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Gaming Bits: Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion Review

Jonathan Nelson
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
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Board Game: Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion

Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion is a Coded Chronicles game by Jay Cormier and Sen-Foong Lim, published by The Op. It is for 1 or more players. In this game, players will be taking on the role of the characters from Mystery Inc.; Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby. They will need to work together to figure out the many different puzzles as they search for a way out of the haunted mansion. They'll have to be careful though as Lady Fairmont's ghost is looking to scare them silly. In the end, the players that can solve the mystery and escape the Haunted Mansion will be declared the winners and will have a fitting end to their adventure.

Before I start, let me state that I will do my best in this review to make sure and keep the spoilers of the game to a very bare minimum. That means that I will only reveal things on a need to know basis and only those things that will be discovered in the first few moments of playing. Everything else will be left to discover on your own.

To begin, all of the character narrative books are equally distributed between all the different players. If playing with younger children, it's advised for parents to do the majority of the reading. The stack of Map tiles should be placed face down near the middle of the play area in numerical order. The deck of Clue cards should also be placed face down next to the Map tiles in numerical order. The character standees and Secret Envelopes should be placed where all players may easily access them. Players may look at the outside of the Secret Envelopes but should not open them until instructed to do so while playing the game. When players are ready, Fred's narrative book may be opened and Entry 5000 may be read aloud. Play now begins.

Once the entry for the story has been read, the actual game begins. The game starts you out by placing the first map tile which has you trapped in a room with only a few things around you and one character to use. From there, other cards and map tiles will be introduced into the game, along with the other characters, as you find them. As you play, you'll be instructed where to place these in relation to other tiles and such. It should be noted that whenever a decision must be made, players should agree on the course of action before preceding.

As you play you'll need to use the special abilities of each of the characters to better explore the mansion and each of the rooms and items inside. Velma can research, meaning she can dig deeper or figure out more of what's going on. Shaggy can eat, meaning he can choose to eat something that he finds. Daphne can use, which allows her to manipulate certain objects or activate them to be able to make them work. Scooby-Doo can smell, so that he can get the scent of something to follow or even determine what something has in it. Fred can investigate, which means he can take a closer look at something or possibly even build a trap from it. For any of the characters to use their abilities, the players simply take that character's standee and places it next to the beginning of the number on the map tile or clue card that they want to use the ability on. Each character has a number on their standee which is added to the 3 digit number to create a 4 digit code that the player can then look up in that character's corresponding book. That particular Narrative book's entry is then read aloud by the player with that character's book. Sometimes there will only be a 1 or 2 digit number on the map tile or clue card. In these cases, players will need to find more digits to be added to these smaller numbers to create a 3 digit number. Any character that has access to that location can then add their character number to the beginning of these 3 digits to create the required 4 digit code. The character's number must always be first, however the 1 and 2 digit numbers may be arranged either way. The 1 digit can precede the 2 digit or vice versa.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


As the game is played players will find clue cards with a blue border on them. These cards are item cards that may be carried with the characters throughout the adventure, until they're told to discard them. When reading through the narrative books, they may also be instructed to eat a Scooby Snack. This will affect the player's score at the end of the game. Usually this will only happen if a player tries to solve a puzzle incorrectly. When this happens, the player simply marks a Scooby Snack off on the back of the rulebook, or marks it down on a blank sheet of paper if they choose not to write on the rulebook.

The game continues until the end of chapter 1 or until players have completed the game. The game provides instructions on how to pack up the game for completing the game later. Once the game is completed, players will check the Scooby Snack tracker on the back of the rulebook. Depending on how many Scooby Snacks they had to eat, marking them off on the tracker, will determine the player's end game score. Players must also escape the Haunted Mansion to get a better score, although there are short lines of text to complete the adventure for both based on the player's score.

One last thing should be noted, the last page of the rulebook has a list of hints that may be used during the game. The hints are based on the character's location. The first two hints are free to use but should only be used if player's are stuck. Any further hints will spoil future puzzles and will cause the players to eat a Scooby Snack. All of these hints are read from their corresponding narrative book.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


COMPONENTS
While I won't be covering every component of the game, due to spoilers, I will do my best to give you some idea of what you can expect. First off what I'll tell you is all that you'll uncover once you open the box. The game comes with 5 Narrative Books. Each one of these is bright and colorful and has the character's name and picture on the cover, along with their character number and the range of entries in their book. The character's number is also found on the character's standee. The books are easy to look through and find the specific entry that you're looking for to read. There are 13 map tiles for the game which are large square cards. These should not be looked at or flipped over until told to do so, to save on spoiling the mystery. The game also has a deck of tarot sized Clue cards. These also should not be looked at or flipped over until told to reveal a specific card. These map and clue cards have numbers on them. The narrative books will instruct you on when to flip one of these over. The tiles and cards have thematic artwork that fits in well with the cartoon look and feel of the game. Sometimes there will be puzzles that will need to be solved from these tiles or cards and the artwork does a great job of giving you that mystery type feel. Further into the box, players will discover the 8 Secret Envelopes. These are large square envelopes with instructions on the front that players are not to open until instructed to do so. Each one has a specific number on it and is sealed with a sticker. Each envelope has some various items inside including cards or other puzzle related items. Needless to say, there's a lot to discover on your own so I'll leave it at that. Finally there are the character standees. These have the iconic characters on them along with their character number and name of their ability. These are made of thick paper and are made to be folded at the bottom so that they can stand up. I kind of wish that these had been done like the character tokens from the Goonies Coded Chronicles game. Those were made of thick cardboard, more like a token. These just felt flimsy and hopefully they won't get messed up from moving around on the table. I get that this game came out prior to the Goonies one so I'm assuming that those tokens were made as an improvement on these. To be honest, if I'd played this one first I'd probably not have thought a whole lot about it. Since I played Goonies first, it sort of stands out to me. In any event, the pieces and parts of this game work really well together. Everything really feels like it's part of this whole elaborate mystery adventure. Overall I am very pleased with the look and feel of everything. Each piece makes you feel like you stepped into a Scooby-Doo mystery, which is something that I've always wanted to do since I was a kid. Needless to say, I'm pretty doggone happy.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
Like my review, the rulebook gives only the bare minimum of instructions needed to understand how to play the game. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even call itself a rulebook, instead it is the Mystery Manual. The manual doesn't go into a lot of detail about the game, which is completely fine since a lot of the rules you'll be learning as you play. What the manual does do is give you the basic framework of how players will be using the tiles, cards, characters and narrative books. It also tells you how to use items to make other things work, like keys with doors. The book has plenty of pictures and examples to help players understand how this all works. One thing that I liked was that these examples were done in such a way that there were no spoilers given. As noted above, the back cover of the manual contains a list of hints for when players get stuck in a location. I think it's a great thing to have for those players that need it. A few times I thought about using one but looked back at what was available and figured out what to do. On the back of the book there's also the Scooby Snack Tracker which is a row of Scooby Snacks that can be marked to show how many times the players may have done something wrong or solved a puzzle incorrectly. What this does is it affects the End Game Score, which is a box on the last page of the book that has numbers for the amount of Scooby Snacks remaining. It also has two columns, one for if you escaped the Mansion and for for if you didn't. Needless to say, if you didn't escape, you're not going to get as good of an ending. The same is true if you ended up eating too many Scooby Snacks. In other words, you'll want to escape and eat as few snacks as possible. Overall I think that everything is laid out in a quick and concise way. It's easy to read through and understand. In fact, it only takes a few minutes to read through making it that much quicker to be able to start playing. I like that there aren't any spoilers in the manual so that everything is uncovered as you play. I have to say that I'm quite pleased.
9 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
My family and I love Scooby-Doo. We've watched the shows, the movies and we even have Scooby-Doo related merch in our home. Needless to say, this game fit our family perfectly. The combination of the theme and the mystery solving all worked it's magic on my whole family. We all love puzzle solving and have played several different escape room style games, which weren't as much fun as this one was. This one just hit a sweet spot for us. While there are lots of puzzles to solve, nothing felt so difficult that my daughter couldn't figure it out, with a little help. I found the game to have a bit of a Choose Your Own Adventure feel to it as well, from the entries in the narrative books. Every time you read something, it instructed you on something new to be revealed. You'd then take that and find something there to check out and then read another entry in one of the books. This kept the whole adventure constantly changing. In certain areas of the game, characters will be popping in and others popping out. I thought this was a neat way to keep things fresh and to not overwhelm players with too many characters to keep up with. As you make your way through the mansion, you'll start to find other rooms with new puzzles to solve and new items to use. Using the right character's ability on the right item or location seems to be key to solving the mystery. I like that this game can be played solo or with others. Just to familiarize myself with how this one worked, I played through a few rooms. This helped me later to be able to point my family in the right direction when they started to struggle in certain locations. Honestly this was one game that my family really enjoyed playing. We liked that it wasn't super long and that we could easily work through the game all at one time, or break it up into 2 separate acts. It's family friendly and one that even younger players could play with a little bit of help from Mom or Dad. Fans of Mystery Inc. will really enjoy jumping into a Scooby-Doo mystery and solving it themselves. Escape room gamers should also enjoy the puzzle aspects of the game. I'm a little bit afraid that due to having played the game, that it won't be replayable. I guess we'll have to try it again in a couple of months to see if we still remember the solutions to all of the puzzles or if it still feels like a challenge. I think that's one thing to be aware of when purchasing this one. In any event, my family enjoyed this one a great deal as did I. This is one that I would highly recommend.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Scooby-Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion is an escape room style game that can be played in the comfort of your own home. It is one of the Coded Chronicles styles games available from The Op. The game doesn't take a huge amount of time unless you're looking to completely finish the whole thing. Most play sessions last around an hour or so for each Act. The components are really well done and very thematic. Each one makes you feel like you stepped into a Scooby-Doo cartoon. The rulebook is really well done and gives you the instructions you need to play the game without including anything to spoil the game. The game itself is a lot of fun and will really draw you into the mystery. My family and I really enjoyed this one, as we love everything Scooby-Doo related. The puzzles could be a bit challenging but weren't so difficult that you couldn't figure them out if you really took your time and thought about them. For Scooby-Doo fans like us, this one is sure to entertain you. Even escape room players should enjoy the unique puzzles inside this one. The game is family friendly and can even be played with younger players, if you give them a bit of a helping hand here and there. Overall we really enjoyed this one and hope to see many more adventures in the Coded Chronicles world. This is one that I highly recommend and hope that it will be as much fun to replay a couple of months down the road. Jinkies!
9 out of 10



