Here is the first in (hopefully) a series of Board Game Mini-Reviews! (We’re starting with RuneAge and Touch of Evil)
My partner and I have been doing some awesome board game testing! (Meaning that we are awesome and are trying out games, and that the games are awesome–moving on…) Recently, we have had a go at RuneAge and Touch of Evil (not the Orson Welles film), and have enjoyed and found reason to replay both. They are both reasonably short, have multiple scenarios and multiple playable characters for increased playability, and involve enough peril to create suspense but not drown you in frustration.
RuneAge is a deck-building game with defend-your-castle-and-shoot-down-monsters elements. It is a fun 1-4 player game with many different levels of cooperative and competitive. It uses fantasy monsters, castles, minions, and tactics, but alas no weapons cards–(maybe they’re in the expansion). In the realm of deck-building/tableaux hybrids, I FAR prefer RuneAge to Netrunner, Dominion, or Ascension on the grounds of game length, balance, fewer symbols and terms to learn, and variability of game objectives. (Also it’s in the RuneBound universe, and I happen to like that.)
Touch of Evil is a mystery/suspense/evil-demon style game in which a team of Victorian era townies have to go investigate and eventually hunt down and kill some giant terrorizing evil like a headless horseman or a vampire. (Morgen found it almost comically similar to the Johnny Depp “Sleepy Hollow”; it also seems like several editions of Dracula, and “The Brotherhood of the Wolf.”) It is in some ways analogous to Arkham Horror (not the Batman one), but in only the good ways. It is MUCH shorter than Arkham; there are about a thousand fewer pips and chits and stages and steps; it is not as likely that one character will get SUPER-STRONG-UNBEATABLE-CHAMPION while someone else dies literally every single turn; the game board is smaller and more manageable; and–possibly best of all–it’s not as random. Despite the influence of dice and cards, there are many opportunities to make your own luck in Touch of Evil and not just be screwed over by a random card despite your strategy. Group strategy in battles is also fun.
With your brief, charming look at RuneAge and Touch of Evil, I’m Mike Jack. Cheers!