love asymmetry and Root has it in buckets. I don't know anyone with it and think it is gorgeous with regard to artwork. The only potential con is that I relatively recently acquired #Cry Havoc which is a highly (although not quite to the extent of Root) asymmetric area control game which I absolutely adore (and which I found because I was on the look out for games similar to Root) so would be like getting two very similar games one after the other. however, this isn't the reason I didn't get Root. The reason was I just wanted Catacombs more:

Catacombs: Catacombs is a 1 vs Many dexterity dungeon crawler, one that was on my radar for a while but again seemed non-existent in the UK unless I wanted to pay extortionate prices, So I had mostly forgotten about it until this giveaway fell into my lap. It was one that I tagged onto the list of potential games without thinking I would actually get it, but as I was thinking them over as I went about my days, I kept drifting to thinking about what it would be like to play. I remember talking all the games through with my partner and afterwards her commenting that I sounded most excited about catacombs and I realised that that was true: Even though I thought and still think Root is probably the 'better' game I was just so much more excited to play Catacombs: it is like nothing I have in my collection and I wanted the epic-ness of a flick going perfectly and the hilarity of it going disastrously wrong. I could imagine the laughter and jokes around the table with my friends as we played. That excitement was still there when it arrived, when I spent a whole evening sticking stickers to little wooden disks, and when I first played it with my partner (who has decided that flicking things is too much for her emotionally). I cannot wait until it is safe to bring this to a board game evening and go on a little epic quest with some friends through the medium of hitting wooden disks with other wooden disks.

So yes, basically, heart prevailed over head and I have no regrets. I have tended to buy games second-hand when they are massively reduced (charity jobs don't pay so well) so have often not had free reign to chose 'any game', so was it was an interesting revelation for me to see how my mind worked when I had that option.

How do you go about picking a game to buy and how much does 'excitement' play into your final decision?

Thanks to all those who gave their input and to BGA for running the giveaway!





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Supporter4 months ago

I'm happy for you (that was an enjoyable read by the way, it's fun to hear how you made your decision)! Glad you're more than satisfied by your pick and reading your post honestly made me want to look up #Catacombs 3rd Edition haha

4 months ago

Very satisfied, I will definitely pick up Root, but I think I really enjoy having a good range of games to share with people (I do enjoy the challenge of picking a game to suit the occasion) and I think this adds a new dimension to my collection and it is seemingly an excellent game to boot!

4 months ago

If you don't want to add it to your wishlist, do NOT watch the SUSD playthrough...it is an extremely fun video...

4 months ago

Haha, then again, SUSD make everything look like fun!

4 months ago

lol you are not wrong, but I felt like they truly enjoyed this experience...well Quinns took a shot at the beginning so maybe that is why he enjoyed it so lol. 

4 months ago

Haha, maybe, although it was early in the morning so maybe not so much :D But yes I think it is a game that will create a lot of happy memories: Maybe not test you strategically like a euro might, but be a good time all round

4 months ago

Oh for sure! I build collection around both types of games. Meaty euros and approachable games for non-gamer friends!

4 months ago

For sure, I really enjoy watching someone new to games take joy from a game

4 months ago

It is definitely one of the simple joys in life!

4 months ago

Although occasionally I get too enthusiastic and have to reign it in to not concern someone :D 

4 months ago

Gotta play it cool!!

4 months ago

For sure, but inside I am bouncing around with a big grin

4 months ago

I had never heard of Catacombs but it honestly looks really cool! I am going to look a little more into it because it seems accessible and fun group game!

4 months ago

It takes almost no time to teach and only the 'overseer' (the one controlling the monsters) really needs to know what everything means, everyone else just needs to learn their character (which takes about 30 seconds) and everything else can be explained as you go along. 

4 months ago

I started watching a play through with SUSD and I am not gonna lie, it looks like a blast!

4 months ago

It so is, plus there feels like a progression through the game that often isn't present in dexterity games.

4 months ago

Oh for sure! How long would you say a standard game takes?

4 months ago

Certainly longer than something like #Flick Em Up! : Each mission is much quicker but you play several. I would guess the whole thing was about 90 mins although I wasn't timing it so that is very much a guess.

4 months ago

This definitely appeals to me more than Flick Em Up, I like the progression, the market and the look more!

4 months ago

For sure, I feel like the variety in two games comes from different places: with Flick em up it is in the set up of each mission and your objectives, with catacombs it comes from all the play abilities and the huge variety of monsters. Also, I just love the dungeon crawler theme more than westerns, especially as you have the mixture of melee and range (and magic) going on.

4 months ago

I think that is what appeals to me most, the focus is more on the abilities and less on the set up, that is way more fun!

4 months ago

It also gives each character more, well, character, and allows for more interesting team work

4 months ago

Oh for sure, but none of the abilities are so confusing as to slow down the flow of the game

4 months ago

That is good! When playing with more people do they just control less adventurers? Like with 3 players do you have one person be the boss and the other two play as 2 adventurers?

Supporter4 months ago

Wow thanks for the great breakdown! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the game after you get a chance to play it. 

4 months ago

Yeah, I plan to do a proper review at some point. Tried it 2P with my partner over the weekend and it was great. I think it will be even better with 3+ players and want to try it with a larger group before casting judgement 😄

Supporter4 months ago

Loved the game by game run down ! Excitement factor is key! Definitely you should listen to emotions too haha. I've been on the brink of buying scythe for a while now, but usually something else squeezes to first place because at the time it made sense to buy other games first. 

4 months ago

It was fascinating to me how my own mind worked when presented with this choice.

Have the games that supplanted Scythe for you been similar or vastly different to it?

Supporter4 months ago

Very different, for example the last game I bought was #The Quacks of Quedlinburg. It just made more sense at the time since I'd be primarily playing with my partner and it offered more of a fun factor vs the more involved strategy of scythe.

4 months ago

I almost picked up #The Quacks of Quedlinburg the other day, but went with #Flamme Rouge instead, actually for very similar reasons that I didn't own a racing game of any kind.

How have you found Quacks?