On the Table: Making Wine in the Bluegrass State.
Tonight I played my third game of Viticulture in under a week. Viticulture is a game created by Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone, published by Stonemaier Games. This post isn't a review on that game, as there are far more qualified people who have already posted fantastic reviews all over the web. Instead, I wish to talk briefly on my experience(s) playing this game. I am in Kentucky visiting my friend Ian and doing some side work with him. It was also Lexington's annual board game convention, Lexicon, this past weekend. I decided the timing of some work and a chance to check out a board game convention (my first) was too good to pass up.
Ian isn't much of a board gamer. He plays video games on occasion, but not board games. His concept of the hobby hadn't really extended past the old classics like Monopoly, Game of Life, and Risk. These he found to be lacking, which, I can't blame him. I've spent the past few years slowing introducing him to the wonderful world of board games. He really enjoyed Ground Floor, and had a [literal] blast with Epic Spell Wars. So--despite his dubious glare--when I suggested he accompany me to the convention, he accepted.
Lexicon is a smaller event. We were there opening evening and there were probably a couple hundred fellow bgg's in attendance. We walked around for a bit, taking it in. When stopping by the rental library I noticed they were having a "Play & Win" event. Then I saw Viticulture was one of the games we could win. Since Ian enjoyed the euro aspects of Ground Floor, and I had never played Viticulture myself, I thought it was the perfect choice.
We played, had a lot of fun, and entered for the drawing. That evening, we went back over to see the results, and I couldn't believe it: Ian actually won the game!
Fast-forward a few days and we have just wrapped up our third game of Viticulture. We played a second game with Ian's wife, who also isn't big into games. She really enjoyed it. Our third game was with Ian, his wife, his brother, and his sister in-law--again, all of whom aren't much into board games. By the end of the night, everyone was having a great time. It was fun to sit down with a group of people who don't normally play board games and see them get swept into the excitement of it.
I guess what I'm getting at from all of this is a good board game goes much deeper than just being a few tokens and some cardboard around which you huddle, but can be a fun and engaging experience for all types--gamer and non-gamer alike. I want Kazoodoo to create games like Viticulture: games that can bring everyone together for an evening of fun. A game that creates a fun and unique experience for the players.