Basically the same as the other 10 Days games. Rummy-esque with countries. The people I played with didn't think it really would be useful for teaching geography, since you don't play on the board itself.
Also, why does the USA get an entire map to itself when the other maps are whole continents, including very large ones like Asia and Africa?? (1 play)
Fantasy-themed co-op. The game is very pretty. We played with the castle variant, which seemed to make the difficulty level somewhat reasonable; without them, I think it would be much too easy. Thanks to some lucky card pulls, I was able to pull of some cool turns, so that was fun, but it's a forgettable game overall. (1 play)
Well, this is really interesting and I think I'd like to play it some more and see how it really works. First impressions tell me that Kennedy has some really good cards, but it's really easy to be seduced by the cards away from sensible campaigning. What is difficult is managing the rest cubes. They do depend heavily on what cards you draw, but I suppose it ought to balance out with everything else.. with experienced players it probably works out so that the less successful player gets to be luckier. A clever idea.
I love love love the theme (even though it means I failed to stop Nixon from becoming president early!!! ), and I like the twists and turns of the game. It's a satisfying length and an absolutely gorgeous board.
Still, it's hard to love the game when there is such a sense of things I don't understand. I'll probably rate it higher later... (1 play)
This is really weird and I'd like to play it more. It's very much an auction game, with a whole bunch of central auctions; the twist is that everything you auction has lots of implications, positive and negative. Clever and unusual, although I'm not sure the disaster auctions work as well as I'd like. (2 plays)
A licensed game with a license I'm not really interested in. Played the four player variant and enjoyed myself decently, but it is pretty luck-driven and not many decisions. Designed for a nongamer audience who will probably like it. (1 play)
An interesting CCG-ish with an interesting and appealing theme (postapocalyptic economy-building--or destroying--with several different factions available). The game is quite difficult to comprehend from a quick read of the rules, but seems fairly straightforward afterward. Since most of the cards can be played in several different ways, it offers up a lot of options, which appears to make many different strategies possible. Curiously for the theme, it really seems to be an engine-building game. Enjoyable. (1 play)
A simple two-player or team-based abstract that's oddly reminiscent of Acquire without the stocks. Fairly random as where you can place depends entirely on the cards you draw (low cards are better). (1 play)
High-quality filler with some depth to it and plenty of replayability. This is a quick card-drafting game made engaging by fear of one's neighbors, greed for the best cards, and a certain amount of calculated risk. Somehow I ended up playing this over and over again, without ever really intending to--that's the sort of game this is. (Seventeen already? Sheesh.)
I didn't expect to like this expansion, but I actually think it improves the game. Drafting leaders early requires players to think about the strategy they are interested in pursuing before the game begins, though there is some wiggle room, since you draft four and only play three. I like it.
Note that the scores will obviously go up because there's more money and because there are points for leaders. (1 play)
Very pretty; the art is great and the pearls are awesome (although I'm constantly in danger of dropping them on the floor as I spin them around in the container). The game? It's very light and the cards can be really swingy, but it's a family game and the luck aspect isn't really surprising. (1 play)
I'm cooling on this. Part of it is group-oriented; members of our group are very protective of their strategies, which means that it is very difficult to step outside of my usual strategy and try something different. I'm also beginning to think it makes specialization a little too easy, and a lot of it depends on what everyone else decides to focus on.
Still a very solid worker placement game that combines elements of several games of which I am very fond, and honestly a great introduction to Eurogaming for someone who is interested in learning more.
I was really excited to hear about a streamlined, expandable version of Brass. However, I didn't really get what I wanted from it.
First, don't expect too much from the streamlining; it's still a very complex and rather fiddly game and it's still easy to lose rules.
Second, I found that I missed the canal age, or rather, I missed the chance to start over halfway through the game. Since the board never clears off, I think that the game is now too long. Toward the end, players' options suddenly disappear because there is no room left on the board and it feels as if the game is already over.
Third, I wasn't a big fan of the way that loans work. Since you can take as many loans as you want whenever you like, cautiousness is quite severely punished and making money matters little; the point is to take out lots of loans and build the big things immediately. This loses the feeling of building up your economy until you can do something really cool, which is kind of the fun part of economic games for me.
That said, it is quite a bit like Brass, and I DO like Brass. But it's a weaker game. (1 play)
Well, okay, it's not like I played the whole thing. There were several interesting features to it; I enjoyed the Parthenon-esque shortage/surplus thing and the way that you need to grab land to cash in cards and figure out when they'll help you. But the offensive cards seemed really, really powerful, and it bothered me that there was no way to defend oneself against them. And it seems likely that, had I played the last two ages, where the game seems likely to devolve into some kind of multiplayer wargame, this problem would only get bigger. (1 play)
I finally got around to playing this, and it turns out I really like it. The relationship to RRT is very strange, it's like they took the same rules and made a completely different game out of it. I like the planning, but it's tough. I like the smaller scale quite a bit too--not just the smaller map, but the shorter game play, the game phases that slightly constrict player options, and the lack of crazy unnecessary rules like RRT has. Interesting. Worthwhile. I can tell I'm not very good, but I'd like very much to play again.
Paper bills in 3rd edition are absurdly large. (1 play)
Okay, so my play was probably pretty atypical, so I am not sure what this game is really like. It seems like the choices may be a little more indicative of what will happen than in Arabian Nights. The theme's less interesting to me, but the game may be better. Recommend against going for broke. (1 play)
Yep, it's a game about doing things in the right order. And it's lots and lots of fun. I love putting together my farm and making things work together. I love the card combos and the way it feels like really building something and the free form nature of it--it really feels as if you can put you farm together however you like, though it isn't obvious if you look at it at the end. Really satisfying and after over 20 plays, I think it's safe to say this will be a favorite for a long time.
EDIT: Frankly, if you don't think Agricola is awesome, you simply don't play games for the same reasons I do. If you want a satisfying building experience, this is it! Must.. play...more...
EDIT AGAIN: Yeah, for now I am pretty sure I'm madly in love with this. The more I play, the more I want to keep playing.
COOLER OBSERVATIONS: The issues with the game are as follows: 1) it is very much a giant fiddly mess. The upkeep is pretty intense. 2) Turn order can matter, especially with a smaller number of players. 3) Yes, it is possible to get a very good hand and that does influence the outcome. I have tried the drafting variant and like it quite a bit.
But except for #2, these are integral parts of what I love about the game too and I will happily forgive them.
Hey, I enjoyed this a lot. The rules should all be familiar to Agricola fans, but the game is a very different one. It's quick, thinky, and the components are awfully cute. A winner. The one concern I have is that, since it's deterministic, it could be solved, but I hear there are expansions for that? (1 play)
This is very strange for an experienced Agricola player. I had expected it to ramp up the difficulty level significantly, but instead it is about as difficult--yet it is a very different game. Things that are normally difficult are much easier, while additions such as the fuel thing are very hard to do. So, the focus is different. I know that if I'd played this first, I'd be really excited about it. As it is, it's hard to judge it accurately. I don't think it is a good as the base game--but at this point, my level of experience is so different from one to the other, how can I judge? Try it. Reserving judgment for now. (1 play)
I'm not a huge fan of Union Pacific (I like it fine, I just don't love it), and the changes to this game don't really change my feelings about it in either direction. The removal of the track cards simplifies things a little, but it's replaced by a weird money mechanism, which makes the game feel a little slower because players need to keep taking time out of their route building in order to finance it. The game's probably a little shorter. I don't think it's especially easier or more difficult to learn. On the whole, it's probably a good substitute for UP, which is out of print and expensive. (1 play)
This is a really cool idea; I'm kind of enchanted by the attempt to integrate deduction into, like, an actual game. However, it's really fiddly (partly because of production issues), and when we played, there was a ton of downtime, perhaps because one player absolutely COULD NOT understand the way the results work. Oh, and the theme is awesome. The bluffing aspect muddies the waters a little. (1 play)
Fun, light drafting game. High luck factor but there are times to seize opportunities and times not to. I really enjoy playing and am very happy that we own this one now. Two-player variant probably deserves a lower rating as we flew through tiles with scoring cards nowhere to be seen.
This adds a lot of complexity and several new things to think about. It foils typical strategies but I'm not convinced that it creates new ones. Worth a try, especially if you are tired of vanilla Alhambra, but on the whole I am not that impressed. I like the vizier, not so sure about the huts. (2 plays)
This is another game in the recent trend of "interesting dice Euros." In this case, the dice can be placed in various parts of the board, not entirely unlike Kingsburg. What makes it more interesting than the latter game is the cards, which grant various abilities to players who use them. It's probably not my favorite of its genre, but I'd like to play it again. The fact that any dice you roll are likely to be good for something is a definite plus. (1 play)
An Amazon.com tie-in trivia game. Its real purpose is to advertise Amazon, but it's a decent trivia game about books. The main decision is whether to pass or try to answer a book based on the first, very general, clue. It's far from deep, but it can be lots of fun with the right crowd--in fact, I played with that crowd and it was exactly the right thing. (1 play)
This is more confrontational than most Feld games, because players have to fight for space on a shared board. This could get a little frustrating at times. Still, the idea of taking actions based on the cube tower is very cool. I did wish that more cubes would stay in the tower, so that we wouldn't already know that X action won't happen this round, etc. (1 play)
This is another game of city building by tile-laying with text on the tiles. It reminded me strongly of City Tycoon but is also reminiscent of Infinite City. The biggest difference is that each player has his or her own individual city instead of having to build next to other players. That isn't really an improvement. (1 play)
Great game. Its division between the Old and New Kingdoms gives it a structure quite different from most games, the bidding allows for a lot of "I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!" moments, and I love the building aspects because, well, I like building things. Certainly one of the best Knizias I have played.
