Posted Monday, 31-Aug-2015
What hardcore gamer could possibly turn down a game featuring man’s best friend?
What red-blooded gamer could possibly turn down a game including dogs? Man’s best friend is a most appealing game theme, and he sometimes works his way into the game mechanics as well!
In the fast-and-furious card game Pick-a-Dog, a grid of cards is laid out face up, and each player gets a starting card.
Each card has a picture of a dog with various attributes: large or small, dark or light, with or without sunglasses, etc.
At the word “GO!” each player tries to grab cards quickly and add them to his hand so that each card differs from the previous one by no more than one attribute. When a player thinks he can grab no more, he yells “STOP!”. Each player’s stack is checked, and those who did not make a mistake get to keep their cards. Each player can start a round, or just play as many rounds as desired. The game can be paired with its sister game, Pick-a-Pig.
The combined decks of Pick-a-Pig and Pick-a-Dog allows for more challenging game-play and can accommodate eight players.
Another tack entirely is taken in the dog game Snow Tails, which is expected to be re-released this October.
Snow Tails is a terrific game of dog sled racing in the Arctic. Each player owns a sled and a team of huskies represented by a deck of cards. The course varies in length and difficulty because the track pieces are modular. Sleds must move not only forward, but also around curves.
Each sled has two cards in the front and a third “brake” card in back. Its speed is the sum of the two front cards minus the brake; its drift is the difference in the direction of the stronger front card. Each turn the player can play new cards on top of the old ones, but with restrictions leading to sometimes unfortunate results.
Beware of obstacles that damage your sled and clog up your hand! The game was later reimplemented as Mush Mush: Snow Tails 2; the revision has more streamlined mechanics (“Look Ma! No brakes!) and accommodates up to 8 intrepid racers.
Alan R. Moon’s game Walk the Dogs is long out of print, but must be mentioned for its cuteness factor. (see: 10 things you didn’t know about game designer Alan R. Moon)
63 miniature dogs of 7 different breeds are placed in a line, and players use cards to try and collect the breeds they want from either end of the line. All would be easy, except that the dog catcher, bone and leash cards can muck up the best laid plans!
Walk the Dogs is a delicious game for dog lovers young and old.
Finally we must mention Last Will, a game in which players are trying to spend an inheritance from a rich uncle the quickest.
There are dogs in this game too, playing a more minor role than in the afore-mentioned games, but poking their noses into the fun nonetheless.
While we won’t hound you about it, it’s always good to take a paws from your usual gaming fare and go fetch a dog game to the table.
Published by BoardGamePrices.com
Can we fit all the photos we took at Spiel into this article? No. But we’ll sure try! Here’s your last look at the last day of the biggest board games show in the world.
The tiredness starts to take hold; but we press on toward Day 3! We’ve got dice! We’ve got minis! We’ve got mechs! It’s Spiel!