Too Many Games!!!

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The Purge: Dead Man's Draw

Sean Johnson
United States
North Judson
Indiana
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Board Game: Dead Man's Draw

We once said that if we do not play a game for three years we will get rid of it. It turns out we did not do that, but we do only want to keep the games that we want to play. This year we plan on playing through every game that we have not played for three years and we will use that one play to decide if we want to keep the game.

We got this game in 2015 when I added it to a game order to hit the free shipping threshold. I initially heard about the game through the Dice Tower podcast and downloaded the app. I realized quickly I would prefer a tabletop version of the game and I picked it up because I thought it would be an accessible game that could see a lot of game night plays. I was right, because before this year I had recorded 39 plays of this game. However, the last time my wife and I played it together was in the Fall of 2017 and it has been almost three years since I have played the game at all. So now that it has finally been pulled off the shelf, is this game still a draw?

Brief Game Overview
This is a push your luck set collection game. The game consist of 10 suits of cards, that have six cards each. With the exception of the mermaids, they are numbered 2-7.

On a player's turn they will flip over the top card of the deck. They can keep doing this until they decide to bank or bust. If they bank, they get all of the cards they revealed. However, if they ever flip over a card that has the same suit as one they previously revealed that turn then it is a bust and all of the cards go to the discard pile.

Each suit also has an associated ability with it. Some can provide bonus cards, others can take cards from opponents, and not everyone is always beneficial. In addition to that, an included option gives players a special ability given at the beginning of the game, that often makes one of these card abilities stronger.

Players take the cards they bank and put them in piles according to suit in front of them, and the top card is always the highest. When the deck is depleted the game ends. Players then add up the value of their highest card per suit and the highest score wins the game.

What We Previously Thought
We both thought this was a novel take on a push your luck game. We preferred the game without the optional role cards and we both described the game as a great "filler."

What We Think Now
My Verdict: Keep
My Thoughts: I still think this is a great push your luck game. Because it has a strong take that element it does not work the greatest as a two player game, but this is a good option for 3-4 people.

Her Verdict: Keep
Her Thoughts: This game is fun, and I think with the ages our kids are at this game has potential to be a go-to game to play as a family for years.

Final Verdict
Keep

When I last wrote about this game five years ago, I made multiple mentions to the game being a "filler." I have really moved away from that kind of language. It insinuates that a game with a short play time and a fun experience is somehow less of a game than one with a long play time and and emphasis on logical strategy. Big or small, luck dependent or zero luck all games have the potential to be fun. we both find this one a lot of fun.
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Mon Jan 17, 2022 7:48 pm
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Avignon: A Clash of Popes

Sean Johnson
United States
North Judson
Indiana
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Board Game: Avignon: A Clash of Popes


I know that I am in the minority but church history as a game theme is 100% my jam. So I was interested in this micro-game that covers the time when the papacy was moved to Avignon while another person claimed the Holy See in Rome. I managed to get a copy of this game (and it's expansion) in one of the trade it forward lists. So did this game convert us into fans?

Game Overview
In this game players represent one the two opposing sides as they try to gain the favor of various factions. Five location cards are set out and then five of the twelve character cards are put at the middle location. A player's goal is to move a character off the location closest to their side into their congregation.

On a player's turn they will take two actions. There are four possible actions and a play can not do the same action twice on their turn. The first option is to pull a character and move it one location closer to them. the other option is push which pushes a character one location closer to the opponent.

The third option is to use a character's card ability. A lot of these abilities will move multiple cards. For instance the Knight can be used to move two locations towards the active player but two other characters have to be pushed one location to the opponent. The noble is a little bit different because it provides an additional victory condition.

The fourth option is excommunicate. One of the characters will be removed from the game and replaced with one of from the deck in the same location the removed character was at.

Player's will take turns with their two actions until one player wins, usually by getting three characters into their congregation.

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 strong puzzle aspect to it as players figure out the best ways to use their two actions. Players have meaningful choices to make each turn and it is impressive how much tension this game has with such a small amount of components.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I found the mechanisms of this game to be frustrating. I did not care for the back and forth.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: I really, really enjoy the use of a less well known aspect of history. However, this is not a deeply thematic game.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: The theme feels really pasted on in this game.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: The base game is a little limited in what it offers. The addition of the expansion does give this game some much needed variety.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I do like that some games not all of the cards will be seen. It is impressive how much play was packed into a handful of cards.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: This is the strongest aspect of the game. It plays quickly with a good tug of war quality as players try to get the advantage over one another.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: This game has a lot of back and forth that keeps the players engaged and the length feels about right.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: I like this game for what it provides. It makes use of a unique theme, is highly portable and plays quickly. This is a good game that can be be played on the go.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I can see how this game could have some appeal, but it really is not for me.

