The Simpsons. It's amazing to think about how long that cartoon has been part of our world. Hell, I'm betting that many of you reading this have literally always had The Simpsons as part of your life. I remember when it started. I wasn't allowed to watch it as a kid, but I did watch it later on. Seasons 1-10 are sitting on my DVD shelf as I type this. But soon, I'll be able to add a Simpsons box to my board game shelf as well, as USAopoly has announced Codenames: The Simpsons.
From the announcement:
TV’s favorite family is ready for game night with Codenames: The Simpsons! The longest-running animated comedy is celebrating 30 years of hilarious and dysfunctional antics comes to one of the best tabletop party games and right in time for the holidays!
The fun, easy to learn cooperative word and picture deduction game for 2-8+ players will be featuring your favorite characters from The Simpsons. Including Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Krusty the Clown, Moe, Milhouse, Ralph Wiggum, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, and many more! Players help their teammates locate secret Agents who are concealed among a grid of The Simpsons series references using only one-word clues.
In Codenames: The Simpsons, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give clues which can guide their team to multiple cards on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. In Codenames: The Simpsons, win or lose, it’s fun to figure out all the clues!
Saturday! Woo! My favorite day of the week. Today, I've got D&D (watch me here if you'd like to see me making a fool of myself :P ). And then, tomorrow, it's been a long time since I really did some baking. I'm thinking I'll make some cayenne pepper dark chocolate brownies and some chili powder chocolate chip cookies. Because that's the type of person I am. Whatever you're doing this weekend, I hope it's awesome. Though I know if you're here now, you're here to check out some reviews.
This week we have: The Bloody Inn: The Carnies Expansion, Processing: A Game of Serving Humanity, Senshi, Evil High Priest, Mesozooic, Volfirion, Countdown Action Edition, Reef, Tokyo Metro, and Codenames XXL.
One Board Family:
The train has pulled into town bringing a load of new characters to your shady French inn. The traveling carnival workers need a place to sleep but they don’t know of the dark secrets that your establishment holds. The Bloody Inn: The Carnies is an expansion for one of our absolute favorite games, The Bloody Inn.
Learn to Play:
In this video I will teach you how to play including: Components,setup, player turn and actions, and end game conditions with scoring. I also included a small game play video towards the end of the video. I will also give you my thoughts and opinions on the game, and would love to hear yours.
In this video I will teach you how to play including: Components,setup, phases of a round, end game conditions, and scoring. I will also give you my thoughts and opinions on the game, and would love to hear yours.
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Mosozooic, a new card puzzle game from Z-Man Games. In this title you are building the best dinosaur zoo you can for the most points. If you are able to do that for 3 rounds within the time limit, you win! The game definitely plays out as a puzzle, where you will be moving cards around to form your zoo and in the order that provides the most points.
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Volfyirion, a brand new card game from Tabula Games that is just hitting kickstarter. We wanted to get a preview of this new game that fits perfectly into their gaming universes (Mysthea - also another successful kickstarter). Wow - I was blown away on how fun this card game really is and all the cool mechanics and pacing of the game! It is going to offer more play modes as well and the base pledge is truly a no-brainer at $10US
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Countdown - Action Edition from Dogmight Games and Lindsey Rode. In this title you are either the role of a hostage, villain or the action hero! You better get released or win due to your personal win condition before the bomb goes off! This group deception game offers a few awesome welcomed additions to the game type: up to 15 people are supported, each player has a personalized win condition and each player gets a one time game action.
From the box to the insert, from the score pad to the tiles, Spirits of the Forest, is quite simply enchanting. You’ll quickly read the rulebook – don’t be alarmed, it's multilingual, the rules just about cover two pages and are very, very simple. You’ll set the game up and take a moment to just look at it, it is, as one has come to expect from Thundergryph Games, very pretty.
Your journey into this colourful and quaint bakerlite world is one of simple purpose, collect the most of each type of spirit that inhabits the forest. That’s it, nice and simple. There are 150 in total….no, hang on, that’s Pokemon. There are nine different spirits to collect and 3 ‘elements’. If you have more than your opponent then you’ll score a point for each one. If you have none you’ll suffer a 3 point penalty.
Reef is a lovely, although loosely themed, abstract game in which you are trying to build a reef to house marine life. Technically, you are the reef, trying to grow and be beautiful. To build your reef (yourself?), you’ll be playing cards and placing reef bits in order to score points for completed patterns. The goal is to have the most points at the end of the game, which means you are the most beautiful reef, beloved by fish everywhere.
TOKYO METRO has you investing in the development of the public transit network of Tokyo with the goal of making the most money. There’s a central map of the Tokyo subway system and an accompanying income track to keep tabs on how much money each line makes.
Each round is divided into 5 phases. The first phase simply refreshes the action card grid, removing the lowermost cards and adding a new row to the top. The next phase is a blind bid to determine turn order for the rest of the round. All bids are paid to the bank and the player who paid most is goes first, the player who played the next highest goes second, and so on. In the movement phase players will move their meeple up to 2 spaces on the grid map. The majority of the action happens in the appropriately named action phase.
