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 try to send brain waves of phrase to each other one card at a time in Subtext Showdown
Next: We roll to rally resources, in hopes of scoring fancy tech in Terraforming Mars: The Dice Game
And lastly: We go round the moons of Mongo one primary colored pawn at time in Flash Gordon

Subtext Showdown

Designed by: Mary Magkou
Published by: Tipsy Chicken Games (2023)
Players: 3 – 6
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 20 – 30 minutes

Subtext Showdown is a word association party game, where players choose words from a grid to put together in hopes that the other players will successfully guess what it is you are trying to convey.

Each card contains one word. A player on their turn will take up to three cards from a grid of 16 cards. The  player can make more than one clue for the other players to guess, but any cards must be chosen within 45 seconds.  

When the word cards are chosen, all players (including the player who chose the cards) will write down what they think is the answer to each set of words. Points are scored for matching answers, including wrong matching answers.

Everyone gets to be the word crafter three times, then tally the score, declare victory, and win the accolades of your fellow wordsmiths.

Terraforming Mars: The Dice Game

Designed by: Jacob Fryxelius
Published by: FryxGames & Stronghold Games (2023)
Players: 1 – 4
Ages: 14 & up
Playing time: 45 minutes

Terraforming Mars: The Dice Game, is a card driven dice game where players use special dice to develop their corporations and terraform Mars into a new home for humanity. The dice represent resources that players spend to play cards and perform other actions. During the game you increase your production of dice, you terraform and place cities and greenery tiles on the board and gain various bonuses. Each turn, you either produce new dice (Production Turn) or perform actions (Action Turn).

Whenever you terraform Mars (raise oxygen or temperature, or place an ocean tile), you gain 2 Victory Points (VP). You can also gain VP for placing tiles and playing cards, as well as winning Awards and Milestones.

The game ends when 2 of the 3 global parameters have been completed (oxygen/temperature/ocean). The player with the most VP wins the game. I used to be a bootblack, but now I’m Terraforming Mars.

Flash Gordon

Designed by: (Uncredited)
Published by: Waddingtons House of Games (1977)
Players: 2 – 4
Ages: 6 & up
Playing time: (unlisted)

Flash Gordon is a race game, set on the Moons of Mongo. Each player takes the part of Flash, Dale, Zarkov or Emperor Ming. The board shows orbits around each of 6 moons and the players try to be the first to land spaceships on any four of these. Movement is by dice roll, but you can choose which of your 4 ships to move. Landing on an opponent’s ship causes it to have to restart. Pass through an orbit spot with crossing arrows, and you can change your orbit to a new path. Pass through and orbit with multicolored spots, you roll to see if you will be kicked into a different orbit.

Move your three pieces into position on the moons of Mongo. The first player to occupy 4 moons wins, and becomes the savior of the universe!

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