Final Score

63/100


Well, darn. Not every game can connect. This is a two player game and since my wife did not care for it, we will not be playing it. So we will be looking to pass this game along.
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Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:48 am
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The Purge: Heave Ho!

Sean Johnson
United States
North Judson
Indiana
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Board Game: Heave Ho!


We once said that if we do not play a game for three years we will get rid of it. It turns out we did not do that, but we do only want to keep the games that we want to play. This year we plan on playing through every game that we have not played for three years and we will use that one play to decide if we want to keep the game.

We bought a used copy of this for $5 in 2012. Our primary reason for getting it was the (lightly applied) Scottish theme. We have had the game for close to ten years but it has not been played a ton. We made it a point to get the game to at least five plays in 2013, but after that we played the game once in 2014 and then once in 2017. We finally got this game back out so does tug on us?

Brief Game Overview
Heave Ho is a literal tug of war game, where players play cards to win a tug of war contest between two highland clans. Each player is dealt 20 cards and then they draft these cards in pairs, keeping one and giving one to their opponent. This is a race because their are advantages to the player who finishes first.

On a player's turn they play a card on either side of the tug of war. Each side has three color coded slots where cards can go. When a card with "Heave Ho" on it is played then a whiskey barrel moves in the direction of the player with the highest strength based on the numbers on their cards. The barrel will move the difference between the two players.

When a player get the barrel all the way to their side then they win it and a new round begins. The first player to win three barrels wins the game.

What We Previously Thought
I thought the drafting mechanisms of this game felt like they were ahead of their time, but found the rest of the game to not be terribly interesting. My wife found the game kind of bland but she liked that it had a highlands theme.

What We Think Now
My Verdict: Purge
My Thoughts: When we last played this game in 2017 as part of playing through all of our games, I was ready to get rid of this one. My thoughts have not changed. There are a lot better games I would rather play.

Her Verdict: Purge
Her Thoughts: We have kept this game because of its theme, but it is not a game we are going to play much or at all. I am not sure this game is worth the space.

Final Verdict

Purge


By and large we have only played this game when we came up with a reason to write about it. I have no doubt that if we kept it the next time we played this game would be when we played through all of our games again or intentionally played unplayed games. It is time to part with this one.
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Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:51 am
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Fleet: The Dice Game (One Couple's Review)

Sean Johnson
United States
North Judson
Indiana
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Board Game: Fleet: The Dice Game

Fleet has been a slow burn game for me. I liked the game when we first got it but did not love it. However, I found getting the expansion really made the click a lot more, but despite that this game got lost of the shelves regularly and would only come out once every couple of years. However, last year we (or at least me since I am the one who kept coming back to it) really delved into the game and played it multiple times throughout the year. I had previously heard this was a good roll and write game that is a bit more on the complex side. My wife especially likes roll and write games so does combining that style of game with this theme make for a good catch?

Game Overview
In this game players seek to get the most points through catching fish, building their fleet, and investing in the fishing town. The game is played over ten rounds, and each round has the same phases in it.

The first phase is the fish die. A number of fish die equal to the number of players +1 is rolled. In turn order each player will pick a die. Most of these die sides will correspond to the different seafood types. One side though has coins on it. When a fish side is used the next box or circle on that particular track is filled in. Every time a circle is filled in the player will get either a boat or a license. The licenses provide various special abilities and if the third license of a type is acquired it is worth points. Boats will catch fish throughout the game.

After each player claims a die there will be one left over and all players get to use that die. After the fish phase is income each player will get a coin, the lobster licesnces can provide additional coins, and a building can provide even more income. All gained coins are tracked in their own area on one of the player's sheets.

On even turns only the next phase is the fishing phase. Each boat a player has will catch one fish. The next phase of the game is the town phase which requires rolling another set of dice. This will have town dice equal to the number of players plus one fish die. Players will select dice in the same fashion. The fish die is resolved in the same manner, but the town die will be used for town actions. There are three possible options: the market, the harbor, and the town itself.

