Too Many Games!!!

My wife and I love to play games together. Join us for the journey!

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Kaiju Crush (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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This was game was on my Gen Con short list, but as a demo only because I had thought that the game was not to be available for purchase. However, we were pleasantly surprised to discover they did have limited copies available at Gen Con. My wife and I sat down for a demo, and it was a full game play. It was a very good demo, and my wife especially had a lot of fun. It was fun enough for her to go ahead and get it, especially since it will still be a few weeks before it is available at retail. It was a bit of an impulse buy, so was it a good one or does the game ultimately get crushed?

Game Overview
In this game players take the roll of a monster and seek to get the most points from crushing a city. At the beginning of the game the city tiles are laid out. Each tile has a point value and belongs to a group (transporation, residential, retail, or power). Some end game scoring cards will also be put out. One is based on territory controlled, another on groups, and the final one is based on the physical layout of player territory. There is also a card that grants a special ability based on controlling the majority of one of the groups. Finally, each player is given a once per game special ability card.

Each player will also have a movement card that dictates how the player can move. There is also a movement card in the middle available to all. On a player's turn they must choose if they are going to use their movement card or the group card. If they use their own, then their card will become the new group card and they take the group card. The tile the player moves on is claimed and one of their territory cards is placed.

If a player ends adjacent to another player they may battle each other. To do this each player draws five cards and then reveals one at a time. This is a rock-paper-scissors mechanism only fire breath beat the three regular attacks. However, spikes beats fire breath but loses to the three regular attack. In a fight the first player to win three out of five wins and make take a victory point token. Each monster also have a special ability that applies to these fights.

When moving a player must move to an unclaimed space on the board If using the move cards a player can not move they must pass. Once all players pass the game ends. Players add up the value of tiles they claimed, tokens won, and bonus points from the scoring cards. The player with the most points wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3.5 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: The obvious comparison this game elicits is King of Tokyo, but other than sharing a theme they really are much different games. This game does not offer much original but it combines familiar elements in new ways. The emphasis on movement feels a lot like Hey That's my Fish or Ninja Camp. The movement cards borrowed a nice mechanism from Omitama. The combat is also familiar. Again, despite having so many familiar elements this does feel like its own game. Perhaps even more so than King of Tokyo, this is a light game. Despite a larger table presence it is very much in the filler/family game category. It works well there to. The movement system provides some tactical depth and the combat provides some satisfying monster fighting. The combat is somewhat arbitrary but monsters fight. It is what they do. There may not be much strategy to a fight in this game but they are always exciting.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: Having monsters fight is fun, and I think the rock-paper-scissors system works well and generates excitement even if there is a lot of luck. I also found the movement system clever. It took something that felt familiar and added an extra twist with having a communal movement card and an individual one. I just find this game a lot of fun to play.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 7.5
I can not speak for my wife, but for me King of Tokyo is sill the king of the monster games. That being said, we both do enjoy this one and I think it was a good pick up for us. We are getting really close to that magical age where we are transitioning from kids games to family games and I think this game has a good chance of being an early adopter in that transition.
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Tue Sep 5, 2017 3:05 am
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End of the Month Recap

sean johnson
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The month of Gen Con always leads to me having a lot of plays, but this year was exceptional. Not only did I get a lot of plays in but I played 77 unique games in a month. I would have to go back and look but I think that might be a personal record.

Most Played Game: Race for the Galaxy (27 plays)
Best New to me Game: Ex Libris


Play Them All in a Year
Number of Games Played this Month: 12
Best Game of the Month: Blood Bowl: Team Manager – The Card Game(83/100)
Worst Game of the Month: Star Fleet Battle Force (47/100)
Despite playing a lot of games, we did fall behind our pace of 15 games a month. The Play them all in a year project applies to all of the games we started the year with and have written about at least once already. This month we did review several new games for the first time.

