Saturday, September 23, 2017

Star Realms Review

*Ages 12+
*2 Players
*About 20 Minutes
*Strategy/Deck Building
*Robert Dougherty & Darwin Castle
*Game App Available

Star Realms is a deck building game. The first player starts off with a hand of 3 cards and the second player starts off with a hand of 5 cards. In the middle of the play area there are 5 cards laid out that players can buy to start building their deck. Cards bought are replaced with new cards, and each card has different attack, money values, or special ship skills, and bases. Players use attack points to bring their opponents health from 50 down to zero. The first player to do so wins.

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Ships/Bases And Why: I love the Stealth Needle Ship, Brain World Base, and Mech World Base. I also like blue faction cards that give you life, which is most of them.

Least Favorite Ships/Bases And Why: Any of my favorites in a different players hand, or cards that give the other player life back.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I sometimes wish there was a swiping mechanism so if there aren't any cards you want or to get rid of a card the other player wants you could get rid of cards. 

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I don't have a favorite. But the art is nice in detail.

Strategies: I have 2 strategies depending on how cards come out and who I am playing. Then I have a general strategy that is good in every game! First strategy, buy red cards and explorers. A lot of red cards have a scrap a card from your hand ability which is a good way to get rid of vipers and scouts so only your good cards come up. Second strategy, buy green and blue cards. Green because even the cheap cards have good fight, and blue because they can add victory! General strategy, don't try to buy all 4 factions, because the odds of 2 cards of one faction coming up together and triggering bonuses is less likely. If someone has a base that hits you for one every round but isn't a outpost, it can be worth it to take out instead of taking continual damage. Don't buy money cards if you have less than like 20 life, because at that point you probably aren't going to get that card shuffled in and played before the end of the game, and it slows your deck down for your fight cards.

Final Thoughts: Taught this game to my step daughter a couple of months ago,  so we have been playing it more.I like the way it plays with 2 or 3 players (if you buy 2 decks you can play it 3 player.)

7 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Ships And Why: I am a big fan of the green cards, because I love the high attack values that they have. I also love having lots of bases.

Least Favorite Ships And Why: Bots! I feel like these just end up junking up my deck. The option to scrap a card can be nice, but eventually they just take up space themselves.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that this is a deck building game, and that you can choose what you ships you want to buy and build up for. Sometimes I do get a little frustrated, because I buy stuff that works well together, but I can never get it to come out together in my hand.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The artwork for this game is nice, but I don't really have any that stick out as a favorite.

Strategies: Buy lots of bases to protect yourself and try to collect cards in only one or two factions so that they work well together. And don't buy a whole bunch of cards that will just junk up your hand.

Final Thoughts: This is a fun two player game, and I do like it a lot. It's not my favorite, but it's small so I can take it anywhere to play and with the app, I can play by myself too.

7 out of 10 Stars 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Timeline Series Review

*2-8 Players
*About 15 Minutes
*Frederic Henry

Timeline is a game where each player is dealt 5 cards date side down. Then 1 card gets flipped date side up in the middle of the table and each player goes one at a time picking where they think their card goes. Then they flip the card over and if they are right it stays in the timeline, and if not, it gets discarded and they get a new card. The first person to get all 5 of their cards placed in the timeline correctly wins.

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I like to play with 3-5 players.

Favorite Version And Why: Historical Events and Americana, because they are things I can actually pull from memory or the pictures on the cards.

Least Favorite Version And Why: Inventions, because I struggle knowing when something may have actually been invented.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like the visual of making an actual historical timeline.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I like the simple art that they convey for the events.

Strategies: If you don't know when something goes then try it first because their will be less cards to try and get yours to fit into the line. Also look at the picture on the card to see if you can get any clues of where it might fit into the line.

Final Thoughts: I am not good at history, but it makes me think, so I have grown to like the games more.

6 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 2 players! I'm really bad with dates, so the fewer people there are adding cards, the better for me.

Favorite Version And Why: If I ever get the chance to play the Star Wars one or the Music and Cinema one, I might like them best, just because those are the kinds of things I might have a better idea on dates for.

Least Favorite Version And Why: Don't really have one, so far I have been equally bad at all of them.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I think this is a great idea... for people who are good with dates and trivia about stuff. The concept of building a timeline and having to remember when stuff happened can be a great learning tool.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: Don't really have one.

Strategies: I am terrible at remembering dates or connecting when things happened to other things that happened around the same time. So if there are any that I know for sure, then I save them for last, so I have a better chance at getting the harder cards out of my hand first.

