First with an amazing total of 7 plays is Hive It's an awesome 2 player game where you are both in control of identical sets of insects and you are trying to surround your opponents Queen Bee. All the insects have their own distinct ways of moving and so the game has a chess like feel but without a board. It's simple to learn and yet the strategies are surprising and numerous. Frequently I would think I was one move away from losing and then discover a move that put me in the advantage and my opponent on the defense. Learn it. Play it. Love it. I know of one fan of the game who has had the insects from the playing pieces tattooed on his forearm - now that is a fan!!!
Three games had 2 plays this month:
Kakerlaken Poker - It's a fun game of bluff featuring insects and other vermin that I've written about before. It's simple enough to pick up really quickly but generally causes some laughter and some agony. It's a good test of whether you can detect when other people are lying.
New York Chase - It's all against one in this race around Manhattan. One player is the elusive 'Mr. X.' and the other players unite as detectives trying to track him down for reasons unknown. You have no idea where he is on the board, but you know how he is travelling (taxi, bus, subway etc) and so the team uses their combined logic skills to deduce where he is. How long can Mr. X. stay hidden? In our games, not long enough. Mr. X. wins if he can elude the other players for a set number of turns, but I've yet to see Mr. X. manage it. Fun times!!!
TransAmerica - It's a race to connect cities in the U.S. by train. Every player draws their own destination and races to lay tracks over Plains, Mountains and Rivers. When you connect into another player's network you can use their track to help you connect, but they can also use yours so careful placement is a must. It's a light game that works well with non-gamers so I often pack it in my travelling bag!
The rest were all single plays of games, some old favorites and some new ones. At the moment 'Hive' is my highest played game of the year with 10 plays, while last years most played game 'Dominion' has only hit the table 3 times in 2010. Will it make a comeback? Will Hive still be in the top spot by the end of the year? Tune in next month for the update :)