Resolving a market die will allow a player to get coins based on how many fish they have got. A harbor die will allow players to work on launching specialty boats such as a barge that holds fish once the boats are full, or a captain's vessel that gives players personal bonus fishing actions. The harbor is also where players can acquire King Crab licenses and boats. The King Crab license gives players a way to score end game bonus points.

The town die allows players to invest in buildings in town. Some of these like the bank or pub are worth points. Others like the salvage yard or canning company provide in game bonuses.

Throughout the game players will be getting coins. Whenever they fill in a star on the coin track they get to take a "star action". This is an immediate free action where they can fill an open box or circle (still going in order) of any track on their sheets.

After the tenth round players will add up all of the points they acquired and the player with the most points 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: To me this has a similar feel to the Clever series of roll and write games only it was done in a much more intuitive way and with a ton more soul. It is a small thing, but I really liked how this has two separate rolls a turn. That feels different, and I like how this interaction between the different sides.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I really like how the rules and mechanisms of this game create so much combos and synergy.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: This is fairly thematic for a roll and write game. It is not the most thematic, but the theme does come through.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: It is clear what the theme is supposed to be, and I can also see the roots this game has from the non-dice version of the game.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: There are a lot of different strategies to pursue, and no matter how many star actions one gets there is no way to do everything. I think this game gives a lot to explore.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I am a little concerned about replayability. The star actions provide a way to mitigate die rolls, so I think it would be easy to get stuck in a rut in this game and always try to win by doing the same thing.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: The turn structure of this game is really good, and like I said I really like the mid turn second roll.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I really love the flow of this game. If I am not actively making combos go off then I am looking for how to do one.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: End of the day if I could only choose one Fleet game, I would stick of the card game. However, I would easily put this somewhere in my top five roll and write games.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I am not sure how many good roll and write games we need because this is yet another great one.

Final Score

76/100

Roll and Write games need to be thematic for me to have any connection to them. This one ticks all the right boxes for us and we like it quite a bit.
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Sun Jan 9, 2022 4:26 am
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2017 Five Year Look Back

Sean Johnson
United States
North Judson
Indiana
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Of my blog traditions in January is to do a look back on the games that were released five years ago. At the end of 2017 I had played 41 games released in that year. Now five years later I have played 103. For me 2017 was the year of the escape room game as I recorded plays in multiple Unlock, EXIT, and Escape Room the game scenarios. I also tried out Escape the Room and Deckscape in 2017. While I still enjoy these kind of games, my wife soured on them quite a bit. So outside of the Star Wars unlock set I have not played much in the way of these games in the past couple of years.

Because there are too many games that come out in every year there are still some big releases from 2017 that I have not played. By BGG rankings the two biggest of those are probably Spirit Island and Gaia Project. I honestly do not have a ton of interest in either of those games though. Probably the game of 2017 that I have not played that I am most interested in is Clans of Caledonia.

However, of the games from the year that I have played these are the ones I like the most five year later in descending order for dramatic effect.

10. Legacy of Dragonholt
Board Game: Legacy of Dragonholt

This is probably the one game on the list that I will never play again, because I have already experience the story. However, as I look back this game rises to the top because I enjoyed the concept. My son and I played this game together. We had a great time exploring the town and discovering the story. This is a unique and worthwhile experience. I fear that it may have under performed in sales though, or at leas it did not do well enough for the idea to be explored further. I have mentioned it before but I would LOVE a Star Wars game of this system. Honestly, I would also like a Lord of the Rings or Cthulhu mythos version as well.

9. The Fox in the Forest
We did not play this game until 2018, when we picked it as our random summer game. We both really enjoyed this game. We especially like how this managed to make a trick taking game work with two. We play this game semi-regularly, and she wins more than I do.

8. Sentient
I did make a best of 2017 post at the end of that year. Sentient was in the seventh spot then, so it did drop back a little bit. I got this game at Gen Con in 2017. It is a fairly unique set collection game that is not quite like anything else we have. It is probably a little over-produced and more expensive that it needs to be for what it is. At least it was in 2017, I am not sure what the game goes for now.

7. Ex Libris
Board Game: Ex Libris

In the best of 2017 list this was #8, so it an Sentient switched places. I remember this game had a lot of buzz and the feeling of hotness coming out of Gen Con 2017, and I was pleasantly surprised when I actually received it for Christmas that year. A lot of the hype around the game has seemed to cool. I really like the game for its unique theme and mixture of worker placement and set collection. I do feel this game suffers a bit from the unique powers not all being created equal. Some like the bookworm are useful every single turn, while others are extremely situational and may barely be a factor. This is a rare game I think plays better at the "introductory" level without the potential imbalances in the game.

