Sunday, April 24, 2005

settlers' cafe, holland v

Met up with tongli and poon (and key joined us after her paper) at settlers cafe yesterday. Key thought it should have been in chinatown, but turns out the original branch was in Clarke Quay, and the place we went was a new branch (soft launch!) at Holland Village, 15 Holland Drive. Should have had Andy and Junx over as well, but Andy's already traipsing all over Japan with his gal, and Junx's hockey season has already begun, so his saturdays are gone.

Anyway, it was a rather expensive day overall: At $140 for the time from 2pm to 11pm and including 4 dinners.. divided between us.. ow. I guess I'd rather have bought a couple of games and tried them out for several hours at a time? And also given that we played the games at a far slower pace than recommended generally.

Still, the environment was generally good. For those not in the know, Settler's Cafe is this place where you can rent tables and get refreshments and play board games all day long. I guess the advantage is that you can choose from a wide variety of games that may not be easily available in Singapore otherwise. And it's got a decent atmosphere. But for me, I don't mind spending a whole day only playing a couple of games repetitively. And most of the groups I hang out with are like that. We play several rounds of cranium, or taboo, or the various other games whose names I temporarily forget... So, probably, not so worth it for me, I should just go get the games. As for availability, I KNOW that I've seen many of these games on sale in Singapore before, the market seems to be increasing. The leisure stores that sell Warhammer stuff, the comics shops like the one at Bugis opposite Kino, and even those department stores.. Just have to look I guess. And next time I go travelling to European / US / Australian shores, I'll make sure to bring back at least two new board games for inviting people over. I was telling Key the other day that when I start work I plan to have small parties every two to three weeks... heh.

Anyway, for the record, what we played yesterday:

1) Basari: A trading game, rules were explained incorrectly to us and ended up in some impasses. Okay game, I wouldn't generally recommend.

2) Zombies: Hack and slash. Those old AD&D board games meets munchkin style "sabo your friends so they can't win before you!" with a B-grade horror movie premise. It's really like munchkin. Good for one game but too tedious to keep playing, and not much replay.

3) Modern Art: Auctioneering game, involving various different types of bidding and bluffing. Novel premise (to me) and quite cerebral. I thought it has high replay value (you could probably play it twice in a gathering and play it once every two or three gatherings) but you need a crowd who's willing to sit down and make fun and be extremely think think think about it.

4) Citadels: Building/resource game, think it works out better with more players. Kind of dry, actually, and there isn't a fantastic amount of interaction/backstabbing for a game that is so backstabby in nature.

5) Cranium: The old Stanford fave, except that only Tongli had any experience with it. It's a great game, but you need more people, more people, more people! hahaha... High replay, good fun...

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