New Arrivals: Godzilla, Catan & Pixies

Godzilla: Kaiju World Wars (ToyBiz, $70) unexpectedly arrived last week, landing with a mighty thud on the porch as the UPS guy ran for his life shouting “Aaaaiiiii! Gojira! Run!” I unboxed it, marveled at the lovely figures, marveled further at the hideous gameboard, and then sat down with the manual.

And there I was still sitting, an hour later, trying to search my mind for a game with worse documentation. I haven’t tackled the gameplay yet, although I finally figured out that it’s a pretty straightforward combat/destruction game, with Godzilla and three other monsters taking turns stomping the city and each other. The mechanics appear to have some potential, but I’ll obviously need to dig more deeply before I can deliver a verdict.

The manual, however, is a disgrace. It’s not merely that the gameplay, the pieces, and even the purpose of the game are poorly explained; it’s that all of this is printed in teeny tiny print and without any color. The black-and-white illustrations are so dark that you can’t actually tell what they’re depicting. Thus, I’m not really sure what all the little chits are supposed to represent. I’ve heard that this was a cost-cutting measure, but if so it was the worst possible decision.

I’m a big kaiju (rubber monster suit) fan, so I was really looking forward to this one. I intend to give it every chance to overcome the poor initial impression it made.

The Rivals For Catan (Mayfair, $20) is a rebooting of Catan: The Card Game, which I haven’t played in ages. I’ve been able to play the basic game twice, and enjoyed it both times. I want to get about 6 more plays done before I review it, but thus far it’s proving to be a quick, enjoyable slice of Catan. It seems to be better balanced than the original, and it was certainly easier to pick up and play with a novice gamer. Stay tuned for a full review

Pixy Cubes (BlueOrange, $16) is another clever offering from BlueOrange games. Think of it as a cube-based tangram. The game comes with 16 dice-sized cubes, with each face depicting a different pattern. These cubes must be assembled to match certain patterns depicted on a set of cards. It has a couple of options for competitive play, but it works just fine as a solo game.

On the videogame front, everyone in the house has been spending a lot of time with this guy:

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