Little did I know that just three years later, Codenames has not only appeared on the shelf at Target, but it has had its own Target-exclusive edition; that Codenames would more-than-crack the top 100 on Board Game Geek (currently sitting at #48 after a fall from the teens); or that my family would become utterly obsessed with the game. Indeed, I have introduced a lot of games to my family over the years, and they’ve enthusiastically tried most of them, but I think they’d be content if all they had was Bohnanza and Codenames.
So releasing a new, giant, “deluxe” version just makes sense. But is bigger better?
But I also need to get you these reviews.
Today we have: Dead Throne, Draconis Invasion, 7 Ghosts, Robin Hood and the Merry Men, Secret Unknown Stuff: Escape from Dulce, Flip and Find’s Diner, Welcome to Centerville, Master of Orion: Conquest, Codenames: Duet, Portal of Heroes, Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time, and Felicity.
Dead Throne Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at DEAD THRONE a new game from Sharkee Games and coming to us through kickstarter. This game is a fantasy adventure game at heart but offers a very cool PvP and questing component that makes it a strong entry for me. you will traverse the board looking for items, questing and hunting down medallion and region stones. Can you be the first player to reach the castle with either all the region stones (heroes) or all the medallion pieces (Saladar) for the win? Or would you rather defeat the mighty dragon and win the "Crown of the King"? Its up to you in this open world adventure game! This one is a fun title and I am impressed with the simple mechanics but high player interaction you generally do not see in an adventure game.
Draconis Invasion Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Draconis Invasion a new deck builder from Passport Games and recently Kenji Inc. This is your standard deck builder but offers two very nice mechanics I like and will keep you wanting to keep coming back for another round (watch the video for these as I think they make this title a fun and enjoyable experience). I definitly recommend playing this title with a group of friends although it offers a solo play experience as well. The solo experience is good but I think this game really stands well as a group experience. Great artwork and excellent packaging design.
Undead Viking Review:
7 Ghosts Review
Robin Hood and the Merry Men Review
Secret Unknown Stuff: Escape from Dulce Review
Flip and Find’s Diner Review
Flip and Find’s Diner is a 1-4 player game (I am a little unsure how much fun this would be 1 player though) based on memory and tactics. The guys at Spontaneous Combustible Games have been putting their heads together to come up with something very different from their last release of Pests, and this time they have aimed it at a family audience. This is the perfect gatrway game to get your little ones into tabletop gaming, it is colourful, fast, fun and most important of all there will be a winner!
Board Game Quest:
Welcome to Centerville Review
Welcome to Centerville is played over three rounds, with scoring happening after each round is complete. You will track scores for both wealth and prestige, but your final score is the lower of the two. Being the most prestigious person in Centerville isn’t worth much if you are penniless.
The actions you can take each round are determined by a Yahtzee-like dice rolling system. You can roll (and re-roll, and re-roll) your dice each turn. Once you are happy with the result—or out of rolls—the dice are spent to carry out actions.
Master of Orion: Conquest Review
Master of Orion: Conquest is a two-player card game that simulates the planet for planet battles that occur in the PC game of the same name. Each player takes a starter deck and builds in cards from their own card row. The ultimate aim is to destroy the opponent’s homeworld in about 30 minutes to an hour.
Codenames: Duet Review
Confession time. I’m not a very big fan of Codenames. I think it’s a fine game, but I just never got the hype for it. People who play it constantly, or said it changed the dynamic of their game group are on another planet than me. It was always one of those games where I’d play it if someone asked, and then quickly move on. It was fine but forgettable.
But I have an open mind, so I figured I’d give Codenames: Duet a chance when publisher Czech Games Edition was kind enough to send one over for review. Thankfully this wasn’t just another rethemed version of Codenames, but a whole new way to play it, cooperatively! Could this be the spark that was always missing in Codenames for me? Let’s find out.
Portal of Heroes Review
In Portal of Heroes, your goal is to be the first to score 12 or more points through the activation of character cards. Each player begins with a small sheet representing their portal, which can hold two character cards. Once character cards are activated, they are removed from the portal and the player gains any abilities and victory points on the card.
The game’s bridge-sized cards come in two decks: one deck of pearl cards used as currency and the other deck of character cards used for special abilities and victory points.
Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time Review
The goal of PEatCoT is to unlock and recover four treasures before Professor Evil locks away four of his own in a secret vault.
On your turn, you get to do three actions plus resolve one of two action cards drawn from your character-specific action deck. Things you can do include moving from room to room, unlocking doors, deactivating switches, and recovering treasures.
Felicity, the Cat in the Sack Review
Felicity, the Cat in the Sack is a hand-management, auction, and bluffing game for three to five players. Players contribute animals to nine communal sacks and bid on the contents of those sacks. The player with the most points wins.
At the very least, though, before I take another shot of medicine and go lay down, I gotta make sure you get those reviews you so desperately desire.
This week we have: Museum Heist, Race for the Galaxy iOS Expansions, Battle for Rokugan, Yogi, The Pursuit of Happiness: Community Expansion, Bubblee Pop, XCOM: Evolution Expansion, Dicetopia, Hot Shots, NewSpeak, Dragonfire, Codenames: Duet, Outpost Siberia, and Mage Wars Academy Warlord and Forcemaster Expansions.
