• Topic Closed
You're browsing the GameFAQs Message Boards as a guest. Sign Up for free (or Log In if you already have an account) to be able to post messages, change how messages are displayed, and view media in posts.
  1. Boards
  2. GameFAQs Contests
  3. another year of tabletop rankings and writeups

User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
1 month ago#321
71. Acquire (1964)

Category: Player vs Player
Genres: Tile-laying, economic, stock market
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 3
Game length: 45-75 minutes
Experience: 3-4 plays over 3-4 sessions (2016-2017) with 4-5 players
Previous ranks: 26/100 (2016), 48/80 (2018)

Summary - Each player is an investor trying to acquire the greatest net worth at the end of the game. On your turn, you choose one square tile from a small hand to lay on the printed (on-tile) coordinates on the grid of the game's map. The tile you lay can either found a new hotel chain or expand one (if it touches an existing one), and you have the option of buying one share of that chain's stock. When you lay a tile that merges two hotels, the larger chain acquires the smaller; the shareholders of the smaller chain get dividends plus an option to sell (the only time when you can sell). Larger chains' stock is more valuable than smaller chains'.

Design - Acquire is incredibly elegant and clever. In those senses, it may be one of the best designs on my list. Investing in hotels can be counterintuitive and inherently has some sort of "push-your-luck" element. Liquid money starts drying up as the game wears out, meaning you have to pick which chains to invest in carefully. Adding to the difficulty of the decision is the fact that you can never increase the value of your stock on the same turn that you buy it - the simple fact is, you can only buy stock after making all the existing shareholders richer (by expanding that hotel), but when you buy stock, it's at the new, inflated price. Inverting this would change the incentives - it makes the decisions more infuriating but meatier.

And then there's the game's namesake, the acquisition events. Nothing makes people excited like getting paid (even if it's with s***ty paper money), so mergers are absolutely thrilling.

Acquire is from the '60s. It has its share of luck limiting your agency (tile draw determining where you can place), and some might criticize its rather grim, dreary color palette (though it has its own beauty-of-the-game thing going for it). Paper money is an annoying component to deal with (though of course it can be overcome). And it can feel punishing when you are out of money and can't figure out how to score points anymore. Sometimes, a player's early decisions win the game, sometimes based off luck, even though they appear to do little else throughout the game (though that said, it's nice that the winner isn't always the person who takes a long time make a bunch of extra moves.)

Experience - I've played Acquire three times and generally sucked at it. Crappy tile draw and being low on cash can be tough in any economic game, and I don't know if it's because I wasn't in last place that it wasn't more painful. But it was interesting enough that following the arc of the game as a somewhat active participant was exciting.

Future - Given its appearance and age, I'm (perhaps hypocritically) not as inclined toward buying Acquire (and notably, it's not a 2p game). The friend who owns Acquire rarely comes to game night anymore. However, its playtime is extremely manageable, it's interactive, and earning money is fun. I feel there's unexplored depth to this game that I'd like to plumb, if only time and circumstances allowed.
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: cyko

cyko
1 month ago#322
I actually just found a 1969 copy of Acquire at Goodwill last month. It looks like it's never been played. One of the very few worthwhile games I have found at Goodwill.
Yay - BkSheikah is the guru champion of awesomeness.

User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
1 month ago#323
71. Takenoko (2011)

Category: Player vs Player
Genres: Tile-laying, set collection, point-to-point movement
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 1
Game length: 25-40 minutes
Experience: 2-3 plays over 2-3 sessions (2015) with 2 players
Previous ranks: 31/100 (2016), 48/80 (2018)

Summary - Players lay hexagonal tiles in an imperial courtyard of Japan, attempting to provide bamboo for the emperor's pleasure and to feed a particularly hungry and adorable panda. Dice can give you some extra actions, but for the most part, you'll be expanding the garden, planting bamboo by moving the gardener, and moving the panda, who will eat food. Combinations of hexes, eaten bamboo, and grown bamboo complete hidden objective cards, which provide the game's scoring.

Design - Antoine Bauza is super-interesting. You wouldn't expect the dude who came up with Ghost Stories to put out a game so... not Ghost Stories. "Punishing" is the last way you'd describe Takenoko.

Takenoko is simplistic and not particularly strategic - the dice aren't necessarily fair; objective cards vary greatly in ease and value; and decisions aren't too hard. Its decision space is limited and it is calming to play. And it is gorgeous to look at - the tiles you lay, the way the bamboo stacks on top of itself as it grows taller, the thin bars representing streaks of irrigating water that flow along the hexes' borders, the best panda I have yet to encounter in a hobby game.

I could try to say more about it, but that's really it. That's the appeal of Takenoko. It's really fun to play something beautiful (which is clearly game-y; you make meaningful if simple decisions to achieve your objectives) and soothing and cute. If you like pandas, this is for you. If not, I mean, it's a game with a big-ass panda on the cover.

Experience - I played Takenoko twice, borrowing a friend's copy. It was fun and had great table presence. And it had a panda.

