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Sirens

We're always on the lookout for easy-to-play micro games but we often find they turn out to be variations on a well-trodden path: typically reprising the mechanics of Love Letter (AEG/Renegade Game Studios). Like the core game of Love Letter, Sirens is played with a deck of just 18 cards but this isn't a 'draw one, play one' deduction game, it's a card drafting game for two players (and with a solitaire option) where you're creating a tableau that maximises your score.



In Greek legend, Sirens were daughters of the river god Achelous who used seductive song to lured sailors to their doom. You're assembling songs too in Art Casey's game. You flip a card to indicate the special scoring condition for the game and then the players draft three cards from their starting hands of four in the usual manner of choosing a card then passing the remainder on to the other player. Using the three cards you end up with, you fashion your song (place the cards out in the order of your choosing). You repeat the card drafting with another four-card hand but you cannot alter (break up) the run of three cards you laid down after the initial draft; cards from the second draft must be positioned in your tableau before or after that initial run.



You'll obviously be placing the cards out in order to optimise your scoring, and you'll score the square of the number of adjacent cards with matching colour tunes; so, for example, if your tableau has three adjacent cards with the same colour notes, that part of your song will score you 9 points. Cards also have symbols on their left and right indicating the parts of the song that they like to follow. These matching 'transitions' score exponentially, so, for example, if your song has three matching transitions, that'll score 6 points but four will score 10 points. Some cards have 'charm' symbols on their left or right-hand. Matched pairs of these will score 1-4 points and you'll also score the difference if you have more heart symbols in your tableau than your opponent.


Sirens is a fairly quick and simple game but it offers a decent puzzle optimisation challenge. The card drafting stages also mean you have some indication of what cards might benefit your opponent and so which might influence your choice.



Shown here on Board's Eye View is a preview prototype of Sirens. Publishers Envy Born Games are planning to launch Sirens and two other micro games (Defrag and 16 Candles) on Kickstarter later this month. Click here for notification on launch.


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