Final Thoughts: This can be a good learning tool and a fun game for people who are good at this kind of thing. Unfortunately for me, I have played this game either with people who have played it more and are more likely to remember some of the cards, or people who are really good with dates, so I don't have any chance at all of winning, and honestly, that takes away from my enjoyment in this game.

5 out of 10 Stars 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Patchwork Review

*Ages 8+
*2 Players
*15-30 Minutes
*Uwe Rosenberg
*App Available

Patchwork is a puzzle style 2 player game about making a quilt. You start the game with 5 buttons, which are used as currency and an empty quilt board. The time tracker board is placed in the middle and you place all the patch pieces around the board (like shown above) in a random order. You place the spool meeple right after the smallest 2 block patch piece. Then you take turns buying from the 3 pieces clock wise from the spool meeple around the circle using your buttons and moving your time marker on the time tracker board. When you pass a button on the time tracker board, you count the number of buttons on your quilt and get that many from the supply. When you are the first to pass a patch on the board you pick it up and put in on your quilt. You take turns buying pieces and moving your time marker on the time tracker board until you make it to the center and then the game is over. You score the game by counting up your remaining buttons, then count up all your quilt's empty squares and times that number by two, then subtract that number for your button total, then if you were the first player able to fill a complete 7x7 square on your board, add an extra 7 points to your total.The player with the higher score wins.

Amber's Thoughts:
Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that if you pass, you get the number of buttons equal to the number of squares you pass.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The art is very simple, but I like the look of the pieces and how it reminds me of like old baby blanket scraps.

Strategies: I try and buy pieces with lots of buttons, so when I pass a button I get more back. I also try and take more odd shaped pieces early in the game and straighter line pieces towards the end. But this doesn't always happen, because it all depends on how many buttons you have to pay for pieces.

Final Thoughts: I love Tetris, so this game appeals to the puzzle side of games that I like. I think it is a great two player game, and is super easy to teach a non-gamer.

8 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I really like the puzzle aspect of trying to figure out which pieces to buy and where to put them in your quilt for the best score at the end of the game.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The quilt theme is okay, but not really my thing, I do enjoy that the pieces remind me of playing Tetris, which is a video game that I love.

Strategies: Getting pieces with lots of buttons on them, but also I always try and get that 7x7 square bonus.

Final Thoughts: This is a fun puzzle game that is easy enough that my kids love it and play it with me. I also love that this is an app that I can play on my own without all the set up.

7 out of 10 Stars 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Our Top Ten Gateway Games

When introducing board games to a person who doesn't really play board games, you can't just go and throw them straight into a game like Twilight Imperium. You need to start them off on what board gamers like to call gateway games, or games for beginners. Here are some of our favorite games to pull out when introducing new people to the fun of board games. (As always, click the name of any game to go to it's boardgamegeek page and learn more about it.)


Amber: Patchwork: A lot of people understand the concept of Tetris, so putting all the pieces together on a "quilt" is a pretty fun twist on the old game. I also like the fact that it takes some visual skills to look at a piece and decide if it is a good piece to fit in the spot you have.
Shannon: Shadows Over Camelot: This game is one of the first cooperative games that I learned how to play. It's the lowest one on my list, because it's one I bring out AFTER I've brought out and taught a few other games first, but this one is one of the first ones that I want to teach. 


Amber: Lanterns: This game is an easy teach/learn game because you are just matching colors and hoping to lineup more than 1 for extra cards. I also think it is easy to understand the scoring.
Shannon: King of Tokyo: This game is nice, because it's a lot of fun, the different characters are cute, and it's easy enough for beginner's to catch on to what's happening. It's a fun way to get them to think about how other's actions will affect them.


Amber: Timeline: I like this game in small doses. I am not a huge History buff so I enjoy the challenge to remember dates but, after a few rounds, I can't think straight about when things happened. But for people who love history or remember dates well, it is a fun one to teach and play.
Shannon: Tsuro: This game is simple to teach. All you have to do is lay down tiles and follow the path they take, it helps beginners learn to think ahead. 


Amber: Codenames:I like this one for new gamers that are word game people. I think it has a lot of good twists from other word games out there.
Shannon: Dixit: This is a great game to pull out during a game night with lots of people. Give them an example and most people catch on pretty quickly and have a lot of fun.


Amber: Happy Salmon: This one is GREAT for a small group of new gamers and it is fun and chaotic, which only adds to the experience. I think because it is just knowing the 4 cards that can come up and that it takes like 2 minutes to play a round gets newer gamers to say yeah I will give it a try even if they would normally say no.
Shannon: Codenames: Another one that's good with a bigger group, or even when you have a small group. Most people can catch on to this one pretty quickly.


