Sunday, December 31, 2017

Amber's 2017 Board Game Challenge Wrap Up

HAPPY 2018!
I made it! It is the end of the year! :D I haven't entered as many giveways since August, so no wins there...

Random Questions:
Favorite New Games I Played in 2017: Stone Age, Potion Explosion, and Sagrada

Least Favorite Game I Played in 2017: Jim Henson's The Labyrinth

Most Played Game(s) of 2017: Probably the One Night Ultimate Werewolf series

Total Number Of Games Played In 2017: I have played 142 different games this year.

Total Number Of People I played with in 2017: 30 people.

Number Of Different Locations Played in 2017: 12 places

Challenge #1 Play 7 games in a week

This quarter has been WAY more difficult with holidays and being busy in general. BUT I DID IT! I played at least 7 games each week! I am excited to say I have played 141 different games since January! :D Shannon and I both got so many COOL new games that I am looking forward to playing in 2018.

(this is page 2, you can see page 1 on our halway through 2017 challenge)

Challenge #2 10x10 Board Game Challenge

I have now played 100% of the games for this challenge. And a few more than 10 times, like Lost Cities and Mechs vs Minions. I finished on December 16th. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Shannon's 2017 Board Game Challenge Wrap Up

I have had a lot of fun this year learning new games and playing games I already know and love. Having two board game challenges this year, and also starting a blog, have added a whole new layer of fun to my gaming this year. I'm really excited to start a new set of challenges in 2018. (I'm getting this out a couple of days early, so some of these stats may be off by the end of the year.)

Random Questions:

Favorite New Game(s) I Played in 2017: Mystic Vale, Zombiecide Black Plague, and Parade

Least Favorite Game(s) I Played In 2017: Jim Henson's The Labyrinth

Most Played Game(s) of 2017: Currently the One Night Ultimate Werewolf series

Number Of Games Learned In 2017: I learned 55 games this year.

Number Of Games Acquired In 2017: My family acquired 38 new games and expansions this year.

Total Number Of Games Played In 2017: I have played 176 different games this year.

Challenge #1 Play Through Your Collection Board Game Challenge

I have currently played 120 of our 192 games. That leaves me with 72 more to play over 2018, and I still need to learn how to play 28 of them. I still feel confident that I can get this challenge done by the end of 2018. I have enjoyed how this challenge has shown me that not all of our games get the attention they deserve and I have also gotten rid of 10 games that I do not like and do not want to play any more.

Challenge #2 10x10 Board Game Challenge

I finished my 10x10 challenge on December 16th. I enjoyed this challenge a lot, and it helped me to learn the types of games that my family and friends like playing the most.

2017 was a great year of board gaming for me. I learned a lot of new games and played lots of favorite games. I had a lot of fun with my Board Game Challenges and I cannot wait to start on my 2018 Board Game Challenges. I hope you all have enjoyed following me on my journey through Board Games during 2017 and will join me again during 2018!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Top Ten Games We Want To Get In 2018

Here are the top ten games that we hope to get in 2018. Click the name of any game to find out more about it on the BoardGameGeek webiste!

Amber- Confession: I LOVE BOARD GAMES, but I really feel like the last 2 months I haven't got to play as many games. So it is sometimes a phase I go through where I don't want to add a lot of new games to the collection just for them to not get played much or to neglect my current games. So coming up with my ten was difficult because I have been trying to not look at as many new games...
Shannon- I decided not to add my Kickstarter game since I have already purchased it and just won't be receiving it until 2018. I have ordered RWBY Combat Ready on Kickstarter and I am super excited to get this game in 2018 as it combines board games and RWBY which I both love!


Shannon: Mystic Vale Expansions- There are currently three expansions for Mystic Vale out, Mana Storm, Vale of Magic, and Vale of the Wind, and I am excited to get any or all of these expansions to play soon.
Amber: Photosynthesis- This is a BEAUTIFUL Game! I love trees and nature and add in strategy, this game looks AWESOME! 


Shannon: Custom Heroes- This is another card game where you build your cards as you play, and after playing and loving Mystic Vale this last year I decided to add this one to my wishlist. 
Amber: Santorini- This is a game that when it pops up on my instagram, I think I want to play it. I like the theme and components. Plus the temple buildings look so COOL!


