PARKS: First Impressions

Wow.  This is a very pretty game with great art, great storage, and solid gameplay.  Now, I've only played once so my first impressions should be taken with a grain of salt.  

First of all this is an easy game to play.  It took me 5 minutes or less to explain the rules to my wife and 8 year old son and they were able to engage it fairly well.  We played fairly fast due to some events for my wife this evening so I think a normal game would take about as long as a game of Wingspan.  The turn to turn decision making is relatively easy although you do have several choices.  

Each season you will lay out about six basic trail tile +1 one advanced trail tile add each season (including one during the first season).  Each turn you move one of your two hikers along the trail to an empty trail space or use your campfire to occupy a space another hiker is using (including your own I believe).  You gain something generally (sun, water, tree, mountain, or wildlife) which are use to "visit" national parks by paying the required resources for that park.  

Additionally you can buy gear and attain "canteens" that make the parks cheaper to visit or give you other bonuses during the game.  You can also "take photos" at the Vista trail spot that give you a point during endgame scoring.

All in all I'd say this game is about a difficult as Century Spice Road but a bit more fun due to the art and way you manage resources.  It will take a few months to know for sure but I can see this hitting the table as much as Wingspan this year.  My wife liked the friendly nature of the game as there is no stealing or resources or ganking parks from people.

It's just a walk in the park...

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9 months ago

I got to play the solo game and did a quick run through.  The solo play appears to replicate the multiplayer play fairly accurately and has enough accurate random dynamics that make it challenging.  

It tool me about 40 minutes to run through a first time solo play.  That seems to be pretty accurate with a little time for extra thinking. 

The design for storage for this game is just phenomenal.  All other game producers should take note and design equally fabulous storage.

I think I still like Paladins solo a little better than this one and probably Wingspan solo a bit more as well but this might be my 3rd favorite solo mode.

9 months ago

It’s a gorgeous game, and I’ve enjoyed the 3 times that I’ve played it, but it just didn’t quite land for me. The games felt very similar, despite having different starting tiles in the trail. I bet there are more nuanced strategies, but it seemed like just going for whatever move gives you the most tokens / parks was the way to go. I also found the secret objectives to require a great deal of actions for very little reward. 


I’m definitely interested in trying it again, but I won’t be buying a copy. 

Supporter9 months ago

They sure knew what they were doing to market the game. Looks stunning and the production is top notch! I'm so conflicted on whether I should get it or not because similar to how Century Golem is a nice little filler with engine-building aspects for me and my wife, PARKS seems to have a lot of potential to give us a quick, but satisfying "worker placement" experience. We definitely prefer heavier games though so might end up getting it just to have a pretty looking game..

9 months ago

I wonder if the weight on BGG should not be a little higher.  I think the decision making process on how far to move your hiker and which hiker to move can be pretty heavy. It's not too dissimilar from trying to decide which two cards to use in Gloomhaven or what combination of food and birds to keep at the beginning of a Wingspan game.  

9 months ago

Nothing wrong with going for good looking games! 

I see you mention that you and your wife like Root, did you end up backing Oath? I have some concerns with the current design but am excited to see how it comes together.

Supporter9 months ago

This game is one that I think my wife might like, but I'm not too sure about. She tends to like more complexity in games where I think the idea range is somewhere around medium to medium-light weight. She does like what #Welcome to... because of how short it is while providing satisfying and relaxing gameplay. But, ever since we got Marco Polo, Viticulture, and Root, she's never asked to play Welcome To haha

9 months ago

She got a taste of the good stuff!!

Not that Welcome to is bad...I love it! But I will choose more complex games most of the time :) 

Supporter9 months ago

It's been a nice surprise to see how much she likes the more complex games :)

Also, looks like Root technically has the highest complexity rating (3.6) among the games I've played. This would go down quite a bit if you're looking at 2p game only though, so I think #Clans of Caledonia will take this spot once I get it in the near future.

9 months ago

Oh nice! Clans looks like a lot of fun, different than most of the games you have brought to the table with her!

Supporter9 months ago

Haha, love the quote at the end.  I can tell (especially if it's being compared to Wingspan) that it wouldn't be the game for me (or my wife if I'm going to get her into gaming).  My wife wouldn't like games that are too nice.  She's more cut throat.

Supporter9 months ago

Loved that “friendly nature” pun at the end there. Very clever and well done!

Supporter9 months ago

Glad you liked it. It is so so beautiful. 

9 months ago

I have had trouble explaining the rules concisely...but in the end yes it is a simple and beautiful game!! I am totally in agreement that it is a walk in the park :)

9 months ago

The a youtube channel calls game rules in three minutes or something that I like to refer to when I have to explain rules

9 months ago

I will definitely need to look into that. It is not a complex teach but I need to be more concise!

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