It’s been a while since we’ve posted, but that’s because it’s been a bustling time at Aviki Games. This spring, we’ve done cool things like build a custom game for local drag celebrity Apple Adams, brought our Mini Game, Escape the Dressing Room, to Capital Stage Company’s actual actors’ dressing room, and have been planning fun projects for the summer & fall! Outside of this, when we aren't working, Kevin & I like to take some time to connect with our inner gamers. Board games, video games, card games, and of course, escape games! Because we’re enamored with games we’ve been playing lately, we want to take a moment to share them with you in this new blog series called "What We’re Playing", enjoy!
Current favorite Games:
While visiting some friends in San Diego this winter, I was introduced to The Witness and fell immediately in love with the elegant mechanics of the game. Created in 2016 by lead designer, Jonathan Blow, The Witness is a first person 3D puzzle adventure video game. The player progresses by solving puzzles through interactions with 2D grids. The magical part is how a player finds the solutions hidden within the surrounding environment. By exploring, you discover that there’s more information than what initially appears. This game is all about seeing, discovering and tilting your perspective both literally and figuratively.
The game play is deceptively simple because you initially think it’s about solving a maze (and it is for the most part) but the game transforms the rules along the way, creating new layers which add on to the complexity of the rules you first learn. Remembering how to use the rules and how to look at the environment creates delightfully challenging puzzles, forcing you to utilize logic to progress.
I’m still playing the game and about halfway through the puzzles that I’m aware of (because there are tons of hidden puzzles yet to be discovered!) and I greatly appreciate the fact that I can go at my own pace and spend as much time on each puzzle as I need to. I’m floored by the design of this game and am eager to play Braid, another puzzle video game by this designer.
I recommend this game for anyone who loves logic puzzles and likes a game where the world is beautiful, non-violent, and open ended.
Dixit is an award winning card game, introduced in 2008, created by Jean-Louis Roubira, illustrated by Marie Cardouat, and published by Libellud. Using a deck of cards illustrated with surreal images, players choose cards that match a title suggested by the "storyteller", and attempt to guess which card the "storyteller" selected. The aim is to create a title that is specific yet vague enough for some players to choose your card, the inspiration for your title, while other players choose other cards. If your title and card match too obviously, causing everyone to choose your card, everyone else but you gets a point. Too obscure a title, causing no players choose your card, nobody gets a point. The most points come from being right in the middle in your title card description.
I love this card game because game play is easy to learn and the play style is open to exploration. I also love that this is a social game, making it fun to play with both people you know and new friends. The artwork is whimsical and perfect for all ages to participate.
I recommend this game to spark creative sessions because it focuses on describing concepts in an open ended format.
Dark Stories, published by Holger Bösch and published by Z-Man Games, is comprised of 50 Dark Story cards. It’s a cooperative or solo game of solving a puzzle mystery by asking questions and thinking creatively.
I recently played this at a bbq party and it was gleefully frustrating and fun. The content is a little dark so I wouldn’t recommend it for very young players. It was tricky to solve the twisted riddles with the information you’re given along each round, but it was exciting to discover the amazing detective skills of my friends!
This game forces players to intently listen to information and think completely outside the box, so I highly recommend this as a team building exercise. Just be sure to have someone go through the cards before to make sure everyone is okay with the subject matter, since most stories mention death and murder.
Gorogoa is a beautiful point and click puzzle game which more or less defies description. The core of the game centers around a novel mechanic. The player is presented with four images in a grid similar to a comic book or graphic novel. The player can explore and interact with objects within the panels, while also stacking and layering the panels themselves. This creates scenarios where you aren’t only manipulating objects to solve puzzles, but also time, space, and perspective.
Loosely, the story revolves around a young man and his quest to commune with an other-worldly creature glimpsed in his youth. The ever changing landscape has the player observing the man throughout many phases of his life and back, as his obsession with meeting the monster grows.
The imaginative puzzle and exploration elements are paired with a stunning hand-painted aesthetic. Each panel is visually lush and the kaleidoscopic colors that burst onto the early 19th century setting are breath taking. The game is a nonstop feast for the eyes, as each puzzle changes the world in new and inventive ways.
Local Escape Games
Kevin & I love playing escape games, almost as much as creating them ;) And we aim to play local games whenever we can. A couple companies that we’ve played with strike us as exceptional and we want to share those with you so you can check them out whenever you want a traditional escape the room experience.
Quandary Escape Games
We’ve played Runaway Train & Dynaline Incident here so far and are always so impressed with their unique puzzles. The games included at least one or two puzzles which absolutely couldn’t be done without teamwork. You don’t realize that’s the case until you’re doing them all together, a brilliant design feat since teamwork happens organically. The production value of the games themselves may be simple and understated, but it enhances the world of the game instead of detracting. The use of tech is very well done and user friendly. The story lines are written within the same universe, which is a unique aspect we haven’t seen anywhere. The owners/operators are always very friendly and truly passionate about what they do. Kevin and I really appreciate the games they’ve created.
Break Through Sac
Kevin & I recently played Skull & Scepter at Break Through Sac and had a blast! I was impressed with the scenic elements, since you truly felt like you were inside a deep underground mechanical room. There were a couple puzzles where the tech was brilliantly executed. The game featured a wide range of fun and surprising puzzle types,. The need for teamwork was elegantly designed, especially toward the latter half of the game. Llaurel, the owner and general manager, was friendly and excited for us to play. I truly look forward to playing more games by this group.
Quandary & Break Through Sac are perfect for small teams of 4-6 players who are looking for challenging puzzles within a well-designed game.
Now that we’ve shared some of our favorite recent games, we hope you are inspired to gather with friends and start playing!
Aviki News & Upcoming Events
Aviki News & Upcoming Events