Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mechs Vs. Minions Review

*Ages 14+
*2-4 Players
*About 60-90 Minutes
*Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, & Nathan Tiras

Mechs Vs. Minions is a cooperative scenario based game. Each scenario has a different goal for your team to accomplish. (No details as we do not want to spoil anyone.) You accomplish these goals by drafting cards that you put on your command line for controlling your mech. Each player takes their turns doing the actions on the cards in their command line, from left to right. When they are finished, the player to their left does the same with their command line. When everyone has taken their turn, the minions take their turn, and the card drafting begins again. Play continues until you reach your goal for that scenario or you meet the losing requirements for that scenario. 

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: I like playing with 4 players, because you have plenty of people to help get everything done and fight off the minions.

Favorite Character And Why: Ziggs! To me, he looks like a crazed cat! And he's riding a bomb! I don't know how you can get any more awesome than that!

Least Favorite Character And Why: Either Heimerdinger or Corki.. No real reason other than I just don't like them as much as the other two.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I love the fact that you are drafting your cards and then carrying out your command line. 

Favorite Art Or Pieces: Obviously Ziggs! I also really like the minute glass timer... and pretty much everything about this game. All the pieces in this game are absolutely amazing! 

Strategies: Talk through what you will be doing and what you need before you start your draft so you have a better idea of what everyone needs before the draft starts. 

Final Thoughts: This game has really blown me away. It's fun, and the way they introduce new modules to the game makes it easy to learn and play. The whole game is just beautiful. It has become a favorite game of mine!

8 out of 10 Stars

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: Thus far 4 players, because I feel like all the charters are good and they work together.

Favorite Character And Why: Tristana, honestly she is the only one I have played, so it is hard to say anyone else. We, as a group, decided to take a character and play through the whole game, so I always play Tristana.  I like some of the other specials people have, but don't know what character has the most that I like. I do like the look of Tristana. She somehow reminds me if myself, ear pierced, smile on her face, and wishing she was in control of what was about to happen! 

Least Favorite Character And Why: Is it fair to say the minions and boss because they are the bad guys? Because I don't like them...

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that all the cards you play to control your mech have a choice of 2 uses, ie slot the card for what it does, or use the scrap ability (switching 2 slots or getting rid of a damage). I like the flow of the game and how even if the dice rolls and cards come out practically perfect, you still have some tough choices to make as a team, you will still take some damage, and it can be a nail biter if you are going to win.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The whole game's miniatures are so intricate and detailed that I don't have a favorite. 

Strategies: It depends on the scenario, because sometimes you need movement right off, sometimes you need fighting power, and sometimes you need both. 

Final Thoughts: First opinions, I loved the way there are practice plays to teach the game as you play. And how simple it was to learn. It has scenarios, which I am a huge fan of and like that your computer board resets between each scenario. This game continues to move up my favorites list. I really enjoy the game and sometimes don't realize how long we have been playing, because I am absorbed into the game. 

8 out of 10 Stars  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Top Ten Camping Games

After playing board games, camping is one of our favorite activities to do together. Every year our families try to get out and go camping together a couple of times, and it is always a load of fun. Here are some of our favorite games to play after long hikes, next to campfires, and just sitting outside enjoying the fresh air.


Amber: Uno: An easy and fun game that the kids can play with us, and is fast. I like that even with young kids it is just matching colors or numbers :)
Shannon: Solitaire: Sometimes when you're camping, you just need a fun game to get out and play by yourself. Since all you need is a regular deck of cards to play, that makes this game the perfect choice.


Amber: Martian DiceThis quick dice game is a fun game to play. It has been a while since we have played it, but it is a small game that is easy to pack and play!
Shannon: Phase 10: This simple card game doesn't get played much anymore since we have so many other games to play now, but it's still a fun game and great to play while camping.


Amber: Bang: The Dice Game: I think this is a good group game if all want to play a game together. Also since it is dice the odds are closer to even for adults and kids.
Shannon: There's A Moose In The House: My kids love this game. The graphics on the cards are funny and cute and it's just plain fun putting a moose in someone else's house.


Amber: War: I like that it only requires 1 deck and it is an easy game that if one or two kids don't want to play what ever the others have chosen, then they can play with each other or I will play with them.
Shannon: Scavenger Hunts: While not an actual board game, I love going on scavenger hunts and helping my kids with scavenger hunts. It's lots of fun and helps the kids look around and enjoy the nature around them while we hike.


