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: It’s the deregulation haydays of the 70’s and we rustle up customers for our new competitive airline in Blue Skies
Next: It’s diplomacy in the deep dark depths as we vie for watery dominion in Abyss
Lastly: It’s crunch, munch, and bunch up as we crowd the park with our leaf eating bugs in Atta Ants
Designed by: Joe Huber
Published by: Rio Grande Games (2020)
Players: 2 – 5
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 45 min
Blue Skies is an engine building style of game, where it’s the year 1979 in the US airline industry, and each player manages a new up-and coming airline.
The game board contains thirty airports in thirty cities. The deck of cards contain a minimum of 1 card per city (Like Hartord CT), up to 5 cards per city (like Atlana GA) These cards are known as Demand Cards.
As cards are played, passengers start filling up the airports in those cities. Passengers are drawn from the pick bag. If a red cube is drawn, then only one passenger gets placed. If a green cube is drawn, place the green cube and draw again. Keep drawing until a red cube is drawn.
What players want are the gates. There are 4 gates at each airport. Passengers at airports get evenly distributed to any active gate in that airport. Control more gates, and earn more passengers.
Turn by turn, players will bid for the gates they desire. The most popular airport gates cost the most, and the least popular airports cost the least, but they can be affordable bargains.
Score victory points by controlling the most passengers, by earning territory bonuses, and by not cashing in your special once-per-game token. The player with the most VP’s controls the 1979 United States’ Blue Skies and Purple Mountains Majesty.
Designed by: Bruno Cathala, Charles Chevallier
Published by: Bombyx (2018)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 30 – 60 min
Abyss is a game of development, combination and collection in which players try to take control of strategic locations in an underwater city. To achieve this, players must develop on three levels: first by collecting allies, then using them to recruit Lords of the Abyss, who will then grant access to different parts of the city. Players acquire cards through a draft of sorts, and the Lords of the Abyss acquired on those cards grant special powers to the cardholder — but once you use the cards to acquire a location, that power is shut off, so players need to time their land grabs well in order to put themselves in the best position for when the game ends.
Designed by: Richard de Rijk
Published by: The Realm of Fantasy (2003)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 8 & up
Playing time: 15 – 45 min
In Atta Ants, each player controls 6 leaf eater ants. The goal is to place all ants on the board, which is easier said than done.
Each player starts with two on the board, and the ants need to find a piece of a leaf and bring it back to the central nest. Do that, and release another ant into play.
However, your ant can have their leaf taken by other ants – other players – and your ant can die if eaten by a spider. It’s every ant for themselves!
The board is built with tiles, and new tiles get placed after each round, expanding the board for opportunity for leaves and, possibly, more spiders.
The final round is when the last tile is placed, and then ants are counted. OR game end is triggered if one player manages to get all 6 of their ants alive to the board. Atta Boys? No, Atta Ants!