Amber:  Forbidden Desert: I like this one a lot for beginners because I enjoy them having to think differently in a game as a team working against the desert. I like Forbidden Island for this reason too.
Shannon: Takenoko: Let's be honest, the cute theme on this game will draw a lot of people to it, and it's an easy enough strategy game that even beginner players can play. 


Amber: Love Letter: This one is easy to teach but not always a theme that they can connect too. I have been asked when teaching it, why does it matter who wrote the letter to the princess.
Shannon: Rise of Augustus: This one is a favorite with beginner's that we have taught games to. It's got that fun bingo element with enough strategy that makes it more than just luck.


Amber: King of Tokyo : My husband and I have taught this game to multiple people from age 6 to age 60+ and really who doesn't like punching their friends or being a crazy monster!
Shannon: Forbidden Island: This is probably my favorite cooperative game to teach to new players. It's an easier cooperative game that is also very simple to teach. And you can help coach people along until they understand what they are doing.


Amber: Ticket to Ride : It is hard not to put this one close to the top for me because it is one of my favorite games of all time! But it is an easy game that can be taught pretty easily, you need to make your trains go from point A to point B, by drawing and playing cards.
Shannon: Sushi Go!: When I want to teach someone how to play a card drafting game, this is my go to game. It's fun, cute, quick, and simple to teach!


Amber: Dixit : I feel like this is a great gateway game for people because the concepts are not to far from other more common games. Also the art work is a great conversation starter and why you gave that clue for that picture!
Shannon: Love Letter: This is just one of my favorite games period, and the fact that it's simple enough to teach to beginners makes it even better. I love teaching this game to everyone that I can, and I do!

Monday, August 21, 2017

7 Wonders Review

*Ages 10 +
*2-7 Players
*About 30 Minutes
*Card Drafting
*Antoine Bauza

7 Wonders is a card drafting game created by Antoine Bauza, that is played over three rounds/ages. Each player is dealt a deck of cards for each age, 6 coins, and a starting board. Starting with their Age 1 decks, players pick a card to keep and pass their cards in the direction shown on the back of the cards. Then everyone plays their cards and picks a card from their new deck. This continues until each player has only two cards to choose from. One is played and one is placed in a discard pile in the center of the table. Players then see who has the most in military points against their neighbors and win victory points, or gain losses accordingly. This process repeats for all three ages in the game. There are several different types of cards in this game, resources that help you build other cards and your wonders, science cards that are points at the end of the game that give you more for sets or multiples, military cards, Civilian card which are just point cards, or commercial cards which can be resources, money, or points. Players can also use their resources to build the wonders on the bottom of their boards for points or other various rewards. At the end of the third Age, you calculate your total score and the player with the highest points wins.

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I have played this game mainly as a 4 player game, a couple of times as a 3 or 5. So I would say I am partial to the 4 player because that is what I am used too. 

Favorite Board And Why: I like a lot of the boards in general, but I have 3 favorite sides Ephesos side B, Great Wall side A, and Alexandria side B. I like Ephesos because I feel like I am short on coins and building it's wonders gives me money! I like Great Wall because you can build your wonders in whatever order you want and that it gives you an extra science at the end of the game. I like Alexandria because it gives you a choice of resources during the game. 

Least Favorite Board And Why: My least favorite is Abu Simbel because I don't like entombing a leader for points. 

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I believe a LOT of 7 Wonders mechanics are great! Like the way it flows for the base game, and the 2 expansions I talk about below. I think the game has lots of ways to win using Military, Civilian, money, military, and science. I also like the balance that if you straight up go for just Military, Civilian, money military, or sciences you aren't guaranteed to win.

Expansion I like and dislike: I really like Cities or Leaders. I like Cities because it adds some good "cities" cards that allow you to copy another player's card at the end of the game and some of the cards are like Commercial in that they can help you with resources. I like Leaders because I like that leaders can give an extra objective to be playing for to give you more victory points. I personally like these cities cards and leaders. I dislike Babel. I like the idea of Babel, getting tiles and building a wall or great projects is cool. But I find myself wanting to do so many other things in the game that the tiles/projects just fall to the side for me. I think Babel brings more chaos to the game and not in a good way for me.  

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I like the art on each board because it fits the name of the board. 

Strategies: I like to go for Science mainly, but I have found it isn't always the best way to win, so you need to mix in some Civilian, Military, and Commercial cards. Also try to keep in mind if you are playing with Leaders what your Leaders do to help you get more victory points. 

