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: We flip and slide tiles to make perfect combinations in Shifting Stones
Next up: We add light and color to a black and white world in GLOW
And lastly: We square off head-to-head in a battle between archaeologists in Lost Cities
Designed by: J. Evan Raitt
Published by: Gamewright (2020)
Players: 1 – 5
Ages: 8 & up
Playing time: 20 min
In Shifting Stones, nine mystical tiles lie before you in a grid of rocky ruins. The goal is to rearrange the tiles to match one or more of the patterns in your hand of pattern cards. Tiles can be flipped to reveal a new color. Or the tiles can be moved to change their positions on the grid. The catch is that you must sacrifice a card every time you swap or flip a tile. First player to 10 points is the winner, so carve out the most points, and your victory will be set in stone!
Designed by: Cédrick Chaboussit
Published by: Bombyx (2021)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 45 min
In Glow, you are an adventurer who builds their company by recruiting a new traveling companion each turn, trying to combine their powers as best as possible. You’ll roll the dice to activate the advantages that your companions bring you…or their disadvantages. Gather many slivers of light to dispel the darkness, restore the colors, travel the land to reach landmarks, and (yes) score points.
In short, Glow is a card-drafting, dice-rolling, and combinations game. The box contains lots of colorful dice, two game boards for two different gaming experiences. You have also to count on luck sometimes, but be attentive to your card combinations, too.
After 8 rounds, the person with the most points will be the winner!
Designed by: Reiner Knizia
Published by: KOSMOS (1999)
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 30 min
Lost Cities is a card game in which the object is to gain points by mounting profitable archaeological expeditions to the different sites represented by the colored suits of cards.
On a player’s turn, they must first play one card, either to an expedition or by discarding it to the color-appropriate discard pile, then draw one card, either from the deck or from the top of a discard pile. Cards played to expeditions must be in ascending order, but they need not be consecutive. Handshakes are considered lower than a 2 and represent investments in an expedition. Thus, if you play a red 4, you may play any other red card higher than a 4 on a future turn but may no longer play a handshake, the 2, or the 3.
The game continues in this fashion with players alternating turns until the final card is taken from the deck. The rest of the cards in hand are then discarded and players score their expeditions. Each expedition that has at least one card played into it must be scored. Cards played into an expedition are worth their rank in points, and handshakes count as a multiplier against your final total; one handshake doubles an expedition’s value, while two handshakes triple that value and three handshakes quadruple it.
Expeditions start at a value of -20, so you must play at least 20 points of cards into an expedition in order to make a profit. Ok, enough let’s get to it, we Lost this City on Rock and Roll!