Shannon: Apocrypha- This is a cooperative game with a slightly creepy look to it, and I love this type of art style. 
Amber: An Unlock gameI like the idea of this game. I fear it will not be very re-playable, even if we play it with different groups. So it is lower on my list. I got 1 for Christmas, but I would like Mystery Adventures, The Nautilus' Traps, and The Formula. :D 


Shannon: Dungeon Draft- Another card drafting game that I would love to own and play. I just love card drafting games. They are becoming one of my favorite game mechanics to play.  
Amber: Scoville - I think this was on my 2017 list. And over time I still want it, but there have been other games that I have wanted more, so it gets passed over. Though I still want it.


Shannon: Hotshots- I am a big fan of Flash Point: Fire Rescue, but not everyone in my gaming group is a fan of that game, so when I saw this game I thought it would be a good game that was similar enough for me to love but different enough that my game group would love it too.
Amber: New York Slice It is such a simple fun game. I think it would be a good add to my collection because ANYONE could play it with me. Gamer or nongamer.


Shannon: Near And Far- I love storytelling games like this. I played Above And Below last year and would love to get this game next. 
Amber:  Cities of SplendorI LOVE splendor. It is such a simple game, and every video I have watched about the expansion makes me want it more and more!!


Shannon: Century: Golem Edition- When I first started seeing pictures of Century Spice Roads pop up on the internet, it didn't catch my attention and I didn't really give it a good look, but when I saw this version, I was interested and found out that it is a card drafting game which I really love.
Amber: Stone Age-The ExpansionStone Age might be my favorite worker placement game I own. So the expansion would be an add that would make since to me.


Shannon: First Martians- This game was on my list last year, but I wasn't able to get a copy last year so I'm hoping that this year I can get a copy of this awesome looking cooperative game.
Amber:  UnEarth- I played this one this past fall and LOVED it! :D And now it is a HIGH priority for me to own, unless Shannon beats me to it ;)


Shannon: Roll Player- I love the thought that you have to create your hero as you play, and I love the drafting aspect of this game.
Amber: Quadropolis Public Services - I really like Quadropolis, it hasn't gotten as much play time as I would like right off. But I think the expansion would help the base game for my family.


Shannon: Mysterium: Secrets And Lies Expansion- I love playing Mysterium. It is still one of my favorite games that I own, so I can't wait to get another expansion for this game.
Amber: Queendomino- I really like that we have Kingdomino and I have heard great things about the expansion :D So I think it would be a good at to my collection. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Top 10 Games Of 2017

Today we're talking about our favorite games that we learned in 2017. These games are both new games and games that are just new to us, but all of which we first played this year. As always, if you want to learn more about any game we mention just click the name and the link will take you to it's BoardGameGeek page.


Amber: San Juan- I really like this game. It is a lot different than any of the other games we have which is nice for a change up.
Shannon: Five Tribes- When I first saw this game, I was not sure if I would like it or not. After playing it I found that I really did enjoy this game.


Amber: Code Name DuetsI like this game because I like Code Names but this is a great way for it to be 2 player game. Though my husband and I have not done great at the campaign...we don't always think the same way.
Shannon: One Deck Dungeon- I enjoy that this game can be played as a solo game but also as a two player cooperative game.


Amber: Happy Salmon- I like this game, though the chaos sometimes is OVERWHELMING to me. I like the simple and fast factor of the game. It is really fun for new non-gamers.
Shannon: Seven Dragons- This is a filler game that I bought pretty much based on the fact that it has a dragon theme. I love dragons, and this filler game is easy to learn and play and a lot of fun.


Amber: Tides of Madness- This was a game my husband picked out, and I wasn't sure about it right off. But I like it, it is a fun 2 player game. Plus the art of the game is super cool!
Shannon: Parade- I was not expecting much out of this game when I bought it. I had seen it online before and I picked it up when I saw it on sale one day thinking it would be another filler game for us, but I really enjoy this game.


Amber: Sagrada- This was a game that has always caught my attention on other's instagram pages, and then we found it at Books A Million for a good deal which was exciting. I wasn't sure about how the game would be, due to the dice rolling but the scoring and tool cards REALLY helped. 
Shannon: Stone Age- I am usually not a big fan of worker placement games, but this one really surprised me by how much I enjoyed it.


Amber: UnEarth- This was a fun game that Shannon and I got to try out of a friends. But neither of us own it as of right now. So I REALLY want to add it to my collection!
Shannon: Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle- This game may not be the best game ever, but playing it gave me all the feels that I get when I read the books or watch the movies, and that's really what made me love this game as much as I do.


Amber: Harry Potter Hogworts Battle- Being a BIG Harry Potter fan this game was really fun to learn. But I feel like a few of the mechanics need tweaking, which I hope is fixed with the expansion.
Shannon: Above And Below- I love the storytelling aspect of this game. I have always been intrigued by games with this mechanic and I am so glad that I finally got to play one this year.