Final Thoughts: 7 Wonders was one of my gateway into board gaming games. It is one my husband really likes and I think it is a solid game, probably in my top 25. It doesn't normally make my lets play list because Shannon owns it and they have a lot of games so it just doesn't pop to my brain. It is definitely a game that when it is out on the table I enjoy it whether I win or lose. 

8 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I tend to like have a smaller group, no more than four, when playing this game so I get to pick more cards out of the same hand more than once or twice.

Favorite Board And Why: I honestly can't think of a favorite board. I usually focus more on the cards than the boards, and when I can, I play lots of science cards.

Least Favorite Board And Why: Maybe the Catan expansion board. I just don't find myself upset when I get any particular board.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like the card drafting part of this, but sometimes I feel like there's just so many different types of cards to decide between that I don't always plan my picks out well enough.

Expansions I Like And Dislike: I really do enjoy the leaders and cities expansions. We always play with those two expansions in the game. I also don't mind the two expansions from Babel. Sometimes they make it feel like there's a whole lot going on at once, but I'm okay with that. Since I'm more the type of person to play to have fun and not sit and overthink every move I make, it's nice for me to have the Babel expansion put into the game every now and then, because it messes with the people I usually play with's strategies.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: My favorite artwork in this game are some of the promo cards that we have received!

Strategies: Honestly it always depends on the board that I have. I try to make a plan on what goes good with my board, but usually there's always at least one other person at the table going for the same thing. Also I usually try to get as much science as I can.

Final Thoughts: This game is fun, but I lose... a lot. This is one of those games, where I'm not as competitive as the other people I usually play with so I don't spend a lot of my time trying to figure out how to block what they are doing.

8 out of 10 Stars 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Nevermore Review

*Ages 14+
*3-6 Players
*About 45-60 Minutes
*Card Drafting/Take That
*Curt Covert

In Nevermore, you start off the game with five health point and a Shadow Magick card that can help you later in the game. You are dealt a hand of five card, where you pick two cards to keep and pass the other three cards to the player in the direction indicated on the dealer token in the middle of the table, then you repeat that process and keep three cards and pass two, and finally you keep four cards and pass one. This gives you your hand of cards for that round. First the dealer asks if anyone was able to get A Conspiracy of Ravens, which means that they collected five raven cards, if a player has managed to do so, everyone discards their cards with no further actions being taken and that player earns a victory point. If no one has A Conspiracy of Ravens, then the rest of the cards are then played in a random order determined by the four matching tiles being shuffled and placed in a line upside down. One at a time, they are flipped over and their cards are carried out. (Heart cards are worth health, Knife cards are attack, Radiance cards are worth Light Magick cards, and Victory cards are worth victory points.) An example of how this happens would be if a player had 4 attack cards in their hand and another player had three, then it would be a total of one attack they could make. (The highest number minus the next highest is how much the player with the highest gets.) This happens with all the cards. If a player has any Raven cards in their hand, they must play them with other cards from their hand to cancel them out. (Example a player plays three Victory cards and two Raven cards, then those Ravens cancel out two of their Victory cards and they only have one Victory card in play.) If a player has more Ravens then they had other cards and have Ravens left at the end, they get a Shadow Magick card per leftover Raven. If any player loses all five of their health over the course of the game, they become a Raven and cannot win until they can turn themselves into a human again. They can do so by either collecting a set of five of the same card, or one of each card in the game. The game ends when one human player gets six victory points.

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I have only played this as a 4 player, but it works well this way.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I love card drafting. I love trying to figure out what to collect to get victory points. I also really like that when you lose all your health, you are not eliminated from the game. You still get to play, and you still have a chance to get back in the game and win.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: All of it! I love this style of darker artwork!

Strategies: Honestly, I know other people I play with love going for the Dark and Light Shadow Magick cards, so I usually don't bother with those and try to get points in other ways so I'm not competing to collect the same cards.

Final Thoughts: I really like this game. It's a theme that I love, and I love the card drafting part, and even the take that part is not bad since no one is ever truly out of the game. I have the expansion for this one and I can't wait to try it out.

8 out of 10 Stars

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 4 is all I have played with as of right now.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I LOVE COLLECTING THE FIVE RAVENS, I am notorious for trying to collect all the ravens. I have got 5 ravens in like 80% of the games I have played. In fact, the first time we played the game I got 5 ravens and said what happens now? I was just excited to have gotten 5 ravens in one hand. I like drafting, but the mind games of what to pass and keep is something I dislike because of the overthinking.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I like the simple art and dark colors of the cards.