6. The Chameleon
This game dropped back from #5 on the 2017 list. Spyfall is a game that never really connected with me because usually it was possible to tell who the spy was just because they were the one staring at the pictures the most. I think this managed to avoid that problem a little bit and I enjoy the game. However, I do think this game is a little fragile and requires the right group to play.

5. Tiny Epic Quest
Board Game: Tiny Epic Quest

This game was at #10 in the 2017 best of list, so it is risen considerably. I think in part that is because I played this game wrong every time in 2017. It works much better when played by the rules. In my opinion this is the second best Tiny Epic game. It is fun to play and does a great job at capturing it's Legend of Zelda-esque theme.

4. Bärenpark
Despite being released in 2017, I did not play this game until 2021. This game also fired Cottage Garden from our collection which was in the #9 slot of the 2017 best of list. The theme of this game is kind of odd, but it is highly accessible and right now my favorite game that utilizes polyominos.

3. Century: Golem Edition
Board Game: Century: Golem Edition

This might be a little bit of a cheat since Century: Spice Road came out before 2017, but I got this game at Gen Con of that year and played it quite a bit. I like the simplicity of this game and the fun of making combos and synergies. This is a game that my son has really taken to as well, and in the past couple of years he has been the one who has encouraged us to get it to the table.

2. Sagrada
This is another game that I missed out in 2017 and did not play for the first time until the summer of 2018. I enjoyed that play and thought my wife might like it, so a year later when the opportunity to buy a used copy came up I jumped on it. Since then, this game has been played enough to be the most played game on this whole list. The stain glassed theme is a pleasant one, and the use of colored dice helps bring the theme out of what is a fairly abstract game. The use of dice in a spatial puzzle is also a clever and unique concept.

1. Battlestations: Second Edition
Board Game: Battlestations: Second Edition

When I made the best of list in 2017 I put this game at #2 and I said that this is probably a game I will never actually own because I could not justify the cost. However, by February of 2019 I decided I liked the game too much not to have it. I adore everything about this game and I have a blast every single time I play it. There are just a handful of games that I think I could play just about everyday and never be tired of playing them, and this is one of those games. To me it is easily the best game to come out in 2017.
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Sat Jan 8, 2022 10:40 pm
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The Purge: Love Letter

Sean Johnson
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North Judson
Indiana
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Board Game: Love Letter

We once said that if we do not play a game for three years we will get rid of it. It turns out we did not do that, but we do only want to keep the games that we want to play. This year we plan on playing through every game that we have not played for three years and we will use that one play to decide if we want to keep the game.

We got Love Letter just a few months after it first came out and before dozens of different thematic variations existed. It got played a lot in 2013, but the plays really tapered off into 2014 and 2015. The last time we played this game together was January 6th, 2017 and the last time I recorded a play was a couple of months later in March. So after sitting on the shelf for five years, does this game still deliver?

Brief Game Overview
In Love Letter players take the roll of the suitor trying to earn the favor of the princess. However, the princess has locked herself away. The only way to get the attention of the princess is by getting people close to her to bring her love letters.

The cards consists of various personalities that are numbered 1-8. At the beginning of a round one card from the 16 card deck is set aside. On a player's turn they will draw one card. The player will keep one of the cards to be the person who they are entrusting their letter to and, then discard the other one. When a card is discarded it has an ability that comes into play.

Some of the abilities will cause a player to be out for the round. If only one player is left in the round, then their letter gets delivered and they take a red cube. If there are multiple players left in a round, then once the last card has been drawn the active player resolves their turn and everyone reveals their hand. The player who has the highest numbered character has their letter delivered, and the rest are thrown in the fire.

The number of players determines how many letter have to be delivered to earn the favor of the princess, but the first player to earn that many red cubes wins the game.

What We Previously Thought
We gave the game a 70/100. We both thought the game was cleverly designed and it offered a lot of gameplay with so few cards. I did think the game had a tendency of going on too long.

What We Think Now
My Verdict: Keep
This game kicked off the micro-game trend, and even though companies like Buttonshy games pump out games using just a few cards I think this is still one of the best game experiences with a minimal amount of components. I do still think the game goes on too long, especially at four. The two player game is also not terribly interesting. So oddly this is a game that I prefer at exactly three players. I am fine keeping it but I also would not put a fight if we had to part ways.

