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PARKS Gets Better with Nightfall Expansion

Premium User

https://youtu.be/peAp1do_3E0

Nightfall arrived a couple of days ago and I was able to try out a two-player playthrough (with me being both players) yesterday and test the new additions.  Close game 35-33 with a slightly higher score than most of our previous PARKS games.  Here are a few of my takeaways:

1.   PARKS is still PARKS.  The gameplay is smooth and easy and playing PARKS still feels like a 'walk in the park' or a hike through the woods.  The addition of Nightfall hasn't changed this.

2.   The updated Year cards are better.  We found the Year cards from the original game to be a weak point as they only resulted in a few points and players could never obtain more than one.  Nightfall allows for more Year cards to be obtained (these would be similar to bonus cards in #Wingspanand for additional points to be worked toward during the gameplay.

3.   The new PARKS added to the game are fun and add a little spice!  The added parks (or most of them) have instant actions.  They are one-off actions you can only take when you visit the park.  When these parks appear players have to really think about going after them because they essentially allow the player to take an extra turn.

4.   The campsites are more powerful but seem balanced.  I haven't tested this feature enough to know how much of a difference it makes overall but each campsite is unique in what it does and adds a nice layer of choice to the gameplay.  Most of the campsite actions seem to focus on year cards, gear, and obtaining wild tokens.  Taking too many of these actions would likely result in not visiting enough parks and seems inherently balanced this way.

5.   Remembering to flip the campsites from year to year is easy to miss.   I like the idea and it is a neat feature that the flip is added as it changes the action taken at the campsite and adds diversity to the gameplay.  That being said it is more upkeep from year to year and will take getting used to.  I suppose there's upkeep to camping as well :)

6.   I have two boxes now.  Sadly the expansion doesn't fit into the base box.  I like to combine boxes when I can but don't think I will for this game.  If a third expansion comes out one day I might reconsider but Nightfall is a small box.

Overall I think PARKS is better with Nightfall and I enjoy the game more with the additions.  I bumped up my BGG rating on this game as a result and think it might end up seeing more plays this year.  We are taking it camping this weekend and will try it out at some point.  PARKS is not heavy or cut-throat competitive (I suppose it could be?) but I'm not sure I'd call it a Gateway game either.  It really falls into the #Wingspan category for me of being light and easy to bring to the table over and over again.

If you've had a chance to play with #PARKS: Nightfall Expansion what did you think?  If you've tried #PARKS what do you think of the game?

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2 months ago

This is great to hear! I have enjoyed PARKS so far (just barely got it), but the additions seem welcome. We felt the year cards were a little underwhelming (often a lot of work for just 2 points for example) and all these changes seem welcome to me! I agree bummer that it won't fit into the base game box, but oh well.

42 days ago

I just bought #PARKS for Christmas, looking forward to playing it!  If we end up enjoying it, I'll check into #PARKS: Nightfall Expansion, it sounds like it adds some cool enhancements, thanks for the impressions!

Premium User42 days ago

we enjoyed the base game quite a bit but really liked the expansion additions.  Some games I avoid expansions and others I have to get because they make the base game that much better. #PARKS: Nightfall Expansion I was nervous about getting at first but we did like the base game a good bit so I pulled the plug on the Kickstarter.  Glad we did!

Premium User2 months ago

I agree with all of your points! I will say the next time we play, we have to play with the variant to use less of the base game parks cards. I didn't feel like the new cards came up enough when we used the whole deck combined. I especially like the updated goal cards as I never thought the old ones were really worth it to try to obtain for such a minimal points gain.

Supporter2 months ago

#PARKS is a game I'd pick up if I won the giveaway and they had a copy at my FLGS (which they don't right now).  I think it could be nice as a family game, especially since we recently bought a camper and plan on heading out next spring and summer on some National Park Adventures.

Premium User2 months ago

Oh, what adventures will you be heading out too?  We will be AirB&Bing through the western national parks next year in June (Carlsbad Caverns, Guadalupe NP, Saguaro NP, Sequoia NP, Kings Canyon NP, Yosemite NP, Redwood NP, Crater Lake NP, Arches NP).  June 19th through July4th ish or so.  If paths cross we should play a game!

 

Supporter2 months ago

Fun!  We live in Denver so we are centrally located to a lot of National Parks.  We will probably only hit one up this summer and do a bit of camping closer to home in the Spring.  We are looking at Moab or Rocky Mountain NP right now.

I used to live in Eureka California so I know Redwood NP well.  You should try to go to Fern Canyon if you are a Star Wars guy because it is where the Endor scenes were filmed.

But yeah, if we ever cross paths at an NP we can bust out PARKS!

Supporter2 months ago

Great review! This game seems like a nice way to build a foundation of skills for newer gamers. I haven't played it but it seems really nice. 

Premium User2 months ago

Right on!  We will probably miss the Denver area coming back but just barely.  Hoping for some whitewater adventures in Salida if it all works out. CO will be the lat big hurra before getting back home.

P.S. I'll have to look for the Fern Canyon.  That sounds like fun.

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