Our Top Ten Favorite Games
As we play through our games and rate them on a 100 point scale, we should get a picture of what our favorite games are. Once we are done, the ten highest rated games should be our favorite games as a couple. Based off of feedback, we decided to use our original ten point scale when we review new games. However, we also created a 100 point scale rating that we are using this year, so that we can see how those games rank among all the others. After this month here is how it stands:

1. Race for the Galaxy (97)
2. Memoir 44 ( 95)
3. Star Wars Destiny (95)
4. Terraforming Mars (93)
5. Small World (89)
6. Dice Masters (88)
7. Lords of Vegas (87)
8. Warhammer: Invasion (87)
9. Glory to Rome (86)
10. Among the Stars (86)
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Fri Sep 1, 2017 10:08 pm
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Pinball Showdown (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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Going into Gen Con this was a game that I was interested in based on theme alone. It was on my short list of games to check out, but unfortunately they were not always doing demos of this game. I did not get to try it for myself, but when the booth worker did not hesitate to say it worked well with just two I gave it a shot. Is this game good enough to unlock a bonus score or is it going to tilt?

Game Overview
In this game players are a pinball going to various features on a pinball table represented by cards.

In this game players will have to manage their speed and control. They start with 20 markers that will switch back and forth. These markers are also the game's currency. Each player starts out with five as speed markers and the other fifteen as control.

At the beginning of the game all players are dealt 10 cards to use for the whole game. At the beginning of each round the top card of the deck is flipped over and each player will add a card as well.

The start player may then do one of three thing. They may bid on one of the cards in the center with their control markers, they may pay control markers to increase speed, or they may spend two control markers to take a card from the discard pile. In addition they may just pass and do nothing.

If a player gets outbid by another player they get their markers back and an decide if they will speed or control. After all players have had the option to do an action, players who have winning bid get the card. Then players without a card pick from the remaining. Each turn all players will get a card.

Each card has a point value and a speed requirement. In order for the player to score the card thy must be going equal to or greater than the speed requirement. Each card will also modify the speed somehow. Some increase it by having control markers become speed. Others decrease it by having speed markers go back to control. Finally, some just cause the speed to become a set number.

There are also combination cards that a player can claim if the collect two other cards first. Whenever a combination is played or a player is going speed twelve or higher then wizard mode is on. Any cards taken during wizard mode are worth double points.

If a player ever ends the turn with zero speed, then two things could happen. If it is turns one to five they reset with five speed. If it is turns 6-10 then the the game ens. Otherwise, it goes until turn ten. Players add up their points and each remaining marker is also worth points. The player with the most points wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3.5 (It's OK)
My Thoughts: The game play is abstract but the loud cards do help convey the theme. The control/speed mechanism is a neat on that feels original. This game is a lot lighter than I thought it would be. In fact this is very much a card game filler in the same category as For Sale, High Society, or No Thanks. It is a 20 minute game tops. It works in that space fairly well.

Her Rating: 2 (do not care for)
Her Thoughts: The theme really comes through. It does not play like pinball but everything about the game's presentation really screams pinball. It may be better with more players but I find the two player game to just be pretty boring. There just is not much going on with this game that I find all that interesting.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 5.5
Sadly, this game did fall a bit short with my wife. However, we have very few filler game that are not social deduction, and this game fills that niche. We do not have many games in that category. For the next few months I will take it to game nights and events with me. If I can find willing players then this might have a place on our shelves. If not, then by next Gen Con it will be in the trade pile.
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Fri Sep 1, 2017 4:11 am
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Happy Salmon (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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This year my wife and I took our seven year old son to Gen Con for the first time. We told him if he found a game he liked we could probably get it, and this game was his pick. He found this game to be a lot of fun. We actually had to get this game post the convention because it sold out at Gen Con. Once we got the game at home did it still make him happy?

Game Overview

In this game all players have a deck of action cards. This includes the high five, fist bump, switcheroo (switch locations), and happy salmon (an odd slap each other's wrist maneuver).

Once the game begins players will begin calling out (in the loud version) or signaling (in the quiet version) the card they currently have. The goal is to find someone else who has the same card and do what the card states. Once the players do this they can discard the card to the center of the table.

At any point the player can give up on the current card by moving it to the back of their stack. The first player to discard all of their cards wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 3 (it's OK)
My Thoughts: I find the "loud" version where everyone is shouting to be more annoying than anything. However, the quiet version is silly fun. This is not a deep game, there is very little strategy, but it will leave everyone playing smiling.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: This game is just fun. I do not usually like games that require silly actions, but the sort play time on this one and the real time game play makes it work well.

