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 are rolling higher and higher and hoping we won’t blow up in Balloon Pop!
Next: We expand our empires one card at a time in It’s a Wonderful World
And lastly: We’re herding cattle and swatting flies in Mow
Designed by: Andy Van Zandt
Published by: Tasty Minstrel Games (2017)
Players: 1–10 Players
Ages: 13 & up
Playing time: 10 min
Balloon Pop is a roll and write, where you inflate your 6 balloons with the perfect amount of air to score the highest possible points. But if you fill it too much the balloon goes POP!
On your turn, roll three dice. Each die face shows a color and a shape. Record the results by circling numbers from the bottom of the column, going up. The highest number you circle in a column equals the points that you score.
Not happy with your results? Then roll again with any number of dice — but you have to roll an additional die as well, which means you’ll circle more results on your scoresheet. You can reroll a second time as well to add a fifth die to your results.
If you score too many times on any of your balloons, POP. Popping triggers a scoring break that occurs at the end of the round, with everyone scoring based on their current heights in the columns. You want to go high, but don’t trigger the break or else your points will plummet right before scoring.
After three breaks, players total their scores to see who wins. Now up, up, and away … POP!
It’s a Wonderful World
Designed by: Frédéric Guérard
Published by: La Boîte de Jeu, Origames (2019)
Players: 1 – 5
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 45 minutes
It’s a Wonderful World is a card drafting and engine building game, where you are an expanding empire and must choose your path to your future. You must develop quickly to generate the resources you need to get your engine going.
Each round, players are dealt seven cards. Pick one, pass to your neighbor. Decide to construct the card, or cash cards in for their resource.
Step 1 – produce materials (depending on which empire you are playing, each one generates different materials)
Step 2 – assign the resources on to cards that you are constructing, or bank the resources at your home base.
Step 3 – when a construction is completed, it will start producing more resources for you.
The twist is that the production phase works in a specific order. You’ll have to plan your constructions carefully!
At the end of four rounds, players use their completed constructions to figure out their VP’s, and for that lone victor, it is truly a wonderful world. Everyone else gets to live in a dystopian horror.
Designed by: Bruno Cathala
Published by: Hurrican (2008)
Players: 2 – 5
Ages: 7 & up
Playing time: 15 minutes
MOW is a card game where the goal is to have the fewest amount of flies among all of the cow cards you will be collecting. To start, deal five cards, then play a card, draw a card.
First player will play a card. Cards are all cartoon cows, each with a number 0 through 16, and a number of flies.
Next player places a card of a higher or lower number, before or after the first cow card that was played. Keep doing this until a player voluntarily collects the cards, or until a player can no longer make a legal move. Once a card is played, the next player can not jam a numbered card in between 2 other cards – they always have to place a card on either end, high or low.
First player to 100 total flies marks the end of the game, count your flies, lowest fly total wins.
Hey, do you know where grape cows are grown? On Bo-Vines!