Boardgames: Floating Market & Imhotep

It’s been a while since we’ve played new games on our Thursday nights. So us playing two new games was exciting.

Floating Market

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Floating Market was a recommended game when I was looking around for a game similar to Manila and Camel Up.

The game plays heavily on random chance with a huge roll of various dice at the end of each round. It takes the gambling aspect of both Manila and Camel Up and turns it up to 11. Each round, everyone contributes one of their dice to the big roll and place one of their people on various spots on the board. Spots can either earn them fruits (you need 5 of 7 to win), coins (which you can purchase fruits directly with), give a player special abilities to earn fruit/coin or effect the outcome of the roll. There are 7 boats that can earn fruit, each boat has a range of values which coincide with the roll.

The roll is statistically insane, there are D4, D6, D10 (values 0-9), D12, and negative D6. Players choose which one they want to contribute in a round and do not get back their dice after the round. Potentially, in a 5 player game, there could be 9 dice being rolled at the end of the round.

I like the game, the random chance makes it interesting and the general strategy is to not depend on it to earn fruits.

Imhotep

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Imhotep was one of the runner ups to the Spiel de Jahres 2016, losing out to Codenames.

In this game, you are building structures with your blocks. You have four options during your turn: collect blocks, place block, sail ship, or play an action card. That makes it a bit tricky to plan your moves because you can’t (normally) place a block and sail a ship to the site you want. You’re effectively planning for the worst outcome and possibly a bit of backstabbing.

The 5 sites are:

  • Market – earn cards that could give you points immediately or end of game, add blocks to various other sites, or give you an action card
  • Pyramids – literally build a 14 block pyramid with blocks, with certain block positions which are worth a few more points than others
  • Temple – earn points per round based on which block is visible from the top
  • Burial Chamber – earn points at the end of game based on how well your blocks are grouped
  • Obelisks – earn points at the end of game based on the height of your tower

The game is simple to pick up, there isn’t any information hidden from other players so it takes a little bit of deep thinking to come up with an optimized strategy to maximize point output.