Strategies: I have 2 main strategies. First one you can probably guess GO FOR THE RAVENS. Second try and get as many light and shadow magick cards as possible. 

Final Thoughts: First opinion, reading through the rules felt overwhelming, but then when playing it was easy to pick up. I got 5 ravens during our first game, so even though I lost, I was very excited and felt very powerful. I am not big on the cut throat feel. I personally am not a fan of playing dirty, and some of the magick cards can be very mean.

5 out of 10 Stars 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Ice Cool Review

*Ages 6+
*2-4 Players
*About 20 Minutes
*Brian Gomez

Ice Cool is a dexterity game where you are trying to keep your penguin away from the catcher. The catcher starts anywhere in the kitchen (the room on the top left). Taking turns each player who is not the catcher places their penguin in the school room (bottom right room) on the red dot and then flicks their penguin one time. Ideally you are trying to get your penguin out of that room through a door to collect all your penguin's fish that are above the three doorways. When you get through a door with your fish above it you collect a fish card from the draw stack. Once each runner has had a turn flicking, then the catcher gets one turn to flick their penguin to try and catch the other players. If the catcher catches a player (hit their penguin into another penguin) they take their ID card. The round ends when the catcher has all the other player's ID cards, or one person has gotten through each door to collect all three of their fish. Then you get to draw a fish card for each ID you have. Once everyone has had one turn being the catcher the game is over and you count up all your points on the fish cards and the person with the most wins.

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 3 or 4 players, never played with just 2 people. 

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that there is almost no prior skill needed to flick a penguin around a board. Some times you flick good and some times it hurts your finger and you don't flick good.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I really like the character cards, or as the kids I play with call them your license or ID.

Strategies: If someone else flicked before you go towards a different room so the catcher has to choose who to go after. Try your best to line up your flick with a door to collect your fish. Also if you get ice skates and you are in the room with the catcher and haven't lost your ID, USE THE ICE SKATES AND TRY TO GET OUT!

Final Thoughts: Laugh a lot, be silly, and have fun. Because it is a kids game and you should enjoy it win or lose. 

7 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With:  I like this game with at least 3 or 4 people.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike:  I enjoy that this game gets my kids up and moving around a little bit while they play. Though sometimes it can make everyone's fingers hurt from flicking the penguins so much!

Favorite Art Or Pieces:  I really love the wobbly little penguins in this game.

Strategies: Honestly, it doesn't do me a whole lot of good to have a strategy in this game. My penguin usually doesn't go where I want it to go, so I just have fun when I play this game, and I don't overthink it. It's just a fun game to play with my kids.

Final Thoughts: This game is a great game to play with kids. It's easy to learn, and just a lot of fun to play.

7 out of 10 Stars

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sushi Go! Review

*Ages 8+
*2-5 Players
*About 15 Minutes
*Card Drafting
*Phil Walker-Harding
*Game App Available

Sushi Go! is a cute card drafting game! Each player starts with a hand of cards (The number of cards depends on the number of players) which they then pick one card from that hand and pass it on to the next player. You continue to take a card and pass the remaining cards on to the next player until all cards have been taken. Then you tally up how many points you made that round. Each card has a different point value and some of them have special conditions that must be met to earn points. (ex. you need 3 Sashimi to score 10 points, Wasabi will triple the points of the next nigiri card placed on it, etc. ) The game is played in three rounds. Each round, after scoring, all cards (except pudding cards) are discarded and a new set of cards are passed out to each player. At the end of three rounds, the points from all the rounds are added together, then the player with the most pudding is awarded 6 points (in the case of a tie, the points are split evenly between players) and the player with the least amount of pudding gets -6 points (again, with a tie the negative points are split between players.). The player with the most points wins.

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I have played them all and love them all. This is a great game no matter what number of people you have.

Favorite Card And Why: I love the Sashimi when you can get three of them, after that I really like getting the dumplings.

Least Favorite Card And Why: Pudding! I usually end up with none and I have to account for that with the points that I get.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I love the card drafting part of this! I'm not the biggest fan of collecting puddings, because they can feel like wasted cards during the first two rounds, but I understand why they are there.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: All the cards in this game are adorable, so I love them all!

Strategies: If I think I can get three sashimi I will go for those. Otherwise, just seeing what I think I can get the most points in based on what's out there and what I know the people I'm playing with will take.