Took most of the first play to figure out what I was supposed to be doing here. Farmers are essential, perhaps a little too important. There are several different things you can work on but they all require good use of farmers, and somehow I wished there were one more. Would be interested in playing again if only to upgrade this comment to something more coherent. (1 play)
This is a rather bizarre Settlers variant, rather reminiscent of Starfarers on a smaller scale. I think I prefer it to Starfarers if only because random geography is less significant and it's much shorter, but sometimes I wish Teuber would just make a new game. (1 play)
It's really hard to evaluate this game. I am left with the feeling of having grappled with something huge and not having really ever gotten a good grasp of it. It certainly feels really long, not because I get bored of what I am doing--quite the contrary--but there is a certain amount of stamina required and unlike most games it actually becomes more overwhelming as it develops.
It's really interesting and I think I'd like to try it again, but, um, not soon. (1 play)
Okay, so it's only good when you are tired and in a properly silly mood, and with the right group. But it is a party game, after all. And when you get right down to it, I love hearing people's explanations for their choices, and I get way more enjoyment than I should from putting down cards that I KNOW won't win.
There are a few twists, but it is so similar to Zooloretto that I would be surprised to hear that anyone has very different opinions of the two. I still prefer Coloretto; Schacht is, in my view, best at his simplest. (2 plays)
A dominoes variant. Pretty random, especially given that your goal may change at any time. The action cards make it easy to prolong the game much longer than it is at all entertaining. Kinda boring and pointless. (2 plays)
Feldian planning game ahoy! Everything you want to do takes two steps (programming robots and using them), but you have limited actions and you NEED THEM ALL AUGH. But that means you need to be on the lookout for way of getting extra actions or using your actions better, like the special robot-programming action, which I think is really important. Plus, the theme is really cool. Good stuff.
Well, you can't deny it looks fantastic, and it's very pleasing to the touch. I'd kind of like to keep a leaf on my desk to play with while I work. As a game, though, it was kind of frustrating because we never seemed to make much progress, and the cards that randomly stop players from participating aren't much fun either. (1 play)
It's pretty easy, after a couple turns, to figure out how to set up your tiles such that your opponent cannot easily destroy their value. So that's kind of what you are stuck doing, since your opponent obviously does the same. Random tile draw has a disproportionate effect on the game. Not a good game. (1 play)
Well, I like trivia, and most of the questions are pretty good. I do think trivia games should probably be kept very simple and allow participants to answer as many questions as possible, so I was disappointed by the way that a wrong answer is punished by cutting off the stream of questions. Similarly, the cheats, while perhaps adding a strategic element, were essentially a way of not answer questions. And seriously, I just want to answer as many questions as possible.
This reminded me of Dungeon Lords--similar to that game, there are worker-placement actions with multiple options, depending on when you go there. Only, it's somehow even MORE chaotic than Dungeon Lords, despite not having the simultaneous action selection aspect. Abilities allow workers to be removed from spaces, and manipulate things in strange ways. There are goals that players don't know about unless they spend actions to look at them. There are spells to buy that interact oddly.
It's all a bit much. Neat idea though, and I love the theme. (1 play)
I expected this to be more fun than it was. It's really all about knowing when to score and there is definitely some fun back-and-forth interaction, but I don't see it becoming something I'm interested in playing on a regular basis. (1 play)
Yup, it's kinda long. It's mostly about reading text from cards and it's not really a strategy game at all. But, you know, I really like reading text from cards. And like most cooperative games, it's really about counting up the possible things that can happen or need to happen, and I enjoy that process, too. Everyone I play with thinks it's too long, and they're not wrong, but...
I've only played Spinning Jenny (the shorter version), so I don't know the true extent of this game. The version I played is long but not that hard to wrap your head around; it's very much a game about choosing in which areas you want to stay one step ahead of your opponents. Would certainly be interested in playing the more complicated version. (1 play)
A strange card drafting game where the main trick seems to be stopping the cards you draft from starving to death, and in the cards you take strongly affect what you'll be able to get in the future. As it's very different from most games I've played, it's probably worth checking out for card game fans. I did find myself a little frustrated as I got stuck in the negative feedback loop (can't draft many cards, can't stop cards from starving, nothing is getting better) instead of the positive one. (1 play)
This is one of those games where you spend a lot of time gathering resources to complete a goal, only to find that someone else has either swiped them or made it too expensive for you. It can be difficult to get much done. Frustrating. (1 play)
A pleasant little game with beautiful art, Asara is about building towers. Players can buy towers from different areas on the board and compete to have the most sections of each color. On the whole, it is a little light for my taste, but it's a very good example of what it is. (1 play)
While I enjoyed this more than other Dominion knock-offs (that means YOU, Thunderstone!), there isn't much to it. It's hard to plan card combos ahead of time, since the cards come out randomly over the course of the game. This is somewhat ameliorated by the fact that there aren't as many different cards, but that lowers the depth and the replay value. The game was mildly entertaining, but felt somewhat mindless, and I'm not sure I'd want to play it very often. (1 play)
A somewhat unusual action selection/stock game. Players enlist the aid of the gods in order to prepare for the final battle. The game isn't actually very complicated, but it's a bit tricky to pick up at first. The way the tokens are used is intriguing. (1 play)
This is a charming game that presents players with lots of things they can do to generate more stuff and a lot of control over their turn. I like that a lot, and the components are absolutely irresistible. However, I must admit that the game has some flaws. The interaction is very low--I'm tempted to just play it in solitaire mode instead--and the downtime is high, but most disappointingly, it's entirely possible for players to win and lose before the end of the game. So the end in particular is kind of a letdown, but the beginning and middle are great.
For what it's worth, later plays were more even among players. Oddly, there is much less downtime for four players than for three. (3 plays)
Little two-player games like this aren't always big favorites with me, and this one didn't seem too promising, especially since the rules were very poorly written and it was entirely unclear how the final two cartouches worked.
However, it turned out to be rather interesting. I tend to like games where players can compete in multiple arenas at the same time, winning some and losing others. Plus, it's one of those strangest of all creatures, a two-player area control game.
There are so many different ways to win that in the first game, my opponent didn't pay attention to all of them and lost because of it--so that felt a little unfair, but unlikely to happen with experienced players. In other situations, it just creates a lot of fires that must be attended to immediately. Kind of like tic-tac-toe in that respect, but, you know, with a game attached to it. (2 plays)
I was excited to try this old pick-up-and-deliver game, but I was disappointed in it. Players have to bid on the contracts in a weird, constrained way, and ultimately, they're not usually worth what you pay for them. There wasn't much variety in the game; you might find yourself working on the same delivery for a long time, but all the deliveries are kind of the same. There was a lot of randomness, though. I liked the idea that different loads are of different sizes, but in the context of this game it wasn't really worth it. (1 play)
Well, this is a very unusual game. It's really a card game somewhere between poker and Taj Mahal, where cards are so valuable you want to hang on to them, but if you don't spend them, they're worth nothing. Timing is everything. It's really important to get a quick start.
It's hard to really judge the game after one play because it is so different from other games I'd played. More of a card game than a euro, and probably better when you know what you are doing. (1 play)
A fairly random little filler. There are certainly some differences from Bingo--there are different odds, and players are pursuing goals that come from completing cards. It also includes some take-that cards which could be quite nasty and felt a little out of place in this style of game. (1 play)
For me, this game just isn't very much fun. There are reasons for this: the theme doesn't engage me at all and I hate taking risks based on limited information, so I'm probably not the target audience here. Much as I enjoy heavy economic games, Automobile for me is more stressful than fun. More detailed reflections below.
This game does an absolutely excellent job at inspiring a feeling of dread, if not outright terror. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is the scariest game I have ever played. Arkham Horror has nothing on this. I guess this aspect of it is thematic...
It is very likely that, whatever you do, bad things will happen to your fledgling automobile company. Your competitors will cause the customers to laugh at your cars. You'll produce too many and find yourself deep in debt, or too few and fail to make any money. It is emphatically a game all about risk management, and as a rather risk averse person, I found it very stressful. But it is a very clever game with a system that kept me thinking about our session for days, and I'll likely come back to it. On the other hand, it is also a good explanation of why I would never, ever, ever want to be an entrepreneur in real life. (3 plays)
I can see where there is strategy here. It's all about playing the right cards at the right time and saving them until you are ready to use them (since of course you can predict what you will need and you know it will be valuable when tiles flip). There is probably a strategic element to deciding when to take trophies too.
For me, though, this is one of those games that's almost all helpless frustration and very little fun. Not really interested in playing again. (1 play)
Enjoyable little speed-based word game, with the potential to be an addictive filler. I'm not very good at it, because I have a lot of trouble giving up a word that I've already formed (and I'm not that fast). (2 plays)
What an unusual game. The combination of roll-and-move and blind bidding makes it feel a little old-fashioned to say the least (and so it is--published in 1988). The game is probably better than that description makes it sound, though; the more interesting decisions come in the bidding of gems, when it is necessary to calculate how much you can offer without giving your opponent an advantage in gems of any color, and in particular what counter offer will be made.