For more information about this and other great games, please check out The Op at their site.

https://theop.games/
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Wed Dec 22, 2021 1:32 am
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Gaming Bits: The Goonies: Escape With One-Eyed Willy’s Rich Stuff Review

Jonathan Nelson
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
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Board Game: The Goonies: Escape With One-Eyed Willy's Rich Stuff – A Coded Chronicles Game

The Goonies: Escape With One-Eyed Willy's Rich Stuff is a Coded Chronicles game by Jay Cormier and Sen-Foong Lim, published by The Op. It is for 1 or more players. In this game, players will be taking on the role of the beloved characters from the 1985 film, "The Goonies". They will need to work together to figure out the many different puzzles and explore the caves on their way to finding One-Eyed Willy's treasure. They'll have to be careful though, as those dastardly Fratelli's will be hot on their heels. In the end, the players that can uncover the secrets and solve the puzzles the best, while avoiding the Fratelli's, will be declared the winners and will have an awesome ending to their story.

Before I start, let me state that I will do my best in this review to make sure and keep the spoilers of the game to a very bare minimum. That means that I will only reveal things on a need to know basis and only those things that will be discovered in the first few moments of playing. Everything else will be left to discover on your own.

To begin, all of the Journals except for the ones for Chunk and Sloth are equally distributed between all the different players. The Chunk and Sloth ones are not used until Act 2 and may be left in the box until this time. It should be noted that Mikey's Journal requires the most reading in Act 1, while Chunk's Journal requires the most in Act 2. The stack of Map tiles should be placed face down near the middle of the play area. The deck of Clue cards should also be placed face down next to the Map tiles. The Doubloon, Treasure Map and Secret Envelopes should be placed where all players may easily access them. Players may look at the outside of the Secret Envelopes but should not open them until instructed to do so while playing the game. The Intermission envelope can remain in the box until needed, as can the Dry Erase pen. When players are ready, the Mikey Journal may be opened and Entry 1000 may be read aloud. Play now begins.

Once the game begins and the story entry is read the game begins to give you puzzles to figure out. The first puzzle involves the Secret Envelopes and the Doubloon. From there, map tiles and other cards will begin to be placed out on the table. Each one will explain where to place them in regards to any previously placed tiles or cards. As you progress you will also be instructed on where to place the characters which will come into the game once you open the first envelope. The Fratellis will also come into the game upon opening the envelope, more on them in a bit. It should be noted whenever a decision must be reached, players should agree on the course of action before preceding.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


As you play, you'll need to use the special abilities of each of the characters to better solve the puzzles that are presented. Mikey can explore, finding new things and hidden secrets. Brand can pick up, meaning that he can grab something that's laying around. Mouth can decipher, which is very helpful since there will be puzzles to figure out. Andy can use, which means she can take one item and use it on something else, more on this ability in a bit. Stef can explain, which allows her to give players more information to make better and more informed choices. Chunk can explore and pick up, while Sloth can use. Data has all kinds of gadgets that have their own rules and ways to use them. The instructions for these will be presented once Data's deck of gadget cards makes it's self available during play. For any of the characters to use their abilities, the players simply take that character's token and place it next to the begging of the number on the map tile or clue card that they want to use the ability on. Each character has a number on their token which is added to the 3 digit number to create a 4 digit code that the player can then look up in that character's corresponding Journal. That Journal entry is then read aloud by the player with that character's Journal. As I mentioned a moment ago, Andy and Sloth's use ability is a bit different. These characters can not use a pre-existing 3 digit number. Instead they must combine two items together. One will have a 1 digit code and the other must have a 2 digit code. The character's Journal entry number is created by that character's number, the 1 digit number and then the 2 digit number. This gives the 4 digit code for the entry.

As you have the characters interact with different elements of the game, there will be times when the players are told to move the Fratelli token forward. Most times this happens only when solving a puzzle. Any time that the Fratelli token moves into a room that a character is standing in and that character can not move forward into another room, then the characters are caught. This does not mean it's the end of the game. Instead, the players mark a box on the "Caught By The Fratellis Tracker" on the back of the rulebook, or a blank sheet of paper if you choose not to mark on the rulebook. This will affect the players' score at the end of the game. Once this has been marked, the Fratelli token is moved back to the first space in the previous room, giving the players a little bit of breathing room.

The game continues until the end of one of the 3 Acts or until players have completed the game. The Intermission envelope gives instructions on how to pause and return to the game later. Once the game is completed, players will check the chart on the back of the rulebook. Depending on how many times they were caught by the Fratellis will determine the player's achievement level, which has a short line of text to complete the adventure.

One last thing should be noted, the last page of the rulebook has a list of hints that may be used during the game. The first hint is free to use but should only be used if player's are stuck. The second hint will spoil future puzzles and will cause the Fratelli token to move one space forward. All of these hints are read from their corresponding Journal.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


COMPONENTS
While I won't be covering every component of the game, due to spoilers, I will do my best to give you some idea of what you can expect. First off what I'll do is tell you what all you'll uncover once you open the box. The game comes with 8 Journals. Each one is very colorful and has the character's name on the front along with their number which is also found on the character token, which players will uncover later. Each Journal is appropriately fitting for the character from the movie and has a thematic look to it. There are 7 map tiles for the game which are large square cards. These should not be explored until told to do so, to save on spoiling the game. The game also has a deck of tarot sized Clue cards. These also should not be explored and should be kept face down until told to reveal a specific card. Each map tile has a letter and each Clue card has a number on it. The Journals and other cards/items will tell you when to uncover a map tile or Clue card by giving the appropriate letter or number. Both the tiles and cards are really well done and have a great look and feel to them. Also inside the box, players will discover 8 Secret Envelopes. These are large parchment style envelopes with sketches of the areas that they represent, along with a 4 digit code. Each one is sealed and contains various items inside. In some cases there are tokens like the character tokens and Fratelli token which are mentioned below. There are various smaller cards and other items that will be useful while playing the game. Needless to say, there's a lot to uncover so I'll leave those envelopes for you to discover on your own. Just like in the movie, there's a large golden pirate doubloon. Of course, this version is only thick cardboard, but it's still really cool looking. Finally there is the large map, which is dry erase and the dry erase marker for drawing on the map. Most of the time when I've gotten these markers inside a game, the marker was useless because it wouldn't work. It was completely dry. With this one, surprisingly it actually worked. I was very happy about that, especially since it's needed to play the game. The map is very thematic and looks amazing. I was really happy with how cool it looked. One last thing inside the box is the Intermission envelope. This is used for saving the game between each of the 3 different Acts, in case you want to stop and come back to the game later. Overall, I'm thrilled beyond measure with the look and feel of every piece of this game. Everything looks great and so very thematic. It really helped draw me into the movie and the adventure. Needless to say, I give the components an A+.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
Like my review, the rulebook gives only the bare minimum of instructions needed to understand how to play the game. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even call itself a rulebook, instead it is an Adventure Guide. The guide doesn't go into a lot of detail, which is fine since so much of the game's rules are learned as you play from the various cards and tiles that are uncovered later. Basically what the guide does is give you the framework for using the tiles, cards, characters and their Journals. It also explains how the Fratelli token works. There are plenty of great pictures in the book with lots of examples. The best thing is that these examples are shown in such a way that there's no spoilers given. As noted earlier, the last page contains a list of hints for when players get stuck while playing the game. For some players I think it's great to have that added to the book but I don't actually remember any time that we needed to use them. That could be due to the numerous times that my wife and I have watched the movie throughout our lives. The back page of the book has the, "Caught By The Fratellis Tracker", which is just a series of bubbles that can be marked to show how many times players were too slow or incorrectly solved a puzzle. What this translates to is the End Game Score, which is a box on the back of the book with a list of numbers of times you were caught and an achievement level for each. Needless to say, if you get caught 6 or more times, you're not going to get a happy ending. The less your caught, the better your ending. Overall I think that the material that's presented here is done in an exceedingly amazing way. I like that there aren't spoilers, unless you want to really pay attention to those hints. I think that the rules that are given are explained in such a way that anyone can easily understand how to play the game. The guide doesn't take that long to read which means that players can get to playing the game fairly quickly. Overall, I really enjoy the way that this was done and I think everything here looks great.
9 out of 10

