I love Hive. It’s an extremely accessible game. To be honest, aside from bland artwork and a literally pasted-on theme, I can’t find something I dislike about this game. Players quickly remember how each bug moves, and because there are so few, it doesn’t become an issue for most. I love the tiles, strategy, and fun that Hive brings to the table.
Codenames pits two teams of spies against each other with hopes of being the first to decode the clues given by their spymaster. Using a grid of random words, each clue attempts to find common links to lead the team to discovering which eight (or nine) words are theirs, and which belong to the opposing team. The balance of the game depends on how well the spymaster can get inside the heads of his or her team and successfully communicate their clues to reveal the correct words on the table.
Sushi Go Party! has an annoying storage solution, which is quickly overshadowed by the addition of so many new cards, which add hours and hours of replayability in a quick, fun package. From the cutest little sushi friends in the world, to smart mechanic design, this game does most everything right.
Scythe is another consistent Stonemaier game. Scythe is not for every gamer, but for those interested, it boasts enough attention to detail, investing gameplay, and room for replayability to be an instant addition for most gaming collections.
Hi! I'm Derek! You might know me from MeepleTown. I'm partnering with Chris for the Tabletop Section of Geeks Under Grace. Time for review links!
THE BOTTOM LINE for Karuba Sometimes, you want a deep, complex, thought-provoking strategy game. When you don't, Karuba gives you everything else. It's exciting, quick, simple, beautiful, and impossible to play merely once.
Royals is a wonderful introduction to area-control and set collection, but with enough strategy and interaction to keep players coming back for more. The Dice Tower Essentials line is now three-for-three.
Doctor Panic is hands-down the strangest board game I have ever played, and that's saying something. It's too situation-specific and silly to make a broad recommendation, but if you are looking for a silly, hyperactive way to spend time with your older kids, Doctor Panic is a great choice.
Trekking the National Parks is simple to learn, but plays beautifully, with enough depth to keep players from all backgrounds coming back. It’s not necessarily anything new mechanically, but the theme and intent are evident and make this game very much worth playing at least a few times.
Hidden behind elementary artwork is an almost perfect party game for groups who don’t care for games, or who are looking for something fun and fast that will provide lots of laughs. SiXes is a mad game with so much replayability and joy behind it that I very much recommend it.
Masters Gallery is a smart bidding game that lets you outwit your silly friends with better, more prominent art collections than they have. Even with a few strange rulebook issues and some less fun randomness at higher player counts, Masters Gallery brings risk and mystery to the table.
Skiwampus is a fast, fun, and excellent family/party game that works well at all ages and skill levels. While it lacks replayability for some, I can imagine groups weekly playing this game over and over.
Three Kingdoms Redux is an ancient, Chinese, long haul, and despite some weird trudges through the rulebook, brings richly to life the experience of managing an empire in a time of politically-charged war.
Bardagi is beautiful and adds a fun take on area control and resource management. It bears a steep learning curve, but levels out once you understand it, making it worthwhile for a group that favors complex player interaction and board control.
If you have a 3-8 man group, and you love trickery and laughter, Dodgy Dealers might be for you. It is a fun, light game for people who like quick gameplay, and don’t care for the strategic slogs. If you want a game with lots of complexity, this wouldn’t be on my list for you.
Set in a not so distant, zombie-infested world, ZORP is a shoot-em-up strategy game that combines fast-paced action with chess-like strategic maneuvering and decision-making. ZORP is a 2-4 player game, featuring one player as the zombie master, and the rest playing as humans, vying to become the first to receive the only cure to the zombie virus.
Excusing some clunky UI, 1775 plays as a faithful board game implementation. With attention to artistic detail, without bloating the interface, the game allows the player to focus on what matters most: the strategy and gameplay.
Band Manager is dedicated to musicians who are still striving to make music in the ever-changing music industry.
The game places players in the role of managers who cobble together musicians to form bands, then sending them out on tour to play and gain fans, ultimately becoming the greatest, most famous, band of all time.
Vinhos speaks to the gamer demanding a heavy gaming experience in less time, all the while being surrounded by outstanding art and graphic design direction. Once mechanisms have been grasped, Vinhos plays quickly and eagerly demands players’ attention to the ‘long game.’