After the sudden demise of Android: Netrunner and the closure of Legend of the Five Rings, I was left with no customizable card game to play. For years, the genre has given me some of my best gaming experiences and, now, I have to look for a new one. From VTES to Flesh and Blood and Magic, I’m not out of options and yet the choice seems impossible.
Lost Ruins of Arnak combines several popular mechanisms into one game. It has a bit of deckbuilding, like Dominion, a bit of worker placement, like Stone Age, and has a scoring track like a variety of other eurogames. It’s a well-made design, even if it cannot shake off the limitations that define it.
In 2019 Roxley not only released Brass Birmingham, but also reprinted the original under the name of Brass Lancashire. This was great news for fans of economic games, as Wallace’s game of the industrial revolution is highly regarded. But it also opened the question: Which one is best? And why?
Before deciding to write this review I played Cryptid half a dozen times. Yet, I found myself having to go back to it because I couldn’t remember what kind of impact it had on me. It’s a one-dimensional game, devoid of emotion or agency. In it, I didn’t find an exciting hunt for a mythological creature but a cold mathematical exercise.
Making mistakes while playing is inevitable. Not wanting to ruin our experience, we might ask others for a takeback. But what kind of takebacks are fair? We don’t want to go give ourselves an advantage or be unfair, but the alternative seems harsh and punishing. I use a simple stance to allocate takebacks. Let’s give it a look.