From gallery of MillicanDarque


GAMEPLAY
Oh my, what can I say? I have played several different escape room style games from several different companies. For the most part, these have been fairly mind numbing and boring. About the only thing that I liked was opening the envelopes and finding new materials to manipulate. Needless to say, I wasn't overwhelmed by the gameplay of them. This game, however, was the absolute complete opposite of all of those. Maybe it was my love for the source material or simply the way that everything was presented, but I absolutely enjoyed myself with it. While it did have that puzzly escape room feel, it also felt like a Choose Your Own Adventure game had been merged with it. Maybe it was the story and all the reading that this game presented, I'm not sure. What I did like was that each individual character had it's own voice, it's own story and it's own unique feel, just like in the movie. It simply felt like I was right there bumping around in those caves with those character myself. I absolutely got drawn into this game. It felt like I was living the movie. Every new puzzle was a way of moving forward and staying a step ahead of the Fratellis. As you progress through the game, new rooms will be discovered, as will new items and puzzles to solve. Figuring out the best character to deal with each one is key. I will say that there were a few times that I found myself scratching my head, trying to determine who to use, what to do and how to do it. It can be a little bit of a brain burner at times, but having several players working together to figure these things out can be a big help. I like that this is a game that can be played solo or with other players. I played through a little bit of the game by myself, just to get a feel for it, before unleashing it on my family. That helped me to better instruct them and for all of us to work our way through the adventure together. Of course I kept my prior knowledge of what worked and what didn't work to myself. Needless to say, we had a great time with this game. It has been a true adventure. The likes of which I haven't enjoyed in a long time. This one is family friendly but it's aimed at pre-teens and higher. I think the complexity of the puzzles and the amount of reading that is needed makes that age group feel about right. Fans of the movie will absolutely love this game, as they're able to play as their favorite characters. Escape room gamers will also find the puzzles and adventure of this one to be top notch. About the only thing that concerns me is that having played the game already, I'm afraid that there will be no replayabilty for it, as we'll already know how to solve all the puzzles. Might have to give it a couple of months and then revisit it to see if that still holds true. I guess for now, it's something to be aware of. In any event, this is one that I highly recommend. For a non-escape room gamer, I loved it as did my family.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
The Goonies: Escape With One-Eyed Willy's Rich Stuff is an escape room style game that can be played in the comfort of your own home. It is one of Coded Chronicles styles games available from The Op. The game can take a bit of time depending on how long you want to play and how many Acts that you want to explore. Most play sessions last around an hour to an hour and a half for each Act. The components look amazing and are very thematic. Each piece really helps draw you into the story of the game. The rulebook is quite well designed and gives you just what you need to know to play the game without any spoilers. The game itself is an amazing experience that will draw you right into the movie. I have had so much fun playing this. There are lots of puzzles to solve and clues to uncover. For fans of the movie, there is definitely a lot to love. I think them and escape room gamers will really enjoy this one. It is family friendly but a little too complex for some younger players. Overall my family and I enjoyed our time with this one. It's sure to keep you talking about what worked and what could have possibly worked better. Needless to say, I highly recommend it. I just hope that it will be as much fun when I try to replay it in the future. Till then, I can't wait.
9 out of 10



For more information about this and other great games, please check out The Op at their site.

https://theop.games/
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Sat Dec 18, 2021 12:25 pm
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Gaming Bits: Munchkin Critical Role Review

Jonathan Nelson
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
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Board Game: Munchkin Critical Role

Munchkin Critical Role is a game based on Steve Jackson's Munchkin, published by the Op. It is for 3-6 players. In this game, players take on the role of their favorite character from the Mighty Nein in the world of Wildemount as they battle Munchkin style to reach level 10 first. Along the way they will be battling monsters and meeting up with Guest Stars while they try to avoid curses as well as their opponents. The first player to reach level 10 by battling a monster will be declared the winner.

To begin, the cards are divided into Door and Treasure decks. Each deck is shuffled. Each player is dealt 4 cards from each deck. The decks are then placed face down on the table in the middle of the play area. The 20 sided and 6 sided dice are placed in the middle of the play area along with the decks. Players are each dealt one random character card which is placed face up in front of them. However, we like to let each player choose their character as long as there are no conflicts of interest. Each character card is double sided so players may choose whichever side they wish to use. Players will also receive a plastic tracker to keep track of their character's level. This tracker is placed on level 1 on the character card. Play now begins.

The game is played over a series of turns, with each player taking turns. Before taking their first turn, each player may create their character by looking over their starting hand of cards. If they have any Role or Drive cards, they may play one of each of these face up in front of themself. They may also place any useable items or Guest Stars in front of themself as well. However a player may only have 1 Guest Star at a time and items must follow the rules outlined in the rulebook, more on this in a minute. Once finished, the player performs 3 phases. The first phase is to Kick Open the Door. To do this, the player flips the top card of the Door deck over. If it is a monster, the player must fight it. Combat it done through comparing combat strength. The player’s combat strength is determined from their level along with any bonus obtained through other cards like Role abilities, Drives, items, Guest Stars and curses. The monster’s combat strength is equal to it’s level plus or minus any modifiers from cards played on it. If the player’s level is higher, they will kill the monster and go up a level. They also receive treasure as shown on the monster card. Treasure can be items or armor. However player’s may only equip one headgear, one armor, one foot gear and either one 2 handed item or up to 2 one handed items. Of course there are cards that will allow that to change like some Guest Stars or Cheat cards. If a player is unable to beat the monster, they must attempt to run away. To do this they roll the 6 sided die. They are successful if they roll 5 or higher. If they lose the roll, the monster does whatever bad stuff that the monster card describes to the player. Sometimes the player will flip over a curse card instead of a monster. When this happens the curse affects the player that drew it in whatever way that the card describes. There are also other types of cards like Role, Drive or monster enhancers that can be flipped over and then added to the player’s hand to be used later. It should be noted that if a player's character dies, they don't have to run away from any remaining monsters. They are allowed to keep their Roles, Drives and level, along with any Curses on them. The player must then lay out their hand of cards, allowing the other players to loot the body. Beginning with the player with the highest level, each player may take 1 card. The remaining cards are discarded to the discard pile. At the beginning of that player's next turn, they may draw four face down cards from each deck and take their turn normally.

The second phase is the Look for Trouble or Loot the Room phase. This is done if there was no monster in the first phase. Looking for Trouble is done by playing a monster card from the player’s hand and then continuing with combat as described above. Looting the room is done by the player drawing a second card from the Door deck and adding it to their hand to be used later. This is important as during combat players can affect the monster or player by using these cards to mess with them. Players can also help out when a player can’t beat a monster by themself by adding their combat strength to the player’s strength that is fighting the monster. Of course, some bribing may have to be done to get other players to help out.

The last phase is the charity phase. Once the above phases are complete, the player must discard down to only 5 cards. Any extras cards are given to the player with the lowest level. Play then passes to the next player.

This game continues with each player performing the three phases of their turn until one of the players reaches level 10, which is only reachable by defeating a monster or playing a card that specifically allows them to win. The first player to do this is the winner.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


COMPONENTS
This game comes with some really great looking cards. The artwork on each of these is absoutely beautiful. I will say however that some of the pictures are a bit dark, so it's hard to see some of the details. Still, the cards are great quality and fit well with the game. There are 172 of these that form 2 decks of cards; the Door deck and Treasure deck. Each deck has lots of different types of cards, as noted in the overview above. The cards have a great look and feel to them and they're very easy to hold and shuffle. The game also comes with 7 larger oversized character cards that are double sided. Each one has the same stats and abilities on both sides. The only real difference is the artwork for the character is a bit different. Players can play using either side with no real difference. There are also 2 dice; a 6 sided and a 20 sided. The 20 sided isn't used in the regular game, but can be used with the optional rules. I'll discuss this a bit more in the rulebook section. Both the dice are good quality and are black with white numbers or pips. There are also some plastic trackers for keeping track of each player's level. These are sort of a greenish translucent color. They look nice on the character card. Thankfully they don't seem to slide around too easily so there's not too much trouble with bumping a character card and forgetting what your level was. I would like to note, that I honestly had no idea the theme for this game. I simply knew that it was some form of sword and sorcery RPG with great looking artwork. I'm sure some of the cards and characters will be familiar to players that are fans of the IP. Even with no knowledge of it, I'm impressed with the overall look of everything in the game. I really love how cool it looks. Great looking game of Munchkin.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game feels a bit long for such an easy to play game. It also looks like a rulebook, but is actually more of a multi-folded rules sheet. As a matter of fact, 2 of the pages are simply small folds of the paper. I thought that was a bit odd, but kind of interesting too. That said, I think the rulebook is well written and organized. It's really good looking. There are plenty of pictures and examples of gameplay throughout the whole thing. Each concept and rule is explained in great detail so there should be no confusion with anything. As I noted above, the rules come with several optional rules. Each of these are highlighted in the rules with a gray box with grey bricks surrounding them. These can include the active player rolling the 20 sided die. If they roll a 1, bad stuff happens. If they roll a 20 they automatically beat the monster. If they roll anything else, this number is added to their combat strength. However, the monster gets to roll as well, usually done by the next player in turn order. This is just one of the optional rules. There are more for playing the game faster or for combining other sets of Munchkin with this one. The only thing missing would be some solo rules, but not really sure how that would work so I digress. Overall I think the rules do a great job and the whole thing looks great. The main thing is that it is easy to understand. With that in mind, I'm very pleased with the rulebook.
8 out of 10

