Get ten brilliant board games for as little as $12 via Asmodee’s latest Humble Bundle11 May 2020 0
While the world is slowly but surely starting to ease lockdown restrictions, the general advice is still to stay at home where possible. It will probably be even longer before social distancing-related measures truly ease up, which means there’s still a need for ways we can all play and interact together online.
Asmodee Digital - the videogame arm of board game giant Asmodee - have partnered with Humble for a ‘Play with Friends’ digital board games bundle that’s pretty nuts in terms of scale and value. As ever, we’re going to break this down via Tiers so you can get a good sense of where the value lies.
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Tier 1 - Pay $1 or more
This tier is where the majority of the base games lie and features six titles, although none of these are ‘best of the best’ quality. Carcassonne is a classic and iconic board game where players take turns at laying tiles to try and complete ‘features’, whether it’s a city, or a road which scores points. There’s a tactical dimension in the fact that you also have to ‘own’ that feature, which requires having more meeples occupying it than anyone else. It’s great physically and online, and is an excellent centre-piece for this tier.
Small World 2 is a fast-playing civilization-style game where fantasy races come and go very quickly. Potion Explosion, Love Letter, Kings & Assassins and PatchWork are all also pretty decent board games, although your mileage may vary as they represent widely different themselves and game types.
Tier 2 - Pay at least the average (currently $9/£8)
There are nine items in the second tier, four of which are new games and the others being expansions for games in this and previous tiers. The headliner is Twilight Struggle, which is an excellent digital adaptation of the board game of the same name.
It's a two-player experience set during the cold war where one person plays as America, while the other plays Russia. Both sides are vying for political control over the world, and it features a unique card-driven mechanic where a card can have one of several uses. Powerful events inspired by history will affect the world, but you can also use them to enact specific actions wherever you want to try and get the edge. You have to be careful though - whoever ends up driving the DECON counter to 1 loses the game.
This tier also features Splendor, Splendor’s spin-off game Splendor: The Cities, and Mysterium, along with two expansions each for Carcassonne and Small Worlds 2.
Tier 3 - Pay at least £9.50/$10
This tier also has nine items, but only two of them are new base games - but they’re pretty good ones still.
The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game is actually a pretty decent co-operative deck-builder that tries to do some interesting things in the card game space. It’s inspired by the Fantasy Flight ‘living’ card game, but tries to optimise the experience and make full use of the unique benefits a digital product can bring. It has a very Hearthstone-like design, which is probably what holds it back a bit, but this is more of an adventure game played via the medium of cards. You can play it single-player, or two-player and it’s well worth checking out if you like Lord of the Rings and/or card games and want to try out something different.
The star of the show though is Scythe. This strategy board game made a big splash when it was released in the table-top world a few years ago, and the digital adaptation is equally as impressive. The visuals are spot on, and over the years the game has been tweaked and improved to be a must-play for strategy gamers, whether you like board games or not.
The rest of the tier features three additional expansions for Carcassonne, two bits of Mysterium DLC and then an add-on each for Small Worlds 2 and Splendor.
Overall this is a pretty great bundle - ten new games alone mean that, if you go to Tier 3 you’re paying for just over £1/$1 a game. Add to that there’s plenty of add-ons for most of the new titles you get means this is one of the best value bundles we’ve seen in a long time, and a great starting point for getting together with friends to play games.