Now that the performing arts festival and such are out of the way, I've been able to get to the gaming group again. Last time, I played two games, Lovecraft Letter and The 7th Continent.
There are a few people in the gaming group who seem to be collecting variants of the card game Love Letter, and Lovecraft Letter
is another of those. This one takes its theme from the works of HP Lovecraft, with heroic investigators battling horrific tentacled monstrosities and Things Man Was Not Meant To Know. The variant mechanic is the addition of that thing no Lovecraft-themed game is complete without, a sanity meter; losing sanity makes a player more susceptible to being knocked out of the game but opens up access to more powerful cards that a saner character wouldn't consider using.The 7th Continent
is an exploration and survival game in which a group of characters explore a mysterious and recently-discovered continent. The full game map is reportedly several metres across, but it's broken up into small numbered tiles that are laid out one by one as the characters explore, so at any given point there's only a small portion of the map visible and taking up table space. Each game begins with a card that gives a starting tile and an objective (the one we used for our game, which is recommended for beginners, has a picture of a crudely drawn map with X marking the spot; other cards apparently have more cryptic instructions). The journey includes a mixture of random encounters and scripted events (the details of which will vary somewhat depending on which characters are being played and what inventory they're carrying), and is designed to play out over many hours; the game includes a "save" mechanic where you can store your current location tile, character and inventory cards, and other cards representing the game state, and begin again later from where you left off.
I'm trying to decide what I think of The 7th Continent based on the couple of hours I've played, because the the second edition is currently on Kickstarter
and they're saying Kickstarter is likely to be the only way to get a copy because it's too complicated and expensive a game to be viable as a mass-produced retail item. The expense is not unfair given how much stuff there is in the box, but it might be a bit much for me considering that if I do buy a copy I may not get to play it very often.