Fifth Monday Game Post: Pandemic Edition (but not the game Pandemic. Okay, fine, Pandemic the game too.)

Well, it's been awhile since we've done one of these, but it feels appropriate right now.

What games are you playing with the household to keep everyone sane? What are you playing alone to keep yourself from going insane on the rest of the household?

34 thoughts on “Fifth Monday Game Post: Pandemic Edition (but not the game Pandemic. Okay, fine, Pandemic the game too.)”

  1. I've been doing a lot of additional video gaming. Most notably Breath of the Wild and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I am most proud of the fact that I was able to put black metal corpse paint on my AC guy. I've also been playing random things that pop up on Xbox Game Pass, mainly Prey and I also downloaded Yakuza 0 this weekend. I've got a huge back load of games to play and it isn't being helped by Game Pass.

    Oh, I also learned this weekend that Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy are available on the Switch. I started JO this weekend and, to be honest, it was nearly unplayable with a controller in the early going. It's a littler easier using the Switch as a handheld, and I expect it will get better once a lightsaber comes into play, but it was definitely developed during a time when controllers connected to PCs were much less common. Still, its one of my favorite games of all time, so I'm going to try to stick it out.

    A bunch of guys I curl with started up a Discord channel and through that they got me to install Steam onto my crappy home laptop so we can play Barotrauma and Defcon. Barotrauma is... interesting. I've only played once and really didn't do anything, but from listening to our chat it sounds like it'll get pretty cool later on. We're planning on playing a slow game of Defcon today while we all "work".

  2. I've joined a biweekly poker game with some friends in which we Venmo final payments at the end of the night.

    We have let Honest Abe act out many topics from our kids version of Charades.

    We have discussed playing Wits & Wagers over Zoom with the family, but that hasn't come to fruition yet.

    Also, still plugging away at my historic OOTP league - now in 2006. ARod has been fairly useless since I made him the league's highest player 1.5 seasons ago. One team that is currently "unowned" is absolutely loaded for the future if anyone wants to claim it (you'll be in a league with me, bjhess, and TDO among others). This unowned team just drafted Clayton Kershaw to go with Gio Gonzalez, Yovani Gallardo, Ryan Zimmerman, and Adam Jones among other minor league prospects. (To be fair, the major league team is pretty barren.) We're still using OOTP20, but we'll upgrade to OOTP21 in a "season" or two.

  3. We played kids vs adults version of trivial pursuit last night via zoom. We had one camera on us and one on the board. It worked pretty well.

    I'm going to try Trickster Cards this week to play card games remotely.

  4. Our family played Scattergories via Facebook Video on Saturday. It worked out pretty well; my dad had a bit of lag and we all realized we need headphones to reduce feedback, but it was fun. We plan to play next weekend, maybe some Family Feud.

  5. as for video games, I'm replaying Final Fantasy VI (with a patched ROM to uncensor it, fix the bugs and update the names) as I'm more in the mood to play something old and comforting than something new.

    1. I started FFVI a while back on my SNES classic. Just got past the Opera part the last time I played. But as with most video games, I've lost focus and haven't played in a while. But the fact that I can remember slightly where I'm at could be a good sign. Maybe I don't have to start over again.

  6. We play a lot of Candy Land and Hi-Ho Cherry-O with TLO. She's pretty good at them.

    Chutes and Ladders is still a tricky one. She just likes going down the slides. Also, they redid the design of the board and it's crap. The old layout is much better. The new one is too busy and cramped. I suspect they reduced the size of the board as a cost-saving measure.

  7. For board games, the wife and I have been playing a fair bit of Azul (I'd gotten it for her for Christmas). With Newbish, we're playing Sorry. It's still a great game for his age -- it teaches the beginnings of strategy, while still having enough luck that unpredictable things can happen. All three of us are ruthless.

    For video games, I'm almost finished with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. It's pretty good -- about as Souls-y a game as I'll ever have the patience to play (my leg is nearly bruised from the number of times I've pounded it after yet another preventable death). The voice acting isn't fantastic, but the story is decent and the gameplay itself is a lot of fun.

    After that, I think I'm in the mood for a SNES RPG. Preferably one that comes on my SNES Classic (Maybe Earthbound?)

      1. Last week my boys were playing Sorry together, and it ended in screaming and tears. The peperoncino can't handle anything bad happening to his pawns. Since then, anyone who plays with him has to follow his new rules, which include only being able to move forward 4 on a "sorry" card and not being able to switch places with another player with an 11.

    1. My niece is a lot like me, which is both helpful and frustrating.

      She had a hard time with Monopoly last Christmas. She's very very smart, but also a perfectionist. The random element just about killed her. I kept telling her "You're doing really well at a game for adults. You're making all the right choices, sometimes it's just bad luck"

      1. Newbish really likes Monopoly Jr. I hate Monopoly Jr. It takes the things I don't like about Monopoly and cranks them up to 11.

        He's also getting into Battleship. No strategy yet, but even getting him to think in terms of the gameboard being on a grid feels like a win -- like he's a month or two off being able to play Spooky's fabled spreadsheet games.

  8. We just came off spring break today. In one sense, we were really lazy about the house. In another sense I already kind of wish we had been more lazy (with movie binging and gaming).

    Been playing Rocket League (with the kids, online with friends, online w/o friends). It's a pretty great game. In fact two nights ago I was watching the Twitch broadcast of the Rocket League North American championships. They had announcers and everything. It somewhat hit the desire to watch live sports. It has the same bit of "I've played that game, but how I play looks nothing like how these people are playing" vibe of watching professional sports.