Board Game Quest:
Museum Heist Review
Museum Heist isn’t a game about trying to get past security. Instead, it is about outsmarting the other players. Each round, players will decide which of the seven thieves they are going to pick to try to be one to land on the artwork token. Players will have only a few options each turn.
Race for the Galaxy iOS Expansions Review
Last year we reviewed the utterly fantastic Race of the Galaxy mobile app. Temple Games took a much loved card game and polished it up to a shine with their digital version. Since then, they’ve released three expansions for the app, which we are going to take a quick look at today and see if the are worth the in-app purchase.
However, as we rarely review iOS board game expansion, I’m going to keep this one to a general overview and quick thoughts. If you want in-depth analysis on any of the expansions, they’ve all been around for a very long time, so there are plenty of articles with that focus.
Battle for Rokugan Review
Starting a game is similar to the beginning of a game of RISK. Players will take control of territories on the board and if they manage to gain all of a particular color group, they gain a power card that provides a one-time bonus. Additionally, players are provided with 27 combat tokens in their player color including a single bluff token. Finally, players receive a couple of action cards and have choose from two objective cards.
In Yogi, there are two types of cards. Green cards provide players directions to follow, such as having a finger touching their nose, the right thumb up, one arm up in the air, and so on. Orange cards have a placement – such as the card touching a left eyebrow, right ear, or other body parts.
Each turn, a player draws a card, reads it, and immediately begins following the directions of the card, while continuing to obey previously drawn cards, changing positions and twisting their body as needed. If a player stops following a card’s instructions, even for a moment, they are eliminated from the game. The last person to remain in the game is declared the winner.
The Pursuit of Happiness: Community Expansion Review
The first thing to note is that the expansion comes with some more cards that can be added to the base game without even invoking the new “Community” aspects. You get more life goals, projects, items/activities, jobs and partners. These are simply shuffled into their respective base game decks and play as normal.
Bubblee Pop Review
Bubblee Pop is a puzzle/match-3 game for two players. Players try to align rows or columns of three or more matching-color bubblees to score and unlock special abilities. The player with the highest score wins.
XCOM: Evolution Review
XCOM: Evolution is an expansion to XCOM: The Board Game. If you aren’t familiar with the cardboard version of XCOM, check out my review, but in brief: aliens are invading the world. During a digital-app-assisted timed phase, you’ll watch as UFOs circle the globe and aliens mob your base, and then assign ships and soldiers to defend your planet and attempt missions to fight off the alien threat. You only have so much budget to work with, and a press-your-luck mechanism with dice will resolve all your interactions.
XCOM: Evolution adds a whole slew of new challenges to the game, and a few new advantages.
Drive Thru Review:
Dicetopia Kickstarter Preview
Dicetopia Kickstarter Preview
Learn to Play:
Hot Shots Review
In this video I will teach you how to play including: Setup, player turn,fire cards, and end game conditions I will also give you my thoughts and opinions on the game, and would love to hear yours.
Play Board Games:
Dragonfire is a cooperative deck building game with a Dungeons and Dragons theme. Your party of adventurers must defeat encounters to win and gain XP and level up.
Codenames: Duet Review
Codenames Duet changes up the play of the popular party game. This version allows you to play with fewer people or smaller teams.
Outpost Siberia Review
Outpost Siberia is a cooperative card game of survival. Can you get enough food and water and survive the strange creatures you encounter?
Mage Wars Academy Warlord and Forcemaster Expansions Review
Mage Wars Academy gets two new wizards, the Warlord and the Forcemaster. These expansions also add more creatures and spells to the series.
I don't know about you, but for me, that first week of 2018 seemed to take an eternity! Not that it was bad, mind you. I even got to play a new game. But there were several days where I was just going, "wait, it's not even noon yet?" But yeah, we're now firmly into the first weekend of the year. Hopefully you're able to get some gaming in. I will be. But even if you're unable to get out, you can still check out some reviews.
This week we have: Heaven and Ale, Favelas, Fallout: The Board Game, Codenames: Disney, Witches of the Revolution, LIberatores, The Ruhr: A Story of Coal, and Time's Up!: Title Recall.
Board Game Quest:
Heaven and Ale Review
Players begin the game by laying out a series of tiles on the main board spaces. Hexagonal tiles represent the ingredients needed to make beer (yeast, hops, wheat, water, and wood for the fire and/or barrels). Round tiles are monk tiles. These will be useful for activating the hexagonal resources and improving the skill of the brewmaster.
In Favelas, players attempt to beautify the favelas of Rio de Janeiro in a way to appease the city’s council. The game is played over three rounds and in each round, certain colors will be prized more highly, but players can influence which colors are in demand as well.
Fallout: The Board Game Review
In Fallout, each player controls a wanderer from one of five classic factions: Vault Dweller, Wastelander, Super Mutant, Ghoul, and Brotherhood Outcast. Armed only with a starting item and a skill, they must venture out into the wasteland to try and score agenda points (victory points).
A game of Fallout is played in a series of rounds, with each player getting two actions on a turn. Different actions include: moving, exploring new tiles, fighting enemies, questing and encountering, and resting. After all players have had a turn, the round ends with a random group(s) of monsters activating and looking for wanderers to attack.
