#764 – Remember Our Trip

2 – 4 players.
Play time: ~30 minutes.
BGG | Board Game Atlas

You may be able to buy it directly? Ask them? Idk.
Oh it’s also on the BGG Store.
Logged plays: 3 

I’m doing this weird thing where I’m reviewing games I bought for myself, and trying those out. Wild stuff; we’ll see how it goes. I tend to import games when I’m doing this, both because I want to explore games outside of the US and just, I like importing games. I did a massive import in the middle of last year, when I thought I was going to be playing more games. And then I didn’t! So, that was fun. Lots of games still to be played, as a result, but we’re making progress, ish. One such game I’ve been trying to pick up for a while is Remember Our Trip, one of the newer Saashi & Saashi titles. Let’s check it out!

In Remember Our Trip, you’ve just gotten back from a lovely trip to Kyoto or Singapore (your choice; the game allows for either). It’s top of mind, and you want to just reminisce pleasantly about the hotels and restaurants and other fancy locales you saw. The problem is, your opponents don’t quite remember the city’s layout the same way that you do. That’s weird, right? Y’all just got back. But you’re pretty sure you can convince them if you can just show them some pictures of the city’s layout. They are feeling the same way! And that’s competition. Can you remember the layout of the city you just visited?

Contents

Setup

Alright, first thing to do is to set up the Image Tokens:

If you’re playing with two players, you need to remove 30. Do so by flipping the Action Board over to the back and placing the corresponding tokens there:

Place the Common Map Board in the center of the play area, with Kyoto (the straight river) or Singapore (the dock in the corner) face-up. Align the Player Image Boards similarly, making sure that the compass points the same direction on every board:

Each player should get a player board in the color matching their Image Board:

Place the Action Board nearby, with its compass pointing in the same direction:

Scoreboard goes next. It’s double-sided, so pick whatever works with your aesthetic:

Location Tile Board after that. This one depends on the city you’re using:

You can place the Location Tiles on the Location Tile Board, including the Special Buildings that go with the Special Building Tiles (depending on your chosen city):

Place each player’s score token on the “0” on the score board, and give one player the Start Player Token to place in the top-right corner of their player board:

Either shuffle the Standard Goal Cards and reveal one:

Or, shuffle and reveal one of the city-specific Goal Cards:

Shuffle the Memory Cards and place them face-down on the Action Board:

If you want to make the game more challenging, cover up one row or column of tiles (depending on your city) with the corresponding Modifier Strip (make sure all players and the central board cover the same row or column):

Either way, you’re ready to get started!

Gameplay

During Remember Our Trip, you are trying to remember the exciting trip you just got back from with friends, constructing a map of all the beautiful places you remember going to. But does someone else remember it differently? Only one way to find out!

The game takes place over 12 rounds. Let’s dive into what happens.

Round Setup

To begin a round, reveal a Memory Card from the deck. That card will tell you how many Image Tokens to take from the bag and place on each space on the Action Board. Only use the fourth space if you’re playing with 3+ players.

Placing Image Tokens

Now, in turn order starting from the start player, players choose one space on the Action Board and take all the Image Tokens from that space. They then place them on their Image Board! They should be placed face-up (the side without numbers).

Image Tokens must be placed according to the formation on the Memory Card. They don’t necessarily have to be placed adjacent to each other, but they can only be placed within the formation given by the card (this is why making sure all player boards and the Action Board are facing the same way matters).

If you cannot place an Image Token (the formation runs off the board, over a water tile, or over another Image Token), place it in the “-1” space on your player board. They may be worth negative points at the end of the game. If you would like to place over an existing Image Token, remove the current Image Token and place it on the “-1” space on your player board, then place the new Image Token in that location. You cannot replace a token if it is flipped face-down.

Confirming a Location

If a player has completed a building tile formation, they can potentially confirm the location. When you do, you must follow certain rules:

  • At least one Image Token in the formation was placed this turn.
  • The Image Tokens are all adjacent vertically or horizontally, not just diagonally.
  • You have the correct configuration for your structure:
    • Park: 2 adjacent tokens of the same type (statue / fountain / bench).
    • Hotel: 3 adjacent tokens in an L-shape or a straight line.
    • Sightseeing Tokens: 4 adjacent tokens in a shape matching one of the Special Building Tiles.
    • Shop / Restaurant Tokens: 3+ adjacent tokens.