Amber: Potion Explosion- I like Candy Crush. So this game is right up my alley! I like the planning of the marbles and picking the potions. 
Shannon: Zombicide Black Pague- This is one of those that surprised me when I played it. I did think I would like it before I played it, but I didn't know how much I was going to love it. Plus it's a cooperative game and I love coop games!


Amber: Quadropolis- This game hasn't hit our table as much as I would have liked this year, but it is a game I put out as an option quite frequently. I like the game because it is fun and I like building my own town and thinking how to make the lay out give me the most points. 
Shannon: Onirim- Onirim has become my go to app to play on my ipod. I love that this game is quick and easy and that I can play it as a solo game.


Amber: Stone Age This game we learned back on April 29th for International Table Top Day at our local game store. AND I LOVED IT and bought it on the same day! I believe it is an EXCELLENT worker placement game. I like the theme, the mechanics, and fun actions to build and collect materials. 
Shannon: Mystic Vale- I love this game! I really enjoying deck building and I love the aspect of building your cards as you play. I can't wait to play this game even more this coming year!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Update On 2017 Want To Buy List


Shannon: Cry Havoc and Scythe- I still have not purchased or played either of these games. Throughout the year I have found too many other games that have ended up taking priority for me that these two have fallen down lower on my wish list.
Amber: Blend Off: I got this game back in February. And I really like it. It is a fun and fast game of rolling and grabbing the fruit. I like that you can play it in less than 5 minutes and it is easy for non-gamers to pick up.


Shannon: Jamaica- This is another game that has fallen down lower on my wish list due to other games coming out that I have just wanted to get and play more. 
Amber: Scoville - I haven't gotten this game. It is still on my want list :D Maybe for Christmas or birthday :) 


Shannon: One Deck Dungeon- I got this game back in January and it was played a lot over the first half of the year, but I have not played it as much the second half of the year. I still really like this game and need to get back to playing it again. 
Amber: Patchwork- Got it!! :D I have really enjoyed having this game in our collection. I like Tetris and so does my mom, who is not a gamer so I like that she will play with me! Also I love playing it with my step daughter, sister, or husband!


Shannon: Mystic Vale- I recently traded Amber for this game earlier this month, and I'm so happy about it. I love this game, and I can't wait to play it more and get the expansions for it.      
Amber: Burgle Bros. - I haven't gotten this one either. I would still like it, I think. But there are also other games I want, so it has been moved down the list for now. 


Shannon: One Night Revolution- After doing a little more research on this game, we decided to stick with the One Night Ultimate Werewolf series instead of picking this one up.
Amber: Hero Realms- Shannon got this game so, we decided to pass on it for now. 


Shannon: Sub Terra- Sadly I did not pick this up when it was a kickstarter, so I am just waiting and hoping that I can buy it one day soon. 
Amber: Potion Explosion- I got this one for Mother's day! :D We have played it A LOT, and a few friends have borrowed it! We have even looked into a new marble catcher :D 


Shannon: Red Dragon Inn: Battle For Greyport- Got this game back in January too, sadly it is currently still sitting on my shelf of shame waiting to be played. I really hope to remedy that soon!
Amber: Pursuit of Happiness-  I got this for my birthday! :D I really like the game. It is a good worker placement game, but I find I die early! 


Shannon: Hero Realms- Another game that I picked up back in January. I have played this as the two player competitive version and I liked it and I look forward to picking up the expansion that turns it into a cooperative game. 
Amber: Quadropolis- I believe this was the other game I got for my birthday. :D My husband and step daughter NAILED the birthday gifts! :D I really like this game, I think I like the expert version the best straight out of the box :) I have the expansion on my wishlist for 2018!


Shannon: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle- I picked this game up in January also. (Can you guess which month my birthday is in?) I enjoyed playing this game very much. I have played through it as a four player game and as a two player game and I hope to play the expansion soon.
Amber: Happy Salmon- I got this game too! :D It was what I bought with some late Christmas money for a good deal :D This has been a great game to replace our game of pit. It is crazy, fast, and fun.