Amber: Rummy: This is a game I remember playing a lot as a kid while camping. I always liked sitting around the picnic table with my mom, sister, and aunt to play. Good memories :D Also it is good for learning card game terms like a run, book, set, and order of play.
Shannon: Rook: Another small card game that is easy to pack and lots of fun to play.


Amber: Hide The Rock: We painted 4 rocks a few years ago and we hide them around our camp site. Whoever finds it gets to re-hide it. The rocks are painted like a bird, turtle, ladybug, and bee. Super simple, but fun to see where the kids/adults hide them.
Shannon: S'mores: Last year we found this game at a little supply store at our campground. We just had to pick it up and the kids LOVE playing this cute little card game while camping. 


Amber: Sleeping Queens: I enjoy getting to pick out a queen at random and getting to play wands. It is a fun game to teach easy math problems to kids.
Shannon: Nerts: A lot of my favorite camping games deal with just a deck (or decks) of regular playing cards. They're easy to pack and there are so many options of games to play. A couple of years ago I got this really cool Nerts set for Christmas and it's goes camping with us every time. We use it for all of our games that use a regular deck of cards. Nerts is really fun and quick paced.


Amber: Golf: It is a simple game that is quick and fun to play with the kids.  Also it is works on visual memory.
Shannon: Love Letter: This is probably my favorite small game to pack up and take with me anywhere. It's so small, easy to play, and so much fun.


Amber: Nerts: I have always really liked this game, I remember playing it as a family, then during high school at youth get together, and now during camping! :D It is like solitaire with everyone playing on the same aces as fast as you can.
Shannon: Sushi Go!: I love this card game, and the fact that it is small enough to pack and take with us is fantastic. I really like the card drafting element of the game.


Amber: Hand and Foot: When we camp there is a LOT of hand and we have to set a limit of how high we going to go before we quit. Also because I don't like to lose, so I keep wanting to push it and then end up digging my hole bigger. The game is about trying to get sets of cards laid down and through your hand and foot deck.
Shannon: Hand and Foot: I can't even tell you how many games of Hand and Foot Amber and I have played while camping. This is our go to camping game. 

If you want to learn more about any of the board games on our list, click on their names and check them out on BoardGameGeek!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Onirim Review

*Ages 14+
*1-2 Players
*About 15 Minutes
*Shadi Torbey
*Game app available

Onirim is a card game which can be played as a solitary game or as a cooperate 2 player game. In the solitary game, you draw five cards from the deck into your hand. The goal is to get two doors of all four colors down on the table. You do that by 1) playing three continuous cards of the same color (but matching symbols cannot touch) down, or 2) drawing a door card while you have a key card in your hand and discarding the key card to play the door. When drawing back up to 5 cards in your hand, you may sometimes draw a nightmare card. When this happens you have 4 choices of what to do, 1) discard a key card from your hand, 2) discard all cards from your hand and draw 5 new cards, 3) discard the top five cards of the draw deck, and 4) discard a door card you have already earned. When you draw a new set of five cards into your hand, set aside all door cards and nightmare cards and shuffle them back into the draw pile. You can trigger a prophecy by discarding a key card. That let's you look at the next five cards of the deck, discard one, and rearrange the other four in any order, and place them back on top of the deck.
When played as a cooperative 2 player game, each player needs a set of all four door cards, and you have shared resource cards and personal resource cards to use. When you use a card from the resource cards, and you go to replace it, nightmare cards are set to the side and shuffled back in the draw deck. 

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: Honestly, this one if fun as a one player game and as a two player game. I play it more as a one player though.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I love this game, but the constant shuffling involved can get a little aggravating. I feel like I spend more time shuffling than anything else. I am so happy that they have this as an app now, because I can play much quicker and I don't have to do all that shuffling!

Favorite Art Or Pieces: All of it! I love the cute theme of this game and all it's artwork. I have the edition that comes with this figure that I think is absolutely adorable too!

Strategies: Try to get brown and green doors first since there are not as many of their cards. Also to hold onto keys whenever I can for the nightmares. In a two player game, I like to use cards from the resouce cards on the table so nightmares just get shuffled back in.