When that happens, you can confirm that building! Flip all the Image Tokens in that formation face-down (you do not have to confirm all of your adjacent Shop / Restaurant Tokens, if you don’t want to), and then check the central board. If the spaces corresponding to the Image Tokens you just flipped face-down are not occupied by any tiles, you can place a Location Tile on the center board! (For Shops / Restaurants, each space is individually placed, so it is fine if some spaces are covered by other Location Tiles.) If you place a Special Building Tile, place the corresponding standee on it. It’s aesthetic.

Even if you can’t place a Location Tile, you then score for confirming the building! Each building type is worth a certain number of points:

  • Park: 2 points, plus Memory Match.
  • Hotel: 4 points, plus Memory Match.
  • Sightseeing Tokens: 6 points, plus Memory Match.
  • Shop / Restaurant Tokens: 3 / 4 / 5 / 6+ adjacent tokens score 0 / 1 / 3 / 5 points, plus Memory Match.

To calculate Memory Match, check the board. For every space in your confirmed building that has a matching Location Tile (even if you just placed it), you gain 1 additional point. This means you can score bonus points for being first to place a Location Tile, or you can score points for following in your opponents’ footsteps!

End of Round

End a round by passing the Start Player Token to the left, and then begin a new round. If there are no more Memory Cards, the game ends.

End of Game

After 12 rounds, the game ends! Players should check the Goal Card to see if they got any additional points. Now, all players with the most Image Tokens in the “-1” space on their player boards lose 1 point per Image Token in that space. You hate to see it, but it happens.

The player with the most points wins!

Player Count Differences

This one can get tricky as the player counts change! As with a lot of games of this type, players are fighting over a pretty fixed area of the board. And that’s fine; no big deal, usually, because players are incentivized to place some tokens on certain spots on the board. This generally leads to players having similar board layouts, so the competition is around minor shifts in who places what where. You can get a fly in the ointment and have one player mess with those placements, taking a minor points hit in order to deprive other players of key locations, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a super likely outcome. I think as more players get into the mix, you’ll see more of these minute variations happening on the board (rather than the big shift I was speculating about), but that means that if you’re not moving quickly or waiting for other folks to lead the way, you’re going to be potentially missing out on bonus points if your hotel is a space to the left or right. You’ll also see yourself getting stuck with much worse options in the draft, potentially. At two, you’re just getting the second-best; at three, you might get third-best; at four, you’re getting what literally nobody else wanted (if you’re going last). All of these things will lead to lower scores per player, I expect. All things being equal, though, I think this game thematically is a great title for two; it’s a game that romanticizes the memory of travel (something I haven’t done much recently). It’s cute, in that regard. So I tend to like it at two, most, for that reason. The mechanical elements, sure, I prefer lower player counts for this kind of thing, but the theme is really what makes me prefer this at two.