Future - The only people who own Takenoko in my group I usually encounter in larger-than-four settings. I wonder if it would be a good game to play at home, or if it'd be too simplistic and gaming buddy #1 wouldn't be as into the panda. But despite its not being the most interesting game, the mere process of writing about it has gotten me interested in playing the game again.
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness

User Info: Naye745

Naye745
1 month ago#324
there's a rule in the expansion that gives you a bonus 3 points for a set of each type of card, and i would argue it's essential (and should totally be part of the base game rules).
going ham with the panda and eating bamboo is generally stronger than anything else.

as far as the game goes, it's cute, and has a nice table presence, but is fairly mediocre. my biggest gripe is the weather die feels really uneven, and some bad rolls can really put you behind through no real fault of your own
it's an underwater adventure ride
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: Grand Kirby

Grand Kirby
1 month ago#325
Takenoko looks so good but I always feel like I'm floundering all the time I play it. It seems like a lot of times my plans fail not because someone worked against me but because they accidentally did something that randomly hurt what I was doing. Being undermined by blind chance is kind of disappointing.

Then again, maybe I wouldn't feel that way if I won more... but I really like the aesthetic of the game a lot at least.
Okay, I rolled a 14. What's that mean? Hsu
That you're a cheater. This is a 12-sided die. Chan

User Info: SBAllen

SBAllen
1 month ago#326
Surprised Takenoko is so high. I own it and have played a couple times but it's never really clicked with any of us. The components are nice to look at, though.
"Um, let's face it, you'd be better off staying at the Hilton."
http://facebook.com/GFAQS | http://twitter.com/GameFAQs

User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
1 month ago#327
69. Modern Art (1992)

Category: Player vs Player
Genres: Set collection, push-your-luck, bidding
Rules complexity (0 to 7): 3
Game length: 35-50 minutes
Experience: 2-3 plays over 2-3 sessions (2018-19) with 4-5 players
Previous ranks: NR (2016), NR (2018)

Summary - During each of four rounds, players choose to offer and then bid on pieces of art (cards from hand) from five artists (suits/colors). At the end of a round, depending on how many total paintings were sold of each artist, the paintings are valued and sold to the bank. There are four different types of auctions, which are specific to the cards sold, including blind bids, English-style open auctions, single-circle bids, and fixed price bids.

Design - Modern Art is another Reiner Knizia game, one of his earliest breakout games. Knizia is renowned for the simplicity of his rules, the difficulty of the decisions, and the interactivity of the gameplay. The experience is often described as emergent, and that comes through in Modern Art: you have to decide to what suit to offer but also how you want it to be valued; how to value pieces on offer; which suit(s) to gamble on; whom to buy from (should you get the choice).

Thematically, Modern Art suggests there's no inherent value to the artwork you're bandying around. The most valuable art is the art that is marketed the most. But that value then is carried over to subsequent rounds: value gained from popularity in round three is added to value from popularity gained in rounds one and two: Last season's fashions continue to inform today's prices.

But in one of the most Knizian twists of the game, only the three most popular artists' paintings get bought each round. So if it's round 2 and you're investing in round 1's most popular paintings and hoping for a boost to its already strong value, you could actually wind up getting nothing at all for your investment. The market has a light card draw effect but is otherwise almost entirely set by what players chose to offer. And therefore, it's incredibly interactive. Beyond even that, there's a minigame of who you want to buy from; if you buy my offer then I get that money, while if I'm stuck buying my own offer, I pay to the bank. Whose pain is better? Who are you letting profit?

In a similar move to Acquire's pain point where you can only buy stock after you've already boosted its value, Modern Art allows you to end a round by offering a fifth piece of art from any one suit, guaranteeing that it will become the most popular artist of the round... but, no one actually gets a chance to bid on that piece of art, so you ensure you don't get that piece - or the proceeds from selling it.

Experience - I think if I were just slightly better at it, Modern Art could be a lot higher up. As is, I haven't got quite enough reps in on it. The nature of Knizia games can be rather punishing if you don't grasp them quickly, and since the game is short, it's not like I've gotten a ton of time to bask in its design.

Future - Alas, the person who owns it in my group doesn't play much anymore, and it cannot be played with two players, which makes it a very iffy buy for me at best. But I'd love to play it more, due to its elegance and quickness and how much I admire its design. I could see Modern Art rising a lot - but it's constrained by experience.
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness

User Info: KommunistKoala

KommunistKoala
1 month ago#328
you skipped 70

oh Takenoko was supposed to be 70
does anyone even read this
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: SeabassDebeste

SeabassDebeste
1 month ago#329
yup, that was an error and it's too late to edit :(
yet all sailors of all sorts are more or less capricious and unreliable - they live in the varying outer weather, and they inhale its fickleness

User Info: Naye745

Naye745
1 month ago#330
modern art is a really neat game and i've enjoyed it a decent amount every time i've played. obviously, if you can't stand auctions or bidding games in general i think you're not going to have fun no matter what you do, but it's among the best of that genre. the art/production of the most recent version is also exceptional and showcases real artists, which is super neat

that said, it just sits in the shadow of its massively superior knizia auction cousin, ra. dunno if you've played that one and it will show up later on this list, but my word, ra is such a wonderful and special game that really squeezes the finest juice out of the auction and set collection mechanisms.
it's an underwater adventure ride
  1. Boards
  2. GameFAQs Contests
  3. another year of tabletop rankings and writeups
  • Topic Closed