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 find out if it’s hip to be square and even hipper to be cubed in Minecraft: Heroes of the Village
Next: We hunt our Hexes as we howl at the moon in The Wolves
Lastly: We score by fives as we try angles in Contack
Minecraft: Heroes of the Village
Designed by: Christian Fiore, Knut Happel
Published by: Ravensburger (2022)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 7 & up
Playing time: 20 – 25 minutes
Minecraft: Heroes of the Village is a cooperative game, set in the Minecraft universe, in which the players must combine their skills to fight off the Illagers that will invade your home village.
Each player is assigned a character and a pet, and the pets give each player a unique ability. Each player on their turn can choose to perform two of these actions: Explore, mine, fight a mob, or build.
Exploring reveals new tiles and resources, mining is the collection of resources, successfully fighting mobs can help push the illagers back, and building also helps to hold back the illager.
Defeat the illagers and ravages before the time runs out. Now let’s see if us adults turned out to be the new kids on the block.
Designed by: Ashwin Kamath, Clarence Simpson
Published by: Pandasaurus Games (2022)
Players: 2 – 5
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 75 minutes
The Wolves is an area control game where each player represents a pack of wolves, vying for control over various terrains of a vast landscape. Packs will move, build dens next to your Alpha Wolves, upgrade your dens to lairs if they are near watering holes, howl to call more wolves into your pack, and dominate your opponents.
Each action requires you to flip terrain tiles matching the terrain where you wish to take your action. These double-sided tiles mean the actions you take this round will set up which terrain types you can act on in the next round. As you take actions to expand your pack’s control of each region, you also upgrade your pack’s attributes, allowing you to take more aggressive actions as the game goes on.
There are scoring rounds in the game, and a final round of scoring … to many ways to score to describe them all here, but generally speaking, control the most areas and achieve as as many upgrades as possible to score the most points, and the victor gets a chance to PAWS and reflect on their victory.
Designed by: J. W. Patterson
Published by: Parker Brothers (1939)
Players: 2 – 7
Ages: 10 & up
Playing time: 10 minutes
Contack is a game played with 36 triangular pieces. The 3 sides of each triangle are different in color, and each side has a number from 1 to 10 printed at its edge.
Players try, by matching color and number, or matching color and making certain score totals, to play all the triangles from their hand and to make as large a score as possible.
The game was first introduced by the Volume Sprayer Mfg. Co. of Tulsa Oklahoma in early 1939, then published by a number of companies including Parker Brothers later that year. The Volume Sprayer edition has pressed wood pieces and a hexagonal tin-lined box.
Triangular Dominoes (of which Contack is a variant) date back at least to 1886 when published by Frank H. Richards of Troy, New York, for 25¢ or “10 cents silver (for) a cheaper set to learn the game.”