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