Monday, May 13, 2024

Board Game Top 100 (2024) Part 19 (60-59)

#60 My Farm Shop 

Julie and I just played this one before leaving for vacation. It's a great little engine builder where players try to make the most profitable farm shop. You have a player board that represents your farm, and there's a central board that provides upgrades to your farm. 

On your turn, you roll 3 dice. One of these dice allows you to draft an upgrade from the central board equal to the die's value. You place this upgrade in one of 10 locations on your personal player board (your farm.) Each of these locations has a number over the top from 2-12. (Note: 2 and 12 share one location together. So there are 10 locations total.) 

After you have slotted your new upgrade into a location, you use the sum of the values of the other two dice to activate a location on your farm. You can even activate the new location that you just upgraded. There is an interesting push and pull as you decide between an upgrade that you really want versus a location that you really want to activate. 

In addition, your opponents also activate their farm locations on your turn as well. So, you may want to avoid activating a certain number that you know an opponent really needs. It creates just the right level of tension in what should otherwise be a reasonably simple decision space. This makes for a really good game. 

Activating locations accounts for everything that you can do in the game, from harvesting different products for your farm shop to selling those products and you also have to take care to get this balance right. It sucks when your opponent triggers your most powerful sales action but you don't have any goods in your shop to sell. 

My Farm Shop is easy to learn, but has a lot of depth. It presents a challenging puzzle that can trick players at first with it's apparent simplicity. It's a great game. In fact, it's the 60th greatest game of all time. 

#59 Adventure Land 

In Adventure Land players have a number of meeple adventurers. These are placed along the left-top edge and top-left side in starting positions on the game board. The board is a large fantasy world map. The wilderness is at the top. Civilization is at the bottom, and there is a river to cross in between. 

During setup the board is seeded with various things, treasures to collect or monsters to fight. The game rules include a number of different ways to play. The most basic game just involves getting your adventurers safely through the wilderness and into the cities. 

Along the way adventurers can gather treasures. They can find weapons to better battle monsters, healing herbs, or gold. All of these are worth points toward winning the game. Once one player has gotten all of their adventurers to the cities, the game end is triggered, and the player with the most points wins. 

The tension in Adventure Land comes from the movement puzzle. On your turn you can only move down or right. You can move a meeple as far as you like in one of these directions, but you can never go back. In addition to this, after every turn new goodies are added to the board. 

Do you rush ahead and grab the best stuff, or do you stay back hoping that something better might show up. It's a cool little game. It's a light family weight puzzle game that feels like an adventure game, and I love it. In fact, it's my 59th favorite game of all time. 

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