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Welcome to Which Game First where we boldly explore the hilariously huge world of board games. Did we unearth any hidden treasures you’ve been missing out on? Let’s find out!

First up this week: We try to figure out what the dinosaur is going on in Heck
Next up: We zig to the nectar, zag to the pollen, and zip to the finish in Honey Buzz
And lastly: We pull on our corduroy blazers with the leather elbow patches to compete in the Oxford Dilemma

HECK: A Tiny Card Game

Designed by: Jason Anarchy
Published by: Jason Anarchy Games (2019)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 15 – 30 min

Heck is a tiny bidding game where you bid tiny wooden snake eggs on tiny snake cards behind tiny screens to earn tiny critter friends. Players are the Snakes befriending the cute Critters 

The game starts with players choosing 1 of 4 tiny screens (90’s Lan Party, Camping, Cheese Factory, Venice Italy).

Each player gets 3 wooden eggs, and at the start of each round 3 critter cards are dealt out for all to see and players each draw a snake card and wager your eggs behind your screen on one or more Snake Attributes (hiss, slither, length, Chomp) to try and outbid for the friendship of critters.

Alternatively, you can place eggs on the Heck space and draw random HECK cards which may help or hinder you in a variety of ways.

The first player to befriend 5 critters, or 3 critters with matching catchphrases wins!

Honey Buzz

Designed by: Paul Salomon
Published by: Elf Creek Games (2020)
Players: 1 – 4
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 45 – 90 min

The bees have discovered economics. The queens believe that if they sell honey to the bears, badgers, and woodland creatures, they will find peace and prosperity. Spring has arrived and it’s time to build the hive, find nectar, make honey, and, for the first time ever, set up shop.

Honey Buzz is a worker bee placement game where players expand a personal beehive by acquiring various honeycomb tiles that grant a variety of actions. Whenever a tile is laid so that it completes a certain pattern, a ring of actions is triggered in the order the player chooses. A tile could be triggered up to three times depending on how the player places their beeples (bee+meeple) and builds their hive. After all, in the honey business, efficiency is queen.

As you continually expand your hive, you’ll forage for nectar and pollen, make honey, sell different varieties at the bear market, host honey tastings, and attend to the queen and her court. There’s only so much nectar to go around, and finding it won’t be easy. Players will have to scout out the nectar field and pay attention to other players’ searches to try to deduce the location of the nectar they need for themselves.

At the end of the game, the player with the most honey-money is the winner!

Oxford Dilemma

Designed by: (Uncredited)
Published by: Smartegg Games Ltd. (1998)
Players: 2 – 6
Ages: 12 & up
Playing time: about 90 min

Oxford Dilemma is a monopoly style spelling bloodbath. At the start of a turn, a player will roll the two movement dice that send you around a square board with 10 spaces per side, as well as a special Level of Difficulty die that determines the question asked on a card.

The main mechanic of the game consists of landing on Letter Spaces of one of four colors – the player to the left of the active player draws a card of the appropriate color and reads a word of the difficulty level indicated by the difficulty die. The player then has 60 seconds to spell it correctly. If they succeed they get the dollar amount listed on the card and may choose to buy the letter of the space they are on. If they misspell it they pay the amount to the scholarship fund. In an optional rule, the players can earn bonus dollars by being the first to correctly identify the word by its definition or description.

You can turn in letter cards that spell words to obtain more money. the longer the word the higher the multiplier. Other spaces on the board include demerit, credits, and even a spot to win a scholarship jackpot.

The game ends when a player reaches 10,000 dollars or when all but one player has been eliminated.

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