I coveted Fantome d’le Opera for aaaaaaages. I saw it reviewed and thought it looked cool. That was about 18 months ago, and admittedly my tastes were a bit shallow. Recently I looked at the review again, and even though it wasn’t particularly glowing I thought ‘I still want this dammit!’. It looked to be out of print or at least hard to come by in the UK so my ‘covet-o-meter’ was going mad! After coming into some spare money (tax rebate!) I found it on eBay and decided to go for it. It’s in the same family as Mr Jack, which I’ve never played, and it’s a simple, but kind of tricky hidden movement game.
You can choose to play as The Phantom or the other characters who are trying to escape his clutches. You move around the board using the movement ability and conditions on the character cards, to deduce who the Phantom is. At the bottom of the board we have Carlotta and she moves up the track each round and can be ‘scared’ by The Phantom, and if she reaches the end before you’ve figured it out, you’ve lost! Personally I found playing as the characters and guessing too easy, it’s running away and disguising as The Phantom that is tricky!
Now, in hindsight, maybe I should of taken heed with the video review I saw. It’s a bit thin. I don’t regret buying it, it’s a great game to have in the collection, and sometimes when the mood takes I could really fancy it. Also it’s worth remembering that since this was released in 2013 gaming has moved on somewhat, with small box games and print and play especially becoming more popular. It comes in a fairly large box (though not huge by any means) and has a nice board, big cardboard cards and chunky tokens. It definitely has an old school feel, which I really like. But because it’s quite ‘big’, you feel that there should be something more substantial to it, especially for a two player only game. But there really isn’t too much going on apart from what it says on the tin. It just seems quite unnecessary to have the board, the heavy cardboard etc, because it’s a filler game basically. It’s over really quickly, even when we house ruled to put the start marker two steps back so it takes a bit longer. I’m sure we never had a 30 minute game as estimated in the game overview. This could be a little card game or a print and play, it could probably be re-released as such, because it’s definitely a fun party or filler game.
Next time I play i’m lighting the candles and putting the soundtrack on! Not the one with Gerard Butler. That was weird. More Info
We played Gum Gum Machine for the first time and I am happy to say it was a lot of fun. Pretty much what I expected, it’s not going to set off intellectual fireworks or bust your brain. It’s a cute silly game about making ‘gum gums’ and that’s about it!
I found the Charlie & The Chocolate Factory aesthetic particularly pleasing, and the modular board is a great addition. It reminded me of games I played when I was a kid like 13th Dead End Drive, and you can interchange the components to change it up a bit each time. Also check out the box inlay….ooooh.
So I played a couple of games employing no strategy whatsoever, just having fun with it and lost both times. If you want to win then you can try and memorise bits and pieces to get the gummy you need, make the biggest gummies and get the most points.
The board sends you to different areas and randomises your turn so to memorise the board and find a strategy is tricky and fun. That’s why I like the board because you can make your next game different and it doesn’t get stale. Not the kind of game you’d play nightly because I can imagine it would lose some novelty but as a filler game or something light and fun then it’s a must buy! More Info