I wasn't that engaged in it--I'd be willing to try it again, since there does appear to be a game in here, but it simply didn't really grab my interest. (1 play)
Quite Euro for a licensed game. I really liked the concept--players are villains fighting with each other for control of Gotham. Sometimes Batman shows up and smacks you around a little bit, but most of the time he sulks in the Bat Cave, which I found quite amusing. You are trying to accumulate various things which allow you to level up, so it's kind of like a series of quests. Cards add variety. Not bad. (2 plays)
I've disliked many of the other two-player card games which are often mentioned in the same breath with this one, so I was surprised to find that Battle Line was quite enjoyable. It's a clever tug-of-war with several winning conditions, in which you must balance between preventing your opponent from winning and laying your own plans. What makes it interesting is that you have a pretty high degree of control, and choose when you want to draw cards and which type of card to draw. Liked it, would play again. (1 play)
Superior to Shadows over Camelot because everyone is working on the same thing at the same time, so there is less chance of being sent on some interminable task for the rest of the game. Card mechanic is quite clever. It does seem like the metagame could have some disadvantages if you always play with the same people--you'd have to play the same way whether you are a Cylon or not. (2 plays)
I've seen a few attempts at area control games that take place in an urban setting and make it somewhat difficult to get pieces out on the board. This one is definitely better than some of the others that I've played (Skyline 3000 comes to mind). It has an engaging theme and a certain engine-building ethos with the cards, so that's fun. The game is longer than it should be, though, and there is some weirdness at the end when things begin to run out (the gnomes, in particular). Taxes are pretty harsh, but an experienced player would plan for that. Second play flowed a little better and didn't seem as long. (2 plays)
The bidding reminded me of Taj Mahal, but instead of getting a lesser reward (or no reward), the game actively punishes you for losing auctions, and the players are constantly competing over the same symbols. It's easy to get caught in a negative feedback loop that sucks a lot of fun out of the game. The random element of the risks is also pretty huge. The game was also longer than my interest in it and moving along the path somehow failed to generate much excitement. On the other hand, the bidding was interesting in a Taj Mahal kind of way.
And I seldom say things like this, but come on, for a Beowulf game this needs to be a lot more violent. (1 play)
I like trivia, and I enjoyed the rules of this trivia game--random categories, the possibility of switching, stealing questions and so forth. However, the difficulty level of the questions varied wildly; most of them were either everyone-knows-it easy or too difficult for us. I also think it would be nice if, as a party game, it could go above four players without requiring teams. (1 play)
A light card game in which you'd like to predict the future but have limited information. You must choose which cards you keep, which go to your opponents, and which will be auctioned off later. A decent filler, but there are a lot of games in this space. (2 plays)
Great theme, great art, lots of strategy, fun card game. It's actually a race with some area control and the degree to which you can rely upon other players to help you is quite important. It is pretty light and perhaps less deep than it appears, but overall a very good gaming experience.
EDIT: I had a higher opinion of the amount of strategy here before I started winning so much. Don't know why I do.
It can be very difficult to get the pairs into your hand, but there are plenty of support cards dealing with that problem. I'd say this makes the game a little luckier, but it seemed manageable. Thus far I prefer the Hoax, but there's some fun stuff here. (1 play)
Unlike most people, I actually didn't grow up with Boggle and I've only played it a couple of times. I'm surprisingly bad at it; I guess it's a little difficult to read in several different directions at once and that is, after all, the basis of the game. I like the brilliantly simple scoring system that rewards unusual words and, you know, word games are always fun. (2 plays)
It's all about the wheeling and dealing. Lots and lots of it. The economy is very interesting, the trading is lots of fun, and the art is cute, plus it's easy to pull this out and play with people, gamers or non. I like this better and better the more I play.
Yup, this is a rummy game, all right. Decent card game filler with a memory aspect if that is what you are looking for. There's a rather obvious card-drawing tactic that I'm annoyed I didn't see. (1 play)
Please note that this rating is based on a play with a serious rules error.
I had fairly high expectations for this, because I am a fan of area control and it had elements that reminded me of games I like (El Grande in particular) with a fun theme plastered on top of it. But I found that it kind of dragged on for longer than I wanted it to, and it felt a little clunky in ways I hope I'll be able to better articulate after playing it again.
Playing with the correct rules may help too. (1 play)
I liked this a lot better than the people I played with liked it, but then, I'm a bit of a sucker for trick taking games. This is an unusual trick taking game because there aren't exactly suits per se--there are colors that you must follow if possible, but cards of different colors still count as their number if played. This tripped people up a bit (partly my fault) but it also means that there are certain risks to playing certain cards; you might let someone get rid of the 1 and you really don't want to. The bottle is a little punitive, but of course, you're playing several rounds and if you don't suck, you probably won't take it every time. Anyway, I liked this as a trick taking game that makes your mind work in a slightly different way from the usual. (1 play)
This is acutally quite bizarre. In a good way, I think. Despite the grim industrial theme, the gameplay is just quirky--you want people to take your cubes (making it almost an anti-Age of Steam) and connections work in an unusual way. It's hard to wrap my head around but very, very interesting.
Fiddliness and constantly shifting rules are finally knocking this down a point. Still a good game though. (4 plays)
A neat little economic game in which players compete to make beer from recipes. There are two action stages, which I found interesting, and the conveyor belt by which the beer is made introduces a timing element to the game that I enjoy. Not sure that all the factory additions are balanced (thinking of the farm in particular). (1 play)
Well, this is pretty brutal with four. Seems like the first player to go north has a very good chance to win. It's so crowded there's lots of riding on other people's rails. I think I like it as a more-intense-than-usual crayon rail experience, but I can't see myself wanting to play it as often as more peaceful ones. (1 play)
I won't claim that it's incredibly balanced because I'm not sure that it is, but I do really like how the cards work in this game--most of them are the same, but they also have special powers. Among the games that use cards in multiple ways, this is one of the better ones. (2 plays)
I love the multifaceted bidding: placing a worker placed to take an action, a bid on a card, and also an attempt to get area control. So there's a lot to think about. There's also much more going on in the game: powers from cards, personalized scoring, the ability to make new buildings--and it all fits together really well. Very interesting all the way through. Oh, and the art is great. (1 play)
I think this is really a children's game. It has a fun pirate theme and an unusual, but simple, memory mechanism based on stacking discs. Since discs can be stolen it does have a little cutthroat back and forth. Not that interesting overall. (2 plays)
Heh. It's really difficult, with this game, to see whether you are actually making any progress or not. Technically there are two phases here--one where players buy letters and one where they make words from them. But you don't really want to buy letters unless you can make words from them, so in practice separating these phases is a little more difficult. The awareness that people were waiting for this raised my anxiety level; I kind of wanted to play solo and play with combinations of letters as long as I wanted to. (1 play)
Simultaneous action selection fans will like this one, especially if they enjoy pointing guns at people. I'm not much of a simultaneous action selection fan myself (nor a gun-toter), so I'm not really the target audience (so to speak) for this one. (1 play)
Maybe my rating should be taken with a grain of salt. After a minimalistic rules explanation, we really had no idea what we were doing until the rules explainer came back and told me how to win. But it did end up seeming like a game that you win by rolling a die and I wasn't really too excited about wandering around the wilderness and building up my army. (1 play)
Typical Schacht-very simple, almost minimalist, with plenty of tension and constant worry about whether you are helping yourself or your opponent. I like it quite a bit. It's tempting to put it in the Zooloretto family of games because of the tile placement rules, but the drafting is quite different and the simplicity is a little greater (and for Schacht games, this is a good thing). Good with two because the relationship between your house and your opponent's is so close. Much less control with more players. (3 plays)
This game is exactly what I expected it to be, a pure press your luck game with dice rolling. Setting it out along a stop sign is kind of clever. It feels kind of classic (and is, I guess), and can be fun with the right people, but it's hard to muster up any really strong feelings about the game itself. (1 play)
In the seemingly endless parade of Settlers variants, this is one. It has a bit of a quest fulfillment element, which adds some interest. To promote simplicity, it reduces variety, which results in the game feeling longer than I'd like it to be. (1 play)
I'm heavily biased here, since not only is the designer a friend, but I playtested this game for many years before it was finally published. But I love it. It's an area control game in which adjacency is really important, because sometimes things that happen in one region can influence another. The basic idea is that each district requires certain services, but they have a hierarchy of needs which must be fulfilled in a certain order. I tend to like area-control games in general, and I love the way that the city develops differently every game.
Well, this was very strange. It's very difficult to make any money... at best you can make $1-$2 dollars at a time. Most transactions, you end up breaking even. This makes it a little frustrating and it's hard to figure out exactly what you should be paying attention to. All these small pieces don't seem to add up to much of an empire and eventually everyone is everywhere anyway. I don't know, it just wasn't my cup of tea.
To be perfectly fair, we only played the first two rounds, and with some very strange rules in Lisboa that I am not convinced were correct. (1 play)
This is a pretty goofy sci-fi cooperative game. The theme is a lot like Space Cadets and the mechanisms are nothing special, but it works together well and makes all kinds of references that fans will get. (1 play)
I'm not exactly objective on this, as I've been a playtester for this game for many years. But I think it's a really interesting one. It's a market-manipulation game about setting the prices of goods and reading the market as a whole. Games like this can sometimes be fragile, but Captains of Industry isn't. There is a lot going on with all the different markets; it's important (and not always easy) to find a niche. Very good heavy-ish economic game.
Yeah, okay, this just isn't my style at all. You have a lot of cards and you're supposed to match them with another card, Apples to Apples-style, in order to make some kind of objectionable joke. A lot of the jokes it encourages you to make are just kind of gross, which doesn't especially appeal to me but fine, but it also nudges you toward racist jokes, rape jokes, etc. Compounding the issue is the fact that you are forced, by the end of the game, to play every card. Okay, so occasionally there is something genuinely funny, but... it's not worth it. Not for me, anyway. (1 play)
The theme of this game mainly serves to make it pretty--and it is, indeed, very pretty. I enjoy the bidding system in this game; the oneupsmanship and the choice between winning and bidding is an interesting one. Underneath all this, it's a set collection game, and I think a pretty good one. I like it. (1 play)
Played with two. Found this very weird. It's a kind of area control game, but one where the number of areas to control gets smaller and smaller, until it comes down to a battle over the final few that are left. It seemed pretty neat until we realized that we were going back and forth in a seemingly endless way and that neither of us was going to be able to win anytime soon, at which point we abandoned the game. Maybe it's better with three? (1 play)
It's like playing pool with your fingers. I'm not much of a pool person.. not that good at it and can't really see board the way someone who understands it can.. so I wasn't much of a fan. Much prefer Crokinole. It is pretty cool-looking though. (1 play)
Did not enjoy this much. Do you really want to be kicked off an action in a worker placement game? I also didn't like the mechanism whereby some players are simply not allowed to score points. Or how it's possible to create something to build up your economy and then have it incapacitated by another player.