Final Thoughts: This game is so cute and it's easy too. My youngest is only 7 and she's been playing this game for years already. Plus it's so small that we can easily take it with us to play anywhere! I really enjoy card drafting games and I love that this is one that my kids can play with me.

8 out of 10 Stars

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: Definitely 3-4 people.

Favorite Card And Why: I love the wasabi, squid nigiri, tempura, and sashimi. Wasabi because it straight up triples the next piece of nigiri play on it. Squid Nigiri because it is the single stand alone most valued card in the deck. Tempura and Sashimi because, yes you have to collect 2-3 of them to get the points, but both are great points per card. 

Least Favorite Card And Why: Dumplings probably. Dumplings, because I feel like I can never get them to pay off for me.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like the chop sticks cards, but at the same time getting stuck with one at the end I don't like, so that is not cool, but part of the game. I like that it is a good card drafting learning game. 

Favorite Art Or Pieces: Not sure I have one, but I over all like the simple take on the happy food.

Strategies: Start collecting tempura and sashimi early in the round. If you see a wasabi or squid nigiri take it first, don't pass it! They can both be valuable points. And try to get at least one pudding, you don't have to get the most to win, but you don't want to have the least. 

Final Thoughts: Over all fun short game. Great for beginners or a good gateway game to teach. Fun way to learn drafting and simple to pick up for most people. I also like the size, it is a game we sometimes take to a coffee shop to play while we drink.

7 out of 10 Stars 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

New Games Weekend #2

For this New Games Weekend, we decided to head back over to our local game store that we went to during ITTD. It was a lot of fun getting to go out to a game store and learn to play new games, and we look forward to doing it again. They have a few small and several big games on our wish list that we want to try before purchasing.

Friday Night

Flag Dash- We started off with a smaller game that we hoped would be an easy one to learn. Flag Dash is like Capture the Flag in board game form. You are moving your team members around on the board to take the other team's flag back to your side before they get your team's flag to their side. 
Shannon- This game was okay, but I don't see myself buying it. I think it may be more fun as a four player game.
Amber-I liked the way each player uses a number token with bonuses to figure out the play order and that each character had a special ability. This is a game I had thought in the past might be a good game to add to the collection, because it could be an end of the night shorter game, or as a 2 player against my step daughter. But after trying it out, I think it could be good for a 4 player game, but isn't going to be one of my top picks to buy or play. 

DC Comics Deck Building Game- Next up, we played this DC deck builder. We own the Legendary Marvel deck builder, and we wanted to see how the two compared. In the DC Comics Deck-Building Game, each player is given a starting hero card that has a unique special ability, and you are building your deck to defeat the super villain deck. 
Shannon- I enjoyed playing this game, but I still prefer Legendary Marvel to this one. If I end up buying this one, it will be because I love the heroes from the DC Comics world.
Amber- I know more Marvel Heroes, so I tried to go into this game open minded. I liked having a starting character (Green Lantern) because I got a different special than Shannon (Batman). But over all I still think I lean towards Marvel with the nice board, city, and head quarters. I think this game has potential from what other people have said with the expansions, but it isn't one I feel like I have to own right now. 

Five Tribes- We ended our night playing Five Tribes with another guy who wanted to play.  In Five Tribes you are biding for turn order, then choosing a square tile and picking up all the meeples to then distribute to adjacent tiles. Depending on what meeple you place last and what the tile does depends on what effect happens next. You may get to keep the elders, assassinate another meeple, buy a card, or place palm tree/palace/camel. 
Shannon- This was my favorite game that we learned this weekend. It is one that I have thought about buying before, (I even have the ITTD Wil Wheaton card) but I was not 100% sure it would be one that I would like until after playing. It is definitely higher up on my Wishlist list now.
Amber- I really liked Five Tribes. It is one that my husband had put on a wishlist a while back. I think turns could be over thought, like in lots of games. But I think the good balance to that is bidding for turn order because if there is a move you really want, then you need to out bid the other players. I was confused for most of the game on how the blue meeples scored, and passed up some points on placement of camels because I miss understood a rule. Over all I could see Shannon or I adding this to our collection at some point. 