From gallery of MillicanDarque


GAMEPLAY
I know that Muchkin is a very divisive game. Some people love it and some people love to hate it. I tend to be one of the first kind. I think Munchkin is a game that has it's place if you're looking for some mindless fun and it's one that I normally enjoy. I've played many different versions but this one has some of the best looking artwork that I've seen. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not familiar with the IP but it looked like something from one of the worlds of Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons. Honestly, I still don't know what it's from but what I do know is the theme works well with Munchkin. It has all the staples of the original game but kicks them up a notch, much like the Adventure Time version did. I enjoy seeing all the different races and classes of sword and sorcery highlighted here. I also like the special abilities of each particular character which makes each one feel a bit different. I also liked the double sided cards, so that you can pick your favorite artwork. There might be other reasons behind the different pictures that I'm not aware of but for me, it just looked cool. I do enjoy the look and feel of this version and really found the theme to be a more flavorful version of the original game. Just like other versions, this one is fun and chaotic and lends itself to much joy and laughter. This is one that I think fans of Critical Role may very well enjoy. I know that fans of Munchkin will love this one as it just a better version of the game. This is one that I definitely recommend.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Munchkin Critical Role is a light weight card game of chaotic fun with a sword and sorcery theme, based on the characters and settings from Critical Role. It does seem to run a bit long for this type of game. Most play sessions last around an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how many players there are and how much they like to mess with the other players. The components are excellent. I really like the artwork and all the different pieces included in the box. The rulebook is well written and organized with plenty of information and variations that can make the game even more interesting. The game itself is quite fun. Not being familiar with the IP, I'm not sure how well it translated over to the game. I'm sure fans of Critical Role and especially the Mighty Nein will enjoy this one. Munchkin fans will have a lot to enjoy with this one as well. Overall It's one that I definitely recommend.
9 out of 10

For more information about this and other great games, please check out The Op at their site.

https://theop.games/
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Thu Dec 16, 2021 12:55 pm
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Gaming Bits: Mickey and Friends: Food Fight Review

Jonathan Nelson
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Birmingham
Alabama
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From gallery of MillicanDarque

Mickey and Friends: Food Fight is a game published by the Op. It is for 3-5 players. In this game, players take on the role of Mickey or one of his friends; Minnie, Daisy, Donald or Goofy. They'll be rolling dice in order to fling various types of food onto their opponent's trays in order to empty their own. In the end, the player that can best manage the mess and clean off their tray first will be declared the winner.

To begin the red serving tray is placed in the middle of the play area. Each player chooses a character and takes their food tray, placing it with the tray side up in front of themself. Each player is given 3 dice, one of each type, and a random assortment of food tokens based on the number of players. These food tokens are placed on top of the player's food tray. One player is chosen to start the game and play now begins.

The game is played simultaneously once the chosen player says, "1, 2, 3, Food Fight!" Each player will then begin to roll their dice. Each die rolled will indicate a type of food to fling, which direction to fling it and the number of food items to be flung, removing them from your tray. The food die shows which food it to be removed; hamburger, shake, ice cream, french fries, hot dog or the player's choice. The direction die shows which direction to move the food tokens to; left, right, to the serving tray or the player's choice. The quantity die shows a maximum of food tokens that may be moved; 1, 2 or 3. It does not have to be exact. For instance, a 3 can be rolled but if the player only has 2 tokens then they can just move those 2. Once a player has rolled their dice, they will move food tokens onto the corresponding tray. They can then roll all 3 of their dice again and carry out the same process of moving food tokens.

The game continues until a player empties their tray. Once they've done this, they player will shout, "DONE!". The first player to do this will be awarded a Mickey Medal. A new round begins and the same process of rolling dice and flinging food begins anew. The game ends once a player collects 3 Mickey Medals. The first player to do this is the winner.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


COMPONENTS
The game comes with some very cute and fun components. There are 5 different player serving trays, one for each character, and a main serving tray. These are super thick and each player tray has artwork that corresponds with the character. For instance, Donald's tray has some white duck feathers, Donald's signature cap and red bowtie on the front and a picture of my main duck himself along with his name on the back. The main serving tray is red and has some messy food drippings on it. I'm very impressed with the sturdiness of these and the great looking artwork. That same artwork continues on the different food tokens. There are 5 different food types; hamburgers, shakes, french fries, ice cream and hot dogs. Each food type has 12 tokens and the tokens are almost as thick as the trays. The game also includes 13 Mickey Medals which are tokens like the food items. These are gold medals with Mickey ears on them and red ribbons on the bottom. All the tokens are superb and fit in well with the theme and the other components. Finally we come to the dice. These are a little smaller than your standard six sided dice. Each one is screen printed with the specific type of icons for the die it is. The food dice have food pictures on them. The direction dice have directions or red mouse ears to represent the serving tray. The quantity dice have numbers from 1 to 3 on them. While the images are good, I'm a bit concerned that the screen printing may eventually rub off after repeated gameplay. So far though, I've not noticed any considerable wear on them so here's hoping they last for a good long time. There are enough dice sets for 5 players to have 1 of each of the 3 different types. In my opinion, the dice are probably the low point for the components. Everything else is excellent. I do wish they were a bit larger and possibly engraved instead of screen printing. However I'm sure that the screen printing helped make this a cheaper to produce game and thus be able to carry a lower price tag, so there's that. Overall I'm quite pleased with most everything in the game box. I find the components to be well produced.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game isn't very big. It's only a few pages but packs a lot inside. The regular rules are very quick and simple to read over. There are pictures of the different components, along with how to set up the game. There are even pictures of each of the different die faces. The rules also include several different variations on the game that can add even more fun and challenges. I'll go into more detail on each of these in the gameplay section. About the only thing left out would be some rules for solo play, but the mechanics of this game might make it one that solo rules simply wouldn't work with it. That's fine. To be honest, there's really not a lot to discuss about the rulebook which means there's not really anything to complain about. That's because everything in it is simple and straight forward. I really like that. That makes it a lot easier to get into playing the game and less time reading the rules. For that, I'm very pleased. That's why I'm more than happy to approve the rulebook.
8 out of 10

From gallery of MillicanDarque


GAMEPLAY
This is a fairly simple and easy to play game. The basic rules are easy enough that even young players can understand how to play. Simply roll the dice and start moving food onto other trays to be able to clean off your tray first. That's pretty much all there is to it. However if you're looking for more challenges, then you can try out one of the variants that are included in the rule book. There's the Food Feast Competition which instead of throwing food, each player is trying to collect the most sets of food. Each complete set is worth worth a Mickey Medal. The first to 3 Mickey Medals wins. There's also the Silly Potluck Picnic which is much like the regular food fight game except when a 3 is rolled along with either a R or L. When this happens, the player shouts out the direction and all players must pass their food trays in that direction. Normal win conditions of emptying your tray and getting 3 Mickey Medals first are still the same. There's also an option for playing with kids that allows them to start with 2 less food items on their food tray. They can also use just the number and direction dice, allowing them to choose any type of food from their tray. Regardless of which way you choose to play, the game is fun. It's silly and a bit chaotic at times, but hits the right chord for me and my family. This is a great family game and one that all ages can play with ease. Fans of party games would really enjoy the silliness of this one, especially if they like Mickey and the gang. Needless to say, this is a game that I recommend. It has plenty of ways to play and lots of ways to enjoy it. We like it.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Mickey and Friends: Food Fight is a light weight game of food flinging fun. The game isn't long. Most play sessions last around 15 minutes. The components are all very nice and sturdy. I will say though that I wish the dice were a bit larger and not screen printed. The rulebook is well designed. I'm especially happy with all the variants and the options for playing with younger children. These will help keep the game entertaining for a long time. The game itself is a lot of fun albeit a bit chaotic. Things can get a bit wild with all the food tokens and dice flying around the table but it's all in good fun. I found that the game will keep you laughing and smiling as you play. It's a great family friendly game that plays well with any number of players, up to 5. Fans of Mickey and the gang will find something to enjoy here, as will parents looking for a great game for family fun night with the kids. This is one that I recommend. It's sure to feed your hunger for a good food fight.
8 out of 10

For more information about this and other great games, please check out The Op at their site.

https://theop.games/
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Mon Dec 13, 2021 9:51 pm
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Gaming Bits: Emoji Bible Stories Card Game Review

Jonathan Nelson
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
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From gallery of MillicanDarque

Emoji Bible Stories Card Game is a game by Bible Games Central. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players can choose from 4 different ways to play. From telling a Bible story to matching pictures, each one will help players learn about the different stories from the Bible. Each of the 4 games have different win conditions.

To begin let's look at each of the 4 different games. These are Tell an Emoji Bible Story, Guess the Bible Story, Match and Guess and Snap and Redeem. I'm not going to go into the step by step process of playing each of these different games. For more information on this, please check out the rulebook. Instead I'll give a brief overview of each of the 4 games. First there is Tell an Emoji Bible Story. In this game, players will take turns drawing 2 cards and then trying to use 3 of the cards in their hand to tell the Bible Story on one of their Story cards. They will play these 4 cards in front of themself and briefly tell the story. If most of the other players agree that the emoji cards used are appropriate for the story, then the player gets a point. If not, then the player takes back all their cards and play passes to the next player. The first player to score 3 points wins.

The next game is Guess the Bible Story. In this game, players are given 6 Emoji cards and a Story card. On a player's turn they will either play one of their Emoji cards in front of themself that they feel matches with their Story card, discard Emoji cards from their hand and draw back up to 6 or discard their Story card and draw a new one. They will then have a chance to guess one of the Bible stories in front of one of the other players. If they guess correctly, both players get a point. The first player to score 5 points wins.