Her Verdict: Keep
This game is a lot more fun than I remember it being. It is a small and easy portable game that can be played anywhere which I think is a real strength. It also takes up almost no space on the shelves so no matter how many games we have we will always have room for this one.

Final Verdict
Keep

This game is never going to be in our either of our top favorites list but it is pleasant enough. I do wonder if we had one of the bigger boxed versions if we it would be more likely to be on the chopping block to free up space for something else. My wife is right, there is always space for the little red bag so we will likely be holding on to Love Letter for quite some time.
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Fri Jan 7, 2022 2:54 pm
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The Purge: For Sale

Sean Johnson
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North Judson
Indiana
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Board Game: For Sale

We once said that if we do not play a game for three years we will get rid of it. It turns out we did not do that, but we do only want to keep the games that we want to play. This year we plan on playing through every game that we have not played for three years and we will use that one play to decide if we want to keep the game.

For Sale is a game that we first got all the way back in 2010, and it especially got played a lot in 2011. For Sale occasionally came out regularly over the years, but the last time we played it was in August of 2018. Now that the game finally made it back to the table is this a game to keep or put up For Sale?

Brief Game Overview
In this game players are trying to make the most money by buying property and selling property. Players are buying in the first phase through an auction. On a player's turn they need to increase the bid on the highest numbered property or pass and take the lowest numbered available property. When a player passes they have to pay half of their previous bid. In this way each player will get a property each round until all of the properties are claimed.

In the second phase players will sell their property. Check cards are put out equal to the players and each player will pick a property to sale. The property cards are revealed at the same time and whoever played the highest numbered property card gets the highest value check card. The second highest property gets the second highest check card and so forth. This is repeated until players sell all of their property cards.

The players add up the value of the check cards (plus any money left over from the auction phase and the player with the most money wins.

What We Previously Thought
When we reviewed the game in 2017 we gave it 85/100. We both found the game fun and thought it was extremely replayable. I thought the game had absolute perfect pacing with its two phase structure.

What We Think Now
My Verdict: Keep
My Rationale: I think this is one of the absolute best "gateway games". It is super easy to teach and it tends to make intuitive sense with most people I have taught it to.

Her Verdict: Keep
Her Rationale: This is still a fun game. The main reason why we have not played it is because it requires at least three players. However, both of our kids are now old enough to play this one and they really enjoyed it. I think this will become a regular, go to family game for us.

Final Verdict
Keep

We both think this game is great, we both think it is a good game to introduce people to the hobby, and we have discovered it makes a great family game. This is an easy decision to keep and I think it is also safe to say that this will game will not go years between plays again anytime soon.
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Wed Jan 5, 2022 4:23 am
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The Goonies: Never Say Die

Sean Johnson
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Board Game: The Goonies: Never Say Die

Outside of Star Wars, Goonies is easily a top five movie for me. So back in the Fall when the Secret Cabal Podcast started talking about this game, I was immediately interested. On the podcast they mostly said positive points, but as they explained the game I was disappointed because it sounded like a game that would not work with us. In general all vs. one dungeon crawl style games are games that my wife has not enjoyed.

So a couple of nights later I was telling her about the game and instead of just saying, "well that's too bad." she start pushing back. She said that while she did not like fantasy dungeon crawls, that the movie theme might help it connect better. This all really struck me as odd, because first she was never a huge fan of The Goonies. Second, It was odd because she usually is not the one trying to make the case for more games.

This was because she had somehow heard about the game before me, knew that I love the Goonies and she actually pre-ordered the game as a Christmas present. Now that it has been unwrapped and we played it is this game full of rich stuff?

Game Overview
In this scenario based game one player will play as the Goondock master which manages the game, enemies, and will play GM cards to trip up the other players who play as the Goonies. In this game the younger kids of Mikey, Chunk, Data, and Mouth are playable (along with Sloth). the teenagers of Brant, Andie, and Steph are represented by cards that can be used for special help throughout the game.

On the Goonies turn each player will gain one wish token. These are used to prevent damage, upgrade dice, or help team mates. The goonies can resolve their turn in any order.

On a Goonie's turn they can take up to two actions. If there is a specific token in a room, the Goonie player can search.