Verdict

Combined Rating: 7
I think this was a good pick for my son. He really enjoys it. Our daughter is a little too young to play this game, but in a couple of years I think this will be a game that we play as a family a good deal.
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Fri Sep 1, 2017 3:45 am
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Discworld: Ankh-Morpork (Game #117)

sean johnson
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My wife and I are attempting to play through all of our games in a year. We bought this game in 2012, because at the time it had risen to the top of the list of games thought I would like. Our initial play went well, but this game became a poster child of having too many games. After we played it that one time, it sat unplayed for a whole year. We then got the game up on plays in 2013, and since then it has managed to get played at least annually. When it comes to rareness and value this is one of the more valuable games we have, but is it really one of the shining jewels of our collection?

Game Overview
In Discworld each player will get a personality card at the beginning of the game that will give them a victory condition. Half of the conditions require controlling a certain amount of the board, but others involve earning so much money, spreading out so far, or even prevent everyone else from winning.

A lot of this game is about control, and to accomplish that goal players have two types of pieces to place on the board. The first are minions, which establish present. However, if two minions from different players are on a space trouble results (and a trouble marker is placed). Trouble markers prevent the second type of piece, buildings from being placed. Players have to pay money to place a building and can only do so if they have a minion and not have a trouble marker. Each space can only have one building, and having a building gives the player a special ability related to that location. To have control a player needs more pieces in a location than any other player.

This is a card driven game. On a turn a player will play a card. Each card has icons on it that represent various things that happen. These icons can allows players to get money, place minions, buy buildings, assassinate other minions, cause random events, or do special things. Sometimes it is possible to play more than one card, so at the end of the turn players draw back up to five cards.

Play continues until a player reaches their victory condition or until the deck is exhausted. If the deck runs out then it comes down to points.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: This game has a lot of great mechanisms going on it. The card play is simple but it works really well and creates interesting decisions each turn. I also really like how every player has their own objective. This adds a ton of interaction, as players try to figure out who is in the lead.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This game is fun, but it can be frustrating not to get the cards I want. This game also has quite a bit of take that which can be a negative.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: We got this game based on gameplay, and going into it I only had a passing understanding of the theme. That being said the card did paint the picture of a whimsical world with a touch of ominous. Once I read a Discworld story, I found that to be a fitting description. So I think the theme comes out well.

Her Rating:
Her Comments:I am completly unfamiliar with the theme, so it is kind of neutral here. For me it does not add or detract from the game.


Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: There is a large deck of cards. This combined with different victory conditions gives this game a decent amount of replayability.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: Even though the game has lots of cards, the board is the same. I think I am usually attempting to do the same thing so the replaybility is just average.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: Individual turns flow fast as players play card or two. The game has a great flow as players work for their objectives, often at odds with one another. This causes everyone to keep an eye on what is going on and try to be aware of who is trying to do what.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This is a fast moving game. While individual tuns have decisions it is very rarely gets bogged down with analysis.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: Even though I am not too familiar with the theme, I have really enjoyed this game every time that I have played it. This game works with two but shines with more.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This game is fine. There is nothing wrong with it but for me it is missing that extra something to make it special.

Final Score

73/100

I like this game a little bit more than my wife does. Typically that would put a game like this on the bubble, but this is one we will be keeping. This game is extremely out of print and has zero chance of being reprinted. I know lately Martin Wallace has been revisiting and streamlining a lot of designs, so if her ever returns to this one with a different theme we would be up for it.
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Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:11 am
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Hanabi(One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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Earlier this year I was looking for a co-op game for a youth group lesson. I ideally needed a game that was easy to learn and fairly quick playing. Hanabi seemed to fit the bill. Fast forward several months and the game made it back to the table where my wife also got to play it. Traditionally, we do not like co-op games. Does this game just confirm that co-ops are duds or was this an explosive success?