Also, why is almost every game set in the Old West about gunfights? (1 play)
"Candyland with (some) strategy" is a pretty apt description for this one. Certainly, it's important to figure out what the people behind you will do with what you leave for them, and balancing drawing cards with moving forward is a nice decision. All in all, not a bad filler, but a little light for me. (1 play)
It's cute. The dice choice mechanic is a little like Factory Manager; you choose what the draft pool will contain, but no guarantee you'll get what you put out. The barbarians mean that it's usually best to spend as much as you can of the resources you have. The good cards can be a little hard to find. Overall, it's a light game but does include fun with card combos and drafting; I liked it more than I expected. The box is TOTALLY RIDICULOUS. (1 play)
Feels sort of "generic Euro"-y to me. There's a bit of simultaneous action selection, a bit of predicting what the end of the game will look like, some rather abstracted building and the ability to gather materials. The rule about building with at least three different material types is interesting, but not much else is new or exciting here. (1 play)
Yet another take on the hidden loyalties style of game. It's not my favorite genre, and this game is a little clunkier than most. The endgame rules are both confusing and kinda random; players are required to collect a specific set of cards from the deck, so whoever manages to get it first wins. This might happen through clever maneuvering and deduction, or through dumb luck, either way. You're better off playing The Resistance. (1 play)
This is certainly the gentlest Feld game I've ever played; it lacks the explicit punishment element of all his other games. There's still a lot to go for, though. This is really a set collection game with a lot of different sets and an interesting little building element where it matters where things are. It's a nice little game and I'd like to get to know it better. (1 play)
This is really addictive. The building aspect of it is really interesting and fun as you try to puzzle out the best way to build out your castle. The auction is DIFFICULT and I like it a lot. The secret goals mostly aren't huge game changers but give you something to go for, which is how I like them. Good stuff and I find myself playing over and over again.
A very Settlers-like Settlers variant, but without the cities. One could argue that it is more balanced, since you can't just park cities on the good hexes and continue to collect on them forever. Roads are more important, because you need to actually build all over the place if you want to get more points. Landmarks are kind of neat, because they are so cheap to build and get you something guaranteed, but it's still better to build more settlements and get more goods over the course of the entire game, since there are plenty of good places to build them. They don't look as impressive though. On the whole I prefer Settlers, but this is the first time I've played a Settlers variant and thought that a reasonable person could choose it over Settlers for any number of plays. (1 play)
An area control game with a strong fantasy theme. The idea is a pretty nifty one, with various pieces that do different things--such as the cave troll which drives people out of a room, the treasure, which doubles the value of a room, the barbarian who counts as two people and so forth. In practice, it can be a little frustrating not to draw the tiles that you need, since some remain unplayed at the end of the game, but I still enjoy the game. (1 play)
Conflict heavy game with a theme for very specific tastes, yet with a lot of elements that strike me as very Euro. There's a lot going on here and it can be frustrating trying to balance the various things you can do in a general Euro way while someone across the table has the opportunity to come in and destroy it all. I don't know; this may be a good game, but I didn't have a great experience. Maybe I'll play it again, but I'm not excited about it. (1 play)
The components are GORGEOUS, about as cute as they could possibly be. The game is pretty simple; on the first play it seemed too easy and the memory element was more or less unnecessary. The second play was a little more challenging but on the whole it seemed like if you pay attention you'd either win, or else spend all your time thwarting everyone else. Decent 10-15 minute pastime. (2 plays)
This is a really neat stock game, the best one I've played. Railroad companies are really small--there are so few stocks it's hard to get in on the big ones and the values adjust accordingly--and on the whole I think I like the auctions for that reason. The dials are genius and the game is nice and quick. I like it and would love to play again.
I know it's good with three and four, but cannot speak to other numbers of players. (3 plays)
Really interesting idea; the game is mostly about limiting how many points you are giving other people. Glad I picked this one up. After six plays, I still don't really understand the strategy--but that makes it interesting. Schacht is a genius. For serious.
Fortifications definitely add and interesting strategic element while decreasing the power of the emissaries. I like this variant quite a bit.
Yay, China Rails! This is a pretty difficult map; there are some areas that I just wanted to avoid. Fortunately, there aren't any major cities out there, so it's perfectly reasonable to avoid them (unless you want to, like, make lucrative deliveries or something. Heh.). I like the geographical variety it presents. Lack of familiarity with Chinese geography did make it take longer. (1 play)
Very nice middle-weight negotiation game. I prefer this to Genoa because it's even more open-ended--more about the negotiation and less about the rules. It's perfectly possible to work out three-way trades, trade strange things and so forth. Of course there is a random element--if I draw the tiles I want, I don't have to trade for them--but other than that, it's all about how well players can negotiate. (1 play)
Well, it's hard to argue with the theme! This is a pretty attractive game, although the cards are a little silly-looking. It's a simple pick up and deliver game; I can't think of another true pick up and deliver game of exactly this weight. The contracts are public, and players must compete to fill them first, which isn't my favorite way to do things, especially when there is a lot of information for players to digest. Still, there is a really good idea behind this game and I'd like to see more filling this gap. (1 play)
There are plenty of light, quick card games out there. This is one.
It's really about trying to predict what the value of the cards is going to be at the end, so it has a strong press-your-luck element which I enjoy. The special cards add a little flavor, but can occasionally become annoying when your opponents steal your cards. Interesting but doesn't stand out.
The information management is the most interesting part of this game. The role selection is fun if you are not under the delusion that you know roles other people will pick. The humor value of the game has dipped somewhat over the years, but it's still a decent filler and a good gateway game (in fact, it was my gateway game!).
A complex balancing act that keeps you on your toes. You need to keep up all the various aspects of your civilization throughout the game and will definitely lose ground if you let something slip. I really like that about it; I was deeply engrossed the whole time I was playing and have been considering various possible strategies the ever since. Could see this getting regular play. The game can change drastically with different groups.
I am not convinced that the advanced setup is an improvement over the set one. (4 plays)
An auction game: players are auctioning off actions in a difficult once-around auction. It's very tricky! The scoring is largely based on a multiplier, so players have to pay attention to both sides of that equation. Tense & not too long.
I was a playtester for this game for several years, and it's really made me appreciate the importance of graphic design; it seemed quite opaque to me until I saw the final board, when suddenly I was able to understand the game well and play much better.
Wow, why hasn't this game gotten more buzz?? This is actually my favorite of the four no-shuffle deckbuilders of 2013. Everything about it is clever. The tradeoff between exploring (which is expensive) and getting more cities (which doesn't provide as much space), the management of three different kinds of resources (cards, money and books), the scoring, the importance of managing your economy and your space, the way that deck refreshment works (the order in which cards are played dictates how they'll come out next time) are all really cool. I love the art and the theme--I'm kind of a sucker for steampunk, so YMMV, but it's undeniably pretty. The only knocks that I have on the game are these: 1) the way that cards are added to decks gives players a lot of control, but also creates a potential for serious AP, and 2) I wish that the Chvatil-style endgame scoring (most cards, most lands, etc) allowed something for second place.
Anyway, VERY interesting game and I'm all for it. I want to get a copy and play it some more. Provisionally rated an 8 only because I'm a little leery of going over a rating of 8 on the first play. (1 play)
Tile-laying, city building game in which players must continually come up with the resources to power their buildings if they want to use their powers. It's interesting, but it's pretty hard work to keep your engine pumping! (1 play)
This was a lot more fun than I expected it to be. There's actually quite a bit of challenge in choosing the right thing to sculpt, conceiving of the most ambiguously effective sculpture, and in asking the best questions. Quite clever. I do get frustrated because I'm bad at both the sculpting (I sculpt either too well, or too poorly) and the guessing (I often find I can't think of anything). It DOES require creativity--more for the guessing than the sculpting.
This is a fantastic little filler that manages to be interesting and exciting while also possible to explain in under a minute. Well worth owning for anyone who enjoys quick-playing card games. Schacht fangirlism status: increasing rapidly.
I felt really constricted in what I could do and weighed down by the (somewhat optional) math. In each phase, there are many options, but only one or perhaps two that make sense. Also, it's silly to have an auction phase AND a trading phase. (1 play)
This is really cool looking and I think it's probably quite successful at what it wants to do. Simultaneous action selection chaotic fighting in the Old West really isn't something that I'm very interested in, though. (1 play)
Navegador's cousin. It's a little more convoluted because a lot of the information about what you are scoring and what you can do is on cards and is different for each player; I suspect it is much more difficult to see ahead a few turns. Whether that's good or bad is up to you, of course. The way the map works is much more multifaceted and gives players lots of ways to get around; I also liked the harvest mechanism. This is one of three (!) games this year to use the no-shuffle deckbuilding mechanic, something I hadn't seen before. I don't know what my opinion of this will be in the long run, but I'm definitely interested in playing it more. (1 play)
Clever! Players construct roller coasters on Coney Island. The best way to get the resources to do so involves sending out people to reserve space for you, but you'll need them back by the end of the game. Then there's the special powers; that part is fun too. In classic Michael Schacht fashion, it's simultaneously light, quick and thinky. I like it. (1 play)
I played with the Advanced Rules. It is vaguely reminiscent of China, but less interesting.. I can't put my finger on why. I like the idea, but there are enough similar games that I don't feel a strong need to play this one again. (1 play)
Finally got a chance to play this! It's a really big game with a lot going on. I'd love to keep playing to really gauge its depth. I really like pick up and deliver and other kinds of contract fulfillment games; this is a very interesting iteration of the genre in the way that it abstracts distance. Building interaction is fun. The business about what you can do based on which cubes you do/don't produce is a little fiddly. (1 play)
LOVE LOVE LOVE the theme! The fake history and old (and occasionally made-up) words are huge draws for me, and the art is fantastic--faintly humorous and definitely sort of old-looking.