Shannon: First MartiansI am still super excited to buy this game, but since it came out so late in the year, I just haven't been able to buy it yet. Hopefully I will be able to pick this one up soon! 
Amber: Beyond Baker Street-  Shannon got me this game for my birthday. I really like this game and the challenge of not seeing your cards. Plus Shannon doesn't like to play Hanabi but she will play this one with me :D

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Colt Express Review

*Ages 10+
*2-6 Players
*About 30 Minutes
*Christophe Raimbault
*App Available

Colt Express is a Western themed Train game. Each player picks a character, takes the matching player action card deck, (each deck has the same number of each card), player bullet card deck, and bandit pawn. The train is made up of an engine and then train cars per number of players and a deck of 4 round cards and an train station card to make a round deck. Then at random you pick a first player and their pawn goes in the caboose, second player goes in the adjacent car to the caboose, third player goes in the caboose, and so on switching between caboose and adjacent car. Then everyone draws 6 cards from their shuffled action deck, and then there are 2 phases in the each round. First phase is Schemin'! where each player plays 1-2 cards at a time face up/down corresponding with the round deck card in 1 pile or they draw 3 additional cards, taking turns until each person has had the number of turns shown on the round card. Action cards include: Floor Change (up/down on 1 car), Move (left/right between 2 cars), Punch (someone in/on the same car as you, they drop a piece of loot and move to an adjacent car), Fire (shoot someone in an adjacent car and give them one of your bullet cards), Marshal (move left/right), and Robbery (pick up a piece of loot). Second phase is Stealin'! the first player takes the deck where everyone played their card and one by one the players perform their action(s) on the train. Then you add all your previously played cards back to your deck, shuffle and re-draw 6 cards, next person clockwise is start player, and start on phase 1 again. This continues until their have been 5 rounds and at the end who ever has the most money in loot wins.

Amber's Thoughts:
 Favorite Number To Play With: I like playing this one with 3 or 4 players. 

Favorite Character And Why: I think that all the characters can be great, but I lean towards picking Ghost or Cheyenne. I like Ghost because getting to put your first card face down is powerful because no one knows what you played. Cheyenne is nice for picking up a coin purse if dropped. 

Least Favorite Character And Why: Probably Django, because I don't shoot as much when inside the train cars, I normally think to shoot when I am on the top of the train cars. 

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that punching and shooting have different effects. Punching moves the character forward/backwards a car and they drop a piece of loot. Shooting gives the player a bullet card to slow down their deck.  I don't have any real dislike of mechanics in this game. 

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I like all the character cards. But my favorite pieces are the awesome 3D TRAIN!! Having actual train cars and engine is so fun!

Strategies: Well I don't win this game often so I don't have the best strategy...but I normally move to the top of the train or shoot first thing, depending on my starter hand. If I get shot in the first round I draw up cards as my last action of the round so I know I have all good cards and no bullet cards for the second round. I try to never use a tunnel to draw up because I feel like tunnels (playing a card phase down) is too powerful to give up playing a card secretly.

Final Thoughts: I like this game. I started playing it on and then we bought the physical game. I want the expansion for it at some point. I think it has good replay value in that the number of train cars you use for a game is the number of players plus the engine, and there are 6 train cars and 1 engine in the box and the round cards you use changes how each round plays.  

6 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I have played this game more as a 2 player game than anything else, so I don't know that I prefer it this way, it's just what I'm more used to.

Favorite Character And Why: I like Belle, who can not be targeted for punches or fire if another bandit can be targeted instead, and I also like Cheyenne, who takes loot from other bandits when she targets them.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Probably Ghost, since you are already playing some cards upside down anyway, I don't find that I care that much to play another one upside down. There are already things going on that no one knows about.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: The concept of fighting on a 3D train is really cool, and having the bandits travel from car to car or up to the roof in the middle of the game is really cool.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: Obviously the train is really awesome! But I have a love of meeples and this one does not disappoint with some cool meeples!

Strategies: Try to get the most loot! Honestly, if I can, I just try to go after loot away from where other bandits are, or try to get to the stronghold boxes if possible.

Final Thoughts: This game is an okay game. The fact that so many cards are played upside down really makes it hard to make good strategies, and you can sometimes end up wasting a bunch of actions because you are not where you think you will be, so I don't really enjoy the unpredictability of it very much.

6 out of 10 Stars

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Our Top Ten Small Games

Christmas will be here soon, so we decided now is a good time to post our top ten small games. We love giving games as Christmas gifts and small games make great stocking stuffers. We have broken this list of small games into our top ten small games for kids and then for youth and adults. We hope that you find plenty of good ideas on here for your own gift giving this year.

Kid's Games


Shannon: There's A Moose In The House- This is a simple and cute card game and my kids love putting moose in each other's houses. This game tends to be more luck than skill, but kids find it fun.
Amber: ZoolorettoThis game is a fun dice rolling animal game. You are trying to figure out what animal helps you best or how to not let someone else have a good die. 


