Here at Worldbuilders, we’ve been known to occasionally engage in some enthusiastic exaggeration. We might sometimes say someone gave us “a ton of books” when in truth, it was a *lot* of books that did not actually weigh 2000 pounds.
But in this particular case, we’re not being hyperbolic. Mayfair Games has literally sent us a truckload of games.
And it wasn’t a little truck either. There were so many games we had to get a forklift to unload it.
So yeah. There are a *lot* of games here. And we’re putting more than a thousand of them into the lottery. That means for every $10 you donate to Heifer International on the Worldbuilders team page, you get the chance to win these games as well as all the other goodies in the lottery.
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We here at Worldbuilders take our jobs seriously. When people donate something to the fundraiser, we do our best to learn everything about it so we can show it off to good effect. We feel it’s our duty to become familiar with the prizes.
In the pursuit of that duty, we made a point of playing several of these games. We did it for you, really. And for charity.
One of the things I was pleased to discover is that the games we tried out were easy to learn and quick to play. Not that I don’t enjoy a nice, brisk twelve hour game of Civilization, mind you. But that sort of game isn’t for everyone.
A lot of these you can play in an hour or so. And if you’ve ever wasted a whole evening grinding away at a game of Monopoly that simply would not die, you know that’s a good thing.
- 100 copies of Horus.
Horus is one of the games the team managed to crack open and play together. It’s a civilization building game where you vie for control of regions along the Nile.
Things got pretty heated. It’s a good game for a group, and Rachel had this to say about it:
I loved the game’s art, and even if I didn’t end up being King of Egypt, it was really fun trying! We all kind of teamed up against Adam at first, and then Nicole turned traitor and started stealing EVERYTHING. I don’t think Nicole and I should play games together….
Ah yes. Resentment and the end of friendships. The hallmarks of an excellent game….
- 100 copies of Wacky Wacky West.
This game won Spiel des Jahres. Which my four years of high school German allows me to translate as, “Game of the Year.”
Through bluffing and deception, you are trying to develop the a town in the old west that is mostly full of… well… outhouses. Build things you want, prevent other players from doing so, and destroy things in your way.
- 100 copies of Anno 1503.
This game is based on a computer game, which if you’re a skeptical person like myself, might tempt you to dismiss it. But this game was designed by Klaus Teuber, the same guy who made Catan. So personally, I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
You sail around, searching for outposts, trade agreements, or treasure to bring back to the motherland, and use those resources to build up your colonies. But as colonies grow, there’s risk for some gold-greedy pirates to come along and destroy everything…
- 100 copies of Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Look at it journeying, there.
Adam played this one over Thanksgiving with some friends. Here’s what he had to say:
This is a fun competitive/co-op board game to see who can gather the most fame and come out on top. When we played, my friends and I had a blast trying to collect the most fossils and gold while at the same time conniving to prevent the others from doing the same. The rules are easy enough to figure out so after a single read-through, you’ll be set to play.
- 100 copies of Nautilus, Adventure in the Deep.
In Nautilus, groups of researchers come together to search for lost treasures, build and develop an underwater city and, most importantly, search for the lost city of Atlantis. Each researcher has his or her own passions and goals, though everyone is motivated by treasure and money.
- 100 copies of Justinian.
This is a game of court favor, specifically the favor of Emperor Justinian, through bribery of the other influential people in court. It’s hard to predict which members of the court will have the Emperor’s ear in the end, so you have to choose wisely and carefully…
This game sparked a wonderful history discussion that went about like this:
- 100 copies of Toledo.
Who doesn’t want to be a 17th century Spanish swordmaker? In Toledo, you send your five helpers to collect the finest metals and gems to craft the best swords, as well as duel with other swordsmen to defend your honor.
It combines worker placement and hand management into a fun, family-friendly game, so gamers new and old can enjoy it if they win it in the lottery.
- 100 copies of Amazonas.
Amanda’s been playing this one with her gaming group, and they’ve been enjoying it. She wrote this to share with y’all:
You’re searching for rare plants and animals in the jungles of Amazonas. Your goal is to build outposts in specific places, while encountering as much of the flora and fauna as possible and making sure the other adventurers don’t beat you to the places you want to go. Competitive, but mostly strategic, and a lot of fun. Great game.
- 100 copies of Grand Prix.
This game is great for families and larger groups, since it plays up to six (rather than just four). It’s a racing game that uses cards to help you move cars on the track, then bid on which car you’d like to control. Since that can change between turns, you need to keep all of the cars in the running until the end, in the hopes that you end up controlling the leading car at the finish line.
- 100 copies of La Strada.
The team played this one together as well.
You’re trying to establish trade routes to major and minor settlements, preferably places your competition can’t get to. It’s simple and elegant, while still being a lot of fun to play and has potential for some serious strategy.
Nicole felt particularly strongly about it:
I really liked La Strada. Finding the most efficient way to use my resources while sneaking past Rachel was an enjoyable challenge. That said, Rachel totally squashed me, so there may have to be a rematch in our near future…
- 100 copies of Weinhandler.
I played this one with the team. Generally speaking, I try to avoid playing games with them. It’s bad for morale, as I tend to viciously destroy all who stand against me.
(This is the expression I make when I’m destroying all who oppose me.)
The fact that I won wasn’t particularly surprising. That’s just the natural order of things. What surprised me was how much strategy there was compared to the simplicity of the rules. What’s more, it’s a nice small box, so it can travel easy.
The fact that it’s a relatively brief game is nice too. After our first play-through, we decided to try it again with five people instead of three.
(Brett is being rules monkey.)
And because I know they’ll point it out in the comments if I don’t admit to it here. Yes. It’s true. I didn’t win the second game.
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So there you go, 1100 new games added to the Worldbuilders lottery. So when you donate make sure you remember to let us know what sort of stuff you’d like to win:
If you’d like to see the other stuff you can win in the lottery, including thousands of books, many of them rare, signed, or otherwise fancy, you can head over to the blog where I list all the donations and explain what Worldbuilders is.
Or, if you’ve heard enough and want to make the world a better place while winning cool prizes, you can make your tax-deductible donation directly to Heifer International over here.
See you later space cowboys…