Game Overview
In Hanabi players have the simple task of arranging the cards 1-5 in numerical order in each of the five colors. What makes this task complicated is the fact that players do not see their own cards, but they can see the cards that all other players have.
On a player’s turn they do one of three things. They may give a clue to another player. To do this they discard a clue token and then tell another player something about that their hand. For instance they may tell them which cards are a certain number or which ones are a certain color. The second option is that a player may play a card to the table. The cards must go from 1-5 in each of the five colors. If the card adds what is currently in play then it is good to go. If not, then the players must discard one of the fuse tokens. The final thing a player may do is discard a card from their hand to get back a clue token. Whenever a player uses a card from their hand they draw a replacement.
The game will end when all of the fuse tokens have been discarded, when the deck is exhausted, or when the players successfully have 25 cards played. Players get points for the highest number card played in each color, and the game has a grading scale of sorts to tell the players how they did.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 2.5 (do not care for)
My Thoughts: The core mechanism, not seeing your own cards, is unique and clever. However, I just do not find this game fun. This game practically encourages players to find unique ways to communicate and skirt the rules by how emphasis is placed on words and clues given. I get it, I just do not like it. I find it less clever and more annoying. I can see why some people would enjoy this game and I can appreciate the design. It is very much not for me though.

Her Rating: 4 (like it)
Her Thoughts: I think this is a fascinating game. I really love how it challenges players to work on communication, trust one another, and work together. I feel like a lot of co-op games are more about tripping up about the players, but this one is about encouraging the players to find a solution together.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 6.5
This game impressed my wife and it ended up getting played multiple times. Each play left my wife thinking how neat and clever the game was, and it left me thinking how much I do not find it very fun. We might not play it much together, but I think it is a game my wife will always be up for getting in on if she can.
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Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:07 pm
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Insider (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
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I am a big fan of social deduction games. At this point in my life I have played unknown hundreds of games of Werewolf/Mafia. The Resistance and Coup are among my favorite games. I first played this game earlier this year and I instantly loved it. However, it's high price point (combined with the fact that there was always shipping on top of that) kept me from getting it. However, I figured it would get a lot of play so I bit the bullet and bought it at Gen Con (with no shipping cost!) While I tend to like these kind of games my wife absolutely hates them. At a game night though she recently played Insider. Is this game different enough to change her mind?

Game Overview
In Insider the group is trying to figure out a secret word and also discover who the Insider is. The game begins with a set-up phase where the roles are secretly dealt out. The Master is then revealed and uses the deck of cards to figure out the secret word. The Master then closes their eyes with everyone else and the Insider opens their eyes so they know the secret word as well.

Once the game begins everyone will be asking the Master questions. These must be questions that can be answered with a yes or no. By the rules I believe this can be a free form thing, but I think I have always played that goes around in a circle so everyone has to ask some questions. This is timed, and if the group can not get the word before time is up then everyone loses. This means the insider will be trying to guide the group in the right direction but they do not want to be obvious about it.

If someone manages to guess the right word, then group must immediately decide if they are the Insider. If they say they are, and they are right then the Insider loses and everyone else wins. If the group says the guesser is the Insider and they are not, then the Insider wins. If the groups says the guesser is not and they are not then the group must figure out who the Insider is.

After discussion the Master will call a vote. If the group picks the Insider then they win, if not the Insider wins.

Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 5 (love it)
My Thoughts: I really do love this game. I like how this turns the social deduction game on it's head. It is not a hidden traitor game, it is a hidden helper game. Being the Insider is tricky but unlike other games it is impossible to math out and fully deduce who the hidden role might be. The only downside to this game is some of the secret words are not so good. This might be a translation thing since the game originally comes from Japan, but sometimes they phrases are so oddly specific that guessing them is nigh impossible. Two such examples I have encountered are "residential area" and "weather report"

Her Rating: 3.5 (It's OK)
Her Thoughts: This is one of the better social deduction games, and unlike most games of this genre I do not hate this one. I think the difference here is in this game you are doing more than just lying or trying to figure out who is lying.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 8.5
Based on my wife's reaction to other games of this nature I had assumed she would not care for this one, but this design is unique enough and different enough that it went against the trend. This game is a real winner, and I think it will get many, many plays over the years.
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Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:54 pm
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Star Fleet: Battle Force (Game #116)

sean johnson
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My wife and I are attempting to play through all of our games in a year. Federation Commander is my favorite game, so I was of course interested in all of the games published in the Star Fleet universe. For that reason we got this game. We played it several times in the first couple of months, but this game quickly started gathering dust. Was it worth getting this game back out?