Final Thoughts: I love this game! It's quick and fun, the artwork is beautiful, and I can play many times in a row and not get tired of it. It's also very challenging. I win just about as much as I lose, but I still enjoy playing.

8 out of 10 Stars

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 2...not tried 1 player yet. 

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like that you can use cards from the middle shared cards or your 3 face up cards to play in your row and if a nightmare comes up it get shuffled back in!

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I like the modern feel of the doors cards...they kind of remind me of the slanted door in the movie Big Fish.

Strategies: I like the advice an Instagramer gave me about how there are less brown and green Cards compared to red and blue. Also like I said on the mechanics part, there are less of brown and green, so I suggest putting them and a key in the middle in a 2 player game so you both access them if needed.

Final Thoughts: I really like this 2 player game...I think it is an easy one to learn and I like that it comes with 7 Expansions in the box!

7 out of 10 Stars    

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Pandemic: Iberia Review

*Ages 8+
*2-5 Players
*About 45 Minutes
*Matt Leacock and Jesus Torres Castro

Pandemic Iberia is a cooperative game in the Pandemic line of games. In Pandemic Iberia, you take four actions (ex. move, pick up disease cubes, build research station, build railways, etc.) then draw two cards from the player deck and draw cards from the infection deck equal to the current infection rate. You win the game by researching all four diseases, you do that by collecting 5 cards of the infected color and turning them in to a research station. There are several different ways to lose: run out of cubes in any color, have 8 outbreaks, or run out of cards in the player deck. Pandemic Iberia is different from Pandemic in that it has regions that you can place Purification tokens, there are railways that can be built, you can travel from port to port city, and you are researching disease not curing them.

Amber's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: 2-4 players. I have not played with 5.

Favorite Character And Why: I like the Railway Man and Sailor. I find the Railway Man and Sailor are very valuable because they help you get around the map easily and fast and they can both carry another pawn.

Least Favorite Character And Why: Right off the Politician Character because the special sucked of giving cards from the discard pile when the sailor was in play and could go port to port, but I am sure he will be helpful in other games.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: There are MANY new things I like compared to the original Pandemic: the ease of moving, the diseases have names, purification tokens, and each disease can have a different effect when in outbreaks. Now to the why: Movement took SO much of your actions or I didn't want to waste a card in the original Pandemic and in Iberia laying down railroad, going port to port, or as normal walking just makes me feel like my turn is better.  The disease have names! And they are historically accurate which is so cool! The purification tokens are awesome because there are many times you don't want to leave an area to go turn in or meet up to get a card due to the fact there might be an outbreak and then trying to move back you can't get there fast enough. BUT now you can lay down a few purification tokens and not worry about it as much. I think the added disease cards are great because they can keep the game fresh and increase the difficulty.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: I think the little railroad pieces are cool and the historical feel of the map and character cards is awesome.

Strategies: Not much has changed in this from the original Pandemic. But here is the strategy I like- read everyone's character special first to find out how to best utilize them, then go to where there are 2+ cubes or where you can trade cards with someone, try and get the disease researched/cured as soon as possible, lay down railroads to help move faster, and remember it is a game, the world is NOT really relying on you to save it.

First thoughts: I love the moving from one port city to another and railways, learned the hard way that the strategy of connecting rail ways to the hospitals is not smart because we started getting a lot of people "coming to be treated" and that wasn't good. Overall I love this Pandemic more than the original and I am glad it is the copy my husband and I own.

8 out of 10 Stars

Shannon's Thoughts:
Favorite Number To Play With: Cooperative games like these always seem to be easier with 2 people, because there are only 2 people to go through all the cards and collect them instead of 4, and you just get things done quicker.

Favorite Character And Why: The Nurse. I like keeping a region from gaining any cubes when I can. I also like the Politician. Knowing that we can discard colors and still be able to get them back later is nice for set collecting, especially in a two player game.

Least Favorite Character And Why: I have played twice as the Railwayman and I just don't enjoy laying down the railway lines. I hardly ever use them.

Mechanics I Like And Dislike: I like how you can place the purification tokens to keep cubes from being added.

Favorite Art Or Pieces: The backs of the cards.

Strategies: Putting your hospitals away from your train tracks, and just collecting your cards as quickly as you can.

Final Thoughts: This is another fun version of Pandemic. Personally, I still enjoy the original games more, but this one is fun to pull out and play sometimes too.

7 out of 10 Stars