Initial Impressions of Zenteeko, Horizons, King of the Dice, Raiders of the North Sea, and Sorcerer – Tabletop Gaming Weekly

This past week I found a great board game to play outdoors. During our Canada Day celebrations, Deanna and I tried Zenteeko while the kids were playing at the splash pad.

After we got home on Canada Day, Deanna and I tried out Horizons from Daily Magic Games. Later in the week Deanna, Big G and I played King of the Dice from Haba for the first time, and later that day Deanna and I were both really impressed by Raiders of the North Sea.

Yesterday Deanna and I got in one more two-player game. This time we played Sorcerer from White Wizard Games. Read on to find out my thoughts on all of these games.

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. As an associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. There is no additional cost to you and we get a small kickback if you buy something through one of these links. Using these links helps to keep this blog and our podcast going. The games mentioned in this post were provided to me by publishers for review purposes.

Zenteeko may be the perfect game to bring to any outdoor event.

Zenteeko may be the pefect game for playing outdoors on a picnic table. I don’t want to say too much about Zenteeko right now as I plan on writing up a full review once we get back from Queen City Conquest next week. What I will say here is that I may have found the perfect beach/splash pad/picnic game.

Zenteeko is an abstract strategy game made of PU leather and plastic components, that rolls up into a very portable cylindrical shape. The gameplay reminds me of a mix of Connect Four and Nine Men’s Morris. The game itself is simple to learn, easy to teach and quick to play.

Watch for a review in the coming weeks, and along with that review a giveaway. That’s right, we’re going to be giving away a copy of Zenteeko to one of our fans.

I’ve seen almost no buzz for Horizons from Daily Magic Games and that’s a shame.

At night on Canada Day, after all the celebrations and once the kids were in bed, I asked Deanna if she wanted to play something two-player. She bit, so I broke out Horizons from Daily Magic Games.

A two player game of the board game Horizons from Daily Magic Games.For some reason, based on the box cover, or maybe the fact Horizon was from the same company as Valeria Card Kingdoms, I had it in my head that Horizons was a card game. It’s not. While there are cards and they affect play I wouldn’t even call it card-driven. This is actually an action selection, resource collection and management sci-fi board game.

The other thing I find odd about this game is that no one is talking about it. I’ve seen pretty much zero buzz for Horizons and that’s a shame, as this seems like a really solid game.

In Horizons players are expanding their starfaring races out to the stars. They will discover new worlds, exploit those worlds to gain energy and ore, use those resources to build colonies, complete missions, adapt to different habitats and manage various allies. The main sources of victory points are the mission cards as well as a final area control style scoring at the end. If this sounds a bit like Race for the Galaxy to you, we are on the same page. I was also reminded a bit of the Master of Orion board game.

At this point, I’ve only played one two-player game of Horizons and I liked what I saw. I really need to get in a few more plays and also plays with different player counts before I give a final verdict on this one.

King of the Dice seems like a great family weight game so far.

The last couple of days, while Little G has been off visiting her Grandmother, Big G has been on a board game kick. Yesterday morning she was playing some Qwirkle Cubes and Ingenious with her mom, later in the day, I asked if the two of them would be interested in trying King of the Dice from Haba Games.

King of the Dice is one of the games in Haba’s new Game Night Games series. This is a new line that they’ve launched to try to get the idea out there that they aren’t just about kids games anymore.

Playing King of the Dice with the family. This is a great family weight board game.In King of the Dice, players are going to roll six dice which are numbered 1-6 and have sides in three different colours. Players are trying to roll patterns that match the requirements on citizen cards laid out on the table. These vary from needing a series of numbers, a certain dice total, sets of the same numbered dice, pairs of numbers, dice of certain colours etc. Cards have different values based on how hard their requirements are to roll. Along with this, the citizen cards are placed under town cards, each of these has a colour. If a player is able to take a citizen and it happens to be under a town card of the same colour they get both cards.

This game really reminds me of Roll For It from Calliope Games, but with more options due to the fact that the dice have colours instead of numbers and more strategy and tactics due to the combination of different citizens and the town cards that go with them.

I already knew that I enjoyed this game after doing a demo at Origins. I’m pleased to say that my daughter really enjoyed it as well, despite the fact that that dice seemed to really hate her during the two games we played. Deanna, on the other hand, wasn’t a big fan. To quote her: “I prefer games where I have more control over my own destiny.” While King of the Dice does let you play the probabilities, and due to the variety of citizen types you can usually end up getting something good each turn, it is a dice game after all and some turns you just roll badly and get penalized for that.

In the coming weeks, you can expect to see a full detailed review of King of the Dice. First I think I need to get some more plays in. I’m also really looking forward to teaching this one to Little G. I expect her to like this game even more than her older sister.

So far, it’s a hit with Big G, I’m a fan but my wife would rather play something with more meaningful decisions in it.

The real board game highlight for last week was playing Raiders of the North Sea.

While at Origins I convinced Terri from Renegade games to let me go home with a review copy of Raiders of the North Sea. I’ve heard really good things about this game since it came out and have been wanting to try it. Thanks, Renegade, for finally giving me this opportunity.

Raiders of the North Sea from Renegade Games is a fantastic worker placement and displacement board game.I will say it right out: This is a fantastic game. Back at Origins 2016 I got a short demo of the game at the Renegade booth but never actually had the chance to play a full game. It took until last Saturday to finally get in a full game of Raiders of the North Sea. It was worth the wait.

This is another game that I will be doing up a full detailed review of after a few more plays. So far I will just say that I really loved the Place a Worker and take an action, then Take a Worker and take a second action mechanic in this game. It works really well in play.

What I was most impressed by though was how well the game played with only two players. It’s not often you find a game for up to four players that plays really well with two players. I was also pleased to see there are absolutely no rules changes for playing with a lower player count. The game rules and resources are identical no matter how many people you are playing with. At this point, this may become one of our favourite two-player games ever.

You can look forward to hearing more about Raiders of the North Sea in the coming weeks. I think I’m even going to pack this one to bring to QCC next week.

Yesterday we tried out the latest card driven dueling game from White Wizard Games; Sorcerer.

White Wizard games is already well known for card driven dueling games that have their roots in Magic the Gathering. That makes sense since the company was founded by Pro Circuit Magic Players. The latest game from White Wizard, that premiered at Origins, is Sorcerer. Sorcerer claims to add board game elements to the classic deck dueler, creating a new hybrid style of game.

Sorcerer is an obvious evolution of Magic the Gathering adding some significant board game elements. At this point, Deanna and I haven’t even quite finished one full game. While Big G was playing with her friends at Sky Zone we managed to start two games. The first one we gave up on after the first round when we realized we forgot some rather important battle zone and targeting rules. The second game was going much better but the girls ran out of jumping time and we had to leave.

So at this point, I don’t want to say too much about Sorcerer. What I can say is that so far it does seem to do what it set out to do. Sorcerer adds some really interesting board game style elements to the traditional card driven magic summoning and battle game. Players create their decks by mashing up a Character deck, a Lineage deck and a Domain deck. They then use the spells and skill provided by these decks to battle over three battlegrounds. The first to win possession over two of the three battle zones wins the game.

I’m really looking forward to playing more Sorcerer. What I’ve seen so far has really impressed me. It’s impressed me enough that I’ve even volunteered to run a demo night at The CG Realm next month. That should hit on August 10th, watch my social media and listen to the podcast for more information about that event as it gets closer.

So that was it for my #WhatDidYouPlayMondays week in review — a bunch of games I got at Origins, all of which I was impressed by to some level. So, what did you get played this week? Let me know in the comments!

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