Game Overview

This is a starship combat game where players get a random assortment of ship cards to make up their fleet. Players put these ships in three lines. The screen is in the front, the main body is in the middle, and the reserve is in the back. There screen is more likely to be shot at but has no restrictions. The main body has some shot restrictions but is protected by those same restrictions on other players. The reserve is completely protected but can not fire.

Players take turns and follows the same structure. First, players draw up to six cards. Then they may make repairs. Each damaged ship heals one damage a turn, and other cards can be played to heal extra damage. Players may also play reinforcements card and then make one formation change.

Next, the player may attack. They pick on of their ships to fire and pick a target. To fire a player plays attack cards that match their weapons. Thus a ship with disruptors may play disruptor cards but they can not play Photon or plasma cards if they do not have those weapons. Each weapon present on a ship card can be fired once. So if there are two phaser-2s and I have two phaser-2 cards I can fire them both. The defender can play defense cards like erratic maneuvers, shield boost, or wild weasel to lessen the damage. All attack cards have their numbers added up and the defense cards subtracted. The difference is applied in damage. All ships have hull boxes that can be covered up, but a damaged ship will start to lose weapon systems. If every box on a ship is covered up then it is destroyed. The player that destroys the ship gets to keep it for points. Instead of attacking a player may make one additional fleet move or discard any number of cards and draw that many replacements.

At the end of a turn the player may discard one card from their hand and put it in the discard pile or their own reserve. In the future cards can be drawn from the reserve at the beginning of the turn. After a turn, the next player gets to go and do all of the same things. Once one player has all of their ships eliminated, players add up how many points they have in destroyed ships. The player with the most points is the winner.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: The rules of this game are clunky, and the way they are written make it seem even worse than it is . The ships are random at the beginning so from the beginning one player might have a bad start. Not every ship can fire every weapon type, and players can only discard a single card. It is possible that players will have multiple turns of discard a card, draw a card they can not use, and repeat.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This is very luck based. I do not mind luck but it is a bit much here.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: It is OK. Putting damage tokens on the cards is a nice touch, but the theme is not as pronounced as I would like.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: It does feel like star ship combat I guess, just very slow unexciting combat.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: The replayability is fairly weak. The game is so dependent on good card draws so each play is going to feel similar even if players have different ships.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This game is too boring to make me want to replay.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: This should be a quick game but it takes too long. Too many turns can be doing nothing.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This can be very slow which is not good for a rules light card game.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: I love the Star Fleet universe, but this just is not a very fun game.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This game is just really boring and I do not think it is all that fun.

Final Score

47/100

This might make an OK kids game. I see my son enjoying this. We will try to play it with him. If he likes it we will keep it, and if not then it is time to get rid of this one.
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Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:25 am
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Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix (Game #115)

sean johnson
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My wife and I are attempting to play through all of our games. I played this game for the first time in the March of 2009. This was right when we were really starting to get into the gaming hobby. At Gen Con that year I completed the Mayfair ribbon hunt, and I used the 50% off coupon to get this game. We played this game a good deal for the first couple of years we had it, and then the plays dropped off the map. There were two years since our last play and three years between plays before that. Since we got this game we have gotten several other racing games, so does this still have what it takes to claim the pole position?

Game Overview
In this game players are dealt out cards that will move cars. One of the interesting parts is the that the cards they have will move multiple cards. Using this information, the players will bid on which car they are backing. Depending on the number of players will depend how many cars a player has backed.

On a player's turn they will play a card and move all of the cards they activate. Cars must be activated and moved the number shown on the cards in order. Because the two tracks are road courses, there are choke points so it is possible a car can not move the full listed amount. As cars cross the finish line they get a position and each position pays out. First gets $200,000 and last gets $10,000.

The board is then turned over and the other track is raced in the same way with players bidding on different cars. One of the tracks is then done a second time for a third race. At the end the player with the most money wins.

Our Ratings
We are using a custom rating scale. Each game will be evaluated by both of us on 1 to 10 scale in five areas. When combined, this creates a possible score out of 100.