Shannon: Sleeping Queens- This game is fun for kids, and I like that it also helps with beginner addition skills. 
Amber: Nerdy InventionsThis is a new game I picked up over the summer that is fun for kids and adults because dice rolling can go any way! I like the plan and using your tools features of this game.


Shannon: Hey, That's My Fish- This is a smaller game that takes a little more strategy, but is still easy enough that kids catch on quickly, and enjoy moving their penguins around to get fish.
Amber: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small: I think this is just a fun game to feel like you are building a farm and is a good intro to worker placements for kids.


Shannon: Martian Dice- This is a dice rolling game that definitely relies on the luck of your rolls, but I have found that kids really love it. There are several similar games to this that have different themes like Zombie Dice and Dino Hunt Dice.
Amber: TimelineThis game is fun because you can learn something as you play. And it can be fun to learn when kids think things happened. :) I can't tell you how many times I have played with a kid and they think something like the invention of the computer was in the early 1900s, or don't have any idea of when WWII was or when Cesar lived...wait I have played with adults that don't know history either. I sometimes don't even have a good guess :D


Shannon: Happy Salmon- This is a fun game for kids, and I like that it makes you active while you play. After sitting and playing other games it's nice to pull this one out and have everyone up and moving for a minute, giving high fives, switching spots, and just having fun.
Amber: Roll for it!- This game is fun because you are playing to the odds of the everyone is on an even playing field. I like the fun of trying to go for more than one smaller card at a time! 


Shannon: Zany Penguins- This card game is a little more complicated than some of my other games on my list. It is not as easy to learn as most of the others either, but once you know what you are doing, it is a really fun little card game.
Amber: Blend Off- I like this game because it is fast paced and is fun to make the smoothies! Plus it is simple enough for all ages, just rolling dice and anyone can play.


Shannon: Qwixx- This is a dice rolling game of rolling dice and filling out a score sheet to try and score more points than your opponent. It's also nice that this game can be played solo, so if you have someone who likes playing games even alone, then it is a great choice.
Amber: Aquarius- I like the fun art of this game. Plus it is a simple game to understand if you are 70 years old or 5 years old, you are just trying to match the cards to try and get 7 of  your goal cards together first!


Shannon: Balloon Pop!- Balloon Pop! is another dice rolling game like Qwixx where you are rolling dice and filling in a score sheet. If you have someone who likes dice rolling games than this is a great choice.
Amber: Happy Salmon- I know Shannon had this on her list too. But it is just hard not to have this one over lap on a GOOD GAME! I like this game for the fact that you can learn to play in like one to two minutes and know exactly what to do, easy peezy! Plus it is a short game so it is no big deal to play multiple rounds real fast!


Shannon: Seven Dragons- This card game is easy to teach, and I love the dragon theme that it has. Everyone gets a goal card and they are trying to get seven dragons of that color to touch to win the game. So it's a card laying/matching game, but you can get cards that move cards, or swap goals during the course of the game.
Amber: Codename Pictures- This is such a fun game with kids (can be with adults too)! But I always enjoy playing with our kids because you get to see how their brain perceives the pictures! Also if they are clue giver it is fun to hear them justify their clues after the game! :)


 Shannon: Sushi Go!- I love this card drafting game. It's easy to teach and the theme is very cute. I love using this game as a great way to teach card drafting, and I have found that even smaller kids can pick up on it and learn to play.
 Amber: Star Realms- I think this is my number one because it played a LOT with my kid. I like the mechanics and art and strategies of this game.

Youth and Adult Games


Amber: Can't Stop Express- This is a newer game in my collection, but I like it because it works on your easy math skills and weighing the odds of dice rolling.
Shannon: Friday- Friday is a very challenging solo game. You are on a deserted island trying to survive three rounds in this little card game. This is one of the hardest solo games that I have ever played, super challenging, but lots of fun. 


Amber: 7 Wonders Duel- I wasn't sure this was really a "small game" because it probably will not fit into a stocking, but it is small enough that we sometimes take it to a coffee shop to play. So I like this game because I like 7 Wonders and this game makes it possible for just 2 players!
Shannon: Fluxx- Fluxx is a fun card game where the goal constantly changes over the course of the game, but the basic point is to have a couple of cards that match the current goal laid down in front of you. It's fun, and there are so many different themes for this game that everyone should be able to find a theme that they love. 


Amber: Welcome to the Dungeon- This game I think is a fun game for all ages because who doesn't want to try and make it through the dungeon? I like that the game has different characters and you can choose who to play with from round to round. I like the press your luck feel too.
Shannon: Hero Realms- This card game is made by the same company that put out Star Realms. Both games are great games where you build your deck and attack your opponents and try to get their health down to zero. I like this theme a little better than the space theme, and I like that there is an expansion that will turn this into a cooperative game. 