Codenames: Disney Review
If you have every played Codenames before, you can skip down to the next section as, for the most part, nothing has changed.
In the family edition of the game, the cards are laid out in a 4×4 grid. Players can choose if they want to use the pictures side or the text side. Teams are formed and one player from each team will be the clue giver. The clue masters look at the secret key card that shows which cards in their grid belong to their team.
Board to Death TV:
Witches of the Revolution Review
Witches of the Revolution is a cooperative game. You and your fellow players lead covens of witches determined to see a ?edgling nation achieve freedom from tyranny. You must recruit powerful allies, unleash potent relics, overcome menacing events, and ultimately fulfill four keystone objectives before time runs out. Will you specialize, or prepare for anything? Will assisting allies spread your resources too thin, or unlock success?
In Liberatores: The Conspiracy to Liberate Rome, players are senators that are part of the “Liberatores” — secret conspirators of ancient Rome, whose main goal is to kill Julius Caesar.
The Ruhr: A Story of Coal Review
A pile of coal, a dream, a barge, and a river. It’s not much, but it’s all you have. You roll up your sleeves and start loading your barge with coal. It’s hard and it’s dirty, but it’s honest work and with some determination it might even prove lucrative. Barge loaded, you head down the river and start your deliveries. The money is nice – could even buy you a couple of luxuries – but you know better. You invest it in your business. Now things are rolling. The money’s coming in and it’s all paying off. All of this thanks to the river, all thanks to The Ruhr.
Time's Up!: Title Recall Review
Party games are often the bane of a hobby gamer’s game time. When there are lots of people present, it can be awkward to suggest splitting up, but large-group party games are like gases: they have a way of filling whatever space they’re offered, and once you start playing them, they tend to eat up a whole game night, especially with casual players. So hosts must be careful that the party morsels they set before their guests are worthy, otherwise they’ll find themselves staring into either their friends’ horrifying exposed gums or their own soul, wondering how it has come to this.
Thankfully, there are lots of good hobby party games. But there are also sometimes excellent party games available where you least expect them: in the mass market. Time’s Up! is one of these.
From the announcement:
USAopoly Inc. announced today an exclusive global licensing agreement for the Codenames franchise with European-??based Czech Games Edition. USAopoly will design and publish licensed versions of the highly acclaimed tabletop game as the exclusive global licensing partner for the Codenames brand.
The announcement is made by USAopoly’s President and CEO, John M. Davis, and Czech Games Edition’s CEO and Founder, Petr Murmak.
“We have one of the strongest licensing departments in gaming, and we recognized that Codenames was perfect for pairing with some of our great licenses. We are confident the licensing possibilities for Codenames will be exciting, and will complement our extraordinary portfolio of game brands,” noted USAopoly President and CEO John M. Davis. “It will be great to work with Petr and the Czech Games Edition team, as Codenames is wildly popular and well-??regarded in the market.”
In 2016, Codenames was the winner of the board game industry’s most prestigious award— the Spiel des Jahres— in addition to numerous other accolades.
Two licensed editions of Codenames will be available in Fall 2017 and will retail for $24.95. Both games are targeted for players ages 8 and up and will be sold exclusively in North America.
USAopoly, Inc. will be at Toy Fair in New York City, February 18?21. For more information and details on some of the industry’s best games, visit USAopoly.com.
It's also October.
I mean, seriously, can it really get that much better than this? Oh, yeah, *puts on some Type O Negative while working on the post* There we go.
Anyway, you want 'em, so here's your reviews for the week.
Today we have: Patchwork, Epic Roll: Eclipse, Arcadia Quest, Tutti Frutti, True Messiah, Eclipse, Trickerion: Legends of Illusion, Dodge Dice, Grifters, Codenames: Pictures, and Agamemnon.
Toucan Play That Game:
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Patchwork by Mayfair Games.
Epic Roll: Eclipse Preview
theMCGuiRE review takes a preview look at Epic Roll: Eclipse the brand new Epic Roll game from Summon Entertainment! Its currently on Kickstarter! This game follows a similar game play style as the first Epic Roll with some fun new mechanics and the twist of being the villains instead of the heroes. Just a fantastic dice based board game that never disappoints!
Arcadia Quest Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Arcadia Quest from Spaghetti Western Games and CoolMiniorNot (CMON). This is one of my favorite games at this point and cant wait for the Pets and other expansions to come out! You really have it all in this system (PvP, PvE, Campaigning, Questing, single play sessions, great artwork, fun game play, and more).
Low-Hanging Fruit (a review of Tutti Frutti)
Tutti Frutti is a speed matching/recognition game for two to six players. Players try to collect matches to the fruits on either end of their fruit stack. The player with the tallest stack at the end of the game wins.
True Messiah Kickstarter Review
Central to True Messiah is the concept of belief, it's the power needed to fuel your miracles and the majority of your game will be spent carefully managing this important resource. Belief can only be generated by your faithful followers praying on a holy site. The problem with praying is all that kneeling and closing of eyes leaves you rather open to attack and so while they may be generating your God-fuel, they become a complete push over in combat – they can take a hit, but aren’t going to be dishing one out.
