Friday, August 27, 2010

Search, Ponder, & Play: A Review

Search, Ponder, and Play is a game published by Covenant Communications. It's based on Andy Looney's Aquarius (here). And when it was first published had quite a bit of controversy surrounding it (read about it here). The game is for 2-5 players and, because of the way the game can be played, can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes.

How to Play
The gameplay is pretty straight forward, each player is dealt one of the Search cards (there are 5, one for each book of scripture: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price). The card you are dealt determines your goal for that round. The goal is to get a total of 7 images, that match your Search card, to connect. I know, that doesn't make much sense, but it will in just a minute.

So, on your turn, you draw a card and then play a card to the table. Cards may be played as long as at least a part of the side of the card you play matches a part of the side of a card already on the table (you place it along side of that card, like in the picture below; you can see that the yellow has 4 images connected at the moment).

So, if you have the yellow Search card, then you'd need 3 more yellow images to connect to those 4 in some fashion or other. Your Search card stays hidden so that other players don't know what you are going after, but you can start to deduce what Search cards other players have as the game progresses.

There are also cards that let you, for example, pick up a card from the table, move a card on the table, or even switch hands with another player. These are the Ponder cards. The cards you play to the table, that have the different images on them, those are the Play cards. That's how you get the whole Search, Ponder, & Play!

The game also includes a pad of paper where you can list every player and the different Search cards they've won with. The rules suggest playing until one player has won with all 5 different Search cards, but for what the game is, that takes way too long. I mean, you might win one time with the blue and then be dealt the blue Search card again, yes, you might be able to switch Search cards in the middle of a round and win with another color, but it would just take too long, for me anyway, playing until someone wins with all 5 Search cards. Just playing as many rounds as you like, keeping track of who wins each one, that is easier for me to handle.

I'm giving it a 4 out of 5!

Overall, I think the game is easy to learn, quick to play, and contains a little strategy (like how you place cards on the table, making sure to leave a bunch of open sides of the color you are going after; the rules state that you can start blocking your opponents during the game, but that's only if you've been able to deduce what Search card they have, so that strategy might work in). Kids can also play the game, making it a nice family game. I recommend giving it a try if you haven't yet!

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Monday, August 9, 2010

LDS Bookseller's Association Convention

12:49 PM by Mike · 2 comments
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So, I spent a day and a half last week in Sandy at the LDS Bookseller's Association Convention Trade-show. I got to show off Hagoth! It was a lot of fun! I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting it to be, but I think things went pretty well. Not a whole lot of orders or sales there at the convention, but lots of connections made and new people and organizations found.

One quick example was Sounds of Zion (here). I was unaware of exactly what they do. In essence they are a distributor of LDS products. So, Mayday Games needs to hook up with them and get Hagoth out into more and more stores that are aimed at the LDS community in general. Deseret Book is a good start, but why not get out there in all the stores that sell LDS products!!? Not that I don't think they are going to pursue that, I just think it's important and a great way of getting your product out to LDS people.

I had a lot of fun working the booth. Friday morning I was able to hang out with my wife there in the booth, meeting people, playing Hagoth, and showing others how to play. Overall it was a great learning experience and I'm grateful that Mayday Games gave me the opportunity to attend. Find some more pics of the booth below.

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