Amber: Love Letter- This is a great small game, even for non-gamers. The rounds are short and the rules are easy! I love that non-gamers can pick it up and play really easily.
Shannon: Parade- When I first bought this game I was not sure how much fun it would be, but I loved the Alice in Wonderland theme, so I picked it up. It was really easy to learn how to play, and a lot more fun than I thought it would be. 


Amber: Hanabi- This game is fun 2-4 players, with a firework show feel. I like the simple art and how you have to play the game with some but not exact information to get a perfect score. This game requires little information, a good memory, and lots of trust.
Shannon: Bang! The Dice Game- This is a party game, that people who are big fans of secret rolls and dice rolling will love. It's fun and even if you are taken out early in the game, the game usually doesn't last too long and it's still a lot of fun to watch everyone play.  


Amber: Japuir- This is a fun 2 player game that has a good trading goods and materials feel. I like that it is over 3 rounds so if one round cards don't come out good for you, there are 2 more rounds to come. Plus the hidden panda on one of the camels is a fun little Easter egg.
Shannon: Onirim- This is a simple card game that can be played as a solo game or as a cooperative two player game. I like that this is a solo game that is also small so it's easy to take with you if you need a game to play by yourself while on the go. 


Amber: One Night Ultimate Werewolf- This is a GREAT and fast group game. It is very similar to Mafia or a who done it game, but with a werewolf theme. The character cards have great art on them too. 
Shannon: One Deck Dungeon- This is a dungeon crawl type card/dice game. You can play it solo, or as a cooperative two player game. As you go through the dungeon, you are rolling dice and using them to try and defeat the monsters you come across in the dungeon. 


Amber: Tides of Madness- This is a good 2 player drafting game that has been a hit at my house since it was bought. I like the art on the cards. I also like the way the cards play off of each other. *Just watch out for the madness :)
Shannon: Nevermore- This box is a little bigger than some of the others that I have mentioned, but it is still a lot of fun. I love the Edgar Allan Poe theme, and I like that it is card drafting. There's also a take that element to the game. It makes me think of a combination of Sushi Go and King of Tokyo. 


Amber: Patchwork- This is another that probably won't fit in a socking. But is super fun for all ages because it is like tetris trying to get your pieces to fit together.
Shannon: Love Letter- I can't recommend this card game enough. It's simple to teach and play, and easy to carry around with you to play whenever you have the chance. I love this card game, and this is another one where there are several different themes to chose from. (Batman, Adventure Time, The Hobbit, and more)


Amber: Lost Cities- EASILY one of my favorite small 2 player games. I like the different adventure cards and how anyone, gamer or not, can pick up and play this game. The rules are simple and straight forward.
Shannon: Fairy Tale- This is currently my favorite card drafting game. I don't hear a lot of people talking about this one, but I love it. The theme is fairies, but they are more darker looking fairies than cute fairies.
To learn more about any of the games that we talk about, click their names and it will take you to their BoardGameGeek page. Hope you have enjoyed this list of our favorite small games! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Flash Point: Fire Rescue Review

*Ages 10+
*1-6 Players
*About 45 Minutes
*Kevin Lanzing

Flash Point Fire Rescue is a cooperative game where players are firefighters working together to put out fires in a burning building and save the people inside. Everyone picks out a character to play. (Each character has it's own special ability written on the bottom of the card and it's own number of actions.) The start player takes the number of actions indicated on their card. Those actions can include moving, turning fire to smoke, getting ride of smoke, opening doors, chopping through walls, carrying out people or hazmats, moving trucks, or using the fire truck. (Unused actions can be saved for you next turn, but you can never have more than eight actions.) After a player has take their turn, they then roll two dice to see where they will either add smoke or spread the fire, then the player on their left takes their turn. The game continues until the players save seven people by placing them in the ambulance, or until they trigger one of the losing conditions. (Run out of black cubes that means the building has collapsed, or they have lost enough people to the fire that they can no longer rescue seven people.)

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I enjoy this one with 2-4 players. It plays differently with 2 players than it does when you have 4, and I like that.

Favorite Character And Why: I have several characters that I enjoy playing. Usually I like playing the Hazmat Technician, so I can get the Hazmat off the bored quickly or the Generalist so I can have more actions.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Probably the Paramedic, because I don't wan't to pay double actions to extinguish smoke and fire.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I really enjoy the whole aspect of going in the building and fighting the fires and saving people. Sometimes though, like with all dice rolling, you just roll so badly when having to place smoke/fires that you just have no way to catch up and win.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I love that they have unique artwork on all the people you save and they are not all the same.

