Century: Golem Edition
Century: Golem Edition was designed by Emerson Matsuuchi and is a fantasy themed version of the smash hit Century Spice Road.
In the game, players serve as crystal traders who establish a trading network to collect the right combination of crystals to activate powerful ancient golems. In an effort to distinguish the Golem edition from Spice Road, all of the components were replaced to match the exciting new setting.
Century Golem Edition is best suited for crystal traders ages 10 and older. While it could take a century to establish a crystal trading network, we expect a game of Century Golem edition to only take 30 – 45 minutes.
So there is a podcast I listen to and the hosts were debating whether or not the two version of century: #Century: Spice Road and #Century: Golem Edition are different games or the same game. For those who haven't played them, both are relatively lightweight hand-management/resource management/deck-builder games. The base games of each are mechanically identical and all the cards have a functionally identical equivalent in the other game. However, both have very different artwork/art style and are 'themed' somewhat differently. So, my question is, in your opinion, are these two games the same game or do the cosmetic changes and the fact that some people might prefer one to the other constitute enough of a distinction to call them 'different games'?
- Reskinning: Mechanically identical with superficial changes (Century Golem/Spice, different chesses etc.)
- Different edition/variant: Fundamentally the same core mechanics and/or themeing but slight tweaks (hundreds of versions of risk and monopoly etc. and multiple editions of more modern games such as war of the ring)
- Different versions/expansions: You are still playing a very similar game but there is enough differentiation that the game can feel very different (expansions to Carcassonne and Catan, different Catan based games, editions of fury of dracula or twilight imperium etc.)
- Similar but different games (things like Agricola and Carverna which have significantly similar DNA, but are undeniably distinct)
Kind of the opposite of my previous list. While I am generally excited to play any game these are games that didn't capture my imagination or sound too good on paper to me but I eneded up enjoying a whole lot:
5) #Istanbul - I had heard plenty about Istanbul before I played it, overwhelmingly positive, but the themeing and mechanisms didn't particularly appeal to me so I never sought it out. Anyway, one day it came out as the least unappealing option at my Board game club so I hopped on that table. It was pretty great, I got a lot more into it than I might have expected, trying to map out routes and predict where you opponents might go was a bunch of fun. The occaisional dice rolls added tension and it was just good fun. As mentioned in a previous list, I did not do well at this game but still enjoyed myself. While it won't be making any it onto a favourites list, it is well worth checking out
4) #Century: Golem Edition - I had no clue about this game before someone pulled it out at the end of a night of gaming, but buying golems with gems didn't peak my interest all too much. While the art work looked great I wasn't exactly enthusiastic (may have also been because I was a little tired). Anyway, this game is an excellent little engine builder that plays in 30-45 minutes, the mixture of hand management and racing other players to get the requirements for various golems was a bunch of fun. Although I don't own it I would happily play it anytime.
3) #Magic Maze - So while I can't say I wasn't intrigued by this game, the themeing seemed very odd (dwarves and wizards in a mall?) and it seemed like it wouldn't be too in-depth. Now, it definitely isn't too in-depth but man is it intense! Trying to keep track of all four characters while also cooperating without talking, all with the added difficulty of a timer, just magical. Also, the passive aggression of slamming down the giant wooden marker to get someone to do something is brilliant. It is a brilliant filler game to freshen everyone up inbetween some heavier games, it is a game that gets better with more people and leads to all kinds of laughter after the game is done.
2) #Chrononauts - I couldn't imagine a game doing a good job of capturing time travel, especially not just with a couple of decks of cards. However, the mechanics of how things 'ripple' are very cool. It has a not insignificant luck factor to it, but if you are lucking for a 20 minute filler with a much more interesting premise and mechanics than you standard quick game then this might be worth looking at. You have to accept that you can't really be 'good' at this game but it does give you an opportunity to kill Hitler or save Lincoln so there could be worse things (there is also then the option for someone else to save hitler and kill Lincoln....so yeah) and I have found it to be generally good for a laugh or too. There is also a #Back to the Future: The Card Game version which uses the same system if you are into that theme.
1) #Coup - I'll admit I didn't think much as someone explained this game to me the first time, I went out early and so wasn't too interested in it. However, a few years later I played it again multiple times in a row and realised the wonderful magic this tiny box can create: it's like rock-paper-scissors but you can just say you 'for sure chose scissors' while hiding a rock behind your back. It is constantly pushing you to try to read your friends, the interplay bewtween the cards is great and it leads to a lot of really hilarious moments when you realise you've been bluffed out of victory. It plays quick and so plaer elimination doesn't matter. It is one of my favourite pub/picnic games
This is basically 10 games whose art I really like. I didn't spend a ton of time coming up with it, so there are probably some I missed. By "art", I generally mean the cards, box, board, and sometimes tiles, though I guess some other small components could be included as well. Without further ado:
10. #Roam - no list about art without Ryan Laukat! I have not played this game, but I love the art.
9. #Wingspan - lovely birds, lovely boards, lovely box. What more do you want?
8. #Century: Golem Edition - awesome cartoony golem art
7. #Bruxelles 1897 - really cool Art Deco theme
6. #Tapestry - hard to argue with the aesthetics of Tapestry. I especially love the board, but the buildings are a really neat touch, price inflation aside.
4. #Nemo's War (Second Edition) - I love the look of old maps, and this game looks great all around. Ian O'Toole, yet again.
3. #Inis - this game has some insane Celtic looking art on its cards and I can't get enough of it
2. #Everdell - the most adorable anthropomorphized animals with an awesomely overproduced board and extra components make for one of the most eye-catching games you'll find.
1. #Oceans - is anyone surprised? This game is gorgeous. The watercolor art is super colorful and eye-catching, and the almost 90 cards in the Deep deck all have unique pieces of art on them. Amazing.
And that's it! What are your favorites?
So far ours have been:
2. Century: Golem Edition
[Coup, Century: Golem Edition, Chrononauts, Istanbul, Magic Maze]
[Roam, Wingspan, Everdell, Nemo's War (Second Edition), Century: Golem Edition, Bruxelles 1897, Tapestry, Irish Gauge, Inis, Oceans]
[Century: Spice Road, Race for the Galaxy, Century: Golem Edition, Splendor, This Game is Bonkers!]
[Wingspan, Century: Golem Edition, Carcassonne]
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