NEWS – University Games has been developing and selling board games, puzzles, interactive books, and educational toys for almost 40 years. They created the Colorforms Vinyl activity books, which I played with as a child in the early 80’s. The Night Hunter and Faeries & Magical Creatures are two new games by this venerable publisher.
I provided coverage of Racoon Tycoon as part of a 2022 holiday gift guide and University Games was kind enough to send me two more of their games, The Night Hunter and Faeries & Magical Creatures.
The Night Hunter is a Murder Mystery Party in a box. The game will entertain for three to five hours before all of the play has concluded, and while a single person can enjoy the game, it is also designed so that a team of people can work together to solve the mystery. The game starts with a field book and a UV lamp and from there there are over 100 hundred clues that need to be consulted to solve the 4 homicides and the murder mystery. The type of problem-solving is a bit like an escape room, where a group of people, or one really enthusiastic person, can work together to solve a problem. Some escape rooms are really difficult to leave and some are rather easy. I felt that this game was more like an easy game room than an impossible one and while this may not lead to the most challenging gameplay, at least it will be entertaining and not frustrating. The game graphics and materials are compelling and high-quality. One of the features of the game is that it is tied to a website so this gives it a bit more authenticity in this digital age, but also creates a challenge for those who choose to play games on evenings that are “device-free.”
This is a great game for a dinner party or gathering of two to four people because it does not require that each person provide their undivided attention to the game for everyone else to enjoy the event. The game does have a lot of clues but they must be reviewed sequentially so more than four people may find it a struggle to remain engaged. Once the game is played I’m not sure how to put it all back together to play for a second time. Overall, the game is a good introduction to this style of murder mystery board game. University Games has an assortment of murder mystery party games that are excited by the play and want to try different storylines.
Faeries & Magical Creatures started as a Kickstarter campaign and raised 3.8 times its $25,000 goal and was fully funded in three and a half hours. What did all those backers fund? This game is an exquisitely painted game that combines many different board game themes to create an experience that is enjoyable and challenging. The game is designed for two to four players who are 10 years old and older. The game is a turn-based game that allows each player to decide the action that all other players will perform on that turn. The Play is divided into three camps, There is an area board with 5 areas to control, there is a deck of cards that each player draws from to try to get the most rewarding hand, and there is an individual tile board for each player that is used to build an individual garden.
The game starts with everyone having the same pieces and in the same state. The person who decides what action to play has a bit more control over the game for that turn. The game ends when there are no longer any garden tiles, fairy homes, or cards left to play. With so many strategies the game is bound to have interesting and entertaining results every time is it played. All the players will appreciate the intricately drawn and designed cards and pieces.
These games can be purchased at AreYouGame.com.
Samples of these games were provided by University Games