For a time as a kid I lived with my Dad six miles out of town. It was an age when cell phones were still a new thing no one was connected at multiple levels of engagement 24/7. There was also an hobby store in town, ‘Around the World,’ that always had Avalon Hill games on sale because board games were passe at the time. It was also a time before Hasbro owned AH and AH made different games rather than different versions of the same game. I managed to nab quite a few of them, not that there was much competition and the prices kept going lower so a seventh grader’s allowance was enough.

I had two favorites, Merchants of Venus (of which a new, and of course inferior version has just been released,) and Magic Realm (which remains dense enough to deny re-issue.) (Although there is a digital equivalent available, I don’t think it’s as fun if you can’t lose the pieces.)

Merchants I enjoyed because I could set it up, and play it, which I did frequently. For a time I kept track of fuel costs, dabbled in military and corporation victory conditions, a rudimentary stock market, it was fantastic. Good times were had by all, which was just me.

Magic Realm I liked just to set up. The game is frankly ridiculous, and even now I enjoy reading the 80 page rule-book just to be confounded by all of it’s labyrinthine intricacies. I have it set up on my kitchen table as I type, denying my wife and child a comfortable place to sit and enjoy their breakfasts or their suppers. And I’m probably not going to play the game this time either, I literally just wanted to set  it up.

Bring this back around to the title, you build your own map, and travel from clearing to clearing in search of your personal victory conditions. When Meruna: The Board Game happens (and it will happen,) that’s the flavor I want. The rest of the game engine is being chucked straight out of the window, but that map mechanic, that’s amazing.

Picture it, a new map every time, different locations of creatures and mysteries that your caravan will travel to and from, searching for that one rare monster or spell that will mean victory over your opponents. Like any game ever really, but with that really snazzy Merunga flair. Oh yes, that will happen.

In the meantime, I’ll be content with RealmSpeak, which I just downloaded again because now that I’m thinking about it, I can’t not download it. And I’m certainly not going to spend the time to play out the version currently sitting on my dining room table, so I have to get my fix somewhere.