It’s simultaneously a delight and a bit jarring to see one of Todd Sanders’ games in an actual published box. A delight because Todd Sanders has been one of the most prolific creators of print-and-play games over the last few years, nearly all of them provided free of charge for anyone with a printer and some scissors to slap together and enjoy, and it’s great to see him receiving the recognition he deserves. As always, his designs are crisp and unique, conveying a sense of place with a sort of carefree ease. That goes for both the gameplay and the visuals.
And the jarring part? Well, because the title LudiCreations chose to publish was what you might call a “lesser” Sanders, a perhaps too-simple game called They Who Were 8 that doesn’t quite live up to the bulk of Todd’s work.
Last weekend, Somerset and I got a divorce. And we enjoyed ourselves so thoroughly that we later got three or four more.
Naturally, I’m referring to Kune v. Lakia: A Chronicle of a Royal Lapine Divorce Foretold, a game with such a run-on title that it might as well be a review in and of itself. Just yesterday I looked over another game by the same publisher, a little ditty called Pocket Imperium. While that game was technically competent, it was also mind-numbingly dull. Kune v Lakia sits on the other side of the spectrum: It may be a mess, but what a mess it is!
Ah, how to capture the vastness of space within the meager centimeters of one’s own pocket? How to distill the heady essence of discovery, growth, technological innovation, and war into a slim package? How to run an empire without the nitpicky details of running an empire?
Short answer: you don’t.