buckets of mathsfearsome enginesdelicious scotch eggs™
Quinns: At the end of last year the rumbling around Russian Railroads became unignorable. Once a day I’d notice my mug of tea trembling as this game’s engine sped across the internet with a roar of hype. I decided to let it pass, though, knowing that if the rumours were true then this train, then progress itself would soon arrive at my sleepy flat.
Sure enough, Z-Man Games recently sent it over. Russian Railroads is a proud, barrel-chested member of a category called “Hard Euros”, and while that sounds like a DVD you’d find in the bargain bin of a sex shop* these are among the least sexy of games. Rather than forcing players to battle directly (which is RUDE), Eurogames offer a proxy-puzzle for players to simultaneously sweat over.
You might remember our review of T’Zolkin: The Mayan Calendar, with its dizzying, rotating gears, or our awe at the piglet maths of Castles of Burgundy, or our more recent video reviews of Caverna or Terra Mystica, each one an impressive eurogame. Today the industry is choked with these hale, rubust puzzles. Stepping inside the creaky carriage of Russian Railroads I had one question lurking at the bottom of my brain like cerebral sediment. “This game's going to be clever and all, but do we need it?”