I've now played with 2 & 4... obviously not intended for 2 but it works... but it still is a nice little "pastime" game - falls into my "better than Uno" list of family games. MUCH better with 4 players - the time travel turn mechanism makes for some interesting card play choices.
There is much LESS luck in this game than most players perceive - since Joe Huber taught me the joys of nomad relocation & thinking carefully about the "actual" value of winning the gold/diamond market. Don't be fooled - this exploration game has some teeth that MANY people ignore.
It's finally here... and it's HEAVY (as promised). The bits are gorgeous - and the gameplay (so far just solo games) is really interesting. It's got that "just one more game" quality - which would be enhanced if it didn't take up most of the breakfast table to play.
UPDATE: I've played 5 multi-player games & 18 solo games... and it still fascinates me. I think the only negative I can see is the downtime with five. Otherwise, wow. It works with or without the card decks, as well.
A little light for it's length... or too heavy for the randomness of the Cosmic Hockey Puck. Either way, it feels a bit off - and yet, I _really_ like playing this game. The trading system is genius and it's a great looking game to play. So fun triumphs over elegance for me here!
The first Christmas gift of 2005... and it went over really well. Thank goodness for the Geek folks and the player aids they created - biggest "not in the box" mistake ever was not including player aid cards. I can't wait for a second playing with experienced players!
Not exactly a gateway (there are a few fiddly bits to this) but instead a family game with some nice tension between speed (traveling city to city) and accuracy (not spending too many "days" to accomplish that). Most games have a close finish, which is a plus.
While I am one of the few people who think Niagara was a deserving winner of the SdJ, it wouldn't have bothered me if Around the World had won instead.
50 figs & counting... one would think that the "new" would have worn off, but it's still a delight to play. One caveat: you can't play in a room with lots of crevices - it's too dang easy to lose the projectile weapons when they go carroming off their targets.
Only one play under my belt... but I enjoyed myself a good bit. Feels like "Queen's Gambit" for WW2 fans (though that's not really a fair comparison).
UPDATE: With a couple of solo plays another play against another gamer, my opinion is locked in. This is a good "transitional" wargame... not as strategic as A&A, but an excellent set of tactical problems for both sides with nice variability introduced with the extra card decks.
I played a lot of backgammon in college... enough to realize that it is NOT the "game of chance" many think it is. Suggestion: don't play "penny a point" for two semesters if you don't want to end up buying your opponent dinner at the end of the year.
Yeah, yeah... it's kind of theme-less, and you can get hosed by the dice, and there may well be a kingmaker problem sometimes... but that doesn't stop me from enjoying each & every game I play of this trading/bluffing classic.
Greatest 2 minute game EVER... and the "tournament" rules (playing multiple games to find a final winner - loser of each game throws away the piece that causes them to lose... first player who can't play loses the match) make for a fine 10 minute game.
It's not really football - it's more like rugby w/the ability to maim other players. But it is a fun Ameritrash-y game that has the spirit of Blood Bowl without all the nitpicky rules, expensive figs or insanely long playing time.
I feel like a bad guy for saying this, but Sid didn't do a great job of picking games for kids. He picked games for parents who want their kids to be smart. The book is excellent but is MUCH too weighted to abstract games.
Real-time card game that uses "tuned" decks for each player to "simulate" combat. It plays at hyperspeed & is a whole lot of fun. (It doesn't hurt my opinion of the game that I didn't pay full price for any of the decks I own.)
Only one of the two chips is "new" if you own the Cheesy Gonzola expansion (the cat/smelly sock)... so don't break the bank trying to get this. OTOH, if you like Burg Appenzell, these add some nice new wrinkles.
Probably my favorite standard deck card game - it's cutthroat with 2 players, great fun with 4 as partners. I think Canasta Caliente is an excellent way to teach new players - the scores & special effects are printed on the cards.
My mother hates me... despite us asking her NOT to give it to my son, she did. UPDATE: found a solution that makes the game bearable - each player draws 2 cards on their turn & uses one. Faster & a bit of decision-making for the kiddos.
I really enjoyed playing this Carc spin-off/expansion as a stand-alone game... the wheel actually offers some interesting extra choices & not as much random silliness as you'd think. (It is not a roulette wheel but a rondel - that's gamerspeak for "it's actually a cool gaming mechanic, guys.")
I'm really looking forward to this... the base game is great & my family is looking to expand our experience!
(The rating is conditional & is placed here to balance out a "complaint" rating - you may or may not like expansions or how companies do them, but it doesn't justify pre-rating something you haven't even seen.)
I keep saying this in a variety of forums, but it's worth saying again: take the dungeon crawl/combat experience of Descent: Journeys in the Dark, subtract 3 hours & add the flicking element from Carabande... and now you have Catacombs. We've had a lot of fun with this one - it cries out for an expansion!
I primarily play Chess to be social - which, I know, sounds weird. But my father-in-law likes the game, as did some of the youth & college students I used to work with. I like Knightmare Chess for the "from left field" quality it adds to an otherwise dry game.
Lots of early buzz focused on the "memory" aspect - which is minimal. (In fact, I wonder if the problem was the reference to 'memory chips' in the game rules.) It's a cute dexterity game with gorgeous pieces and a tiny bit of tactical thinking. I like it.
With the right crowd, this is a splendid dice game of gladiator combat - complete with the hooting, hollering & wishing for better rolls that makes up a great dice game. With the wrong crowd, it devolves into odds calculations and slow play... and dies right there on the table. (Yes, I've played it both ways.)
Finally, a DVD game that actually enhances board game play! This souped-up version of Clue takes everything good about the deduction part of Clue and adds some fun & urgency to the proceedings. It also, oddly enough, reduces the amount of luck in the game.
The best of a set of very good games - Kramer's card-driven racing games are all worth your time. This one (actually published by Milton Bradley?!) is the most enjoyable. (The game is also best with 3 players.)
2 plays into this, there is so much I want to like but it feels unfinished - as if the game was 90% done and just let out into the wild without polishing the finished product. There seems to be little incentive to go to the lower half of the board.
A tile-placement game that isn't abstract - all the rules make sense in terms of the animals. Whew - it's nice to get to play a game that integrates theme & mechanism! (Though I can't begin to pronounce the name correctly... sigh.)
The IDEA is cool... a roll'n'move about gold prospecting where you use scales to weigh the gold you acquire. Unfortunately, the whole "weighing" thing DOUBLES the length of the game... and it's not that good a game to begin with.
Rough & tumble speed game... with odd theme (monsters traveling up & down an elevator). Very similar, I think, to Eddie's Elevator, which is NOT a speed game but a math game. Speed game idea MUCH, much better.
I'm a fan of this dice-rolling "race" game... which is actually about 6 races. You've got to decide when to go for it and when to give up on your first objective and go on to the next one. Yes, bad dice rolls will hose you, but the game plays out in an hour and is a delight.