Saturday Night

Eldritch Horror- Saturday night, we jumped right in with a more complicated game right off. This one took us both a while to figure out how to set up and play. Eldritch Horror is a horror themed cooperative game, were you are moving around the Earth trying to take out monsters. Each player takes 2 actions, then hass an encounter, and last the monster gets a turn. 
Amber- I really liked Eldritch Horror. I was unsure at first about the Horror theme, since I do not like Horror or scary moves. But it wasn't anything worse than games like Ghost Stories. I did feel slightly over whelmed with opening the box and seeing so many cards big and small, tokens, player cards, and 2 rule books (1 ended up being a reference guide), but once it was set up, it wasn't more going on then in games like Robinson Crusoe or Pandemic. I think this is one I want to try again with 4 players. I liked all of the action options you had to choose from and how there were always like 3-5 actions I wanted to take but had to decided what 2 actions were most important for right now. I also like that the encounters were a separate action so I felt like I got to do more to help defeat the monster.  
Shannon- Once we figured out what we were doing in this game, it was a lot of fun to play. This one is the one that surprised me the most this weekend, because I really didn't think I would enjoy it, and I ended up really liking this one. I'm still a little unsure if I want to buy this game though, because there are just so many expansions for it.

Coup- Next we wanted to go for a smaller and easier to learn game so we grabbed Coup to learn. Coup is a card game where you are dealt 2 cards and you claim you are a certain character to get there reward. You do not have to be that character, but no one gets to know if you are telling the truth or not unless they challenge you. 
Amber- I liked the game but felt like I lost pretty fast. So I would like to try this game again but with 4 players before truly deciding whether to buy it or not. I think as a 4 player game it would be better because you would have more people to challenge or help you feel like the situation of whether that person could be that character or not. I liked the art of the character cards. 
Shannon- I have debated buying this game many times, but I never have because it's one that relies on bluffing. I do not have a good poker face, so I usually do not do well with these kinds of games. I really enjoyed this one though and I may have to go ahead and pick up a copy.

Geek Out- We ended out night with Geek Out. We wanted to learn one more game that would be easy to just pick up and play. In Geek Out you flip a card and roll a colored dice then you read the question on the card. Then you go around the table to bid on who can name the most of that category. 
Amber- I felt pretty good about Geek Out when I won the first 2 cards, but then I got a -2 and did not get another card! HaHa It was fun, and if I was going to add a party style game, I would consider this one. But we don't do a lot of gaming with more than 5 players. I also do not feel like I know enough of the "geek" stuff that was coming up...
Shannon- This game was fun, I thought it was going to be easier than what it was, but it was harder to remember everything when under pressure to remember. 

We had a lot of fun this weekend learning more new games. Click the link to any game to learn more about it at the BoardGameGeek website. Remember you can follow us, share this post, and/or let us know which of these games you like or don't like!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rise Of Augustus Review

*Ages 8+
*2-6 Players
*About 30 Minutes
*Card Drafting/Set Collecting
*Paolo Mori

Rise of Augustus has a bingo style element of pulling tiles from a bag that you call out and players mark the matching symbol on their cards. Each player starts with three card and seven meeples, and each card has a different set of symbols to cover, and a majority have special abilities or benefits (like getting an extra meeple, getting to have an extra card, or making others destroy one card). When you complete a card you say "Ave Caesar!" and if more than one person finishes a card at one time, then the player who completed the lower number cards picks a new card first. You can get bonuses for being the first to complete a set of 3 of the same color, or one of each color. You can also get bonuses for being the one to have completed the most cards with wheat or gold on them. Also, you can take a bonus card for the amount of cards that you have completed, but you only get one of the bonus cards, so once you take one you can't get another one even if you finish another card. The first person to get 7 cards completed ends the game, and everyone totals their score, highest number of points wins.

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I enjoy playing with 3-6 players

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like the different symbols and the theme. I don't always like that each card has a number and it felt like the first like 10 times I played the game, I would lose a bonus because someone else had a lower card number than I, so they would grab the bonus.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I like the simple theme drawn on the cards.

Strategies: Try to pick cards that are lower numbered and give you the most points. There isn't really a great strategy that I have found due to the odds of pulling out tiles from a bag.

Final Thoughts: Over all my husband and step daughter like the game more than me. It can be a simple game to teach new gamers or a younger group of gamers.

6 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I have not played this one with only two people, but I do enjoy this with pretty much every other number of players. I think this is one that is good with whatever number you play with.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I do enjoy the bingo-like aspect of this game. It can be frustrating when the tiles you want aren't getting pulled out of the bag though.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I'm a fan of unique meeples, so I like the meeples in this game.

Strategies: If I can, I get an easy to finish, low point card done first so I have a card that I won't be upset to get rid of if someone has a card that makes me destroy a card. After that, it's just trying to make sure you get cards that play off each other. I don't want to take a card that lets me put two meeples on daggers if I don't have at least one other card that has a dagger on it.