Whilst not the freshest game to be covered by our beady eyes here at Polyhedron Collider, Eclipse stands out for me as a very good example of a 4X game manifested in tabletop form. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, 4X stands for “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate” and that tells you pretty much what you need to know about the premise of Eclipse. If any of you have played Sins of a Solar Empire or Civilisation on the PC, you’ll have a fair idea of what’s involved. Start with a small patch of space, blindly stumble around trying to find stuff, start a fight or two then crush your enemies with superior firepower. Or play nice and see how far that gets you.
Board Game Quest:
Trickerion: Legends of Illusion Review
In each game of Trickerion, players are trying to earn the most victory points (called Fame in the game). Each round, they will be visiting the games different area to hire assistants, earn money, learn tricks, and buy resources. Eventually they will put on a performance constituting of one or more tricks. Perfuming on the stage will earn players money, trickerion shards and, of course, Fame points. At the end of the game, the player with the most fame wins.
Dodge Dice Review
In Dodge Dice, you need luck on your side as you roll a set of dice hoping to avoid earning any points. A round will end when a player either rolls a stop icon on the action die or all the dodge dice are removed from the round. Players are not alone in this fight, armed with skip chips that can allow them to skip their turn or ignore a result on a roll. When this happens a player will be awarded the points and a new round begins. This will continue until a player has reached 100 points and ends the game. The person with the fewest points wins the game, with tied players continuing to play until a winner is determined.
Drive Thru Review:
Intro (00:00); game overview (00:57); final thoughts and review (06:30)
Codenames: Pictures Review
Intro (00:00); game overview (00:56); final thoughts and review (03:38)
Intro (00:00); game overview (00:49); final thoughts and review (07:34)
When you're reading this, I'm hopefully using my Battle Chef in combat.
But that's me.
For you who's here reading the site, I've got your Review Roundup for you.
Today we have: Hail Caesar, Force on Force, Codenames, Five Tribes, Legends of Andor The Star Shield, Ninja All-Stars, The Grizzled: At Your Orders, Aviary, Booty, Catan: Explorers and Pirates, Allegiance: A Realm Divided, and The Golfing Dead.
Meeples & Miniatures:
Hail Caesar Review
Wargames rules, it seems, are somewhat like buses: You seem to spend ages waiting for a set to come along, and then two or three arrive at the same time. Last year (2010) this was true of Napoleonic rules, this year it’s the turn of Ancients, with several new Ancients rulesets being published at approximately the same time.
One of these is Hail Caesar, the latest offering from Mr. Priestly and Warlord Games. As you may expect, following on from the successful publication of Black Powder, these rules follow roughly the same format, and can indeed be seen as the Ancients ‘version’ of these earlier rules – or you could alternatively view these rules as a progression from Rick Priestley’s earlier work on Warmaster Ancients – either viewpoint has it’s merits.
Force on Force Review
Force on Force (FoF) are the new Wargames rules from Osprey Publishing. They are actually the second edition of the rules, the first edition being published in 2009.
This new edition of the rules is actually an amalgamation of the Force on Force first edition with Ambush Alley, the first rule set produced by Ambush Alley Games.
Toucan Play That Game:
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Codenames by Czech Games Edition.
Five Tribes Review
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Five Tribes by Days of Wonder.
Play Board Games:
Legends of Andor: The Star Shield Review
The Star Shield expansion for Legends of Andor adds a new legend with new enemies, goals and components.
Ninja All-Stars Review
In Ninja All-Stars you are competing in The Moonlight Tournament to determine the most respected clan in the land.
The Grizzled: At Your Orders Overview
The Grizzled At Your Orders is a new expansion for The Grizzled, which is published by Cool Mini or Not. It plays 1-5 players and will be one of the toughest games you'll ever play but you'll want to play it again and again!
Looking for Dove in Owl the Wrong Cages (A Review of Aviary)
Your task in Aviary is to observe a number of birds with specific characteristics according to three assignment cards which determine points. But instead of honey seeds and binoculars you’ll be using good old fashioned trick-taking to prove that several birds in your hand are actually pretty useful at catching more of them in the bush.
Drawn and Quartered (a review of Booty)
Booty is an “I divide, you decide” set collection game for three to six players. Players are pirates dividing the spoils of their campaigns, and the player with the most valuable haul at the end of the game wins.
Each player takes the flag markers of one color. The islands are laid in the center of the table, and each player is dealt two Legacy tiles. Next, cards are dealt to the center of the table (one face-down, and three cards for each player in the game). Randomly assign player order.
Sea to Shining Sea (A Review of Catan: Explorers and Pirates)
Explorers and Pirates builds off the original Catan formula; you know, roll your dice, collect resources, beg for trades, build stuff. This big ol’ box adds a whole sea of opportunity, focusing heavily on exploration. Also, a bit of pirating.
Board Game Quest:
Allegiance: A Realm Divided Review
In Allegiance, each player takes control of one of ten different heroes. Each hero has seven unique powers, a weapon and suit of armor (usually), and possibly some special abilities and cards.
During the game, players will be drawing cards from 3 shared decks (Basic Unit, Elite Unit, and Action) and using those to summon troops to battle. Each unit will has its own attack power, health, and possibly some special abilities. Players will be using a combination of hero powers, action cards, and units to attack their opponents. The goal in Allegiance is to reduce your opponent’s health to zero.
