We had our friday game night. Bryan, Rachel and Tim Steen all came for a rare 5 player night. It was good to see Rachel as she has missed the last few get togethers. Tim did a great job teaching Pirate's Cove to the rest of us. After which we played Bonanza and Power Grid (4 player as Rachel had left). Fun night, lots of laughs.
Pirate's Cove was about what I expected from Days of Wonder. That is, fair games with a high production level with respect to boards and bits (tho I dislike almost all their covers, more on this on another post). The game struck me as a bit too complicated for what it was, which is a light family game. Not that it was a very complex game, it just seemed like the rules kept coming, more than I'd expect. Fortunately, Tim's a good 'splainer so all went smoothly. I think the thing that really holds this game together is the theme – it's hard to not have fun on some level with a pirate theme. By far, the most interesting part of the game takes place in the first phase of each turn. That is, determining which island to go to. Here players make simultaneous decision and reveal. Though the first turn is pretty much a guess, a player can deduce some player's moves on subsequent turns. It's very satisfying seeing that other players do what you thought they might. Ship battles are dice fests, but a little fun too. Pirate's Cove is a fair, light game and I was certainly glad to learn and play it as I've been curious about it for some time now. Game play aside, the board is very nice. Rich colors, easy to understand graphics and a smattering of illustration everywhere lives up to the DoW quality of production.
As for the Days of Wonder family of games, I'm finding more and more, that I'm really not their audience. Between, the Ticket to Ride Series, Mystery of the Abbey and now this, the games always leave me a little empty. Not that a game has to be heavy for me, it's just that they don't seem to click. Something always seems off with the gameplay. I'm now more likely to get the games, purely for the production values as this is an interest to me. I own Memior '44, so I need to play this one – perhaps this will click.