Two Japanese games - Livre d'Or








Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes. * Blogroll * Strange words * More links * Bookies * Microblog * Recent comments * Humans only * Second degree * By topic * Cool posts * Writing * New post

Tags

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



livredor
Two Japanese games
Thursday, 22 October 2015 at 11:03 am
Tags:

Previous Entry Next Entry


So the very famous game Hatoful Boyfriend is in this week's Humble Bundle (if you see this in the next few hours, it's still available). I've seen so many comments on the internet saying that Hatoful Boyfriend is surprisingly profound and much more rewarding than the concept of a high school dating sim with pigeons would imply, so I gave it a go.

I really don't have a standard of comparison for Hatoful Boyfriend, as I don't have any other experience of playing Japanese (style) dating sims. I could try some of the others from the Humble Bundle now have them, which of course is part of the point of the HB system. Anyway, I would classify it as closer to interactive fiction than a game. I played through once, just straight, not saving alternate versions of branching story line, and came to a particular ending. And there definitely are hints of an interesting SF dystopia in the background and worldbuilding, and I'm intrigued by the mystery of why there is a high school for birds, mostly pigeons, and why your explicitly human character is studying there.

But I don't know if I can be bothered to play through the game lots of times to gather together all the little hints and piece together what's going on. Partly cos the game isn't very fun qua game, there seem to be very few meaningful choices. It's nearly all, should I go to the library or the sports field, with no particular reason to pick either. I think this also reflects the reason I've never really got into interactive fiction: as a fast reader, I find it frustrating to have to click and wait for page loads before I can find out what happens in the story. And choose-your-own-adventure type books are physically clunky, but you can still read them nearly as fast as linear books and explore multiple branches of the story if you want to.

I think my best bet is to read internet spoilers, much as I'm intrigued by the idea of using dating sim games as a vehicle to tell an interesting story.

It's a bit of a stretch to call this related, but ghoti recently gave me a very cool present, the Japanese themed game Machi Koro. She described it as a kawaii cross between Dominion and Settlers, and it's hard to imagine a better encapsulation of what the game is. We played through once, with [personal profile] jack, and I think it's possibly not quite as good as either Dominion or Settlers, but given those are two of my favourite games there's still a lot of room to find it enjoyable. I like the way that there are a few simple but strategically critical decisions, such as, is it better to get good coverage of all the possible dice outcomes or to focus on lots of cards of the same type so you more rarely get a lot of income in a burst? I like the mechanism where some cards allow you to steal from other players, which relatively disadvantages hoarding based strategies. I think that probably helps to avoid the frustrating, Monopoly-like situation where one player gets an unbeatable lead early on and you have to wait a long time to actually confirm their victory. (In fact I wouldn't be surprised if Monopoly as well as Settlers is somewhere in the game's ancestry; you're using income to buy cards which then generate more income). And I like the way that playing victory cards introduce distinct new stages in the game, and generally it's not mind-blowingly original but it does what it does well.

Board Game Geek forums have a lot of people saying, this is a good game for kids or an introduction to the genre for non-gamers, but doesn't play well for people who are in the habit of Eurogames with a lot of analytical thinking involved. And maybe that's true, it's possible that the game will have limited replayability, though I believe there are expansions that work more like Dominion where you select a subset of the cards for a starting deck. But I personally like good simple games; I don't mind if there's an element of luck as long as the outcome is somewhat related to the decisions players make, and although I like complex thinky games (Agricola remains one of my favourites, for example), I don't exclusively like that kind.

I prefer comments at Dreamwidth. There are currently comment count unavailable comments there. You can use your LJ address as an OpenID, or just write your name.


Whereaboooots: St Pigeonations
Tuuuuune: Guns 'n' Roses: November rain
Discussion: 5 contributions | Contribute something
Tags:

Previous Entry Next Entry




Contribute something
View all comments chronologically



ghoti: default
From:ghoti
Date:October 22nd, 2015 11:20 am (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 11:20 am (ghoti's time)
(Link)
I tend to forget about the more complex longer games because I'm almost always playing with a child anyway. So good introduction, simple to play games are almost all my play. Maybe I should remember that you potentially have more time and drag out the long games. We've never finished History of the World, for example.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
livredor: geekette
From:livredor
Date:October 23rd, 2015 11:12 am (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 11:12 am (livredor's time)
(Link)
I don't know, your kids play Carcassonne and I consider that a highly complex and analytical game. And some of the Yucata games are pretty thinky, but it matters less there if someone takes 5-10 minutes to decide a move. Also I'm not sure I do have time; by the time we'd had food and conversations on Sunday we were pretty squeezed even for Machi Koro, and I think that happens quite a lot. What I do have is patience; I'm just as happy to chat to fellow players if someone's taking ages analysing probabilities and tactics as to play, and that's pretty boring for young kids. Hypothetically I'd like to play more long thinky games with you, but you know, along with all the other ways I'd like to spend time with you that don't fit in.
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
ghoti: default
From:ghoti
Date:October 23rd, 2015 11:22 am (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 11:22 am (ghoti's time)
(Link)
Right, but if we brought out the games earlier instead of doing all the talking? Maybe that doens't work so much.


Carcassonne is one of the easiest games to play! I always think of it as one of the first games a toddler can play, the mechanic is so simple.
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
livredor: geekette
From:livredor
Date:October 23rd, 2015 12:03 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 12:03 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Huh, maybe I'm just terrible at Carcassonne. I always find it really difficult to work out what's the best move with each new tile. And it's fairly complex in that the fields, the cities and roads and fields all work and score differently. I think of it as the Eurogames equivalent of Go, the rules are pretty simple but there's this emergent stuff in the interplay between local and more long distance effects. Maybe I should try teaming with Judith and see if she can teach me a better sense of the game, though if she's been playing it since a toddler she's maybe bored of it already.

I'll talk offline about finding time for gaming, that's not very useful for a comment discussion.
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
livejournal: rating_bot
From:livejournal
Date:October 22nd, 2015 12:33 pm (UTC)
2 hours after journal entry, 03:33 pm (livejournal's time)
(Link)
Hello! Your entry got to top-25 of the most popular entries in LiveJournal!
Learn more about LiveJournal Ratings in FAQ.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)



Contribute something
View all comments chronologically