Board to Death TV:
The Golfing Dead Preview
Golf is an old game we’ve played at home with a deck of face cards since we were kids. Maybe some of you have even played a “round” of it recently. We’ve taken this old classic and put it through the apocalyptic ringer.
I hope your new year is full of all the gaming you want. My the dice roll in your favor.
But as we look forward to the future, we must look back and reflect on the past... namely, we need to look at some reviews for games. So let's get right to it.
Today's review article topics include: Isle of Skye, Diamonds, KLASK, T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy Case, Codenames, Le Havre: The Inland Port iOS, and Dark Stories.
Isle of Tiles (a review of Isle of Skye)
Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King is a tile-laying/price-setting game with variable scoring for two to five players. Players set prices, purchase tiles, and place those tiles in their own territories to score points. The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
Diamonds Are Forever (A Review of Diamonds)
Diamonds is a new take on classic trick-taking games like Hearts or Spades. The goal is to score the most points by winning (and losing) tricks.
The game covers between four and six rounds, depending on the number of players, which ranges from 2 to 6.
Each round, players are dealt a hand of ten cards out of a 60-card deck. This deck is similar to a standard playing-card deck with the four suits – hearts, spades, clubs, diamonds – but instead of 2-10 and face cards, you’ve simply got numbered cards 1 through 15 in each suit.
Magnets and Pylons, Oh My! (A Review of KLASK)
Like most games of its ilk, the rules of Klask are nearly self evident. Use the strikers to knock the ball into the opponent’s goal and you earn a point. The strikers are attached the surface via a magnetic peg underneath the playing area which you’ll use to maneuver them. But scoring a goal is not the only way that points are handed out. If you ever lose control of your striker, lose your striker in your own goal or if at least two of the magnetic pylons attach themselves to your striker you will award your opponent a point. After every point, the board is reset and play continues until someone scores six points wherein celebratory dance will commence.
T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy Case Review
The Marcy Case is the first Expansion for T.I.M.E Stories, though I really wish it had been included in the base game. It's a set of large format cards that add a completely new time travelling adventure to the original game. You'll be sent back to 1992 to find Marcy, a young girl who for some reason is important to the future world.
Codenames isn't the kind of game I would normally play. It hasn't got miniatures, dice, Cthulhu or light sabres. It doesn't involve controlling territory, raising armies or levelling up. Instead Codenames is a simple game about word play and I'm beginning to think it's the best game of the year.
The premise of Codenames is paper thin but that doesn't matter, laid out is a 5 x 5 grid of Codenames which could be the names of spies, civilians or a deadly assassin. You will split into two teams and try and work out the names of your team's spies before your opponent and without finding the assassin. A spy master on each team will use word association to give clues to the identity of their teams' spies. For example they could say animal, and the code name could be horse.
Play Board Games:
In Codenames you are a spymaster, giving clues, or guessing the whereabouts of your spies. The group is split into two teams each with one spymaster.
You set up a 5 x 5 grid of cards. Each card has one word on it. The two spymasters have a key that shows them which cards in the grid belong to both teams, which cards are neutral and which one is the assassin.
Board Game Quest:
Le Havre: The Inland Port iOS Review
Today, we are going to be looking at Le Havre: The Inland Port for iPad and iPhone. Originally designed by Uwe Rosenberg (Agricola), Le Havre: The Inland Port has the kind of designer pedigree that makes eurogame fans drool. This digital version was developed by DIGIDICED, their first foray into iOS board gaming.
The tabletop version of Le Havre: The Inland Port was always well received, but not one that gets a lot of attention. So let’s dive in and see how this translation worked out.
Dark Stories Review
How hard is it to solve a murder? I’m guessing that unless you have a lot of fake science (I’m looking at you CSI, Zoom! Enhance!), it’s most likely not an easy task.
Today we are going to be looking at a new offering from Z-Man Games called Dark Stories. This pack of cards tasks players with figuring out how a person died; be it from a freak accident or murder most foul. What makes it difficult is that the players have very little to go on in the way of clues. Dark Stories is a small box with minimal components, does that mean small enjoyment? It’s time to find out.
Dark Stories is a deduction game for any number of players that will play for as long as you want.
As it is Saturday (most beloved of days), it's time for another Review Roundup.
This week we have reviews/previews of: Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, Dungeons & Dragons: Out of the Abyss, Citadel Air Paint, Pathfinder Battles: Dungeons Deep Booster, Halfling Feast, Sentinels of the Multiverse App, Ubongo, Traders of Osaka, VS System Card Game, The Undercity, Arcadia Quest, Clockwork Wars, Codenames, Privateers: The Golden Decade, and Neuroshima Hex.
Nerds on Earth:
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn review
Nerds on Earth review Ashes, a new game card and dice game from Plaid Hat Games.
Dungeons & Dragons: Out of the Abyss review
Nerds on Earth reviews Out of the Abyss, the newest storyline from Dungeons and Dragons
Citadel Air Paint Review
I picked up some pots of the new Citadel Air line and did a review. I'm not convinced they're the end-all-be-all but if you can get around the hassle of those dastardly paint pots, and you don't already have airbrush paints, they might be worth trying out. Check it out!
