[Tactics and Tactility is our column about the feelings, details and pleasures of tabletop gaming. This week we’re looking at Songbirds, and nasty little puzzles.]
Ava: There’s a specific sort of puzzle that takes you by surprise. You hear some rules, you start making gentle moves, pushing towards one path or another, placing pieces, making choices.
Then things start to tighten. The points and the prize and the folks sat beside you suddenly crowding in. Everything matters.
And it’s only going to get harder.
Songbirds is a beautifully sweet game of finding your favourite bird and hoping it’s eaten the most berries.
Except actually, Songbirds is a ruthlessly cruel game about second guessing, outmaneuvering, and slowly being left with no options whatsoever.