Want more great games in your collection, but just have no more space? Then you’re in luck! Jabberwocky gives you 5 puzzley games in one convenient package, with the opportunity to create more yourselves! These are sure to keep you entertained for ages, and hopefully help to unlock your curious side as well. For this preview, I took a look at the 3 games that played at least 2 players – let’s check them out!
What Is It?
A collection of 5 microgames that range from 1 to 7 players and utilize only 18 cards for play, 16 reference cards, and 24 gems. The theme of each game also drops you right down the rabbit hole into Wonderland and between the colors, art, and games themselves, how can you be sure you’re not really there?
Who Is It For?
The game rules recommend ages 8 and up. For the games that I played, I would personally recommend ages 10 and up, just because for the most part the games are very puzzley and strategic, which may be harder for a younger audience. You’ll likely be able to gauge from the individual rules if your kids can play and enjoy the games, but that’s just my recommendation. I would also definitely recommend the collection to any Alice in Wonderland fans because it really embodies the imaginative nature of the story in game form!
Quality of Components
I received a prototype copy for this review, so my components are not final quality. I found the cards to be very nice though, solid quality and colorful with really beautiful art, I can only imagine that the final production will amplify that. (The final component quality will be similar to The Lady and the Tiger, if you’re familiar with that game). The glass gems are nice quality, but personally I found the purple and green hard to distinguish at first glance, so I do hope that see an update. Finally, my copy did not come in a box and had full sheet rules that were folded up for mailing, so I anticipate a nice quality rulebook as well. Overall, I do like this copy and have no qualms with continuing to play it, so I am only excited to see how the final components elevate the game.
For these, the cons, and the difficulty, I will separate by game title as they all have their own individual things to comment on. Again, these comments are only for the 3 games that I played.
Borogoves (A Map-Making game for 1-2 players):
- A game where the more you practice, the better you can get, which I like
- Very puzzle-like, involving planning and strategy on both sides
Gyre (An Area Control Game for 2-3 players):
- Simple in concept and complex in execution, making for nice balance
- For 2 players, the neutral 3rd player adds an interesting level of strategy
Mimsy (A Mancala Race Game for 2-3 players):
- Cute and pretty simple
- Very competitive, but in a fast-paced and fun way
- I just want to comment again on the overall aesthetic appeal, because that really takes games up a notch for me. I adore this art!
- I love that the games have so few components and what it has allows you to play them all. Makes them easily portable which is great!
- For me, the scoring was a bit confusing, which made the game hard because I feel that you do have to keep the scoring in mind the entire play.
- Was a bit frustrating because it was hard to see what the optimal moves were for placing cards and moving gems around
- The order the cards come out can make a big difference for gem management, and since it is random (the cartographer can’t just choose from all the cards at once) it can make the game feel a little unbalanced when switching between sides.
- For me, the neutral 3rd player for a 2-player game is a negative because that’s just a feature I don’t like in games. I thought it made sense a little more in this one, but still may prefer the game with 3 players instead. We didn’t end up using the neutral player much, so it felt kind of in the way for the most part.
- You always have to think X moves ahead – see where your final move will end (since you can take multiple turns in a row in some cases) and make sure you aren’t giving your opponents the win.
Borogoves: I would give this one a 4.5/5 for difficulty. I found it really hard to wrap my head around and thus really hard to play as well. I think players who are fans of games like Stratego and Chess would probably also enjoy this because it has that elevated level of strategy, but overall, I think this one in particular just wasn’t for me.
Gyre: This one was a 3/5 for me. It fell right in the middle, not too hard or too simple. The different actions were easy to understand, but it still required some planning and blocking opponents so there was a lot of game here and it was really a good one.
Mimsy: This one was the easiest of the games that I played, so I would give it a 2.5/5 difficulty. It’s very streamlined, easy to understand, and moves very quickly once it gets started. A great one indeed.
Overall, I enjoyed these mini-games a lot! They can be difficult at times, but overall they really work well, and it’s impressive because they have so few components. I like that they give you a bunch of possibilities but also encourage you to come up with your own games because I think that really fits the “curious” nature of the Alice in Wonderland theme. I am excited to see the final product when it comes out, and highly recommend this collection of games!
Microgame Collection by – Peter C. Hayward
Games by – Joel Colombo, Karl Lange, Marek Tupy, Joe Myron, Patrick Chapman
Publisher – Jellybean Games
*I was provided a prototype copy of this game to do this preview*
*All components shown are subject to change*
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