Strategy

  • Be a leader! Placing tiles first is a great way to score a bunch of points. You essentially double-score, if you’re hte first person to place a Location Tile. You get your full score and you’re guaranteed to get a full Memory Match, which is also great. That can really add up, and honestly might be worth going for some things quickly so that you can lock them down, especially where Shops and Restaurants are concerned. That said, if you go too quickly, you can give your opponents a lot of nice places where they can easily follow you and earn the same number of points, which is rough.
  • If you can’t lead, follow. Yeah, if your opponent has done all the work carving up the map, just follow right behind them! Hotels, Parks, Restaurants, Shops; all fair game, as far as you’re concerned. You can’t follow after Special Buildings, though, so careful with that! Also be mindful that the Image Tokens are finite, so, follow a bit sooner than later.
  • You can try to snake your opponents out locations, but it’s riskier. I mean, if everyone else is converging on a location type and you decide that you want to be a snake, you run the very real risk that any one of them will succeed before you do and then ruin your schemes. I generally don’t recommend it unless you think you’re definitely going to be able to beat everyone else to it. That usually happens by making a big move the round before you’re going to go first, and then confirming the building when you’re going first. That way, they can’t do anything about it, even if they want to! That’s the kind of fun resignation we like to see when we’re winning competitive games.
  • Keep an eye on the goal card! It’s usually worth a few points that you can wring out, if you’re paying attention. If you’re not paying attention, well, there’s not a ton I can do about that. I’m a helpful piece of strategy advice; you gotta win this thing on your own. Either way, the Goals might be more relevant to your specific city, deal with certain placement types or just reward having the most of something, so try to see if you can get a few points that way. If not, well, get points another way.
  • Also, don’t block yourself off too quickly; that end-of-game penalty can sink you if you’re not careful. I saw someone lose the exact four points that they would have needed to win, which was a bummer, but I suppose it’s hard to say if taking that penalty was what they needed to be in the running in the first place? Either way, try not to take too many penalties, so leave your options open throughout the game. You’ll need to be flexible towards the end when you have fewer options and you’re likely not getting the Image Tokens you want.
  • Placing on the pre-approved locations is an easy way to get some points, if you’re not sure what else to do. There are four spots on your board that are looking for Image Tokens of specific types. You can definitely place there, if you want, but your opponents will likely do the same. Which might be good! If subterfuge is more your angle, you may just want to take the penalty and hope that you can clown your opponents, instead, I guess? I really can’t recommend that.
  • Don’t lock yourself into specific tile placements straight away. What I mean by this is that a few tile types (Hotels and Special Buildings) have more than one acceptable tile configuration, so if you can go as long as you can with multiple potential options, you’ll have more placement options in the future, as well. You don’t necessarily have to commit to the long straight Hotel configuration; if you have two adjacent Hotel Tokens, you may be able to place a third in the same line or a third adjacent to one of the other two and form the L-shaped Hotel, instead. Staying flexible will help you avoid penalties, as well.
  • Sometimes it’s worth getting fewer points in order to lock down a memory match, and other times it’s worth holding out to get as many points as possible. Better to get 1 point on a Shop and then 4 on a Memory Match than 3 on a Shop and 0 on the Memory Match, yeah? Plus, good placement of Shops and Restaurants can really mess up your opponents’ placement plans, pretty badly. It could cause them to lose 3 – 4 points that they were planning to get on a Hotel or a Special Building, and that might be the swing you’re looking for. Use Shops and Restaurants to be agile, if you can.

Pros, Mehs, and Cons

Pros

  • I don’t say this often, but this really does feel different than most games I’ve played. It’s super interesting! I think it’s the shared nature of the main board and the way everything fits together. I’ve played a few games about memory in theme, but I like how players’ conflicting memories start to firm up as the game progresses, and then the play loop simplifies into “how do I place the tokens I want to place to get the points I think I need?”. It’s satisfying. I think that the reason I like this is that it feels somewhat mechanically similar to a roll-and-write, but it uses tokens rather than having players mark their boards. That difference makes the game feel more tactile, which makes the experience more memorable, for me, at least. I think this would still be interesting as a roll-and-write game, but having the tokens also means that there’s a fixed number of each token in the bag, forcing players to think about whether to grab something now or risk it not coming back later.
  • I think that mechanically, this game does a nice job hitting a similar place to Realm of Sand, which I liked a lot as well. The combination of a spatial tile-placement game with some mild racing components is interesting. I think Realm of Sand was pretty underrated, but I tend to like games that have some spatial element to them. I like placing components that lead to larger tiles being placed once they’re complete, as well. It gives me the feeling of building towards something, not just building for its own sake. I’m also a big fan of how abstract the placement criteria are; it adds a nice challenge.
  • I love the theme of this game; there’s something very powerful about the simplicity of a game about a shared experience, and I think Remember Our Trip delivers so well on its pitch. I like nostalgia quite a bit, and this game is a bit of that, as a theme, yeah? You’ve just gotten back from a nice trip and you’re recollecting the experience. Part of it is that I like travel, but it’s also a nice game to play while you unwind from traveling. It’s not too long, it’s not terribly stressful, and I imagine if you go to Kyoto or Singapore it’s even cooler. It’s just a nice, pleasant theme, and I generally like games with pleasant themes.
  • The art is amazing, also. I love the art style for Saashi & Saashi titles in general, but the dark blue box really pops, for me. I think the clean lines and bright colors also evoke some of the nostalgia that I’m getting when I play this game. The art style is simple but very well-done, and I think that applies to a lot of the games that S&S make, as well. It feels like it’s consistent within the brand.
  • There’s a lot of growth potential in this game, from alternate boards to more challenging Goals. I think there are a lot of ways you can move the game around to find your ideal sweet spot, from changing player counts to trying the more intense goals to even just wiping out a row or a column. The flexibility the game offers is great because it’s again, simple, but decently high-impact.
  • Also, allowing players who follow after you to score just as many points as you scored can be a really useful catch-up mechanism. It’s definitely a nice game to teach because players that aren’t planning as long-term strategically can catch up by just following the leader, in a few ways. It essentially functions as its own learning game before players try to get more creative and break out from the pack. I think that’s good! There’s still a lot of room for strategy and subterfuge, but the game doesn’t aggressively punish you for learning it.
  • Having the special tiles include standees is a nice touch that does a lot for the game’s aesthetic. The special tiles and standees give a nice 3D effect to the board, which is nice. The game’s got a fair bit of table presence already, so adding some verticality to it is just a nice effect. Plus, it makes the maps you build more memorable, which I’m always in favor of.
  • I know that some fan maps exist, but I would love more maps (with their own special tiles) for this game. I think there’s a lot of potential, especially with such a simple concept. I’d love to see what they do with additional maps, but I think Saashi & Saashi is typically not a expansion-heavy publisher. Oh well. Maybe I’ll make my own fan map or something.