Searching is done by making a search check. All checks in this game work the same. The goonies have three stats strength, dexterity, and search. For each stat they will roll two dice of either red, blue, or green. They dice get better in that color order. before rolling the dice a wish token can be used per die to upgrade. On most checks one success roll is needed, but sometimes two are needed. For searching if two or more successes are rolled then the player gets an item card and a treasure card. Item cards are one time use abilities, while treasure cards can be used each turn.

Another action option is moving from one room to another. If the room is unexplored then the Goondocks master will put whatever goes in there based on the scenario book. Sometimes to move a dexterity check must be passed or actions must be used to make strength checks to move rubble out of the way.

If an enemy is present, the player can use their Goonie to make an attack action. This is a strength check and each attack does one damage. If damage equal to the health is dealt to the enemy then it is defeated.

Once all of the Goonie players have taken a turn the Goondock master gets a turn. This player first gets a GM token. The Goondock master may take an action with all enemies on the board. These tokens may move then attack. Attacks work the same way, and the Goondock master can spend tokens to upgrade dice as well.

Since Goonies never say die a Goonie is never defeated. However, if a Goonie takes damage equal to their health then the end is nigh, and one of the four sand marker tokens moves down.

Next the Goondock master will draw a GM card and can play a GM card. Often these cards trip up the Goonie players in some way. For some cards if certain conditions are met an end is nigh roll can be made to attempt to move a sand marker. The Goondock master can also spend a token to play an additional card. Cards also have react abilities so they can be played in response to what the Goonie players do.

Play continues until the Goonies complete the scenario objective and win or the Goondock master manages to move all four sand markers down to win. The game has nine scenarios. The first few are meant to recreate the movie while the rest tell an original Goonies story.

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: I did like the dice system that drives the game. It is simple but it works and the addition of a limited supply of tokens that can be used to boost rolls also works well. I do think this game had some balance issues though and the game feels stacked against the Goondock master. While this player can win, it feels like they are doing more to facilitate the experience of others. That is not a huge problem except there are not a lot of interesting decisions to make, and it seems every time there is an option to do something the Goonies players are so stacked with items and wish tokens it is a mere inconvenience.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: i liked the dice system. I thought it was simple, intuitive, and worked well. I did not like how the game played though, it felt like the Goondock master's job was to run the game so it would be fun for the other players as opposed to actually playing themselves.

Theme/Experience
My Rating:
My Comments: While I love the source material, I did not care for the thematic implementation. The scenarios that follow the movie felt less like playing the movie and more like the way 90's video game adaptions of movies felt. They sort of follow the plot but involve fighting a lot of giant rats and other enemies that were not really there. While I appreciate the attempt to create a new Goonies story, I am also not on board with a lot of the creative decisions made there.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I am not a huge Goonies fan so I have only seen it a handful of time, but I do not remember the kids fighting so many giant rats.

Replayability
My Rating:
My Comments: Th game only has nine scenarios, and it is kind of one and done. I know value is subjective, but this game is $35 at Target while Gloomhaven: Jaw of the Lion is $40 with more than double the content, it feels like this one is a little light on what it offers.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: There are exactly nine plays in this game and that is it.

Pacing and Flow
My Rating:
My Comments: This is the strongest point of the game. Turns are fairly quick. On the Goonies turn the Goondock master is looking for situations to react and on the Goondock masters turn the Goonies are like wise engaged. Since the Goondock master wins when by moving tokens the Goonies are incentivized not to move too slowly.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I thought this felt long for what it is and I think it moves at a slow pace.

Fun Factor
My Rating:
My Comments: While I really wanted to like this game going in, I just do not care for it. I am not a fan of how it handles the theme and there are too many other one vs all games of this nature that do it better.

Her Rating:
Her Comments: I might have enjoyed this game more if I had a strong connection to the theme, but I doubt it. I found this game to be boring and I did not like it much at all.

Final Score

51/100

So there are two big takeaways for me from this game. First, it is the thought that counts. It is touching that my wife found out about a game before I did and then took action to get it for me because she thought I would like it. Second, I was right on about how I thought she would feel about the game. So even though we do not think this game is worth recommending to anyone, at least we know each other really well.
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Mon Jan 3, 2022 1:28 pm
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Ten Years of Too Many Games

Sean Johnson
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North Judson
Indiana
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On January 1st, 2012 my wife and I put up our very first review together on this blog. So as of today this has been part of our engagement with the gaming hobby for ten years. On this anniversary I want to reflect on where we have been, what we have done, and where we are going next.

