Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Joy of Gaming: Women Game Designers - Village

Women's History Month: 

A Joy of Gaming Tribute to 

Women Game Designers


Inka Brand (with spouse)

Village (2011)

Village is a worker placement game that was the love of the critics and showered with awards in 2012. In it, each player controls a family of villagers over a number of generations. Each individual player meeple you have represents a villager trying to carve out a life of worth and be immortalized in the village chronicle rather than winding up in a sad anonymous grave when their life inevitably comes to an end.

The game a couched in a medieval life theme. What distinguishes Village from other games of its kind is the time management aspect of the game as you try to achieve goals for your family members before their time literally runs out and Death comes knocking. There are lots of options to explore in this small little village, from following a religious path and becoming a friar to becoming a wayfarer with a life full of rich experiences and travel. You could be a lowly farmer-- but the best lowly farmer around-- or you could develop a passion for power and become a government official. Clearly Village is loved for a reason.

Inka Brand is a 2012 Kennerspiel de Jahres Winner. The Kennerspiel award was created for heavier, more thinky-games. I loved the translation as being "connoisseur." The award was created in 2011, with it's first winner being Antoine Bauza for 7 Wonders, but the following year, Brand & Brand took it home for Village. Brand & Brand took home the 2017 award for their Exit: The Game series. I also think I should throw out there that they created The Enchanted Castle, which is a game much loved in my home as well as at family events we take it to. It's interactive and you unlock a castle. I think all of these games are reflective of the diversity of these two designers and, like in previous entries, it is difficult to separate the two. They are a wonder-duo.

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