Pathfinder Battles: Dungeons Deep Booster Review
Adventurers! It’s time to meet some monsters from the depths of the dungeon in the new Pathfinder Battles Dungeons Deep set. We’ve long been fans of using miniatures in our RPG sessions and have been collecting pre-painted RPG miniatures for several years, so we’re always excited to see new sets being released.
Dungeons Deep is the newest range of miniatures from Paizo/WizKids and contains a wide range of fantastic creatures for use with Pathfinder and other tabletop RPGs such as Dungeons and Dragons. We’re going to be opening up several booster boxes of miniatures, each of which are priced at around $15.99 and contain a randomized set of 1 large size and 3 medium and/or small sized miniatures from the Dungeons Deep range.
Halfling Feast preview
No. of players: 2-4 Play Time: 30+ mins Age: 8+
Play Board Games:
Sentinels of the Multiverse App Review
The Sentinels of the Multiverse App is a digital representation of the board game. It mimics the game well and takes care of the accounting too.
In Ubongo you race against time and the other players to finish your puzzle first and gain gems worth VPs.
Shut Up & Sit Down:
Traders of Osaka review
First we had the beautiful, and beautifully clean design of Samurai. Next was the grand old game of Shogun, which was no less impressive. Today we look at Traders of Osaka, a small box game that was actually designed in Japan by one Susumu Kawasaki. And today I want to talk about yet another kind of beauty.
Board to Death TV:
VS System Card Game review
In Vs. System 2PCG, players choose a main character, build a deck with exactly sixty cards, and attempt to stun the other player’s Main Character in a game of superhero battle. The first set contains characters only from the Marvel Universe, but future sets may add other IPs.
Vs. System 2PCG is superficially similar to the original Vs. System collectible card game, but is a completely rebuilt game that takes some inspiration from the original. Combat has been streamlined, the turn structure is different, the resource system has been revamped, and the game is no longer collectible, with cards instead being released in a non-random format. A single box contains a full play-set of all cards.
The Undercity review
The Undercity puts a spin on the classic dungeon crawl adventure, setting it within the vast underground labyrinth of one of the Iron Kingdoms’ most famous cities.
This board game for two to four players and comes with a seven-adventure campaign. The players play one to four characters from the Iron Kingdoms universe as they try to weed out a nefarious evil that has been lurking in the Undercity of Corvis.
Arcadia Quest review
In Arcadia Quest, players lead guilds of intrepid heroes on an epic campaign to dethrone the vampire lord and reclaim the mighty Arcadia for their own. But only one guild may lead in the end, so players must battle against each other as well as against the monstrous occupying forces.
Arcadia Quest is a campaign-based game for 2 to 4 players, where each player controls a guild of three unique heroes, facing off against the other players and the various monsters controlled by the game. Players need to accomplish a series of quests in order to win each scenario and choose where to go next in the campaign.
Ever-Turning Gears of War (A Review of Clockwork Wars)
Another day, another civil war filled with chaos and battling and even more chaos. What’s a board gamer to do?
Obviously, hunker down, grab a pencil, and start boiling some water. After all, this is a steam-powered world, and it’s your chance to take command of a massive army, stake your claim on the world’s resources, research powerful abilities, and conquer the other, lesser races.
In other words, play Clockwork Wars.
Riddles in the Dark (a review of Codenames)
Control is getting cheap. With the price of telegrams increasing, one word will have to suffice in order for you to make contact with all of your friendly agents.
There they are, at the agent mixer, all twenty-five of them, milling about in their nametags. Eight or nine of them are friendly, eight or nine of them are hostile, and one of them is downright deadly. Can you find your friends and make it out alive? Find out in Codenames!
Board Game Quest:
Privateers: The Golden Decade preview
The Age of Sail has long been one of my favorite themes in board gaming. This is partially because I enjoy sailing in real life, but also because it was an age of discovery where man had to battle the unknown to survive. There is just something about it that has always sucked me in.
Today, we are going to be looking at Privateers: The Golden Decade. A new “competitive board game for 2 to 5 players that takes the life of 18th Century’s piracy on your table.” Now in funding on Kickstarter, we are going to dive into this nautical adventure and see if it’s worth investing your gaming dollar.
Neuroshima Hex review
The inevitable has happened. Humans finally went to war against the machines and the world as we know it has been destroyed. While that may sound familiar, I’m not talking about the rise of Skynet and the T-1000s (at least not today). No, I’m talking about the world of Neuroshima, where the remains of humanity have taken shelter in the ruins of cities, organized into small communities, gangs, and armies. And what happens when resources are scare and opposing factions vie for control? You guessed it. War.
Today we are going to dive into Neuroshima Hex 3.0, published by Portal Games and designed by Michal Oracz. In this highly tactical board game, players take control of one of four unique factions trying to survive in this devastated world. Now in its 3rd Edition, Neuroshiuma Hex has garnered quite the following over the years. So let’s dive into this hex-based board game and see if it’s time for us to join their legions.
Neuroshima Hex is a tactical, tile-laying war game for 2-4 players that takes about 30-45 minutes to play. Neuroshima Hex plays best with 2-3 players.
