Erin go Bear!
I’m actually half-Irish. My grandfather on my mother’s side was actually an Irish-Catholic cop in Chicago, because stereotypes come from somewhere. So, while you’re out having your corned beef and cabbage (which is more American than Irish, but whatever), let’s also get you some reviews.
Today we have: Quest for El Dorado, Mysthea, Pandemonium, Clank: The Mummy’s Curse, Onitama, Samurai Gardener, Byzanz, Demon Trilogy: Subrosa, Barbarians: The Invasion, Dragon Keepers, The Lost Expedition, and Red7 App.
One Board Family:
That shining city of gold known as El Dorado has been a source of inspiration for everything from literature to gaming. In 2017 Ravensburger published Quest for El Dorado from renowned designer Reiner Knizia. Does this deckbuilding “race to the finish” game fulfill our wildest dreams or leave us searching for a better game?
Learn to Play:
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Clank : The Mummy’s Curse a brand new expansion coming out this month (March 2018). This is a great new expansion to the base game that include new mechanics and strategies to manage over the course of the game. It comes at a low price point and is a definite buy if you like the Clank base game experience. Check it out soon at retail
Board Game Quest:
Onitama opens with two lines of pieces – four students and one master – facing each other on a 5×5 grid. Five movement cards are dealt out. The object is to either get your master token from your Temple Arch space to your opponent’s (Way of the Stream), or to capture your opponent’s master (Way of Stone).
The goal of Samurai Gardener is to create the layout of a garden and score points by lining up rows of 3-5 of the same type of tile. This is accomplished by playing cards comprised of 6 tiles in varying combinations and orientations. By selecting and adding cards to their layout, players continue to grow their garden and score points over the course of the game.
In Byzanz, players will compete in auctions, trying to collect sets of various goods. The goods deck in Byzanz consists of 6 different types of goods, with values from 1-4. Once a player had any three cards of the same good, they can be “sold”. The lowest two cards are discarded from the game and the highest card is kept face-down in a scoring pile.
There are also merchant cards which can be used as a wild good to complete a set. They can also be played as a set themselves and are worth five points if you sell a set of three merchant cards.
Daemon Trilogy: Subrosa (Subrosa) consists of a Crew deck (5 colored types of cards) and a Contracts deck. Each round of play in Subrosa has players selecting 2 crew cards from their hand, placing them face down on the table. Afterwards, players can either activate one of their characters (from this round or a previous one) or acquire a new contract.
The goal in Barbarians: The Invasion is to earn the most domination points (victory points) for your clan. Players will earn these in a variety of ways over the course of the games six rounds.
Each round is broken up in three phases: Maintenance, Action, and End of Era, with the action phase being where the majority of the game happens. Each player has 3 champions that they will use to claim spaces during the round using familiar worker placement mechanics.
There are moments in life that challenge one’s worldview. An idea that upends every instinct. An event that shakes your understanding of reality. A notion that rankles and pushes back against everything you’ve ever known. iSlaytheDragon has always been about slaying dragons. We are dragonslayers, hunting the beasts, eradicating their foul existence to protect peasant and noble alike. It’s what we were born and bred to do. It’s in our blood. It’s our life. So what’s this I hear about protecting the vile creatures? You want to tame them and train them? What, like circus monkeys?!
For a daring few, finding that discovery of a lifetime is worth the cost, worth the risk. Now you are one of those select! And you’ll put all of your wits to the test – and your life on the line – in The Lost Expedition. Through managing a hand of cards, your party of explorers will trudge, snake and hack its way through the Amazon fending of incessant dangers and counting your blessings in those rare moments of respite.
There are three ways to venture into this jungle. You can go it solo – as long as you’re prepared to spend eternity alone, too! You can gather one to four friends similarly stirred by, or oblivious to, the perils. The cooperative adventure also offers three different difficulty levels. Finally, you can race against another explorer, in which case you win by beating your competitor to El Dorado…or not dying first.
I’m not entirely sure this blog post constitutes a review. I’ve had the iOS version of Red7 for quite some time and I have never really felt that I got on with the game. Every few weeks I would start up the app ready to try the game and every time I would be ready to throw my phone out of the train window in frustration, and I’m not sure if it’s the app or the original Red7 rules that are the issue.
Red7 is a card game in which cards are numbered 1 to 7 and come in all the colours of the rainbow (in other words, seven). At the start of the game the aim is to play the highest card, and if at the end of your play you don’t have the highest card in front of you, then you are out of the round. If you can’t play a card that can keep you in the lead, you can discard another card to change the rules of the game, the colour of the discarded card dictating the new rules.