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: We build and refine our way to a tasty liquid masterpiece in Distilled
Next: We help 90’s teens through a dangerous game of discovery in The Initiative
Lastly: We feel the heat as we match big wilds in Canasta Caliente


Designed by: Dave Beck
Published by: Paverson Games (coming to Kickstarter on July 6,2021)
Players: 1 – 4
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 30 – 120 min

Distilled is a thematic strategy card game about crafting spirits in a distillery, with resource management and push-your-luck elements. In the game, you have inherited a distillery, and are hoping to someday achieve the title of master distiller through purchasing goods, building up your distillery, and creating the world’s most renowned spirits.

purchase new ingredients and invest in upgrades to your distillery, all while eventually distilling the spirit and sending it to the warehouse. Once in the warehouse, age your spirit to enhance its flavor and bottle it to sell it for major profits!

Spirit Points are obtained by distilling and selling spirits. Achieve the title of Master Distiller by having the most spirit points at the end of the game. Time to pour the first round!

The Initiative

Designed by: Corey Konieczka
Published by: Unexpected Games (2021)
Players: 1 – 4
Ages: 8 & up
Playing time: 30 – 60 min

The Initiative is a co-operative board game of story, strategy, and code-breaking.  Players take on the role of teenagers in 1994 who have found a mysterious board game called “The Key”. The teens will work their way through a pivotal chapter of their lives by following a series of missions linked together via an interactive comic book.

The game’s campaign is broken into a number of chapters, each starting with the reading of a page of the comic book. Each of the 4 characters have special abilities and characteristics, vital to the success of each mission. Get into the rooms, find the clues, avoid the traps, and whatever you do .. don’t get caught by the surveillance cameras.

The puzzles to solve are a series of word codes which advance the story and the gameplay.

Each chapter builds on the knowledge and story from previous chapters, weaving narrative, code-breaking, and mystery into this exciting game experience. Now let’s roll for The Initiative!

Canasta Caliente

Designed by: Phil Orbanes Sr.
Published by: Winning Moves Games (2000)
Players: 2 – 6
Ages: 7 & up
Playing time: 60 min

Canasta Caliente is … canasta.  

Canasta is a card game where you make books (three of a kind, four of a kind, etc.). You play with a partner, like a bridge.  You lay down 3 of a kind or greater, and your partner can add to the book.  Discarded cards can pile up, and players can choose to take the entire discard pile into their hand! There are wild cards as well. Wild cards can be used to segment the discard pile into sections, limiting the discards.  Play to 5000 points. 

But this is Canasta Caliente … that means that in addition to the traditional canasta game, there are special cards (ooh) which add bonus points, and also negative points!

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