My two main hobby passions are books and games. They tend to take all of my non-work time and too much of my money. In both cases, I love collecting them as much as using them for their intended purposes. One of the biggest challenges I have is finding games that will hold my wife’s attention long enough to get through learning and actually playing. Through lots of research, I’ve found plenty of games that fit the bill and now my wife is much more willing to step out of her comfort zone. And our collection has grown even more because now she’s got her own wish list. Win-win as far as I’m concerned.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve obtained close to a dozen games so we’re working through learning and playing them. Last night, we played our first game of Kanagawa. I watched a couple videos that gave me a good idea of how to play and then read through the short manual once. I was able to completely explain the game to TJ, my wife, in just a few minutes and then we were off.
The first thing that grabbed us about the game is the quality of the components and the beauty of the art. We’re suckers for gorgeous games and this one definitely falls into that category. The brushes, grand master, and apprentice are wooden, the starting cards, storm tokens, and diplomas are thick, sturdy cardboard, and the tiles are firm card stock. My only real complaint is that sliding the tiles under the existing ones can be a pain in the butt. Card sleeves will likely help with that.
Game play is very quick unless you or another player suffers from Analysis Paralysis. This is a problem at our table but it afforded me extra time to refill drinks and get our son off to bed.
There are lots of ways to get victory points – called Harmony Points – so if one route doesn’t go the way you hope, there are plenty of other options. I ended up changing my strategy after taking cards I didn’t really want in order to throw a wrench into TJ’s plan. And it paid off because I won by a point.
We both had a great time playing and this will likely be a regular to the table. It’s nice to look at, easy to teach and learn, and quick enough to either play a couple of times or to be used as a warm-up game. It’s also not going to break the bank to add to your collection or to give as a gift. I could see this as a definite gateway game for those of you looking to recruit. 🙂
You can add Kanagawa to your wishlist or pick it up by clicking here.