The next game is Match and Guess. In this game, players are given a Story card. They will then take turns drawing from a stack of Emoji cards. If the drawn card matches an Emoji on their Story card, then they place it face up in front of themself. If not, it's placed in the discard pile. If another player's Story card matches the discarded card, they may call out the Emoji and claim the card, placing it in front of themself. The player is then allowed to try to guess one of the Bible stories in front of one of the other players. If they guess correctly, both players get a point. The first player to score 5 points wins.

The final game is Snap and Redeem. All of the Emoji cards are dealt out evenly to the players which is used to form a draw pile in front of them. On a player's turn they will flip over the top card of their draw pile and try to match one of the Story cards on the table. Any player can then point at the Emoji on the Story card and shout it out if it matches one of them. The first player to do this gets the Emoji card. The first player to match 3 Emoji cards can then use them to redeem that Story card. The first player to redeem 3 Story cards wins.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


COMPONENTS
The game comes with a huge stack of cards. There's a total of 192 cards in all. That includes 120 Emoji cards, 24 Green Story cards, 24 Purple Story cards and 24 Bible Story Summary cards. Each of the different card types has unique things about them. The cards themselves are all very good quality with a nice finish to them. The Emoji cards have a really large picture of an emoji on them. The purple Story cards have the name of a story from the Bible, along with the scriptures and several emojis that represent it. The green Story cards have the name of the Bible story along with the scriptures. With these cards there are no icons or emojis. The Bible Story cards have a quick overview of the Bible story along with the scriptures on the back. The front side has the Bible story along with the scripture and a summary of the actual story. It also has a small row of the emoji icons on it. These are great to help understand all the different stories that are presented in the game. One thing I can say, the game has a really nice set of cards in it.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is a large foldout sheet of paper that is double sided. The paper is thick like cardstock and is full color with a nice finish to it. The front of the rules explains the components and gives a quick overview of each of the different games in the box. It also has the rules for the first game; Tell an Emoji Bible Story. The back side of the paper lays out the rules for the remaining 3 games, giving setup and win conditions for each. The paper has plenty of pictures and examples of gameplay for each of the 4 different games. The rules are very easy to read and understand. On top of that, it didn't take but a couple of minutes to read over them. Overall I found the rulebook to be handled very well and I think it's very helpful. I'm pleased with it.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
I'm never been much of an emoji kind of person. I've always been more into gifs. Something about an emoji always felt like computer clip art from the 90's. I wasn't a big fan of using them on my cell phone either. So it was with a little bit of bias and angst that I approached this card game. I will say however that it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. It was fairly entertaining. Each of the different games gave a different style of playing and basically telling a story through pictures. Some your telling the story yourself with emojis, while others you're trying to collect emojis to match your story. Each one has it's own strategies and goals while still allowing player to have fun. I like that the games don't last that long. I think if it'd been more than 5 points for any of the games, it may have been too long. This one, like so many of the games from this publisher, would work well in a Sunday School class, Children's Church or even homeschool classroom. I think it's one that younger children can play with ease and it helps teach them the different stories from the Bible in a fun way. It's definitely a family friendly game and one that can be played by pretty much all age groups. I think if you've enjoyed any of the other games from this publisher, than this one would be right up your alley too. This is one that I would definitely recommend checking out. It ended up being more enjoyable for me and my family that I would have imagined. I actually like it.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Emoji Bible Stories Card Game is a box of 4 light weight card games with a religious theme. Each game is fairly quick and can be played in around 15 minutes. The cards are very nice and of good quality. The artwork isn't overly busy but is fun and playful. The rulebook is well designed and is very easy to read and understand. The game itself is entertaining and has plenty of different ways to play. Each one has it's own perks. This is one that would be put to good use in a Sunday School class, Children's Church or homeschool class setting. It's family friendly and one that all ages can play with relative ease. It's very good at helping children learn the different stories from the Bible. Overall this is one that I would recommend checking out. I think it's one that many families will enjoy. For me and mine, we liked it.
8 out of 10



For more information about this and other great games, please check out Bible Games Central at their site.

https://biblegamescentral.com/shop/

You can also find lots of lively and fun FREE games for Holiday parties and Christmas family gatherings at the link below.

https://biblegamescentral.com/christmas-games/
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Fri Dec 10, 2021 8:46 pm
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Gaming Bits: Bible Match It Link It Review

Jonathan Nelson
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
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From gallery of MillicanDarque

Bible Match It Link It is a game by Bible Games Central. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players can choose from 4 different ways to play. Each one is based off the game mechanics of Snap and Dominoes. Each of the 4 games have different win conditions.

To begin let me give a brief explanation of the Snap and Dominoes mechanics. For Snap, each tile will have 1 image that matches perfectly with another tile. When a new tile is flipped over, the player that calls out the description of the 2 matching images wins that tile. For Dominoes, tiles must connect with matching images on the side(s) that are in contact with each other. Tiles can not overlap and must have a matching image for each connection. Those are the basics that each game plays off of.

Now we can look at the 4 different games. These are Lightning Links, Frenzy, The Big Picture and Four in a Row. I'm not going to go into the step by step process of playing each of these different games. For more information on this, please check out the rulebook. Instead I'll give a brief overview of each. First there's Lightning Links. In this game, players will take turns flipping over one of the tiles and trying to match it to one of their tiles in front of them. The player will call out once they make a match. If they're the first to call it, they get the tile to connect to their faceup tiles. The player that has the most connections after all 57 tiles have been used is the winner.

The next game is Frenzy. In this game, each player gets 3 facedown tiles. The idea is to quickly match your 3 tiles to tiles on the table before anyone else does. Each player flips over their top tile and tries to find a match. If it doesn't match, they put on the bottom of their stack and flip their next tile over. The first player to match all 3 of their tiles gets a token. Once there aren't enough tiles to start another round, the game ends. The player with the most tokens is the winner.

The next game is The Big Picture. This game is cooperative. Players will be trying to match all 57 tiles. Players will be taking turns flipping over a tile and trying to match it and link it with one of the tiles on the table. If it doesn't match it's placed in the discard pile. Once all the tiles have been gone through, players go back through the discard pile and try to match them. The game ends once all 57 tiles have been matched and linked.

The final game is Four in a Row. In this game, a grid of tiles is formed based on the number of players. Each player gets 6 tokens of the same color to use and will then be trying to connect 4 of their tokens in a line. Players will take turns flipping over a tile which everyone will then be looking to find a match on the table. If they can match it, then they call it out and point to it. First player to do this wins the spot. If they run out of tokens they can move one of their other tokens to this newly won spot. If it's occupied by another player's token, then that player's token is returned to them freeing up the spot. The first player to form a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line of 4 tokens is the winner.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


COMPONENTS
This game consists of 57 tiles, 36 colored meeples(tokens) and 57 Bible story cards. The tiles have a good thickness to them and a nice textured matte finish. The iconography on the tiles almost look like computer clip art or emojis from a cell phone. You can figure out what most of these are supposed to be indicators of, but some are a bit vague. Maybe my knowledge of the Bible isn't quite what it needs to be or either the icons are too vague. Thankfully there is a deck of cards that explains the meaning for each icon, from God making the world in Genesis to a New Heaven and a New Earth in Revelation. Each card has a large picture of the icon along with the Bible scripture that the icon is for and a brief description of the scripture on the back. Once I looked through the cards, I had a few "DUH" moments. However some still eluded me how the icon worked with the verses. Needless to say, I wasn't a huge fan of the artwork. This is one portion of the game that fell a bit flat for me. I did however like the big bag of colored meeples that comes with the game. These are brightly colored and look awesome. Yes, I know it's just a bunch of wooden meeples that could easily be a part of any game...but I really like meeples. In any event, I think that the components work well with the game but as I pointed out already, the iconography is kind of lacking for me.
7 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is a large foldout sheet of paper that is double sided. The paper is thick like cardstock and is full color with a nice finish to it. The front of the rules explains the components and the mechanics of Snap and Dominoes, that are crucial to playing any of the games in the box. It also has the rules for the first game; Lightning Links. The back side of the paper lays out the rules for the remaining 3 games, giving setup and win conditions for each. I will say that I was pleased to see the The Big Picture could be played solo, as it's a cooperative game. I found that to be a nice addition that I wasn't expecting to see. The rules have plenty of pictures and examples of gameplay so that everyone can easily understand how to play each of the different games included in the box. Overall I found the rulebook to be quite helpful and well executed. I'm pleasantly surprised with the presentation.
8 out of 10

From gallery of MillicanDarque


GAMEPLAY
As a kid I spent a lot of time playing Dominoes with my grandmother. Any time that I wanted to play, she'd play. I remember even as I grew older, we'd still play Dominoes but eventually grew into other games like Uno, Phase 10 and card games like Rummy and Hearts. As a kid, I liked playing Dominoes. As an adult, not so much. I guess I just grew out of it. I think that's where this game fell short for me. While it does have several different games that you can play with the materials included in the box, it just doesn't give me the strategy that as a gamer, I need. That's not to say that the game is in any way bad. For instance, I could easily see this used with younger kids in a Sunday School or Children's Church class. It definitely has a lot of potential and versatility to be used in a lot of situations. It's one that is great for teaching children about some of the major stories of the Bible in a entertaining way. So with that said, let me quickly break down each game in the box. The first game is a mash up of Snap and Dominoes. I've never played Snap so had no idea what that even was before this game. I do think there have been other games that I've played that used this, I just didn't know that's where it came from. So for me, the Snap part of this was a bit off. That's mostly due to the icons which I explained my distaste for earlier. The second game ends up being a different take on the same mechanics. It's a little more strategic than the first one, but still not my cup of tea. The third one is the coop with the solo rules. Nice addition but definitely felt like it was just something to pass the time with like putting a puzzle together and not an actual game. I've played games like that, "Cat Crimes", which also fell short for me. Nice thought but not really a game. The final game in the box felt more like Snap combined with Connect 4. It was just missing the plastic board and the checkers. Once again, the icons hurt this one for me too. I did like it more than some of the others though so there's that. I guess for me, the best parts were the second and last games. As I said, this has potential and can be good in the right situation. It just didn't do it for me or my family honestly. I guess maybe we're just too spoiled with all the different variety of games that we play on a weekly basis. I will say that the game is family friendly and it would work with younger players easily. I think that if you're looking for something with a bit of faith based material in it and one that is a step up from regular Dominoes then you'll probably enjoy this one. Overall it wasn't one of my favorites but may still be used in some of our homeschooling. This is one that I would recommend for the right situations. For anything else it would be a pass. Basically I say, check it out and see if it looks like something for you.
6 out of 10

