First up was the sequel to the Adventurers, called The Adventurers: Pyramid of Horus, where 1920ish adventurers enter a pyramid to look for treasure. It's basically playing the Mummy.
Unlike the original Adventurers, I found the game had less thought put into it and with less production values. The original had an Indiana Jones rolling boulder after all and lava tiles and a rickety bridge. The sequel had just falling tiles. Compare the original with the new:
There was no real strategy in the game other than avoiding these Mummies. Unlike the rolling boulder in the first game, which on the whole was getting faster and faster and you had to plan for it while getting treasure, the Mummies were very predictable and easy to avoid.
Even more than the first game, the sequel is a kid's game.
Next up was the silly themed Monsters Menace America.
You play a B-movie kind of monster stomping on cities, but also play the opposite side (the branch of the military) used to fight the other guy's monsters.
The monsters get more and more powerful as they crush cities (I guess they feed on the power lines??) and mutate with more powers.
Once a certain number of places are stomped, then there is a monster showdown and the monsters challenge each other for a smackdown to be the king of the monsters. Thus, a strategy is to have your military try to weaken them as much as possible for the smackdown. (The military can never destroy them).
We played two games and both were fun. I was the giant eye and giant cricket monster and the Army and Marines in game 1 and 2 respectively. Jim and PP played the same monsters twice (the Lobster and purple monster respectively). Jim changed the choice of military between game 1 and 2 (Navy and Army), while PP chose to the Air Force both times.
Jim kept making fun of my eye-ball monster, hurting it's feelings. :-) I was getting the "your monster is an eyesore," "you got poked in the eye," and "are you eyeballing me?" etc.
We also found it funny that my eyeball monster once mutated with spikes coming out of him. We were trying to understand the logistics of that, as a working journeyman monster.
Every monster has a rallying cry written on the card, so we were making their sounds once in a while, adding to the fun of it, but at the same time, it was masking hard thinking on strategy. In game one, we were attacking each other with our military piecemeal, and the monsters were fighting them off easily. We learned in game two to build up one's military and then try to overwhelm them as much as possible. We also learned in game 2 to use one's military to block off or delay the other guy's monster from choice cities where they can stomp and get more powerful.
In game 2, my marines (in red) were massed to attack Jim's lobster monster.
Final Monster Challenge....
Though Monsters Menace America looks silly, there is more than meets the eye. You've got to position your monsters and military the right way, you've got to research your military, and you've got to get your monster to mutate.
Lastly, we played B movie cavemen in Valley of the Mammoth..
While the artwork and some of the card text is silly, this game has more depth than on the surface. The object is to get 4 camps first, while keeping your tribe alive during summer and winter through fishing, hunting, etc at the same time fighting off the other guy's tribes. Not enough food means some of your tribes die. Not enough women and you can't reproduce fast enough. Not enough animals come your way to hunt and you can't have any food reserves for the harsh times.
You can forage and fish in the summer for food, but you can't forage in winter, so you've got to hunt. You soon meet up with enemy tribes, resulting in a great game dynamic. You feel like a juggler a bit and are forced to take risks, or else you starve and get weak.
Here, (in blue), I was down to just 3 tribe members and tried to plant crops. Jim (green) and PP (yellow) were out and about with lots of people hunting and soon encountering each other.
A winter card that this winter was extra bitter, which means more food was needed that turn. If you're caught without enough food for this, you're in trouble.
Thumbs up for Monster Menace America and especially Valley of the Mammoths.