Where We Have Been

I have always enjoyed writing reviews about games. Before we got into the board gaming hobby I did this for video games, and for about six glorious months I was able to connect with an Internet startup and I got paid to do this. In 2009 we got into board games together, and I became active on BGG. I started writing reviews for board games, and the ones where I shared both of our opinions about the game were far and away the most popular.

So going in to 2012 we had this idea to play through all of our games and write about them which was the genesis of this blog. We started reviewing games with a five point scale, so that when added together it would theoretically give our combined score on the BGG 10 point scale. As we initially played through all of our games we also included a small session report. We succeeded at our goal and played through 202 games by the middle of October.

We really enjoyed writing about the games we were playing, even though we had finished our goal we kept going. Whenever we would get a new game we would write about it, but we also did a few different focuses.

First after spending a year playing through all of our games, it left a number of games with just two or tree plays. So we engaged on the Great Game Audit with the goal to get every game we had either up to at least five plays ore moved to the trade pile.

After that we found there were several games that ended up not getting played because we have too many games. In the Purge any game that had not been played for two years was given a play to decide if it got to stay or if it had to go.


In 2017 after doing this for five year, we decided to play through all of our games again. This time though we switched formats and used our current one where we each evaluate a game over five areas on a ten point scale to get a total score out of 100. Personally, I really like this format for reviews. We once again finished all our games but this time we did not get it done until December.

In between those writing series we also have done a number of different game tournaments where we pit games against each other to see which emerges on top. The last time we did one of these was in 2018 where we had 32 games face off to determine which game is consistently the most fun for us, and Memoir 44 beat Star Wars Destiny in the finals.

The Numbers
Over ten years of blogging on BGG this will be our 1,453rd post. This averages out to almost three posts a week. During that time we have also reviewed 738 unique games together. I know that is no where close to the levels of big content creators like the Dice Tower, but I feel pretty proud of sticking with this for a decade and having that level of output. Especially considering that nearly all of those games are ones that we have bought or received in trade. Through the course of ten years we have only received review copies three times.

What's Next
As long as we find it fun to write about the games we are playing, we will continue doing so. We have talked about it in the past, and we have no interest in moving to more "serious" content creation like audio or video. We are happy with our written reviews, and as the Internet in general has moved more and more to video it seems sticking with a written format fulfills a small but under served niche.

We have talked about seeking more review copies so we can more regularly write about what is new, but we struggle to play the games we have. If we ever find ourselves not carrying a shelf of shame maybe then we will look about seeing if our audience and track record is good enough to warrant review copies of games.

For the immediate future in 2022 we are going to revisit one of our old focuses. In 2017 after playing through our collection, we had stated that we should consider getting rid of a game we have not played for three years. At this point we have a lot of games that meet that criteria. We have 41 games that we have not played together since 2017, another 30 games we have not played together since 2018, and an additional 21 games that will hit three years at various points in 2022. We are going to bring back the Purge. Our goal is to play through the games that have not been played for at least three years. That one play will determine if we keep the game or if we purge it.

In addition to that focus we will continue to play our current group of unplayed games to hopefully get that shelf of shame to zero this year.

If you are a regular reader thank you. We are glad you have joined us for the journey as we continue to play our too many games.
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Sat Jan 1, 2022 4:56 pm
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End of the Month Recap

Sean Johnson
United States
North Judson
Indiana
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From gallery of SeanXor

Most Played Game This Month: Tumblin-Dice (7 plays)
Number of New to Me Games Played This Month: 7
Best New to Me Game: Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion

Best Gaming Moments of the Month

1. At the beginning of the month my daughter had a friend to come over so I took my son out of the house. We ended up at Starbucks where we played Tiny Epic Mechs.

2. Speaking of my son he volunteered to play Federation Commander with me this month! We played a scenario where he had a Federation drone cruiser and had to defend against a lot of shuttles full of Klingon marines. It was a close game and I only landed a handful of marine squads. There were several rounds of marine combat, and I managed to win with only two rounds left before the time limit.

3. On Christmas day I had Dash Away All in my stocking. It is a Christmas themed game and we played it as a family in the morning while eating Cinnamon Roll Cake (our traditional Christmas morning breakfast).

Game Projects Update
I have several game projects I want to complete. You can find the list here: Games Project List. Here is what progress I made this month:

1. At the beginning of the month I did work some on the Federation Commander campaign, but then the month got really busy
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Sat Jan 1, 2022 3:56 am
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