I’m continuing the alphabetical look at my game collection by choosing a few favorites for the letter E.
Elder Sign is a cooperative game where players are investigators trying to prevent the end of the world by investigating different rooms of a museum (for the base game … other locations for some of the expansions). They are trying to keep an ancient one from rising up to devour the world before they are all taken out. Each turn, the active player will roll a handful of dice, hoping to get certain symbols. The dice can be rerolled if they are unsuccessful, or there are ways to manipulate the dice through clues, item cards, and special player abilities. If the tasks on the card are completed before the player runs out of dice, they succeed and will gain rewards. The rewards could even include elder signs, which help stave off the ancient one. However, if they are ultimately unsuccessful, they’ll take a penalty, which often includes an injury or a hit to their sanity.
I like Elder Sign for the dice chucking. It’s a little like Yahtzee, but with more strategy and ways to manipulate dice. You’ll choose the room that has tasks best suited to your character’s special ability and/or the item cards you have available to you. There are also ways to help out other players if you are at the same location, so if there’s one that’s particularly hard, you might team up for that location.
In Everdell, each player is building up a small town for their band of woodland creatures. Over the course of the game, they’ll construct buildings, attract characters, and host events. The game is a combination of worker placement and tableau building. On each turn, players will decide whether to use one of their workers, add a new card to their town, or prepare for the next season. After everyone has completed the last season, players will determine who has the best town (or … the most points).
To say I was drawn in by the art would be an understatement – I love all of the cards and characters in Everdell. But, even more, I really enjoy the game-play. I like how the game gets bigger as you go. You start with just two workers and it feels like you won’t get very far. but by the end you’ve got a bustling town. I still remember the beginning of my first game when I had my two workers and wondered how I would ever fill my town with 15 cards. By the end of that game, I was having to pick and choose which cards to add to my town, because there were too many that I wanted to build.
Endangered is a cooperative game where players are working together to keep a species of animal thriving long enough to get the world’s ambassadors behind their conservation. Each player has a different character to play, which could be a wildlife host, a philanthropist, or a lawyer. Then, on their turn, players will retrieve their dice, roll them, and then place them out on different action spots. They can typically occupy a spot with another player’s dice, but their number may need to be larger. If at the end of a certain round a majority of the ambassadors vote to support the species, all player win.
I was drawn to the theme of Endangered, since I’m a fan of animals and raising awareness about our effects on them. And once again, I stayed for the game play. I enjoy dice-worker-placement, so this hits that note for me. I also like that each player has a different character, and they have different abilities specific to that character. In fact, there are a few choices for the abilities for each character, so you can tailor the game to the particular species you are trying to save. There’s also always a feeling of accomplishment at the end if you are able to keep the species alive and get the vote of the ambassadors.
What are your favorite games that start with the letter “E”? Or is there one from my list that you love or are hoping to try? Let me know in the comments!