The problem was balancing, and it’s something that I had an idea about. The human character simply has to chase down the mouse and land on his spot to win, so in the end the man has to have more movement. Unfortunately for him, the mouse is hidden unless the man is in line of sight, which was listed on the movement cards the human character played each turn. That lead to a bit of a mess. The human had to make sure to track where he was, how long his line of sight was, and the mouse player had to answer questions every thirty seconds during the human player’s turn. Not exactly fun.
So, I changed it. Human player only gets line of sight when standing still, lasting through the mouse’s turn (which hasn’t changed). This time the mouse has cards instead of a fixed movement, with a few hints to the human player on them, but also can move faster than the original fixed speed. It’s going well so far in testing and I think I’ll be bringing it to Dreamation in February.
What I’ve Been Playing: PLENTY of playtests this week.
I was in three playtests of Dracula’s Feast, two games included new characters for the Cthulhu and Friends expansion. This is a scalable, moderator free social deduction game, and we played with seven players. It is very quick for a social deduction game, running around ten minutes a game. There's a bit more logic to it than some hidden role games, and roles are more easily revealed than in most games in the genre, but that may be one of it's biggest strengths...
I also playtested Cheese It once with another player. (I also supervised a few games over the weekend, but those don’t count for this list!) It went well, but I'll say more about it later.
On to published games I played Valley of the Kings Afterlife for the first time with three other players. It’s a very interesting deck builder with a nice deck thinning mechanic. I lost horribly, but I feel like I learned quite a bit and will do much better if I play again. It’s got a very novel scoring system attached to the deck thinning mechanic, but also makes you waffle between gaining VP and gaining advanced cards, overall very intriguing.
Finally I got to play Spot It twice. This is a super quick, very easy to pick up matching game. Using circular cards players just have to spot something on the top card that matches their card… then put the new cards over that card. It turns into a quick study of your own card in the hope you can spot a matching symbol before someone else claims it, then a frantic realization that all but one of the symbols you had has changed! It’s a very cheap game and one that I’m definitely going to pick up if given the chance.