OVERALL
Bible Match It Link It is a box of 4 light weight games based off the mechanics of Dominoes and Snap with a religious theme. Each game is fairly quick and can be played in around 15 minutes. The components are very good, although the iconography is a little cheap to me and is sometimes hard to understand. The rulebook is well designed and includes rules for solo play which was a nice addition. It's very easy to read and understand. The game itself has a few shining moments but only 1 or 2 of the games in the box are actually something that I might play again. I think it has some potential and when used in the proper setting with the right people, like kids in a Sunday School class or in a homeschool setting, it can be good. It's family friendly and one that younger children would probably enjoy more so than adults. This is one that fans of Snap and Dominoes might enjoy, especially if they're looking for something to help teach stories from the Bible. Overall I would recommend it for those instances that I just mentioned. It's one that I would recommend checking out and seeing if it's something that you might enjoy. For me, it was ok.
6 out of 10



For more information about this and other great games, please check out Bible Games Central at their site.

https://biblegamescentral.com/shop/

You can also find lots of lively and fun FREE games for Holiday parties and Christmas family gatherings at the link below.

https://biblegamescentral.com/christmas-games/
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Wed Dec 8, 2021 9:46 pm
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Gaming Bits: Mission: Ends of the Earth Review

Jonathan Nelson
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Board Game: Mission:  Ends of the Earth

Mission: Ends of the Earth is a game by Bible Games Central. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will be taking on the role of missionaries traveling from village to village as they attempt to share the Gospel, blessing the village with medicine, food, water and other useful resources. They will be rolling dice, placing tiles and moving their missionary as they collect more resources to help out. In the end, the player that is able to able to reach their specific village first with the correct resources will be declared the winner.

To begin, the Starting Board is placed in the middle of the play area. Each player selects a colored missionary meeple and places it on a start space on the board. It should be noted that only 1 missionary is allowed on each starting space. The Mission cards are shuffled together. Each player is then dealt a Mission card facedown. This card provides the player with their destination village and what resources they need to collect. This card should not be reveal to any other player. The tiles are shuffled together and placed facedown in several stacks. All the different tokens should be sorted into separate piles to form the supply. The first player is chosen and play now begins.

The game is played over a series of turns with each player taking a turn. On a player's turn, they will follow 3 steps. The first step is to roll the die. If a shovel is shown, then the player gets a shovel token. The rulebook calls them spades but I prefer shovel. If the player already has one of these, then they can't collect another. The die also shows a number. This number indicates how many actions the player is allowed on their turn. The player must declare their actions before taking them. Once declared, the player may not change their actions.

The second step of a player's turn is to perform their actions that were declared in the first step. There are 3 possible actions that may be taken. The player can draw and place 1 tile, use a shovel(spade) token or move their missionary 1 space. To draw a tile, the player takes the top tile from one of the face down stacks and then places it adjacent to another tile so that it continues the landscape. This means that paths must connect or greenery must be touching greenery. It should be noted that any tiles taken during the players turn must be placed and may not be held onto for later rounds. Some tiles contain resources and airstrip icons, more on these in a bit. Some tiles contain crisis icons. When one of these are drawn, all players that have that particular resource indicated on the crisis tile must lose one of their resource tokens of that type. The crisis tile is then placed in accordance with the regular placement rules. The player can use a shovel(spade) token for 1 action, discarding it to the supply. This allows the player to move a previously placed tile to another location. Only tiles without a missionary on them may be selected. The normal tile placement rules apply. The last action that can be taken is to move a missionary. The player is allowed to move their missionary meeple 1 space following a connecting path for 1 action. They're also able to use an airstrip, moving from one tile with an airstrip on it to another tile with an airstrip on it for 1 action. Each tile is allowed to hold more than 1 missionary on them. Once a player has taken all their actions, they move to the final step.

The third step is to collect resources. If a player's meeple is on a resource tile, then they collect a token for the corresponding resource. A player is only allowed to hold a maximum of 1 token for each resource. Once the player completes this third step, their turn ends and play passes to the next player in turn order.

The game continues until one of the players reaches the corresponding destination on their Mission card with the resources specified on the card. The first player to do this is the winner.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


COMPONENTS
The game comes with a starting board, 105 tiles, 54 resource tokens, 6 spade tokens, 24 mission cards, 6 missionary meeples and a wooden die. The starting board, tiles, resource tokens and spade tokens are all thick cardboard that has a nice finish that's almost like linen finish. It's actually quite nice. These all have a good thickness to them and aren't too thin. The artwork on the tiles and starting board are almost cartoon like and aren't very detailed. Mainly each tile consists of a pathway and some greenery or shrubbery. Some tiles have a small icon in the top right corner. These icons almost look like something from a computer clipart project. They're very easy to understand. I have to say I like the simplistic design of the tiles. They could have went really overboard and gotten very detailed with each of these but I think it would have made them harder to read. As it is, these work nicely. The resource tokens are the same design as the icons on the tiles, just in a round token. The spade token is the same thing, just with a shovel on it. The starting board is quite small but fits well with the tiles. I like that the village names are all Greek words for the different directions; North, South, East and West. That makes it where it doesn't specialize a particular country or anything like that. It's generic and can be thought of to be anywhere. The mission cards have a nice sheen to them and are a good size. They're very nice and aren't too thin either. Each one has a colored background and one of the Greek village names along with an assortment of resources that the player has to collect on them. The missionary meeples are very brightly colored and are a good size. They're not too small and not too big, making them easy to pick up and move around. The die is wooden and screen printed. I'd have preferred laser etched with a bit more heft to it. Hopefully the printing won't start to wear off after continued use. Honestly, that's about the only real negative that I have about the game. The other small gripe is the insert. It's well thought out and holds everything in it's own little place nicely. The only problem is that when everything has been punched out, there's a bit of a gap between the lid and the insert. That means is the game is turned up on it's side, then all the tokens fall out and go all over the place. A plastic lid or something to hold that down would have been a nice addition. I tried putting the empty punch boards beneath the tray but that didn't work. It just made everything shift back and forth like a seesaw. Apart from those minor complaints, the game is very well designed and the components work as intended. I have to say that overall I'm quite pleased.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for the game is a large foldout sheet of paper that's double sided. The paper is thick like cardstock and is full color with a shiny finish. The front of the rules explains the objective of the game and explains the tile placement rules, along with explaining the different types of tiles. The back side of the paper tells how to set up and play the game in a step by step process. The rules even contain a cooperative variant that can be used. Looks like the only thing left out would be some rules for solo play. However I think with a little bit of tweaking, the cooperative variant could be used as a sort of beat your score way of playing. See how many turns it takes to complete your mission. The rules have lots of great pictures and examples of gameplay to help players understand the game. I didn't really see anything that was difficult to understand. The rules are quite short and didn't take very long to read either. Overall I'm pleased with the presentation and think the rules are well done.
8 out of 10

From gallery of MillicanDarque


GAMEPLAY
Like many of the other games from this company, this one is fairly easy to play. The player rolls the die which gives them a number of actions that they can take. They can then chose to place new tiles to move around and possibly get more resources from or they can move their meeple to already placed tiles and actually collect what they need. In some ways I get a little bit of a Tsuro feel from this game. With Tsuro though, the player places a tile that moves their player token around. In this one, moving your missionary actually requires an action for each space. Of course with Tsuro, you don't want to move very much. I'm not a huge fan of tile placement games, but ones like this I actually enjoy. I guess in a way, it's more like Race to the Treasure. With that game you're trying to collect keys and get to the end space. This game you're collecting resources and getting to your specific end space. I think that's why my family and I enjoyed this one as much as we did. It's simple enough that my daughter can play but contains enough strategy that even I could enjoy it. Needless to say, this one was fun. It's a great family friendly game that doesn't take a long time to play. It can be played in like 30 minutes which is great for the younger players with short attention spans. Fans of tile laying games like Tsuro or Race to the Treasure should enjoy this one. It's simple but it will make you think and form interesting strategies. This is one that the whole family enjoyed so that makes it one that I would recommend. Overall it's a great little tile laying game that makes me smile.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Mission: Ends of the Earth is a light weight tile laying game of collecting resources and helping missionaries to serve others. It's a fairly quick game. Most game sessions last around 30 minutes. All of the components are nice. I really like the simplistic design, but worry about the wooden die and hope it will hold up to lots of play. I also wish the insert had a lid to keep the resource tokens from falling out when the box is set up on it's side. The rulebook is well designed and is very easy to read and understand. The game itself is easy to play but has enough strategy to it to make it fun. It's all about collecting the correct resources, avoiding the crisis tiles and getting to the correct village to provide them with the much needed resources. How you get to there is the point of the game. This is one that is simple enough for the younger players but strategic enough that us veteran players can enjoy. It's very family friendly and teaches how we need to help others. I have to say that I really like the message that the game delivers and the religious tones aren't overly heavy so I think everyone should enjoy this one. Needless to say, this is one that my family and I enjoyed. That makes this one that I would recommend.
8 out of 10

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Bible Games Central at their site.

https://biblegamescentral.com/shop/

You can also find lots of lively and fun FREE games for Holiday parties and Christmas family gatherings at the link below.

https://biblegamescentral.com/christmas-games/
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Fri Dec 3, 2021 8:50 pm
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Gaming Bits: Bible Animals Click Clack Match Review

Jonathan Nelson
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Birmingham
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From gallery of MillicanDarque

Bible Animals: Click Clack Match is a game by Bible Games Central. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will be rolling animal dice to make matches and collect points. In the end, the player that is the first to score 50 points will be declared the winner.

