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Collecting SDJ: Part 3


At UKGE I finally got into the Bring and Buy. Now its probably unwise to go shopping in such a location after giving your wife instructions for an upcoming birthday, but you can't pass up certain chances. Anyway, what were the odds that the exact obscure SDJ winner I'd find in such a location would be the same one that I'd put on my list and that she had set about ordering that same day? Suffice to say that sadly there is no option under "reason for cancellation of order" reading "husband's incompetence".

So, firstly I picked up Cafe International (1989) in a German language edition for £5. I won't talk too much about the game, its quite good and ties together abstract concept and theme better than many newer games. The reason I won't go into the game at length is the elephant in the room of Cafe International's perceived xenophobia which overshadows the game itself. I don't want to poke the bear so I'll just say two quick things on the subject. Firstly, I can't help but pity the cartoonist who was told to draw a Spanish character with only the shoulders and above but if ever a game proved that additional artwork doesn't always make a game better this would be it. If only they'd stuck to flags and gender symbols. Secondly, it is true that the game is certainly xenophobic and possibly racist but it is 30 years old and we are still making games at least as sexist as ever it was racist so I'm not going to get up in arms about an old mistake when our industry is still making new ones.

Secondly, Wacky Wacky West, translation and re-skin of Klaus Teuber's 1991 winner Drunter + Druber. The game play unites hidden roles, bidding and competitive tile placement splendidly and elegantly. More to the point though I do not understand the re-skin, I much prefer the German title, not least because it do