Strategies: Honestly, my strategy always changes depending on what board we are using, and how all the fires, hazmats, and people get placed at the beginning of the game.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoy this game. And even though it can be a little frustrating when you spend all that time playing and you lose, it doesn't keep me from enjoying the game and makes me just want to keep playing until we win.

8 out of 10 Stars

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I like this game as a 2 or 4 player, we play it more as a 2 player game.

Favorite Character And Why: Probably either fire captain of Hazmat. Fire Captain is powerful because you can move another player 2 spaces.And Hazmat because you can stop some major explosions from happening.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Rescue Specialist because I just don't like that she chops walls, and we tend to die from a collapsed building.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like the variety of boards, of having an up stairs, office building, and apartments; which incorporates an elevator, stairs, and ladders.  

Favorite Art On Pieces: I like the simplicity of the art on the boards and the tokens.

Strategies: Divide and Conquer, have 1 person go after smoke and fire and someone else go for saving people. And when needed switch who is saving and fighting, and their may be times where everyone needs to fight smoke and fire! 

Final Thoughts: I really like this game, my husband isn't a huge fan so it doesn't get picked to be 4 players very often. I like the challenge and fun of trying to get everyone saved from the house/building. I also feel like I am channeling my dad, who is a volunteer firefighter.

7 out of 10 Stars 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Themed Games

Halloween is here and we decided to list a few of our favorite games that would be great to play on Halloween and we hope we get to play some of them today ourselves. Games that we play with our children are marked with an * so you can look into playing some of them. Click the name of any game to go learn more about it on the BoardGameGeek website.

Monsters Theme:

Blood Bound- Blood Bound is party/deduction game where everyone is dealt a card in secret telling you which of the two rival vampire clans you are in. Every player has a special ability and one clan wins when they eliminate the leader of the other clan. 

One Night Ultimate Werewolf- One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a party game where each player is given a secret role and performs the action of that role over the course of the game and you are trying to figure out who everyone is, human or werewolf!

King of Tokyo and King Of New York*- In King of New York and King of Tokyo, you are monsters trying to take over the city and defeat the other monsters who are also trying to take over the city. This is a great game for Halloween and one that is really good with kids.

Tides Of Madness- Tides of Madness is a two player card game where you are drafting monster cards to build a kingdom and trying and gain the most points.

Welcome To The Dungeon*- In Welcome to the Dungeon you are picking a hero to go through a dungeon of monsters that you and the other players decide to take out or leave in. It is a push your luck game where the last person standing has to try and survive going through the dungeon.

Eldritch Horror- In this cooperative game, you are trying to defeat an ancient evil that is spreading across the world. You will solve mysteries and fight monsters. This game fits well with the spookiness of Halloween.

Zombie Theme:
Dead of Winter- Dead of Winter is a cooperative game that takes place during a zombie apocalypse and you are controlling survivors to survive different scenarios. With this game, you can also have secret objectives to complete and when you do, there then becomes the possibility that someone in your group is a betrayer. This game has a spookier theme for Halloween.

Zombicide: Black Plague- Zombicide: Black Plague is another cooperative game where you are surviving a zombie apocalypse and trying to complete different missions. This one also has a spookier theme for Halloween.

Ghost Theme:
Ghost Stories- Ghost Stories is a cooperative game where you are fighting ghosts as they come out. This game is tough and fits in well with the Halloween theme.

Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters*- Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters is a cooperative game for kids where you are going into a haunted house and trying to get out with 8 different treasures before the house becomes too haunted.

Witches/Wizards Theme:
Big Book Of Madness- Big Book of Madness is a cooperative game where you are students at a magic school and you are trying to build spells to defeat monsters.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle- Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle is another cooperative game where you are going through and defeating different bad guys from each of the seven Harry Potter books.

Potion Explosion- In Potion Explosion you are pulling out marbles to try and fill up your potion beaker to try and get three matching or five different beakers.

Murder Theme:

Murder Mystery Mansion*- Murder Mystery Mansion is a deduction game where you are trying to figure out who did it, where, with what, and what was the motive. A good, not too spooky, themed game for Halloween.

Mysterium- Mysterium is another cooperative game where one person plays a ghost trying to tell the other players, who are physics, who killed them, where, and with what. This is another game where the theme fits Halloween but is not overly spooky.

