Well, it’s almost like the week is getting back on schedule, even though it’s Saturday. I woke up. I got groceries. I’m now typing up the Review Roundup in my living room while listening to music and contemplating the rest of my day. Sort of nice to get things back to how they should be. What can I say? I’m a creature of habit. Anyway, as it’s Saturday, it’s time to get you those review articles I know you all so desperately desire. So let’s get to it.
Today we have: Knot Dice Deluxe, Via Nebula, Lords of Hellas, 12 Realms: Dungeonland, 1754 Conquest: The French and Indian War, Star Realms: Colony Wars and United Expansions, Tournament of Towers, Manhattan Project: Energy Empire, Tesla vs. Edison: Duel, Balloon Pop, Terra Mystica App, Star Trek Panic, Sagrada, Yokohama, Ravage: Dungeons of Plunder, and EXIT: The Game – The Secret Lab.
Toucan Play That Game:
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Knot Dice Deluxe.
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Via Nebula by Space Cowboys.
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Lords of Hellas from Awaken Realms. This is the second video in a 2 part series looking at the game play and mechanics. The first video was an overview of the miniatures and components. So if you want to see everything up close – please watch the component overview video.
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at the new kickstarter 12 Realms: Dungeonland from Mage Company. This is based in the 12 Realms universe with all your favorite characters! The difference in this game vs 12 Realms is this is a fantastic dungeon crawler that is very satisfying as you customize your characters with skill tree’s available to each character in the game.
The Board Game Show:
Every now and then a game system comes along that delivers a refreshing jolt to all that’s come before it. It’s often something that makes you ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
1754 Conquest: The French & Indian War, the latest in Academy Games’ Birth of America Series, manages to bring the familiar game play of its predecessors, but with enough differences to make purchasing this historical gem worthwhile.
Board Game Quest:
Star Realms Colony Wars stand alone expansion and the United expansion attempt to expand the success of releases with new ships and mechanics. Since I am covering several Star Realms in this review, I’ve broken them up more specifically below.
While there are a few different variants on play (family mode, mulligans, etc), the basic game play in Tournament of Towers has players stacking oddly shaped pieces with the goal of creating the tallest tower worth the most points. Using a system of piece values and card drafting, players must make it through two rounds of stacking if they hope to win the tournament.
Players sit in the roles of countries trying to develop industry and energy production over a period of time roughly from the end of World War II to the present day. Throughout the game, players will construct buildings, power plants as dice, and manage the pollution in their environment with the aim of scoring the most points.
Players in Tesla vs Edison: Duel take on the role of rival inventors trying to spread the gospel of alternating or direct current. In the game, each player plays projects and takes control of companies via a shared collection across three regions of the United States. What develops is card play with area control where the player with greater area strength claims the spoils. Players can win instantly or by accumulating points after three rounds.
In Balloon Pop! players try to score the most points by coming close to, but not reaching, the top of the scoring columns on their score sheets. Like Icarus, you want to fly as high as you can without getting too close to the sun. Each score sheet is composed of six columns of numbers, with a column for each side of the dice: the colors yellow, blue, and red, and the symbols star, moon, and diamond.
Terra Mystica (the board game and the app) is an engine- and network-building/resource conversion game for one to five players. Players control fantasy races in the land of Terra Mystica, trying to shape the land into habitable quarters and advance in the elemental religions. The player with the most victory points is the winner.
If you’ve ever played Castle Panic, you’re in familiar territory. Star Trek Panic does, however, include a few adaptations.
Drive Thru Review:
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:01); final thoughts and review (07:23)
Intro (00:00); game overview (01:08); final thoughts and review (15:54)
In many ways Ravage: Dungeons of Plunder is a typical dungeon crawler and in its basic premise I have to say that there isn’t a huge amount of original ideas in the game. You’ll venture into dark depths, kill monsters, grab loot, level up and hopefully last long enough to take on the story’s goal. But Ravage puts a few interesting tweaks into the age old formula and wraps it up in a package of beautiful artwork and striking graphic design.
You may have noticed a surge in the number or Escape Room style board games appearing over the last few months. Fresh on the heels of cooperative puzzle games like TIME Stories comes a whole range of one-time puzzles based on the escape room phenomenon that is gripping the world. If you are like me, and live at the arse end of nowheresville you will most likely not have had an opportunity to visit one of these experiences.
Thankfully system like Unlock, Escape the Room and EXIT allow you to experience these cooperative puzzle sessions at home. We were lucky to receive a copy of EXIT The Secret Lab from Kosmos and so the opportunity of a bank holiday weekend meant I was able to lock ourselves into the dining room after a Sunday roast and see if the Tudor family was clever enough to escape a devious laboratory.
We were not.