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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 push our luck as we race feathers flying cluckwise up the mountain in Risky Chicken 
Next up: It’s my druid against his alchemist vs the other guy’s necromancer in an essence filled magic off in Res Arcana
And lastly: We wheel and deal our way to a kind of environmentally safe factory in Industrial Waste

Risky Chicken

Designed by: Ben Reingold
Published by: Moraine Road Games LLC (2021)
Players: 3 – 8
Ages: 13 & up
Playing time: 30 – 60 min

In Risky Chicken, each player is a chicken who wants to get rich by climbing the Golden Mountain. 

Players take turns being the Leader of climbs up the mountain, each turn choosing another player as their Sidekick to join them. As players ascend the Golden Mountain, they land on levels with increasing amounts of Gold Coins, but they also grow likelier to “fall off” the mountain.

At every level, the Leader and Sidekick must each decide whether to Climb (continue to press their luck) or Chicken Out (cash out and end the turn.) Both players can agree that Chickening Out is a wise decision, and they may agree to play their Chicken Out cards. However, each player can benefit by breaking their promise and playing Climb, at the expense of the other.  Players must weigh their greed in the short term against the value of their alliances.

Each player also receives one Chicken Trick card which gives them a special rule-bending ability (variable player power). There are 12 Chicken Trick cards, each representing a unique, silly chicken character.

The winner is the chicken who collects a number of gold coins which is dependant on the number of players.  And it begs the age old question … why did the chicken climb Gold Mountain?  To get rich, or die tryin.

Res Arcana

Designed by: Tom Lehmann
Published by: Sand Castle Games (2019)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 12 & up
Playing time: 20 – 60 min

Res Arcana is a card drafting hand management game, where players are powerful magic users who craft magical artifacts, and use them to summon dragons and conquer places of power!

Players choose a mage, and each mage has unique abilities. Other cards include: artifact cards, monument cards, and power cards which the mages will collect and utilize during gameplay.

But synergy is the name of the game. Players are trying to get cards into their tableau that synergize well together. The first player to 10 points triggers the last round of the game, and the mage with the most points becomes the Res Arcana Majoris Supremus Ultimus!

Industrial Waste

Designed by: Jürgen Strohm
Published by: Hans im Glück, Rio Grande Games (2001)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 12 & up
Playing time: 60 min

In Industrial Waste, players are running factories. Players buy materials, complete orders and invest money in technology improvements to earn VPs, but they need to keep an eye on their waste output. If players have too much waste in their factory dump they are liable to suffer an environmental disaster and have to pay hefty cleanup costs. Development of technological improvements requiring less waste, fewer resources, and reduced workforce are the key to this game.

The game features bidding for resources, hand management and some drafting of cards to gain actions. The first player to grow their factory to a value of twenty triggers the end and the player with the most points wins.

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