There’s something rejuvenating about getting lost in the woods. Of course, I’m not talking about getting really lost. Lost in the sense that I know the trail is somewhere over that hill, or that if I walk a few miles I’ll descend into the rich folks’ suburbs. Lost with cell coverage.
Nate Hayden’s Rocky Mountain Man is a game about getting lost. Wholly, truly, stuck in place, walking around in circles until the sun goes down lost. Good thing you’re a mountain man.
How best to describe Cave Evil? Picture me, if you will, seated in front of you; probably on a futon, and likely with my feet comfortably seated atop a gliding ottoman, though the ottoman isn’t strictly necessary. I have both hands raised, about three feet apart: “On my right,” I say, motioning with the appropriate hand, “is the most eurogamey Eurogame possible. Unthematic, spit-polished mechanics, usually about appeasing some local medieval lord. Or often trains.” Now I gesture with the other hand, just to help you keep up. “On the left we have the most trashy Ameritrash game of all time. Theme so thick you can’t breathe without getting a cough. Lots of rules that don’t necessarily mesh into a coherent whole, but instead excel at telling a memorable story.”
Can you guess where Cave Evil falls on my unusually elegant and accurate scale?
If you guessed on the right, with the Eurogames, you’re so wrong you just might be in the wrong place. Are you sure you’re interested in board games? Though to be fair, if you guessed the left hand, you’re also wrong. See, Cave Evil is actually about half a mile down the block on my left, at the grocer I never go to because it doesn’t stock good yogurt.
What I’m saying is, Cave Evil is the most unrepentantly, true-blue, defiantly Ameritrash game I’ve ever played.