As a kid, I was never any good at those Choose Your Own Adventure books. For one thing, I wanted to see every twist and ending the book had to offer, even the ones where my character died a grisly death or suddenly woke up and realized the whole thing had been an elaborate dream. Unless I read every single page, I didn’t feel like it had been worth it. The problem was that I wanted to accomplish this without having to reread anything. And so I dog-eared those books until there were more pages bent-down than in their original shape, and kept my fingers wedged at crucial junctures, and eventually resorted to drawing crazy-person diagrams with arrows pointing between important decisions. Anything to keep from reading even a single page over again.
Years later, T.I.M.E Stories has earned the distinction of being the first board game to prompt the resurgence of my childhood neurosis.
While I fully recognize it’s a sign of my curmudgeonly age to keep making use of stock “You know what I don’t like?” intros here on Space-Biff!, I still can’t help but say that I really don’t like Eurogames where you have to appease some local medieval or Renaissance lord. Probably because my current landlord demands rent be paid in chickens and/or clay but not roasted on a spit or baked into bricks but yes if I deliver glazed pots full of steamed casserole.
So here’s a game that by all rights I shouldn’t like. It’s called Splendor, and it’s about appeasing medieval-ish lords. It also has a theme so pasted on that it could be about pretty much anything, from importing booze for Prohibition gangsters to selling datachips to shady megacorps. Which raises the question: why is it that I want to be playing Splendor right now?