So without further ado, here's your Saturday Review Roundup.
In this batch we have reviews/previews of: Sentinel Tactics Uprising Expansion, Marvel Dice Masters: Age of Ultron, Batman Fluxx, Codenames, Carcassonne, Arctic Scavengers: Recon, Elysium, Kahuna, King's Ransom Deluxe, Machi Koro, Machi Koro Harbor Expansion, Systema Gaming Base-0 Habitat Units 1 and 2, and Die Waffenkammer's T-34/76.
Play Board Games:
Sentinel Tactics Uprising Expansion Review
Uprising is the first expansion for Sentinel Tactics. It introduces three new heroes, three new villains and four new scenarios.
Marvel Dice Masters: Age of Ultron Review
Age of Ultron is the latest expansion for Marvel Dice Masters. It has a bunch of Avengers and introduces the Guardians of the Galaxy and other new characters.
Batman Fluxx Review
Batman Fluxx is full of your favorite caped crusader’s allies and enemies. If you can reach the Goal in this ever-changing game you win.
Shut Up & Sit Down:
Codenames was the smash hit of Gen Con this year. It’s still perched happily atop BoardGameGeek’s “Hotness” sidebar, it sold out despite having a terrible name and a terrible box, and it’s the game I heard most people gossiping about. Under such crushing hype, and knowing that articles will soon be flowing in, today we're offering our review early.
While the rest of team SU&SD is away at GenCon, engaging in all sorts of cardboard debauchery, Paul takes the opportunity to sneakily make a video about an old classic and personal favourite, explaining why he thinks Carcassonne deserves the Shut Up & Sit Down treatment.
He also cooks himself.
We have nothing but apologies to offer for this video being a little late. That cooking (a pretty serious one), combined with some audio gremlins, was a bit of a setback. Don't worry, Paul is now regularly lathering himself in various balms.
Review: Arctic Scavengers: Recon
HELLO! And keep your voice down. It’s me, Arctic Scavengers Quinns, from our Arctic Scavengers review! Contrary to popular belief I didn’t die at the 10:26 mark. Like all good cliffhanger TV you didn’t see me get shot, leaving the screenwriters free to bring me back at a whim.
And we’ve got one heck of a juicy whim for you today. Arctic Scavengers: Recon is a big expansion for this phenomenal deckbuilding game of frosty bluffs, fully compatible with the “HQ” expansion in the base game. It’s also available in a box that combines Recon, HQ and the base game, which is quite the offers if this deceitful game slipped you by the first time.
Board Game Quest:
It’s 2015 now and the minds at Space Cowboys have finally given us their newest offering, Elysium. In this card drafting game, players take on the role of a Demigod who is trying to secure their place on Mt. Olympus. Will Elysium score this hot new game publisher a trifecta of fun games or have the finally made their first misstep. Let’s find out!
Elysium is a card drafting and set collection game for 2-4 players that takes about 60 minutes to play. Elysium plays best with 3-4 players.
I was offered a chance to review Kahuna, another two-player game published by Kosmos, and I jumped at the opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to take on the role of one of two opposing “ancient sorcerers of the Pacific,” a.k.a. Kahunas? I am NOT making this up… it is on the back of the box.
Kahuna is an abstract game about building and destroying bridges in order to capture and hold the majority of islands in a fictional tropical setting. It is a two-player game only and can be played between 30 and 45 minutes – 30 if you are both gamers, 45 minutes if one of the two gamers playing happens to be my spouse.
Chess Pwned (A Review of King’s Ransom Deluxe)
King’s Ransom is a fast-paced card game version of Chess with a constricted “board.” Cards represent the familiar Chess pieces and – in the base game – move in the usual manner. The Deluxe edition includes some fun, non-traditional adaptations of those units and adds a little deck-building element.
Happy, Happy, Machichi (A Review of Machi Koro)
Machi Koro is a light card game and in it, you are the mayor of Machi Koro. Your job is to make your city the largest in the region. You will use your cards and dice to build buildings, collect income, and install public works. Succeed and your citizens will love you and probably build a statue in your honor. Fail and they’ll probably all move into the winner’s awesome city leaving you with nothing to be mayor of.
Bright Lights, Bigger City (A Review of Machi Koro Harbor Expansion)
You’ve built your city in Machi Koro and become the Mayor that everyone loves. But, as with all politicians, you crave more. More Establishments! More Landmarks! More ways to make money! Machi Koro – The Harbor Expansion answers your pleas by giving you a little bit more of everything to work with. The question that has to be asked is this: Is more better, or is it just more?
Systema Gaming Base-0 Habitat Units 1 and 2 Review
We’re back with part 2 of our Base-0 wargaming buildings reviews. Last time we built and reviewed the HQ Unit, and this time we’re building both the Habitat Unit 1 and Habitat Unit 2 kits from Systema Gaming. These are laser-cut MDF modular terrain kits for wargaming, and suit sci-fi games like infinity and Warhammer 40k.
Battle Brush Studios:
Die Waffenkammer's T-34/76 Review
Battle Brush Studios take a closer look at one of Die Waffenkammer's 28mm size resin World War Two vehicles.