My mom came to visit this week and to wind down in the evenings after hitting all the touristy spots and getting my toddler to bed we managed to play a few games! Like me, she loves to discover new games. We played Patchwork, Project L, Carcassonne, 7 Wonders, 10 Days in Europe, and Crokinole to name a few. But I’ll go a bit more in depth with her 3 favourite games from the past week.

Pandemic: Fall of Rome

Pandemic: Fall of Rome by Matt Leacock and Paolo Mori is an interesting spin on the Pandemic formula. In Pandemic: Fall of Rome you’re not curing diseases, but instead battling back the invading barbarian hordes, keeping them at bay while you frantically try to create peace treaties that will keep Roma from being sacked.

Pandemic: Fall of Rome is one of my favourite spin-offs. I love the mechanism of having the barbarian hordes march across the Mediterranean country-side. I’m not sure if I like or hate needing to use the dice to resolve combats, it does inject a bit more luck, sometimes rewarding you when you take a gamble, and other times absolutely punishing you when you put all your eggs into one basket.

My mom said that she vastly preferred this to the original Pandemic, but she’s biased. We won the game and she’s always loved anything with an ancient roman theme,


Wingspan by Elizabeth Hargrave is a card-driven engine building game. With beautiful art Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo, Natalia Rojas, and Beth Sobel, Wingspan was an instant hit. I’ve already talked about how Wingspan is just a ‘middle of the road’ game for me, with the luck of the draw being quite prevalent, and how I pine for more player interaction. But my issues with Wingspan doesn’t stop me from introducing it to others, and it’s been a hit every single time.

In this game, Both my mom and my wife managed to get a food generating engine via a couple of crows, and managed to rack up the points. I had a pair of raptors that managed to score well, but it wasn’t enough to save me from last place.


My mom’s favourite game of the week was Calico, by Kevin Russ and art by Beth Sobel. I know my mom has a bias here, as she’s both a cat person and loves quilting. Combine that bias with another beautiful production and she was hooked from the start.

In Calico, players are designing a quilt and trying to combine colours to earn buttons, manipulate patterns to attract cats, and satisfy 3 goals in the centre of their boards. It’s quite abstract, but beautiful and pleasant to play. I know some people can get really stressed out as the game progresses and they have to give up on some of their goals as they become impossible to fulfill, but if you approach the game knowing that you can’t accomplish everything, it’s a much more relaxing and enjoyable experience.

If you’d like to read more about Calico, check out my review here!