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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Malt and Mobsters

Today we stayed close to home and went to the Heady Hollow Brewing Company off of Allisonville Road in Fishers.  The rustic environment is complimented by a modern layout, with prohibition decor along the back walls.  This is a very clean and well managed facility with friendly staff that delivered great customer service!  Claire had the Rowdy Root Beer which was a hard root beer with a refreshing sweet taste.  I had the 60 Horses Scotch Ale which carried a deep copper color with it’s signature malt shining through; providing a strong and sweet melding of toffee and roast.  They also serve sandwiches and an excellent selection of starters as well.  We loved the variety of drinks and appetizers that they had to offer, the enviornment was also very relaxed for a Saturday afternoon which we really enjoyed.  We loved our experience to the Heady Hollow Brewing Company and both of us look forward to returning again!  For this week’s segment we review Speakeasy, the two player strategy game from the prohibition era.  Read on to learn more.
In this game, we go back in time to the 1920’s during a time of probation where two players will face off to try and locate the other persons Speakeasy.  This is done by sneaking down dark alleys, through the safe haven of buildings, around sketchy corners and down long roads.  You must be careful, because there are lots of people standing in your way such as cops, gangsters, henchmen, tommy gunners, and FBI agents just to name a few.  Each of which have their own level of intimidations based upon their number.  At the beginning the game both players will choose a color and place down each of their 25 markers facing them so the other player cannot see who they are placing on the various locations around the city.  Closest to each player on the board are two bars.  You are to secretly place your speakeasy inside of one of these bars.  As the players move forward, sideways or backwards you must move towards the players you wish to take out, but neither player marker is revealed until one of the players moves into the opposing players territory.  Once the other player finds out what the marker was that either took them out or scuttled into the wrong area.  Either way, until you find out which player pieces are in specific areas, you will have to take a few blind turns and just hope that your value out ranks the opposing player.  Once you make it through to the other side and get the speakeasy, the game is over and you win!


The game is not so cut and dry though.  There’s more than just the higher value marker maintaining it’s spot on the board.  There are also rules that apply to each of the various player pieces as well as board layout.  Buildings are considered safe for players and they may move into buildings and remain their the rest of the game if they wish.  The opposing player cannot move into an already occupied building, and kids cannot move across alleys or enter buildings or bars.  Cars may move multiple spaces along a street or alley, but cannot drive into a building, so there are restrictions with different players.  This game is pretty good.  The randomness from time to time about blindly running into confrontations is not exactly a fun characteristic of the game.  Although, there’s no other way for the player pieces to be revealed otherwise.  The problem is having to do it in the blind during the first place that really detracts from the gameplay for me.  Both of us love the theme and setting of the game though.  When we located this game, we knew we had to have it as the 20’s prohibition era was a pretty fascinating timeline in history.  I like the idea of moving through dark alley’s with a gangster and being sneaky throughout the game.  The remaining mechanics though are a little more light than we would prefer.  Obviously it’s a very portable game that we think is a nice, light-weight filler game, but we don’t necessarily recommend this game to our gaming groups either.  It was a good attempt at picking up something different for our collection, but at this moment, we aren’t sure if we’ll be keeping it long term in our game library or not.

Speakeasy
Overall Meeple Rating: 5.5/10


Game Mechanics:
1) Secret Movement Deployment
2) Area Movement
3) Bluffing
4) Deduction

Have any thoughts or questions?  Leave a comment below.

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