Mehs

  • Having to remove 30 tokens from an unsorted bag every time I want to play with two players is irritating. I tend to just keep them out of the bag in a separate bag, but yeah, it’s a bit of a drag on setup to have to dig through the bag for the tokens I want, especially given that you need to remove all three types of Park Tokens, which requires paying close attention to what you’re pulling.
  • Honestly, flipping the Image Tokens over when confirming is a tiny bit annoying, too. Yeah, I mean, hope you have decently-long nails or small fingers, because flipping over those small tokens will likely jostle your board a bit. That might be annoying, depending on how committed you are to keeping your board looking good and consistent. I tend to be that type of person, so, you can imagine this being somewhat frustrating for me.
  • In general, a lot of the boards are pretty visually noisy / very busy to look at, which can be a lot for new players. I think the game is kind of a lot, to start with, so it’s often better to have the experienced player handle setup and tell new players to not really look at things until you’ve walked them through the rooms. Particularly busy table spaces can be stressful! This looks like a lot heavier of a game than it is, so I try to be mindful of players who aren’t looking for a heavy gaming experience and make sure that I confirm for them that it’s not a particularly heavy game.

Cons

  • I will freely say that the flowchart in the rulebook stressed me out the first time I looked at it, but it makes perfect sense, now. I think this might just be a Saashi & Saashi thing. But I was playing with a new player and before reading them the rules just showed them the flowchart and asked if that made them stressed. It did! After the explanation and the game I showed it to them again. It did not make them stressed. I think there’s something to be said about organization within a rulebook, but if you’re giving the reader a lot of information very quickly, maybe … do that after you explain everything else. Like a fun recap! Or something. The rulebook definitely made me worried when I was trying to learn it on the fly.

Overall: 9 / 10

Overall, I kind of love Remember Our Trip. It’s my favorite out of the Saashi & Saashi games, for sure (somehow gently beating Let’s Make a Bus Route). I think that the reason this one’s high on my list is that it does a good job cultivating a feeling while I’m playing the game. I haven’t been able to travel as much, lately, and the idea of looking back on a trip with other people and remembering all the fun you had and places you went is a nice thought, especially when presented in a gently competitive context. Remembering our trip isn’t intense or stressful or nasty (unless you specifically are trying to block other players), but it’s instead a celebration of a journey and the culmination of that feeling. I’m not sure why, but that’s really appealing to me as a player, and I think the art style does a nice job conveying the pleasantness of the nostalgia the game tries (and succeeds, in my opinion) to evoke. My major complaints about Remember Our Trip are essentially that the game appears to be a lot heavier and a lot busier than it actually … is, and that may discourage some players from playing it. I find that that’s often just fixed during the teach, but also, I tend to just … show up places with games and choose what we’re playing, so that tier of bullying often solves its own problems. Who knows. Reviewing is a weird lifestyle. Either way, I think Remember Our Trip is one of Saashi & Saashi’s stronger titles, as the gameplay is reminiscent of a roll-and-write, but with a bit less luck, more drafting, and some goals to build towards. All things that I apparently quite enjoyed. If you’re looking for a game that’s mechanically like that, or you’re hoping to have a nostalgic trip of your own to look back on, I’d definitely recommend trying out Remember Our Trip! I’ve had an absolute blast with it.


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