The gameplay is fun too, especially for a reformed CCGer like me.. it's fun to bring out a card with a special power when it's least expected, and I really like the way that cards support those in nearby ditches, but can't be used once you have too many. Good card game, one I would be pretty happy to carry around with me and pull out at random moments.
On further plays I have realized I am confused about the rules. They could probably stand to be better written.
It's pretty funny how the title invites players to look for similarities between this game and others, suggesting even that this is a shameless ripoff of those other games, when in fact, although it may borrow many mechanisms, it plays very differently from any of them. It's hard to point at exactly why, but I guess if I were going to claim that a game can be more than the sum of its parts, this would be an appropriate game to use for that? Heh. It's light, engaging, and makes a good filler for gamers who are familiar with the other games and will be amused by the mechanical references. (1 play)
I was a playtester, and I consider Andy Parks a friend, so my opinion is far from impartial. Still, this is a very good game and an interesting take on the deckbuilding genre. Like a couple other games (A Few Acres of Snow, Mage Knight), it takes the idea of deckbuilding and puts it in the context of an interesting game with other things going on.
Core Worlds is really a drafting game with a high degree of planning involved, and these are some of my favorite things. The deck building element adds a lot, and combining drafting with deck building means that players have a lot of freedom to build an individualized deck that's different every time. So that's fun.
The game is not short--it's true--but just because it's a card game doesn't mean it has to be short. (5+ plays)
The basic rules seem quite simple, but they play out in complicated ways due to the interactions between the different powers. I suspect that worrying about game balance is the wrong way to play the game. It has an engaging take-that feel to it without ever becoming personal (because of the destiny cards) and is basically exactly what it wants to be. (1 play)
This is really interesting and carefully put together, but I'm worried that it may be fragile because it relies heavily on players engaging in self-interested collaboration, and if players refuse to do this, then the game can just stall and fall apart. In the game that we played, the endgame seemed to demand this stall even though, if we understood the scoring correctly, the outcome was already decisively determined. So the ending was weird, anticlimactic and frustrating, but I'm not sure that we played it correctly. In fact, the rest of the game is put together so carefully that I'm inclined to think we didn't. The tactical aspects of the game are really interesting and really closely locked together, so I'm hoping there's a saving grace for the end of the game, because I really enjoyed the first 3/4s of it. (1 play)
This is broken. There's no hope of guessing the phrases written on the cards, the distribution of the scrolls by shuffling them up means that people are very likely to see the same thread more than once, and the scoring is silly. Instead, I recommend the far superior Telestrations. (1 play)
On the one hand, Legos are pretty cool, so I had high expectations from "Cluzzle with Legos." But it turned out that it's VERY difficult to make most of the things that are listed with Legos. Not only that, the difficulty level on the cards is not in line with my experience--the level-3 card I got was considerably easier than the level-1 one. We were playing with Cluzzle rules, so I don't know what it is like with the official rules. (1 play)
What can I say, this is a classic. Light, quick and lucky, yes.. but also with a good dose of psyching out your opponent and some decisions to be had. A decent way for two players to spend 30-60 minutes.
Well, this was different. One of the few dexterity games I have played. It's quite satisfying to flick disks across the table, even if they do end up caroming off the posts, and honestly I could see myself really enjoying practicing this to the point of acquiring some skill if I had three other people willing to learn with me. (1 play)
It's a little lucky, and it's a little fiddly with the math stuff, especially at the beginning. I wish the game included starting setups instead of asking new players to do all the calculations they'd need to figure out what to initially buy. It's also a little long for what it is. But if it doesn't go as long as our game did (and I've heard it usually doesn't), it's pretty fun for a classic and rather light game. (1 play)
Well, this is very Euro. I wouldn't really call it a worker placement game since it doesn't have an action drafting aspect to the game--what people have referred to as worker placement is just a rather specialized way of deciding what you will produce on your (privately owned) land that round.
I enjoy the tension involved in putting things on boats and trying to predict when they will launch. To me, that's the most interesting thing about the game, though I also enjoy the way the harvest works. I'm not especially excited about the goods market or the laws though. I don't know, it seems like I'm anatomizing the game here because I haven't played it enough to think of it as a whole. (3 plays)
Unusual. I like it. A game about movement with a certain amount of resource management thrown in (if points count as resources). From the initial setup, I was expecting it to be more like Cuba..in fact, it's very much like itself rather than anything else I've played. (2 play)
Interesting two-player game that involves laying tiles on the board to form groups of your color, but with cards that change the game. You will end up either spending all your time trying to prevent your opponent from winning or else trying to get in a position where your opponent can't do the same. I often find this sort of position frustrating, and I did in this game, too. (1 play)
My perspective here: I'm frequently forced to play BSG and I am ALWAYS a Cylon (and sometimes also play Shadows over Camelot and am ALWAYS a traitor). I get really tired of it. SO, I liked Dead of Winter, because although I was obviously dealt a Betrayer card, I had another objective besides bringing down the game and so you can focus on other things. I like the Crossroads and I like the idea that others may have destructive objectives as well. (1 play)
There's fun in this box, but unfortunately somebody has to be the punching bag. I can't imagine I'd want to play it every week but I'm quite pleased that we have it now and think I'll enjoy it when we do play. Is this a function of theme and atmosphere? Maybe. Or maybe I just like gathering stuff and playing around with the minis. Melee seems a bit overpowered, and sometimes the game can take a long time. However, the best way to combat this is with LESS SHOPPING. Tried it with no shopping and it seriously just pushed the game's rating back up to a seven.
Neat little card-combo game. Every time you do an action, you get a little better at it, but there is a limit to how many times you can actually do an action, and then there's the thing about temples, which is also interesting.Lots of different options for how to build up your stuff. So far it seems like I've always been able to build up these exciting and successful moves and then I come in last, so clearly I am missing something (4 plays)
I grew up on trick-taking games and generally find them very comforting. Diamonds captures this very well. It adds special abilities for each suit; this is enough of a change to make things slightly more interesting while still being simple enough to retain the trick-taking feel and also appeal to a wide audience.
There's a lot to think about in the game and I think that it would be possible to get very good at it--of course, it's still a card game and a lot depends on the draw, but card counting could be..really good.
Nice light game with a two-dimensional grid that players use to acquire gems, which can be cashed in for various things that eventually result in points. I enjoyed racing for the various bonuses, but in the end, it seems that the trees are really strong. (1 play)
Super chaotic. This is a hidden-identity game in which players try to fulfill their objectives without the other players noticing. So it's probably worthwhile to feint and try to make ambiguous moves, but then again, the game isn't too long. Eventually, everyone will run out of cards that stop other players from winning, and someone will win, and you need to know that going in. Still, I enjoyed it. Even without a really deep knowledge of the theme, this is silly fun. (1 play)
The art is GORGEOUS and bizarre. I think it was probably worthwhile for the designer to design the game just so these cards could be published. So that part is an absolute pleasure.
As for the game itself, it's one of those party games that requires you to figure out what other people are thinking, and I simply have no ability at such games. It got a little frustrating when I was playing with this and kind of detracted from the art a little. So I wanted to like it, and whoever is reading this, I think you will. It's just that the ratings are supposed to measure my experience. (1 play)
More Dixit. A Dixit expert might argue that adding more cards changes the game because the storyteller isn't able to rely on certain other cards coming out, there is no way to establish group specific cues about certain cards, etc, but I am not a Dixit expert. (1 play)
Take-that card game with a Doctor Who theme. The weird thing about this game is that at the end of each turn, you pass your cards to your neighbor, who will assuredly use them against you later on. Very chaotic, very bash the leader. The theme adds a lot here, although I also feel that there is a lot more the game could have done with it. Several of the cards had different art and titles but were identical in function, for instance. It's not a bad game, but Doctor Who deserves a better one. (1 play)
Wow. There's a lot going on here. Each player has a particular power and a particular place in the turn order (which can, however, be changed over the course of the game). Then there's a worker-placement game and, underneath it all, an area control game. There's also some card drafting involved. So there are many different elements, and taking them all into account in one's strategy over the course of this four (or so) hour game is pretty challenging. There's enough scope in the game for a lot of back-and-forth--a player can have it all wrapped up only to lose a lot of ground in a single bad turn. The end result is satisfying and complex and, um, really long. Fatigue set in after the first few hours, which tempered my satisfaction a little bit. It hangs together really well for what it is, but I couldn't play it very often. (1 play)
Pretty sure we did not get the rules right on this one. It's a fairly heavy area control game set in AEG's fictional, Venice-esque world. I really liked the theme in this. Each card had a distinctive character and it was easy to imagine a story behind each one, and the way that the different districts of the city interacted was really cool. However, the rules were pretty confusing and we weren't at all sure about how and when their powers could be used. The endgame scoring was really weird, as well; it didn't favor me, but I'm not sure I would have liked it even if it did. In any case, the game was too long and probably a little more convoluted than it needed to be--disappointing, since it showed quite a bit of promise in the first half of the game or so. (1 play)
The quickness, addictiveness and variability of this game are really its selling points. My thoughts:
I'm pretty positively inclined toward this one. I was a light CCGer for a while there and this is one psuedo-CCG that actually captures the deck-building part of such games as well as the gameplay. Plus, it's just really fun to see the engine work. And I've always gotten a lot of enjoyment out of a nice combo play.
I wouldn't argue that it is in any way a deep game, however. It's kind of a junk food gaming experience. Why yes, I would like to eat that stick of cotton candy, but I can't really expect to derive any nourishment from it.