To begin, all of the cards are shuffled together and 3 cards are drawn and placed face up in the middle of the play area. The remaining cards are placed face down in a draw pile. The dice are placed where all players can reach them. The first player is chosen and play now begins.

The game is played over a series of turns with each player taking a turn. On a player's turn, they will take 5 dice from the dice pool and roll them together. If a player rolled any sad faces, these are set aside and may not be rerolled. If the player has set aside 3 or more sad face dice, then their turn ends immediately. They will then return all the dice they rolled to the dice pool. Play will then pass to the next player in turn order. If the player has less than 3 sad face dice set aside, then they will continue with their turn. Next they will choose 1 of the 3 face up cards to place their dice on. If their dice match one of the animals on the selected card, then they may place that die on the corresponding space. The player is only allowed to place dice on the card that they chose and not on any of the other cards. Any unplaced dice are returned to the dice pool. If a player is able to completely fill all the animal spaces on a card with dice, then they win that card and are able to place it next to themself. The player gains the points in the top right of the card. If a card is removed from the middle of the play area, then a new card is drawn and placed face up to replace it. If the player has 50 points or more, then they win the game. If not, then they may decide to continue or end their turn. If they choose to continue their turn, then they will take 5 new dice from the dice pool and repeat the same process of rolling and placing dice, as explained above. If they choose to end their turn, then all unplaced dice and sad face dice are returned to the dice pool. Any dice that were placed on a card, remain where they are. Play then passes to the next player in turn order.

The game continues with players rolling dice and placing them on cards until one player gains 50 or more points worth of cards in front of themself. The first player to do this is the winner.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


COMPONENTS
The game comes with 56 cards and 20 dice. The dice are wooden and a bit light. They're white with what appears to be screen printed outlines of animal heads on them. I don't know how long the printing on these will last seeing as these are going to be handled quite a bit. I kind of wish they'd been laser etched or something a little more permanent due to that. So far, they've held up considerably well. Let's hope it stays that way. I also wish they'd been a little heftier like normal dice. These just feel a bit off. Maybe it's due to the fact that I play a lot of other dice games, so I'm just spoiled. Yea...that's probably it. The cards are pretty much your standard size cards with a nice finish to them. They're a good thickness and are easy to shuffle. The iconography on the cards is very easy to understand. They contain up to 6 animal icons on them. Each one has a number of points in the upper right corner. The cards are designed with the background supporting the animal types. So for instance, the dove icons show a blue sky behind them, while the cow, sheep and lion have a green field. The fish have blue water behind them. It's subtle but makes perfect sense. I really loved that idea. The cards, while not overly dramatic with imagery, are quite cute and fun. I think the cards are the best part of this game and I really enjoy them. Overall the game looks nice and it does what it's supposed to do. I'm pleased.
7 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game isn't overly large and is simply a folded sheet of double sided color paper. The front side explains the objective of the game, along with a nice section of Biblical stories of each of the animals represented on the dice. The back side goes over the steps of gameplay and how to win. The booklet has plenty of nice pictures and lots of great examples. Everything is quite easy and simple to read through and understand. It won't even take long to read over it all. Overall there's nothing that I could really add to the rules, except for maybe a solo variant to be able to play the game that way. Other than that, I think it covers everything very well.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
This is a very simple and easy game to play. Honestly it's as simple as rolling the dice and then matching the icons on the cards with the ones on the dice. Lather, rinse, repeat. For gamers, the push your luck mechanic really comes through on this one. You roll the dice and hope you don't get 3 sad faces. You didn't this time, so do you roll again and try once more or do you stop while you're ahead. I guess the only negative about continuing is that you lose any dice you rolled if you get 3 sad faces. I don't really see much of a positive for stopping though. I read and reread the rules to make sure that I didn't miss anything but there's not really a negative that I could see, so why not just keep rolling till you're forced to. I thought about how this could be improved. What if you were able to reserve the card that you placed dice on if you chose to stop, or something like that. Then you'd have an actual decision to make....do you keep rolling for more points or hold on to what you've already gained? That's the one fault that I found in the design for this one. Other than that, I think the idea of rolling dice and matching icons is quite fun. It reminds me of games like Roll for It and CV. Like with the last game I reviewed from Bible Games Central, this one doesn't push the religious theme. It's there if you want to find it, like with the scriptures and stories on the rulebook. However the game itself isn't overly religious in and of itself. I think that like The Good Shepherd card game, it's just fine. This is a game that I was pretty sure that I'd enjoy and I was right. I enjoy rolling dice so this was a nice little matching game that my whole family enjoyed. It's one that is family friendly and easy enough that every age group can enjoy. There's no need to read anything so even the youngest players can play. Gans of dice rolling games should enjoy this one like I did. Overall this is a nice little game that is fast and fun. I recommend it.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
Bible Animals Click Clack Match is a very light weight dice rolling game of matching and push your luck. It's a fast playing game. Most game sessions last around 15 minutes. The cards look great but the dice are a little light. I'm also worried how the screen printing on them will hold up with continued handling. The rulebook is well designed with plenty of examples. The game itself is fast and fun. The main goal is to score 50 points by matching up your dice onto the cards. The push your luck mechanic isn't overly heavy with this one, so it's one that I think players won't stress over. It does remind me of other dice games with this same feel, like Roll for It and CV. I think fans of those games might enjoy this one too, especially if they're looking for something that they can play with the kids. This is a great little family friendly dice game that is a great introduction to some of the mechanics that I've already mentioned throughout the review. I think it'll be a nice way to get the younger players interested in playing a bit heftier games. Needless to say, this is one that I've enjoyed, as have my family. I would recommend it.
8 out of 10



For more information about this and other great games, please check out Bible Games Central at their site.

https://biblegamescentral.com/shop/

You can also find lots of lively and fun FREE games for Holiday parties and Christmas family gatherings at the link below.

https://biblegamescentral.com/christmas-games/
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Mon Nov 15, 2021 3:12 pm
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Gaming Bits: Wonderland Fluxx Review

Jonathan Nelson
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Birmingham
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Board Game: Wonderland Fluxx

Wonderland Fluxx is a game by Andrew Looney, published by Looney Labs. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will set off to the zany world of Wonderland where they will be playing cards to collect different items and add new friends to their party. They'll also be playing actions and new rules cards that will change up how the game itself is played. Of course, the only way to not go Mad as Hatter is to collect the right Keeper cards to complete the always changing Goal card. Players will also need to be on the look out for the dreaded Jabberwock who will make it impossible for them to win. In the end, the player that can best navigate the maze of cards to complete the current goal will be declared the winner.

To begin, the Basic Rules card is placed in the middle of the play area. The deck of cards is shuffled together and each player is dealt 3 cards, which make up their starting hand. The remaining cards are placed face down in a draw pile near the Basic Rules card, leaving room for a discard pile. If a player is dealt a Creeper card in their opening hand, then they must place it face up in front of themself and draw a new non-Creeper card into their hand. The first player is chosen and play now begins.

The game is played in a series of turns with each player taking a turn. On a player's turn, they will draw a number of cards from the draw pile based on the current rule requirements. They will then play a number of cards which is also based on the current rule requirements. They will then discard cards from their hand which is based on the current rule requirements. These rules will change from time to time based on New Rules cards being played to the table.

The game consists of several different types of cards, each of which are played in a different way. New Rules cards change the way the game is played and take effect as soon as they are played. These are placed beside any previous new rule cards unless they override the basic rules of draw 1 and play 1. If this is the case, the new rule cards is placed so that it overlaps the part of the Basic Rule that it is replacing. Goal cards are placed in the middle of the play area and establish the requirements for a play to win the game. If there is another Goal card already face up on the table, it is discarded and replaced by the new card. Keepers are placed face up in front of the player that played it. These are the cards needed for a player to win. Action cards are one time use cards. To play one of these, the player reads it aloud and then does whatever the card says. The card is then placed in the discard pile. Creeper cards are immediately placed face up in front of the player that drew it. These usually will keep a player from winning the game. However there are a few Goal cards that will actually use them. Once placed, the player will then draw another card. This does not count as a draw or a play. Surprise cards are able to be played at any time during the game. During the player’s turn, it works like an Action card. These cards can even be used to cancel out another Surprise card.

One last thing should be noted, once a player has played the corresponding number of cards as required by the rules, they will then be forced to discard a number of cards if their hand has more than the current hand limit rule in play. At the beginning of the game, there is no hand limit. Only when a new rule is played that limits the number of cards in a player’s hand will this come into play. Once a player has completed these actions, play passes to the next player in turn order.

