TGN Saturday Edition: Review Roundup

By Polar_Bear
In Board Games
Dec 5th, 2015

Hello to everyone on this cold Saturday. I hope you’re having a good day. I’m cracking nuts… for that fruitcake I’ve been telling you all about all week. They don’t use the phrase, “nutty as a fruitcake” for nothing, you know. I hope you have your own projects you’re working on, be they gaming-related, culinary-related, or just whatever else you feel like doing.

What I feel like doing at the moment, though, is taking a small break from making small breaks (these are the jokes, people!) and share with you the reviews I’ve come across in the past week.

Today’s articles feature: Black Hat, Ships, Above and Below, Traders of Osaka, The Bloody Inn, Hangtown, Rum & Bones, The World of Smog, Avarium Academy, The Builders: Antiquity, T.I.M.E. Stories, Bang! The Dice Game, Mysterium, Fury of Dracula, Pandemic Legacy, Between Two Cities, El Grandulon for Freebooters Fate, Opel Blitz by Rubicon Models, Star Wars Armada Wave 2, DreadBall Xtreme, and Pathfinder Battles: Red Dragon Evolution Set.

Drive Thru Review:

Black Hat Review

Black Hat Review

Intro (00:00); game overview (01:05); final thoughts and review (10:01)

Ships Review

Ships Review

Intro (00:00); game overview (01:14); final thoughts and review (15:11)

Above and Below Review

Above and Below Review

Intro (00:00); game overview (00:56); final thoughts and review (10:45)

Traders of Osaka Review

Traders of Osaka Review

Intro (00:00); game overview (01:05); final thoughts and review (10:01)

The Bloody Inn Review

The Bloody Inn Review

Intro (00:00); game overview (01:14); final thoughts and review (10:54)

Board to Death TV:

Hangtown Review

In the game of Hangtown, players become Gold Rush era Pioneers who are competing for riches, resources, property, and prestige. …They must also be prepared to deal with outlaws, shootouts, and hangings at the infamous Hangman’s Tree!

The game features a thoughtful variety of streamlined mechanics, which are notably innovative, yet traditional and familiar in feel—such as fresh spins on tableau building, worker placement, simultaneous action selection, variable turn order, and resource and hand management.

Rum & Bones Review

Avast ye pirates! Gather your crews and set sail for adventure on the high seas in Rum & Bones!
Based on online MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) style games, Rum & Bones has 2-6 players taking control of legendary pirate heroes, each with unique powers and abilities, as their crews fight over Davy Jones’ legendary treasure!

The World of Smog Review

Set in the fantastic steampunk The World of Smog created by Panache Animation, On Her Majesty’s Service is a stylish board game for two to four competing players. You’ll need to navigate the rotating tiles that make up the game board, trading Ethers and Artefacts in order to fulfill the quest set by Queen Victoria, all the while dealing with the Agents of the Shadow Master.

Avarium Academy Review

In the Japanese high school-themed battle board game Avarium Academy, each player assumes the role of one of Avarium Academy’s eight unique Idols and tries to win the game by:

Completing their Idol’s win condition,
Having the most merit points at the end of the game, or
Expelling all other Idols from the school to be the last one standing!
Avarium Academy has a quick set-up of just five minutes while games generally take 20-30 minutes. With its unique Idols, huge variety of interactive students, and powerful and tricky schemes, Avarium Academy is a fast-paced battle board game that promises a familiar yet different experience with each game!


Workin’ 9 to 5 BC (A Review of The Builders: Antiquity)


The Builders: Antiquity tasks players with organizing laborers with special skill sets (resources) to erect structures from the days when civilization was considered “classic.” The general mechanics and basic game play are identical to its predecessor, Middle Ages. You can reference our review of that title anytime. This follow-up design adds a few new elements: tools, loans, prisoners and universities. Alas, still no trade unions. If we’re lucky, maybe those will be included in The Builders: Industrial Revolution?