UPDATE: It's a little embarrassing to raise the rating of a game whose entire point is that you can play quickly to an 8, but this is pretty addictive. I don't understand why everyone else likes it so much, though.
I think this is an improvement on the base game; I think the addition of more ways to score victory points makes the game more interesting. There are some neat variations on the cards too--cards that are more than one type are (including cards that are victory points AND something else), and cards that give you a choice of what you want to do. The Great Hall is amazing and the Pawn is pretty good too. I don't like the Masquerade as much because it seems to disrupt the premise of the game. Will never play with the Saboteur again.
Yay! More Dominion expansions!... I don't even know if I am being sarcastic there or not, actually. It's an interesting twist on Dominion to have cards that last beyond a turn, but it definitely slows the game down and adds a certain unDominionlike fiddliness. The cards themselves are pretty cool though and they do very useful things. (1 play)
It's a lot like Descent, and I think I like Descent a little better, both because I prefer the theme and because it's a little more streamlined and doesn't have the vents, which were a real problem in our game and felt a little unfair. (1 play)
Very light filler push-your-luck game based on flipping cards and matching them to cards that already exist. The way that people can drop out restricts player's choices, so that it becomes less push-your-luck and more just luck. There are better such games out there. It's short, though. (1 play)
Somewhat grotesque theme that of course provokes perverse giggling. The shuffling seemed to throw off the middle of the game.. I will have to check that I did it correctly. As for the game itself, it has an abstract strategy feel to it. Part I feels like setup, Part II like the actual game. Planning ahead is good. Fair light game, though it is somewhat convoluted for a game fitting this description. (2 plays)
This is a neat little take-that dungeon crawl/ dungeon creator (?) that plays quickly and unpredictably. It's pretty volatile and probably very different every time. Don't look for control or planning here.. but try to take advantage of whatever comes up. Light, fun, engaging. (3 plays)
Including this in the auction "trilogy" makes a great deal of sense--like Ra and Modern Art, there is an interesting twist on what happens to the money bid (in this case, it is distributed among all the losers), and like those two and Medici, you bid for lots which make the tiles in them better or worse. It also has a feature I very much like in an auction game--the value of a lot is different for different players, so it is much harder to pin down the exact "correct" bid for something. Add in an extremely accessible and amusing theme, and this game has a lot going for it, though it is perhaps the lightest of the four. It's just a lot of fun. (2 plays)
This is a really pretty game. It's economic in nature with a lot of moving parts and quite a bit of planning as you try to assemble the best group of performers for upcoming cities with different preferences. Ultimately, a lot of the game is about the card combos, too, and I like that sort of game very much. (1 play)
It's a neat theme, but the game wasn't very interesting. There's an appearance of geography, but all that really matters is whether buildings are on the corners or in the middle. There was also a high degree of randomness in several parts of the game. All buildings were built with cards that the players draw randomly (no drafting). These buildings were themselves randomly drawn. And you also drew events each turn, usually to make bad things happen to your opponents or maybe yourself, although sometimes nothing happened at all. (1 play)
I liked this about as well as I expected. It's a quasi-miniatures game where you go around and kill things and have adventures. The theme is kind of funny, but the map is way too big (at least with four characters) and there's plenty of incentive to avoid the other players as much as possible. Managing the risk is quite difficult to do; most of the time you will simply be roaming around and seeing what happens. (1 play)
Can't argue with the production quality, and of course the theme is very appealing. This is a programming game, kind of like Shogun, but with a worker-placement cast to it, which in practice means it's pretty easy to think things out carefully and still find yourself thwarted. Once you resign yourself to that, it is pretty fun to build up the various parts of your dungeon and plan out your fights with the adventurers. The fights go on different lengths of time for different players, which can create more downtime.
I'd like to try the advanced game. For me, this is a good once-in-a-while change of pace game. (3 plays)
Strongly reminiscent of At the Gates of Loyang, though I haven't seen too many people making this comparison. It's about satisfying a contract attached to a notional entity; of course, Dungeon Petz, as a Chvatil game, is much more chaotic and has a very different theme. (1 play)
Kinda long. This is a fairly clever brain-burner and I am sure that the expansions spice things up. The theme and the mechanics are a rather counterintuitive fit--who makes abstract strategy dungeon crawls?
I was excited to try this game, since it was billed as a shorter, lighter Descent, and length is really what's been keeping Descent off my table. It is indeed shorter. However, this game lacks a lot of the flavor and atmosphere Descent had, focusing mainly on the tactical war stuff. Also, some of the characters are strictly better than others. Disappointing. (1 play)
Tricky, tricky. This is a little more closely related to Zertz than it is to Yinsh or Gipf insofar as the pieces on the board don't *really* belong to you, even if you think that they do. As the stacks become larger, it becomes more difficult to predict what they will do, even though the number of options on the board decreases. As a result, I didn't feel like I had much control, but if I played enough to deeply understand the game, maybe I would.
Rating is more subject to change than usual. This is a really clever game; I enjoy how it manages to link the economic aspects to the combat part of the game. The tech tree is neat too. Since I've only played once, I feel like I'm really just scratching the surface on this, though, and I can't really assess the different strategies, the depth of the game, etc. I do know it was definitely longer than I wanted it to be; I'd hoped to play in about three hours but I guess that is unrealistic. Anyway, I'd be happy to play again. (1 play)
This is really interesting. Heavy but short and very Euro, Everyone mentions that it's a worker placement game that involves only being allowed to place downstream, but I actually think the workers are the most interesting part. They can only be used in very limited ways, because some can be used together and others can't, so the total doesn't matter so much as the size of each individual crew, which can however be increased -- but then you have to feed them. So there's something of a balancing act to be done there and it's difficult. There are actually a couple others in the game, too; it's pretty densely packed with interesting and mildly frustrating things and I'd like to get to know it better. (2 plays)
Okay, so it's got a very simplified resource management game, where gold and cards are the only resources, and the question is how to use them and when to get rid of other people's buildings. So there's a little bit of a tug of war as resource production changes based on that. Seemed more abstract than Settlers and, while clever, kind of weird. (1 play)
Meh. I dunno, I like for my card-combo games to have cards that are better differentiated from each other and do fun things. This is a deck building game where there are only a few different kinds of cards available ever, and while the activation mechanism is unusual, I didn't find it especially compelling. (1 play)
I love crayon rails, and as the original crayon rail, Empire Builder deserves some respect. It has a pretty straightforward map without many special complications; I like the North America map better than the old one because choosing whether to go to Mexico or not is one of the major decisions of the game (it's all about the coffee).
Empire Builder doesn't really have big deliveries, so the game doesn't have the same kind of economic turning point that many of the other crayon rails have. Also, it's possible to get screwed pretty badly early on. In my first game on this map, we had to stop the game in the middle because two of the players were unable to continue. So, it's not my favorite crayon rail, but it's still a crayon rail and I'm still happy to play it. (4 plays)
Nice economic game. It's a very solid game that hangs together well. I enjoyed having to balance all the different elements and I liked the twist of being able to choose what options would be available to you in the future. That said, there was nothing about this game that really stood out to me--I'd happily play again, but it's not something I'm going to find myself thinking about days later, either. (1 play)
Not surprising someone came up with this goofy theme; you're inviting heroes to your resort and you can use them to fight monsters or you can build them up to help you win. The random events seemed excessively punishing. (1 play)
Cleverly themed, interesting to play, maybe a little too showy on the components (I'm very happy about the inclusion of the black-and-white board because it makes teaching this game SO MUCH easier). I really like the way the factions work; it's very close to being like a stock mechanism without being too obtrusive about it. I also enjoy the cleverness of the areas where the number of dice changes what's produced. The dice are a fun idea and I haven't had them cause an NPE yet, but the potential for it is there... (3 plays)
Almost the same as the board game, only bigger. Yes, I said bigger--spreading the cards out on the table requires more space than the board did. On the plus side, cards eliminate the need for annoying screens. The conflicts happen earlier, since the physical relationships between kingdoms happen on one dimension rather than two, and there are fewer possible external conflicts. Otherwise, it has all the strengths and weaknesses of the original. I considered giving it a lower rating for being completely superfluous, but in the end, it's still a good game that I enjoyed. (1 play)
It's like India Rails... in Europe. I'm starting to pick up on the strategy; a lot of it is in choosing the right starting location. There is a high luck factor in the cards and the game is quite long, but the first is acceptable to me and the second is actually desirable for the contexts in which I play it. It's more a feeling of peacefully constructing infrastructure rather than fiercely competing over resources, but there are times I like that. (3 plays)
It took a couple plays for this one to grow on me, but, you know, it's pretty clever. Bidding on the tiles is a really important part of the game. The cards are very situational, but that's okay. It does remind me of Small World; it has a similar conquest mechanic, but it's a richer game overall. (~3 plays)
Very silly game based almost entirely on dice rolling, with a little spite mixed in. The press-your-luck element doesn't feel too meaningful because the rungs of the ladder only allow one person and sort of force you to go in a particular position anyway. (1 play)
I'm not really a puzzle game person, and I'm not good at rotating objects in my mind, but this game wasn't too offensive. I like the implicit joke that factories can either feed paint back in a loop or turn it into garbage. It is a little frustrating when you take a machine and can't use it at all, but I guess experience would make a difference here. Choosing machines is not my favorite part, but I do like building my factory. (1 play)
This is a light drafting game, and once you know all the rules (like the one where you get to keep cards from round to round) it makes a lot more sense. I can see the comparison to 7 Wonders, but I think the newer game does a better job, if only for its superior icons and hints as to what you might want to do. (3 plays)
I'm not sure how I feel about the use of famous artwork in this game; it feels like a weird context for them. The game itself is fairly simple, but I'm not sure all the math was done correctly, because it often seems like actions aren't really worth it. (1 play)
An animal trivia game based on quantifiable facts about animals such as their weight and the length of their tails, and where they live. The map is a little funny in a German-centric kind of way (did you know Chicago is on the border of Canada and Mississippi?) but it's still a pretty neat little game. The cubes are placed, almost worker-placement style, on your guesses, but getting close counts too, which means that you can base your guesses on what other people think as well. The animals are cute, there's a nice catchup mechanism and the game is a good length, so it's more fun than I expected to have with a trivia game. The metric system increases the level of difficulty for American players.
