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 gather small goods, and exchange them for bigger things in Little Factory  
Next:  We fight back against evil forces as we Return to Dark Tower 
Lastly: We channel our inner-marsupials to battle it out in Wombat Kombat

Little Factory

Designed by: Shun Taguchi, Aya Taguchi
Published by: Studio GG and IELLO (2020)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 45 min

Little Factory is a resource management card game, where the goal is to construct buildings to earn victory points.

Players increase their assets by processing resources into other resources, such as turning wood into wood or charcoal, or turning charcoal and flour into bread. If you increase your assets, you can build a building and use that building to acquire resources and victory points more quickly.

The more buildings players construct, the more actions that become available on future turns. On a turn, players take one of two actions:

Production: Choose a resource card or building card in the production action area, and gain the item shown on it; or,

Trade: Discard resource cards from your hand to acquire resource or building cards of the same value or less from the available cards.

In addition, players can use the effects of each building they own once per turn – for example, a building effect might allow you to exchange a thread card in hand for cloth available in the play area. 

Buildings are VP’s and the player who collects 10+ victory points becomes the Chief Builder in a small town of little factories.

Return to Dark Tower

Designed by: Tim Burrell-Saward, Isaac Childres, Noah Cohen, Rob Daviau, Justin D. Jacobson, and Brian Neff
Published by: Restoration Games (2022)
Players: 1 – 4
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 120 min

Return to Dark Tower can be played as either a cooperative game, or a competitive game. We played the cooperative version.

Players take on the role of a medieval adventuring party whose collective goal is to save the lands from the evil emanating from the Dark Tower. The Dark tower is magically spewing forth foes to fight, curses on the buildings of the lands, and hindering the powers and abilities of the adventurers. 

On each player’s turn, start by using a Banner power (which varies from character to character) followed by moving themselves around the board, performing a heroic action (such as cleansing an ares, battling a foe, or completing a small quest), and reinforcing one of the buildings on the map to recharge their fighting strength or magical powers.

Along the way, players will acquire treasure, gear, and potions – all of which are used to help the characters survive and some of which are prerequisites for completing the main mission.

Beware corruption – a player can suffer 2 corruption cards, but if a player gets corrupted a 3rd time, the mission fails entirely.

The victory conditions will vary from game to game, but ultimately, the players have to defeat the top enemy and complete the quest before the tower gains domain over the realm, or before a player becomes hopelessly corrupt and must live the rest of their days as a politician as they Return to the Dark Tower.

Wombat Kombat

Designed by: Arif Nezih Savi
Published by: NeoTroy Games (Kickstarter 2022)
Players: 2 – 6
Ages: 8 & up
Playing time: 30 min

Wombat Combat is a set collection card game, in which each player tries to lay down and lock in cards yielding the most Poo Points. 

Players recruit fighting wombats with different amounts of Poo. When players have two or more cards of the same wombat in their hands, they can lay these cards on the table (if they want) to collect Poo at the end of the game. If, however, an opponent lays out more cards of the same type, then the wombats of that type already on the table are flipped and placed in the respective player’s burrow, face-down. 

Each card depicts a wombat with a different fighting style. The number on a card indicates how many of that wombat are in the game – eighteen samurai wombats, for example, but only four boxer wombats. The number also indicates the amount of Poo that each type of wombat gives during scoring. Some cards have a special skill icon on the top left corner too, which only activates once (as you lay them down).

There are also special action cards to help you in combat, or used to prevent bad things happening to you. There are vegetable cards which increase your wombat counts. And there are scavenger cards which can eat veggies and wombats.

There are also community cards that offer special abilities to all players, instant effects to players who win in a combat, and cards that impact the end-game conditions and scoring.

Oh and of course – there are dice to roll as well as part of the combat.

The game ends when one player lays down five different wombats in front of him/her or the Draw Pile is exhausted, then players proceed to count their Poo. The most Poo wins, which is not something you can say very often.

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