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