I really like the way that this divides the year into two parts and each half of the year is different. It's yet another Rosenberg harvest game, which is always good news to me, and as a two-player only game, this one is of course well-suited to two players. I like it very much. (1 play)
A pure blind bidding game where ties go to the second place player. I like the complex, changing conditions. There's more here than the lightness and the very silly theme would suggest--and there is certainly some strategy to knowing what your opponents will bid. Tracking the beads is useful. The fact that the winner can be determined before the game is over keeps this from being a 7 for me. (2 play)
I'm really happy I got to play this--the hype was pretty exciting and I like this sort of game quite a bit. My impressions:
A++ components. Absolutely beautiful board and I LOVE the wooden fruit. I don't think great components always make a game more fun to play, but this time they did.
As for the gameplay, it's just as everyone is saying--it's a really simple to learn, but you have real decisions with real ramifications--and multiple ones, so there are several factors you have to take into consideration. You'll do much better if you decide at the beginning which tiles you want to go for and keep the bonuses in mind. I didn't do this very well on my first play, but I'd love to try again. Windmill is nifty.
I'm a fan. My vote for SdJ. I'd almost certainly buy this if only you could play it with five. EDIT: Owned! Ehehehe. (4 plays)
It's a pick-up-and-deliver game with a ton of chaos and a strong storytelling component. Chaos certainly fits in well with the theme, but I usually prefer to have a little more control in a game like this. In particular, the "misbehave" deck is fairly random and can be quite frustrating, because it is difficult if not impossible to move on until you complete a mission, and yet a failed attempt makes it more difficult to complete next time. Still, there are interesting ideas in the game and I like the way it enacts the theme. One would expect this to be targeted at casual gamers who like the show, but it's probably too complicated for that crowd.
We played with the scenario where players can declare the end as soon as they've reached a certain amount of money.
But the *scoring* is really different from Tetris, you see. I don't know. I really enjoy puzzle games in an electronic format, but don't like them as much in board game form. I guess I like doing them solo. On the other hand, the components for this are pretty sweet. (1 play)
I liked this! It's clever. It has a little bit of the mancala thing from Finca or Trajan, but with more options. I can see the potential for AP, but we didn't really have that problem in our game. The djinns are interesting, although some of them seem clearly better than others. I don't feel like I have a really deep understanding of the game yet, but I feel like I could certainly develop what I know about it through more plays. (1 play)
This is a decently fun co-op. I can't decide whether I find the theme appealing or somewhat gruesome (people might die in a fire due to decisions you make, and you're sometimes choosing which one you want to save, and which to abandon). There's a fair amount going on and while it seems clear that the main thing you have to do is save victims, there's definitely an advantage to some of the other actions. I'm not sure whether I like the way the game forces you to play a certain number of rounds by simply not allowing the victim chips to come onto the board very quickly, but it probably does make the game more interesting. Ultimately, I'd say I enjoyed it, although I'm still not exactly sure what makes me like one co-op more than another. (1 play)
As economic engine-building games go, this card game is a really quick one. Play ships, collect fish, sell them if you can. Simple and quick, but there's enough here to feel like a real game. (2 plays)
Neat filler. I like this better than Felix. There aren't many auction games you can play in ten minutes; this pulls it off while maintaining, at the very least, some level of suspicion of your neighbors. Level of control is perhaps slightly lower than I would like.
This is slightly more complex than Forbidden Island, and I think it's a little more interesting. I like the search for components, which is determined in a two-dimensional way rather than giving them specific locations. The need for water makes this tough. Probably my favorite of the three Leacock co-ops. (1 play)
Racing games are a genre I usually avoid, but I finally got a chance to try this landmark game in the genre and I found that I liked it better than its imitators. It's fairly simple -- the only thing that's difficult to pick up is the different parts of the car. This leaves players free to focus on the decisions of shifting up or down, with full knowledge of the implications of their decisions. Also, it's fairly short, which I appreciated. (1 play)
Of all the Flying Frog games, this is the one whose theme is most appealing to me. The game's not bad; it has a certain level of risk assessment and character building which is fun, and the "cliffhanger" idea is kind of clever. It's still a dice fest, of course, and a pretty long one.
I enjoyed this one. It's really a card game at heart, with several different options possible for each card. There are many games that meet that description, but there are a couple things I really like about Founding Fathers: 1) This is a brilliant theme. Love it. 2) Since the state and affiliation of each card is visible from the back, it's possible to make informed decisions about what to do, and 3) the different parts of the board are fairly balanced, so that if one person is beating everyone in votes, it's still possible for others to come back in the debates. Good stuff. (1 play)
There's definitely a strong relationship to Egizia--not just the "river" mechanic (you can go forward as far as you want, but never back), but also the rewards for doing many different things, even though it is more efficient to specialize. The turn order works a little like Vasco da Gama--players place numbered discs to determine in what order they will perform various actions. The game is well-balanced and encourages thinking ahead in a way that I enjoy. I wish the graphic design were a little clearer and the box a lot smaller. (1 play)
So this is basically a way of codifying well-known improv games for non-actor audiences. As such, I think it succeeds. I guess it could be used as a party game, and could be a pretty appealing one if people don't mind being silly. (1 play)
Oddly, this is much closer to Power Grid than Factory Manager was, because it is really about the market (although supply, rather than demand, is the focus here) and because, with your limited production facilities, you want to make sure that you are doing something that all your opponents are not also doing. These are both aspects of Power Grid that I enjoy, and I liked them here too. I also enjoyed the special powers that the cards gave, and the timing aspect of the game that comes from deciding when to switch from production to the pursuit of victory. There is a definite element of card-counting to the game, which I didn't enjoy as much, and I think it is a shade too long, but on the whole I liked it. (1 play)
This is easier than I thought it would be, but then again, I was playing with kids. A very unusual game; the thought process of building your spaceship is an altogether different type of analysis than what you find yourself doing in Euros. Quick, light, unpredictable. (1 play)
Very clever. I'd somehow expected a little more tension in the negotiations, but I guess this is at least partly a side effect of playing with children. Knowing the value of the different buildings is quite difficult--at first, at least, it was very easy for me to be far more focused on what I had in my hand rather than what else I might gain on the board. The "start any space" tokens are extremely valuable. I do like the limiting factor of the tower, and it seems like knowing WHEN to negotiate is also a very important part of the game. Is there any way to influence where the tower goes, when you want the third or fourth thing it might hit?
I was kind of disappointed to find I'd won--it makes me think less of the game because I didn't win too many actions, so perhaps they aren't as valuable as they should be. (1 play)
The theme--robots being chased by a hungry shark-- should make anyone smile, me included. The game itself is simultaneous action selection--cards let you move ahead of other players in descending order, but ties let neither player move. It seems pretty random since I didn't see any way to figure out what other players would play. It would probably be a great game to play with kids, though.
A strange little stock game with very volatile commodities. You can gather a lot of cubes, but the corresponding civilization might be gone tomorrow. Not good with two as there is little opportunity for multiple competing civilizations to arise. I think I'd like it better if I had a better idea of when it's worth it to spend a cube to make things happen. They seem like valuable commodities, but since they can disappear at any moment, I should probably be more willing to spend them... (3 plays)
Second game much harder. I think it has something to do with playing with the correct rules.
A cooperative game in which the players all have different powers they use to defeat the automatically generated threats. The obvious comparison is to Pandemic, only the results depend on tokens and dice rolls instead of cards. It's really a game about prioritizing and using available resources. Timing is very important because some ghosts affect how others can be fought.
Though I liked the claustrophobic feeling of this, with the ghosts closing in around you, I think I prefer Pandemic for this sort of thing because it's a cleaner, less convoluted design. But then again, this isn't my favorite sort of thing, either. (2 play)
This is really clever! It's a fairly light tile-laying game in which laying a tile has several implications; it may give you a bonus later, or help you to get a majority in an area, or help you get resources now. There's a balancing act between them, but you get some cards in the beginning to give you a clue which way to go. I liked it quite a bit, but then, I'd like any game in which the victory tokens are gingko leaves... (1 play)
I think I'll appreciate this more if I can figure out how to play it a little better--I only got to play once, and spent my time trying to do sneaky things while not attending to the obvious and straightforward and, well, it wasn't useful. But I think this is a smart, smart game and I would like to get to know it better. (1 play)
This game seems designed to frustrate those who have optimized other Rosenberg harvest-style games, and it does that by forcing players to play their cards out of order. To me, this plus its short play time makes the game a little lighter than similar Rosenberg games, and on that level, I enjoyed it. Difficult to teach/learn though. (1 play)
Oh, this is a good one. In many games of this type, it's difficult to get a good engine going, but things smooth out once you're established. Not Glen More. It's a constant struggle to keep things going and there's always planning and an element of risk. Everything depends on performance relative to the other players in the game, so there's an element of keeping an eye on them as well. I really enjoy trying to make this work, even though I'm not very good at it. (5+ plays)
Intriguing contract-fulfillment game with a little area control and a little engine-building thrown in. These are all things that I like so this is already a good start! The game puts this all together using a limited pool of actions (each action can only be executed once per round), which introduces an additional planning element into the game. Works very well. Good stuff. (1 play)
Fun card game. This reminds me quite a bit of San Juan, but it's both goofier and more complex. The big difference is that the same power can come up several times in a round. The card powers seem very strong across the board, which definitely adds to the goofiness factor. The cards are played in relation to a player mat that makes the idea of city building somewhat more concrete. Can be frustrating if you can't get the card with the role you need. Patron very strong. (2 play)
Excellent. I'd describe it as "efficient".. each action you take must benefit you as much as possible, BOTH in the long and the short term, and you have very few actions allowed to you. Since value is very dynamic due to the tech tracks and when things come up, there is always some question as to what things are worth. Lots to think about here.