Mechanisms/Rules
My Rating:
My Comments: The basic card playing mechanism in this game is a good one. I like how players often move multiple cars. How these cards get moved, and how players try to optimally play so that opponent moves get wasted is clever.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I like the simplicity of how the cards move the cars. It is straightforward but there still are some good decisions about what card to play when.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: Even though players move all the cars, the race feel is not lost. I do especially like how this is not one race but attempts to build in the idea of a season by players earning money over multiple races.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The racing theme comes through, but compared to other racing games we have played this game lacks excitement.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: This is the weakest point. The game is fine, but even though it has been a couple of years since we have played it still felt like it had all been done before.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The lack of tracks hurts this games. I know it is always going to be a race to the same choke points.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: Each individual race is a good length, and I do like the flow of doing three races. I think that helps counteract some bad card draw.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: It moves at a good pace and I do like that each play has multiple races, but again I wish there was a third track.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: Five years ago this game would have rated much higher on the fun scale for me. I still find it decently fun but it has fallen behind. I think this game has kind of been replaced by Thunder Alley. The games fit roughly the same time frame and If I am going to play a racing game I think that is the better one.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I like this game but I think it needs more players to be fun. It can be a bit on the boring side with two players.

Final Score

65/100

I need to make playing Downforce a priority. We both like elements of this game system, and I want to see how it has been restored for the modern market. I would love to see it work for us so that Downforce replaces this game in our collection. Either way though it is time for Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix to be retired.
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Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:11 am
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Century: Golem Edition (One Couple's Review)

sean johnson
United States
Edinburgh
Indiana
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After Origins a couple who attended brought Century: Spice Road to a game night. I played it, liked it, and I was convinced my wife would love it. For that reason when I began to consider what I would buy at Gen Con, Century was on the list. When other potential games like Ex Libris were sold out, Century rose to the top. However, Gen Con did bring the Golem edition. Between the two I prefer the more fantastical art and components so building Golems over selling spice was an easy choice. However, because we had some place to be we bought the game without my wife playing it. She was just trusting that I was right about her liking it. So when we played the game, it was the moment of truth. Was I right or did I get it horribly wrong?

Game Overview

In this game players are collecting some sort of special gem stones and then using those stones to enliven Golems.

On a player's turn they may do one of four things. They may play a card from their hand for it's effect. There are three types of cards. Production cards give players gems. Trade cards allow players to the gems they have for different gems. The final card type is a starter card and it allows players to upgrade gems from one color to the next color in the hierarchy.

The second option is to take a new card from the center row. The left most card is free, but other cards have to be paid for by putting gems on the cards a player skips to get to the one they want.

The third option is to spend the gems a player has to buy a Golem. If the Golem bought is in the left most or second left most position, then then they might get bonus coins as well.

The final option is to pick up all previously played cards into a player's hand so that they have access to all of their cards again.

Play continues until a player builds a set number of Golems. At that point it is equal turns. Players get points for Golems built, coins collected, and gems left over. The player with the most points wins.



Our Thoughts
As a reminder we rate games on our own 5 point scale. When our scores are added together, it is where we as a couple theoretically rate the game on the BGG 10 point scale.

My Rating: 4 (like it)
My Thoughts: I like how this is a bit of a deckbuilding game without a deck. The hand management choices in this game are really smart. Players have the tools to eventually build any golem but the game is all about find optimal efficiency. Doing this requires some smart tactical play, while still having an eye out thinking a few turns down the road. Every game will present a new card combination and puzzle on how to reach max efficiency. I think that will mean this game has a lot of replayability.

Her Rating: 5 (love it!)
Her Thoughts: This game makes planning ahead manageable. This is a game of micro-goals. I know I want to do something and it takes a couple of turns to make it happen. Then I can work on the next component, and it all comes together to build the golem I was working towards. It is really fun and it feels like I accomplished something when this happens. I really like this game and I am glad we have it.

Verdict
Combined Rating: 9

Yay! I got this one right. We just got this game and we have already played it a few times. We are very happy with this one. It's smart decisions and quick playtime means this is a game that will probably make it to the table quite often.
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Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:27 am
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