Thursday, May 02, 2024

Board Game Top 100 (2024) Part 12 (74-73)

#74 DorfRomantik: The Duel

Julie and I have had a wonderful time playing DorfRomantik. We played it a lot when we first got it, and it is probably my number one favorite game of last year. We have also had a great deal of fun playing DorfRomantik The Duel, which is a two-player only competitive version of DorfRomantik. 

Spoilers - DorfRomantik (the original cooperative game) appears much higher on my list and I will go more into the game play there. The Duel version sees players placing identical tiles in a personal tableau simultaneously as one player acts as "the caller" announcing which tile to place. This is very much Karuba style (another game much higher on my list.) 

I need to play the cooperative version of this game and the competitive version back to back. I feel like we don't need them both. I have placed the original much higher, because I think that it's the one that I like more, but I can't be sure. Until I am sure, DorfRomantik The Duel is my 74th favorite game of all time.

#73 Unmatched Adventures: Tales to Amaze

While DorfRomantik The Duel was the competitive version of the cooperative game, Unmatched Adventures Tales to Amaze is the cooperative version of the competitive game. (I didn't plan to have both of these in the same post, just coincidence.) Tales to Amaze is yet another game that I pushed down the list because Julie and I have only played it once. I do remember really liking it, and I am anxious to get this one back to the table.

In the competitive game, which is just called Unmatched, players battle head to head. It's a skirmish battle game with dozens of characters to choose from, like characters from literature (Sherlock Holmes) or even comic books (Spiderman.) I like it … okay. It's not in my top 100. I don't care for skirmish battle games, but I really like the "idea" of Unmatched, and the gameplay is excellent. The gameplay is card based and characters have a unique deck and all feel different and cool.

Tales to Amaze makes this skirmish battle game cooperative. This changes the feel of the game for me exponentially. I love this game. Now Julie and I can work together as any of the cool characters in the Unmatched library (that we own) against the threat of the Mothman or Alien Invaders. The game layers in a very pulp adventure feel which I think is perfect for mixing and matching all these characters from different settings.

Although it is officially considered an "expansion" to Unmatched, Tales to Amaze is its own stand alone game. If you have never tried Unmatched, I highly recommend this one. It comes with four new original characters and rules to play both the cooperative and competitive versions of the game. It is absolutely the best Unmatched set there is. 

As a side note, I have tried a few other games where expansions have tried to change the game from competitive to cooperative (Hero Realms & Dice Throne specifically) and these were huge misses for me. They added an unreasonable amount of complexity to the game that I just didn't want. Tales to Amaze (and also DorfRomantik The Duel) makes the change seamlessly without adding undue complexity. 

Tales to Amaze is accessible and playable, and for people who already know how to play the competitive version, they can be playing in minutes. All of this makes Unmatched Adventures Tales to Amaze my 73rd favorite game of all time.

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