    Also at a friend's recommendation I have been playing Stardew Valley on the Switch. I'm surprised I enjoy it, but I do. It is quite soothing. Sometimes it soothes me into staying up too late, so I have to be careful.

    We haven't played nearly the number of board games as we should have. Recent plays are Bears vs Babies and Santorini.

    As noted by the Dread Pirate, I'm also on the OOTP league. Join us! After 7 straight playoff appearances I missed the playoffs in '05. '06 is also to be a rebuilding year, but my Boston Bees are in sniffing distance at least. I'm paying Lance Berkman nearly what ARod makes, but he is playing better than ARod right now. 🙂 For some reason I'm also paying Kelvim Escobar about the same. He's doing OK. 🤷‍♂️ Anyway, it's a blast.

    A friend is looking to start a poker game. Looking forward to that. I also found an iOS Phase 10 game that allows you to bring in friends. That was a frequent game we played with a certain couple, so perhaps we can gather around the game and have drinks soon. We play cribbage with another couple and should probably find a good solution for that.

  9. A couple months ago I got back into iRacing for the first time in quite a few years and it has been a really nice distraction the last couple weeks. The service is having its best weeks ever now that NASCAR is using it for their "eRacing" platform on Fox/Fox Sports, which drew almost 1mm viewers for the first week (and Sunday's race will likely be >1mm since they put it on the big network).

    My youngest continues to enjoy playing Splatoon 2. I'm about to make my 12-year old try out the Full Throttle remake after listening to a recent Retronauts podcast dive into the game, it was my favorite adventure game back in the day.

  10. Oh boy! Games!!!
    For board games, my latest obsession has been any game designed by Alexander Pfister. Recently have gotten to play Mombasa, Blackout: Hong Kong, Oh My Goods, and his latest Maracaibo. As a big fan of Great Western Trail, I was really excited to try Maracaibo. I've quickly amassed over 10 plays with the game, which is helped by a unique campaign element that changes up how each game plays in slight ways. Plays very differently solo vs. multiplayer. I got it just before all this quarantining, so I'm hoping to break it out and play more multiplayer in a few months.

    My daughter and I have been working through a bit of Pandemic Legacy Season 1. We started LAST January and finally picked it up again. Hope to not lose too much steam.

    Some other really neat games I've played lately: Cartographers. Excellent flip and write game. You are mapping out a new land and get points depending on which land elements are placed where and in what pattern. Azul; Summer Pavilion. As a big fan of the original, this takes the elegant Azul formula and ratchets up the thinky-ness quite a bit. Really liked my first play and hope to get to play again soon.

    As for video games, not playing a whole lot anymore, but my son did procure a switch late last year and I'm finally getting to Breath of the Wild. I'm at the first spirit beast, and I'm still not great with the controls as a handheld. I need it in controller mode.

    1. As I mentioned above, the wife and I have been playing a fair amount of Azul lately.

      We played Kingdomino with a friend over Christmas break. I think that will probably be my next purchase.

  11. We got Space Park for the little ghost's birthday, and that's been a hit. Complex enough to be interesting, but really easy to grasp. The box says for ages 14+, but our 8 year old has grasped it pretty much immediately, and enjoys playing it with us.

    Earlier this year we got Ticket to Ride (First Journey) and Pandemic and Catan Junior. We've played all of them a bunch. G loved loved loved Pandemic, but we've kind of shelved that one for obvious reasons.

    As we stare down more weeks of "shelter-in-place" distraction, we got three more games on their way to us.

    - Prime Climb - got this yesterday and played one game. The math is a little over G's head (multiplication and dividing), but the strategy is great for a numbers guy like me. I imagine this will be a big hit within a year or two in our house. The game does a good job of making the math accessible through colors and factors, so I think if we have the patience to work through the system with him it would be a good teaching tool as well (the question of whether we have the patience for that is still undecided)

    - Photosynthesis - I've heard of this one, but I know very little about it. Arrives later this week, maybe I'll update this later?

    - The Crew: Quest for Planet Nine - G does better with cooperative games, and he loves astronomy, so this seemed like a good bet. This one is also in transit, so that's all I've got.

    1. I just picked up the Crew as well. Really excited to play this with my STL game group, as we grew up playing spades ALL the time.
      Photosynthesis I've played once and thought it was interesting. I'd really like to give it another try.

  12. Board games have strangely taken a back seat for us over the past few weeks. I did get in a good game of King of Tokyo this weekend with the kids. Prior to the Covid stuff we'd been playing a fair amount of Outfoxed, Blokus, and Boggle. Boggle is among my favorite games, and I tend to have pretty dominant rounds, but I can tell that my kids are going to beat me someday. Aristotle seems closest - even as a 2nd-grader she's got a knack for this. It might be 10 years, but I can tell it's coming. We've introduced Aquinas to Ticket to Ride, and I'm thinking Settlers and Dominion will be introduced before this whole thing is over.

    On the video game front, my kids love my old Wii, and play a good amount of Super Smash Brothers. For me, it's been tons of Hearthstone, including the new Battlegrounds format. Aquinas has been on his DS a bunch too, since for Christmas he got Ocarina of Time for that from his godfather. I approved.

  13. We're playing more board games than ever before. Because we've not played them a ton, they're all still novel and interesting, so here's hoping they don't lose their luster anytime soon!

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