After several plays it's become a little more manageable to me and I'm just liking it better and better. Even if you are pretty flush with resources, there's always something more you need to attend to to get where you need to be.
Well, this is a lot like Galaxy Trucker. I think I like it a little better, because it has the fight/attack phase during which players interact with each other rather than with a random deck, it eliminates the real-time tile grabbing, and I also think that the hidden goal cards make it an improvement over Galaxy Trucker. Still, it's a very similar game, so... chaotic tile-laying destructiveness. (1 play)
This is a very peculiar little abstract tile-laying game. You influence tiles by placing temple tiles next to them, but the more there are, the more expensive it becomes. And, in typically minimalist Schacht fashion, that is most of the game. It's hard to wrap my head around how what I do will affect everyone else (and myself). It's strange. The main thing is that you have to win all at once, and any setup has to be either unassailable or hard to notice. Not my favorite of his games. (2 plays)
In the Golden City, players bid on pairs of cards, then use them to claim spots on the board, leading into the city. There is an area control aspect to the game, and also temporary scoring opportunities that players need to pursue, Terra Mystica-style. I like all these things, and The Golden City distills them down to their most streamlined form. (1 play)
I was a little frustrated with the spatial aspect of this, and also the blocking aspect. It's clever in several ways, for instance, the players' inability to use the same action twice in a row, and I'd certainly be interested in playing it again, but on my first impression, the frustration predominates. (1 play)
I knew I was looking forward to this for a reason. If you are planning on going around labeling games as "elegant," El Grande is the one to do it with. The game seems really deep, with plenty to think about each turn, and yet it's simple to play, and even with my current rather inexpert attempts at the game I've been able to feel happy with my decisions (while still grasping for a deeper level of understanding). As everyone probably knows by now, it is an area control game with many ways to move cubes around the board and interesting tradeoffs between the ability to do interesting stuff and/or go first, and the ability to get more cabelleros on the board. Absolutely love it. Yes, there is a memory element, but unless you are playing with people who are particularly good at counting cubes, it just adds another level of doubt and tension to the game.
I really wanted to like this much more than I did; I think it was mostly my mood and not the game that was at fault. The cards were used in a way that reminded me of Glory to Rome--they have a different meaning based on how you position them on the board. But it has an interesting resource-management aspect that GtR doesn't have, which involves building up your farm and getting things to work together. (1 play)
An information game with what I almost want to call a simultaneous action selection component--the game is all about figuring out what other people have played, kind of like Felix, the Cat in the Sack. Not my favorite kind of information game. (1 play)
I'll be honest: I was mostly interested in playing this because I'd been considering designing a game about fire spreading through a city (I'd been thinking of San Francisco, but London is just as good), and players being able to blow up buildings to prevent the fire from spreading in certain directions. This is much better than the game that I would have designed, so it frees me from that responsibility and I'm very happy about that (this also inspires some respect for the designers).
It combines secret identities with secret goals. I don't usually like secret identities, but in this game they were somehow less obnoxious than usual because they didn't constrain players' options as much as they sometimes do. I was surprised at the end of the game to find that the secret goals are not unique. I'm not sure this is a good thing; if multiple players are protecting the same area that would seem to give them a random advantage. There were also some issues with the colors chosen, which were sometimes difficult to distinguish. (1 play)
This is a very short attempt at a pick up and deliver game. It's very much a card game and a lot depends on what you draw; this can be very frustrating if you need to move and aren't drawing movement cards or if you have a bunch of cubes and can't draw the right cards to deliver them. Cute idea, but I'm not a huge fan of the execution. (1 play)
Oh, Phil Eklund. Turns out Greenland is not a nice place! It's really difficult to do anything in this game, and whatever you do is fraught with peril. Lots of rules for a game that is, in the end, pretty random. Not really worth it. (1 play)
UPDATE: On a second play, it seems there is a problem with the game; if you lack the right colors for scoring, you can essentially be locked out from earning any more money and thus from doing anything in the game. Possibly this could be fixed by a simple change of strategy, or by the blockade rule, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. It can also be really frustrating trying to get the buyer to where you need it to be.
Nifty! My husband picked this up for free at Origins and we got around to trying it some weeks later. It's sort of an economic game where players are rewarded financially for scoring and there is a constant balance between setup and reward. Very short and things can change quickly with the huge scores that are available with ships. Dynamic and interesting; I look forward to playing again. (3 plays)
More cohesive than Imperial and may I say more fun? Reading the board is much easier and there are plenty of things to do. It is not at all obvious who is winning unless you do the math and your options do not decrease over the course of the game as much as they appear to. (1 play)
The first real wargame I think I've played! It's a light one. I enjoy that a lot of the important decisions have to do with whether or not to run away. I also like the rhythm of the game--winter is a neat idea. Anyway, it's fairly random but I enjoyed it a lot. (1 play)
Silly dexterity game, but a really attractive one. The wheel is fun because it can roll all over the place, but it needs a large table for the same reason. You don't even need my rating, here, really--just look at the picture and it will tell you everything you need to know. (1 play)
Now this is very clever! It's a co-op that plays differently from any other co-op that I have ever played. I'm not as taken with it as some are, but I admire its originality and its accessibility. (3 plays)
Well, it's certainly pretty. It reminded me of Taluva in that you want to lay one card over a set of symbols to separate them, but it is much more random and I also found it more frustrating, because you often must destroy something to your detriment and it is very difficult to set up for potential future moves. (1 play)
A bit like Taluva; players must form sets of at least three to score them, but can't score them again unless they are separated. It's more difficult to separate existing groups than it is in Taluva, and the game is considerably less photogenic and also, I'd argue, less interesting. Still, it's a light and quick set collection game which is easily taught, so there is definitely room for that in the world.
Cool! This is very much a puzzle game that combines geography, economics and planning in a very different way than most. I loved anticipating others' moves, figuring out the best way to get the ship to the barrels I want, keeping track of the market stands, finagling money from other players... basically everything about this game.
I definitely prefer Changing Winds, not because of the movement abilities but because of the scoring.
Hansa Teutonica is extremely tactical. It feels as if the outcome of the game is determined by a series of many small changes, none of which necessarily has a huge effect. It's very difficult after the game to point at what made you win or lose, at least for me at this point. I'm still an inexperienced player, though, so perhaps I will figure it out.
I do find the game intriguing and I enjoy the fact that each turn presents a new decision. I'll have to see how I feel about it after further plays.
A person might be forgiven for considering the game dry, but I find that when games are so described, I usually like them. (1 play)
It takes a few plays to "get it," or at least it did for me. Quite heavy, it is similar to Agricola mostly in the level of detail that it is willing to deal with--only it goes even further--Building things often requires energy as well. I've always liked the mechanism in Caylus whereby you must pay others to use their buildings; that's here as well, but once again, Le Havre adds a level of complexity by varying the prices. It also adds an interesting river mechanism which controls what goods recover each term--perhaps the cleverest part of the game. So, it ends up feeling very different from either of these games. There's a lot going on--at first it seemed like too much, especially since it is hard to see all the cards and you basically just have to remember them (surely there is a better way they could have done this?).
Shipping line is VERY strong, especially in the two player game I played. With more players, there are more ways to make money. But I don't know if you can ignore it and win.
After 6 plays I finally managed not to come in last! uh.. so I suck. yes.
This is really cute! I like how the buildings themselves become part of the Ora & Labora-style resource wheels; it means that a resource will usually be available in the late game, just not very efficiently. It seems like the deterministic nature of the game may inhibit its replayability, especially with the buildings coming out in the same order every time. (1 play)
My first play of Hawaii was very frustrating, and I suspect that this will often happen to at least one player in a first game, because it's absolutely essential to realize that you must begin building your economy in the first turn, because subsequently, you will not have the resources to do that. My second play was much more enjoyable. Once you realize that it's about, essentially, leaving your parents and receiving fewer and fewer resources, it's a nice light game with a bunch of options to explore. So far I'm kind of stuck on the fruit strategy. (2 plays)
Like Thurn and Taxis, but with more murder. There's a certain amount of area-controlly competition which I enjoyed, but it wasn't enough to hold the game together. The luck of the draw dominated and in the last turn, it's impossible to play a card if you don't first assassinate someone. This becomes a little tedious, above and beyond the game being long for what it is. Meh. Also, the art is very ugly and it's hard to tell which noble is which. (1 play)
This is like a card game version of Stratego--a game I've heard described but have never actually played. I enjoyed it. I liked the special powers of the cards and their interactions with each other--and the theme actually worked really well. Then again, winning never hurts, either. (1 play)
This is a highly unusual game whose rating could rise. The bidding system is built around a spatial system where you may have some difficulty assuring yourself of anything but can certainly gamble for the big gains (and of course, the value of the resources you are bidding on varies over the course of the game and is different from player to player--a feature I always enjoy). Racing around the board is almost a pick-up-and-deliver game--well, without the picking up, but it retains some of that feel. There is certainly scope for the losing player to come back. There's always a risk in making long term plans, but the short term lasts long enough that your short term planning can be satisfying several times over. Very interesting. (2 plays)
The take-that card game in its pure form. The theme is awesome and there are some good ideas here, particularly regarding the different cards that do a million different unpredictable things when passing around this hot potato. However, there are a couple real problems with the game--the gang-up-on-the-loser mechanic and the very high degree of randomness inherent in being forced to play all your cards. (1 play)