Clue*- Clue is a social deduction game where you are in a mansion and a murder has been committed and you are trying to figure out who did it, with what, and where, by visiting rooms in the mansion and asking questions to other players. This classic game has a great theme spooky enough, but not too spooky.

Other Themes:

Nevermore- Nevermore is a card drafting with the theme of Edgar Allen Poe's writings. The base game itself is not too heavy on the spooky theme, but when you add in the Specters of Nevermore expansion, it adds a layer of creepiness to the game.

Onirim- Onirim is a simple card game where you are trying to escape a labyrinth in the dream world by finding doors and avoiding nightmares. The nightmare theme fits into Halloween, but this is one where the spooky theme is only slight.

Candy Chaser*- Candy Chaser is a fun game for kids on Halloween, because you are playing kids who are trying to smuggle candy and bluff your way to winning!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Tokaido Review

*Ages 8+
*2-5 Players
*About 45 Minutes
*Antoine Bauza
*App Available

Tokaido is a game where you are journeying through Japan. Along the way, you can stop at villages, temples, farms, hot springs, have encounters with people, paint panoramas, and spend 3 nights at an inn. The person farthest back goes next until someone else is behind them. At each place you stop, you get to do an activity. At the village you get to look at 3 items to buy and choose which, if any, you want to buy and then your score victory points for them immediately. At a temple you give 1-3 coins to the temple and score 1 point immediately for the number of coins you give. At the farms you gain 3 coins from the reserve. At the hot springs you draw a card and score either 2 or 3 victory points immediately. When you have an encounter with someone on the journey you draw a card and get whatever it shows; ie 3 coins, the next section of a certain panorama, the top village card, 3 victory points, or a donation of 1 coin to the temple. You can paint a panorama on which ever color you land by taking the next section of the painting and immediately score the victory points. And lastly you end the round at 1 of 4 inns, where you draw cards equal to the number of players plus 1 and starting with the first person at the inn, everyone chooses a meal paying it's cost and scoring 6 victory points immediately if you bought food. Then the next round starts with the player last to enter the inn and play continues this way until the end of your journey. At the last inn, you score the bonus for who completed each panorama first, who spent the most money on food, who had the most encounters, hot springs, and village cards. Also you score who gave the most to the temple. The player with the most points wins.

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I really like this as a 3 player game best. You have enough people that you don't have to have a neutral player, and there are less people on the board, so you get to go to more places on the board.

Favorite Character And Why: Satsuki, who lets you eat at the inn for free, so I don't have to worry about saving up money for food and can use it for other things. Chuubei, who give you an encounter card before you eat at the inn, or Hiroshige, who gives you a piece to one of the paintings.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Kinko, who lets you buy food at the inn for one less coin.

 Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I enjoy that there are so many choices that you have to make in this game. Do you go to every available space, or do you skip a couple of spaces to make sure you get that one space you really want? Those decisions that you make are always important, because it either leaves spaces open to your opponents to use, or you risk them taking spaces you really want.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The characters cards! They are each so unique!

Strategies: I try to plan my strategy around the character that I get. If it's one that's good with encounters, then I try to get to as many encounters as I can. If it's one that's good with shopping, then that is what I try to get the most points in.

Final Thoughts: This is a really fun game, and it's easy enough to teach and understand for people who haven't played it before.

6 out of 10 Stars

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 2 or 4 players I think works best because when competing for spaces it works better.

Favorite Character And Why: Hiroshige the artist because I think it is powerful that you can 3 free pieces of art even if you don't eat, which could be 3-11 points, and no one can block you from getting your special. Also in turn, this in someone else's hands this is my least favorite. 

Least Favorite Character And Why: Multiple of them have specials for when you land on a certain space (villiage, temple, hot spring, and encounters) and many times if people realize you have to land on the space to use your character's special they will block you.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that different spots do different things. Like at the hot springs you are always hoping for monkeys because that means more victory points or that on encounters you could get victory points, money, a village card, a section of panorama, or money that goes to the temple. I dislike that their aren't a few added spots for a 3 player game, like that they could have stair stepped the spots for 2, 3, 4, and 5 players. 

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I like all the food cards, I think Asian food always looks more appetizing and artsy than American food.

Strategies: Don't skip spots, unless you have already completed that panorama or you really need money at the bank. Try and complete as many panorama's as you can and be the first to get the bonus! Pay attention to the symbols on your village cards you buy to maximize your victory points.

Final Thoughts: I like that they do try to balance character's specials with the amount of money they start the game with. I like that you have to weigh your options and plan out your activities like "ok the farm isn't available so I need to decided if I go to this village how much can I spend and still get to eat at the next inn?!"

6 out of 10 Stars