The game continues until one of the players has met the conditions of the current Goal. The player that does this is the winner, even if this happens on another player’s turn.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


COMPONENTS
This game consists of a box of 100 cards. The cards are great quality and have a nice sheen to them. The artwork on the cards looks like it was ripped from the original Alice in Wonderland stories, each with a classic look to them. The nostalgia of these cards brings up lots of fond memories of reading the original story as a child. It really carries that whimsical topsy turvy sense that you get the first time you see these images in the book. I like that even on some of the regular cards that don't normally get artwork, some of them did, like on the Action card, "Clean Cup" there's a picture of a tea cup and saucer. While not every card has artwork, the ones that do look great. Needless to say, I love how nice the game looks. The overall charm and fun of this game is one that I'm sure fans of Alice and all her Wonderland pals will truly enjoy seeing again. I'm definitely pleased with the look of this game.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game consists of a single large double sided sheet of colored paper that is multi-folded to fit inside the small game box. Once it's all folded down, it fits nicely inside. The paper has a couple of pictures on the back side that were taken from the Alice in Wonderland story. On the front of the sheet there is a picture of a sample game for reference. The rules themself are very easy to understand and read through. I didn't see anything that should cause any problems for players. The sheet even includes some other examples and other notes to help players understand a few concepts a bit better. The different card types are explained in detail so that everyone can understand how each one works. Overall I think the designers did a great job at wrapping everything up all nice and neatly in a easy to process and read through set of rules. I'm actually quite pleased with everything here.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
Growing up I have always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland. Ever since I saw the original Disney movie I'd made it a point to get anything and everything Wonderlandian that I could. I have so many different versions of the story in VHS, DVD and in print. I've even dressed up as the Mad Hatter numerous times for Halloween. Needless to say when I saw this version of one of my families favorite card games, I knew that I had to own a copy. It combines our love for Fluxx with my love for Wonderland. What can I say, it's like the topsy turvy world of Wonderland was made for Fluxx. The improbable and impossible silliness crossed with the ever changing world of Fluxx is a marriage made in Heaven. I like how much fun this version of Fluxx is, especially including a great Creeper like the Jabberwock. While I do think that the Queen of Hearts could have been made into a Creeper as well, I'll forgive the oversight. I think this is one that fans of Fluxx or Alice in Wonderland will really enjoy, like my family and I do. A lot of that silliness and unpredictability really comes through with each play of the card, something that Fluxx has been known for. Personally I think it translated beautifully with this edition. This is one version that I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy. It's a great card game with a great theme that's family friendly. I love it.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Wonderland Fluxx is a light weight family friendly card game of ever changing rules and goals set in the topsy turvy world of Wonderland. It is a great card game that doesn't take a very long time to play. Most game sessions last around 15-20 minutes. The cards are great quality and are silly and fun with artwork from the classic literature by Lewis Carroll. The rulebook is well designed and it very thorough. It's easy enough for everyone to read and understand. The game itself is cute and fun and silly. It's family friendly and easy enough for everyone from grandma to the grand kids. Fans of Alice in Wonderland will absolutely adore this version of the game and Fluxx fans will enjoy the added silliness that this one brings to the table. This is one that my whole family has enjoyed, especially my daughter and me. This is another great version of the game and one that I highly recommend. I really love it. Don't worry, you don't have to climb through the mirror or fall down a rabbit hole to enjoy this one. It's available now. You're welcome.
9 out of 10


For more information about Fluxx and other great games, please check out Looney Labs at their site.

http://looneylabs.com
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Fri Nov 12, 2021 6:48 pm
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Gaming Bits: The Good Shepherd Review

Jonathan Nelson
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Birmingham
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From gallery of MillicanDarque

The Good Shepherd is a game by Bible Games Central. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will be adding sheep to their pastures in order to gain points. Of course they'll have to watch out for wolves and the random stampede of sheep. In the end, the player with the most points will be declared the winner.

To begin all of the cards are shuffled together. Each player is then dealt 3 cards facedown in front of them. The remaining cards are placed facedown in the middle of the play area to form the Draw Pile. The first player is chosen and play now begins.

The game is played in a series of turns with each player taking a turn. On a player's turn, they will draw a card and then do one of the following actions. They may discard any card from their hand to the discard pile, with the exception of a Sundown card. These must be kept in their hand. More on these cards in a bit. They may play a Sparrow card face up in front of another player of their choice, allowing the player to see all of that player's cards. They may play a Wolf of a Stampede card face up in front of another player. The Wolf card allows the player to randomly select a card from that player's hand and add it to their own. They must then return a card to that player's hand. It may even be the same card as they just picked. The Stampede card is played face up in the Sundown pile, which is a separate stack of Sundown cards. This forces the chosen player to discard all of their cards to the discard pile. The player then draws 3 new cards from the Draw pile to replenish their hand. A player may block a Wolf of Stampede card by playing a Good Shepherd card. This card is played to the Good Shepherd pile which, like the Stamped pile, is a separate stack of Good Shepherd cards. The player that played the Good Shepherd card is then able to draw a new card from the Draw pile. Finally, the player may play a Sundown card. These cards are played in a separate row of Sundown cards. These will cause the game to end when enough of them have been played. Once a player has performed one of the actions above, their turn ends. The next player in turn order begins their turn.

The game continues until a certain number of Sundown cards have been played. In a 2-3 player game, that number is 3. In a 4-6 player game that number is 5 Sundown cards. Once the game ends, each player compares their hand and adds up their points from their Sheep and Pasture cards. Players only score points if they have at least 1 Sheep and 1 Pasture card. If a player has only Sheep or only Pasture cards, then they score no points. Sheep and Pasture cards range from 1-10 points each, except for 1 special Sheep card that is worth 99+1 points. The player with the most points wins.

From gallery of MillicanDarque


COMPONENTS
This game consists of 80 cards in a tuck box. As noted above, there are 5 different types of cards; Sheep, Pasture, Shepherd, Wolf, Stampede and Sundown cards. Each card has a pastel colored background that makes it easy to tell one card from another. The artwork is a bit minimalistic but they convey the ideas of each thing they're supposed to represent quite well. The cards are a little smaller than regular sized playing card but are probably a lot better suited for smaller hands. For me, they felt a little odd. The cards are also a little bit thinner than regular cards but with the nice finish on them, they're easy to shuffle and don't seem to be a problem. I will say that I wish the game came in a bigger box with an insert to keep things a little better separated. I'm not a big fan of tuck boxes especially the ones where you have to separate the deck into 2 stacks and then try to force them back inside the box. Games like Uno have those types of boxes which are always a pain to me. This game comes in that type of box as well. I will say though that the packaging is small enough to throw into a bag or backpack and be taken virtually anywhere. I do like a game that's portable. Overall I think the cards are nice and playful without being ridiculous. I think that parents and kids will both enjoy the artistic style of the game. This is one that I think looks nice.
8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is a simple piece of double sided cardboard that is folded in half. The rules are in full color and only take a minute or two to read through. For the smallness of the rulebook, it's surprising to see as many pictures on it as there are. Big name game companies should take notice. Each of the different card types is explained, as is the basics of gameplay. I didn't see anything here that should be difficult to understand at all. The only thing that I would have liked to have seen was a way of playing the game solo. I'm always up for a good solo card game. I think that the rules do a good job of explaining everything and the rules are easy enough for anyone to understand. Overall I'm good with what's presented.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
This is a simple and cute little card game that can be played fairly quickly. The idea of the game is simply to get the most points in your hand, having both a sheep and a pasture card. If you're lucky enough to get the 99+1 sheep, then you're almost assured of winning. You just have to watch out for those special cards like the Wolf, to keep from losing it. I like the interaction between players that this game has and I like that it doesn't take too long to play either. As a matter of fact, most games are over and done within like 10-15 minutes, depending on the player count. The more players, the longer the game will go. I also like the subtlety of the game, how it uses Biblical Scriptures from John and Luke to show God's love for each of us but it doesn't hit you over the head with it. The only place that these verses are even found are on the back of the box and the rulebook. However the concept is there and for anyone that has heard the verses, it's a subtle reminder each time that 99+1 sheep card comes into play. What can I say, this was a game that I wasn't sure that I would really enjoy, but I found myself liking it after all. The rules are quite simple and make this a great game for families and young children. It's one that grandma and grandpa can play with the grandkids with ease. On top of it being family friendly, it's actually fun. It has a bit of the take that mechanic to it where certain cards are used negatively towards the other players and it has a bit of set collection, where each player tries to get the most points they can in their hand. Overall this is a very light weight card game that I would recommend.
8 out of 10

OVERALL
The Good Shepherd is a very light weight card game of set collection with a touch of take that. It plays rather quickly. In fact, most play sessions last around 15 minutes. The cards are quite nice, even though they're a little smaller than normal. The rulebook is quick and easy to read through. The game itself is also quick and easy to play. The main goal is to get the highest points by collecting a combination of pasture and sheep cards. The take that mechanic isn't overly mean in this one, in fact it's only the Wolf and Stampede cards that negatively affect other players. One takes a card from their hand, replacing it with another, while the other card forces the player to completely discard their hand and draw a new hand. The game is family friendly and is great for all age groups, including smaller children. This is a fun little game that doesn't take a lot of time to play and is rather enjoyable. It is one that I would recommend.
8 out of 10

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Bible Games Central at their site.

https://biblegamescentral.com/shop/

You can also find lots of lively and fun FREE games for Holiday parties and Christmas family gatherings at the link below.

https://biblegamescentral.com/christmas-games/
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Wed Nov 10, 2021 4:16 pm
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