Final Thoughts: This game is fun, and it's easy enough that I can teach it to beginner gamers. My kids also love this one, so it's also a good family game.

7 out of 10 Stars 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Space Alert Review

*Ages 12+
*1-5 Players
*About 30 Minutes
*Vlaada Chvatil
*Mission Generator App Available

Space Alert is a real time cooperative game. There is a board in the middle of the table representing your space ship. Each player is given a player board to play their action cards on. This game requires either a cd player, download, or app to play a ten minute segment. The segment will tell you when you put out threat cards, draw another card, pass a card to another player, and when each phase ends. There are three phases, in each phase you lay down cards to either 1) move or 2) preform certain actions. All these cards are played face down. At the end of the ten minute segment, you then go through each step of each phase one at a time and see what everyone actually did.

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 4 or 5. I like having more people to help get everything done. I have tried this as a solo game and as a two player and there's just too much going on, that I like having more people to help take care of things, or it's just too hectic and crazy.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I love the craziness of this game. People are quickly trying to figure out what they need to do when, and it can get very hectic, but that's what I love about it. Also, I love that all your cards are placed face down, so you don't know if everyone actually did what you think they did until the very end.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The components in this game are well made.

Strategies: Try to listen to what everyone is saying. Have different people be in charge of certain things so it's a little easier to know who is doing what.

Final Thoughts: This game is a lot of crazy fun! I have enjoyed it every time we set it out to play. Even when we lose or one person plays something wrong that makes us lose, it's still fun, so I don't mind losing. And it's quick to play. Though I will say you need to be in the right mood sometimes because of it's hectic pace!

8 out of 10 Stars

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I prefer 4, I haven't tried with 3 people, but I did play with Shannon as a 2 player and did not enjoy trying to run my person and help with 2 bots.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that each person gets a special gold card. I like that each mission is different from it being internal/external threat, serious/regular threat, and the number of threats that come during the round. I dislike personally having to pick up the bots and/or go into the interceptors. 

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I like the look of the ship, I think it looks colorful and simple. 

Strategies: Make sure someone does jiggles the mouse, and try to count out when thing will hit the different axis. Try to talk through with your team who is getting what. 

Final Thoughts: I love the 10 minutes of chaos, then you replay the game to find out if you really won or died. I feel like the game has great replay value with all the cards and mission recordings.

8 out of 10 Stars  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Dixit Review

*Ages 6+
*3-12 Players Depending on which version
*About 30 Minutes
*Jean-Louis Roubira

Dixit is a party game all about beautiful artwork. You start with a hand of 6 cards. On your turn you say a word or phrase (or a sound or song lyric) to represent one of the cards in your hand. Everyone else looks in their hand and finds a card that goes along with what you said. Those cards are shuffled and laid out along a number track and everyone votes in secret which card they think is yours. You get points if, at least, one person guesses your card right, but be careful because if no one guesses your card right, or if everyone guesses it right, then everyone else gets points but not you. During other players turns, you get points for guessing the active players cards and for playing a card that gets votes during the voting phase. First player to 30 points is the winner.

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 5-8 players, I have played with 3 and I prefer not too because I feel like the game works better with more people.

Mechanics I Like: I like that the story teller is not limited to just words, but can make a sound, sing, or use words.

Mechanics I Dislike: As a 3-4 player game I feel like the game doesn't work as smoothly because when there are only 5 cards out there and 1 is the story tellers, it is an easier game.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The cards! That is an obvious one, but these are the specific cards.

I also love that some of the cards remind me of other games, movies, and video games:
white bunny- Mario, Zelda, PacMan, green bunny- Monsters Inc. yellow bunny-Forbidden Desert, pink bunny- Harry Potter, blue bunny- The Truman Show, orange bunny- Bed Knobs and Broom Sticks, and grey bunny- Labyrinth

Strategies: Try to find a story for a card that 1-2 people will get but not everyone. Or sometimes if it is a newer group I am playing with give very general clues so then someone will get it but not everyone.

Final Thoughts: It is one of the better group games. Also it is a good game to pull out for beginning board gamers.

7 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I love playing this with a big group. The more people play, the more clue choices that you can give.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I love the concept of this game. Giving out vague clues to try to get people to guess your card is just a lot of fun to me.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: These cards are some of my favorites, along with the bunny meeples!

Strategies: Sometimes you have to play to only one or two people at the table, but I try not to play to only one person very much. And also not to play to the same person the whole game so everyone else will have fun playing with you.

Final Thought: This game is a lot of fun, and it's easy for people to pick up and play.

8 out of 10 Stars