Oh, the Places You’ll Go (A Review of T.I.M.E. Stories)


T.I.M.E. Stories is a game that emerges from the rapidly expanding branch of gaming that focuses on story exploration over competition or strict mechanical structure. Comparable to games like Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, these novels-turned-boardgame have all the details written out ahead of time, and it’s up to the players to explore, discover clues, and resolve the plot before time runs out. T.I.M.E. Stories proves unique in this genre thanks to its merging of story-based elements with traditional tabletop tropes such as rolling dice, having actions and resources to collect and spend, and playing out on a board.

There’s a Snake in my Boots! (A review of Bang! The Dice Game)


Bang! The Dice Game is, as it’s name would suggest, a re-imagining of the much loved card game, Bang! It’s a bluffing and player elimination game for groups of 3-8 players, set in the old American West. You’re going to be deceiving your opponents and making sure you end up the last gunslinger on their feet. Forget friendship, forget family, forget marital bonds. In Bang! The Dice Game, the only player you can trust is yourself (unless you forget which role you have and accidentally sabotage yourself).

Dog & Thimble:

Mysterium Review


Most players at the table for a game of Mysterium are psychics, trying to divine clues provided by one other player, who happens to be a ghost. This ghost was murdered and it’s up to the psychics to figure out by whom and how. It won’t be that easy, however.

Board Game King:

Fury of Dracula Review


The most infamous vampire of all times terrorizes the living again in this third edition of Fury of Dracula! This is a board game of deduction and gothic horror based on Bram Stoker’s classic novel. One player is the legendary Dracula who stealthily moves and spreads the vampirism through the Victorian-era Europe surrounded by stormy seas and fogs. Will you be able to stop or he will drink all of your blood?

Pandemic Legacy Review


Pandemic Legacy was published by Z-Man Games (release date: October 8, 2015). The game was designed by Rob Daviau and Matt Leacock. The illustrations were done by Chris Quilliams.

Pandemic Legacy belongs to the Pandemic game family.

There is a blue edition and a red edition.

The game came out as “Season 1”. Whether there will be any other seasons is still unclear.

Board Game Quest:

Between Two Cities Review


In spring of 2015, we previewed a tile drafting game called Between Two Cities from Stonemaier Games. Their Kickstarter campaign successfully funded with over 5,000 backers pledging for a copy.

Months later, the game has finally made its way to our doorsteps (on time I might add) and we were able to give it a go. Designed by Matthew O’Malley (Princess Bride: Battle of Wits) and Ben Rosset (Brewcrafters, Mars Needs Mechanics), Between Two Cities has players drafting tiles for two different cities that will be built concurrently with their neighbors. Does it work? Let’s jump into this tile placement game and find out.

Between Two Cities is a tile drafting and placement game for 1-7 players that takes about 20 minutes to play. Between Two Cities plays well with any amount of players.


El Grandulon for Freebooters Fate Review

Freebooters Fate is big – and it is getting bigger. With El Grandulon the game reaches a new size and presents the first ogre miniature for the Pirate Skirmish.

Opel Blitz by Rubicon Models Review

chaosbunker unboxes one of the latest Rubicon Models, the Opel Blitz 3-ton 4×2 Cargo Truck.

Man Battlestations:

Star Wars Armada Wave 2 Unboxing

It’s here! It’s finally here! After months of delays, the second wave of releases for Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars Armada has arrived. I got my shipment yesterday, and decided to snap a few pictures while I was unboxing everything. They are all posted up on the Man Battlestations blog, along with my impressions.

Play Board Games:

DreadBall Xtreme Review


DreadBall is a sports miniatures board game. The Xtreme version ramps things up with more teams, new sponsors and more casualties.

Graven Games:

Pathfinder Battles: Red Dragon Evolution Set Review


The fearsome Red Dragon, what an iconic RPG enemy! Join us for a look at the Pathfinder Battles: Red Dragon Evolution set, containing 3 RPG fantasy miniatures that will strike fear into the hearts of your adventurers. This set from Paizo Publishing and WizKids Games is available for $19.99 direct from Paizo.

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I was born at a very young age. I plan on living forever. So far, so good.
  • BoardGameKing

    I’m glad to be noticed that you’ve mentioned mine reviews in this list. Thanks and see you in time

    • TGN_Polar_Bear

      Glad to have you. You keep typing up the reviews and I’ll keep sharing them.