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Player Avatar
7
Arrowhead
I play red
Stone of the Sun
Go to the Bohnanza page
8
DQoder {Avid Gamer} May 28th, 2015
“Stink bean for trade! Stink bean! Stick Bean… Anyone?”

First impression:

My play group was getting a bit bigger throughout the year. And as it turns out, they did not want to split into groups on game nights. I wanted something that that can support many players at the same time still has some depth. I was also looking for something that didn’t have any player elimination, because dying off quickly in Bang! becomes lonely.

Game summary:

Players act out as bean farmers that collect large sets of beans to plant, trade and harvest for money. Players are limited to two fields (depending on player size) but can purchase a third field for 3 coins. Having limited fields for planting encourages trading. The player that has the most coins out of three rounds is the winner.

My Experience:

I have recorded about 20+ games to date. And I have played games with as low as 3 players and at the max with 7 players. I haven’t played this game with 2 players because I typically don’t play with that low of number due to how our group has grown in size. This game scales fairly well but I would recommend that 5 to 6 players is the best size play with.

I can compare Bohnanza to Settlers of Catan in some ways. In Settlers of Catan, the games can be exciting yet drag due to bad dice rolls. The most enjoyable part, which I believe, is the trading and negotiation. And Bohnanza is all about trading and negotiation. As a disclaimer when teaching the game, I inform the players that this game is about getting out there and marketing your beans. If you are quiet and slow you may not capitalize on some great deals. So as they say, “if you snooze, you lose”.

My Likes:

This is a great gateway game and I enjoy it very much for the trading aspect alone. The people I introduce it to enjoy it as well, especially when they get a good deal. Since the game is fairly compact, this is one of my go to games when leaving the house.

My Dislikes:

In this game, there is one awkward card rule. You cannot rearrange or shuffle your cards that you have been dealt. You must leave the cards in that order. And that can be hard for some people to coupe with, because when you are dealt a hand cards you automatically want to set them in a certain order.

Another item would be at the higher player counts, at 7 players you start out with 3 cards if you are the first player. The next player has 4, the player after has 5, and the rest has 6 cards. And if you completed all your trading after the first 3 people, you end up waiting around before it is your turn again.

Lastest Impression:

My dislikes in this game is very miniscule compare to how much I enjoy the interaction of trading within game. This is a great game and is always welcome when people ask to play it. And people do ask to play it often. This game is fairly compact and can be found for under $20! That’s a better than all your stink beans!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
1 out of 1 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
2
My First Heart
Go to the Defenders of the Realm: Dragon Expansion page
10
geardragon {Social Gamer} May 27th, 2015
“Dragons, Denizens of the Dark, & D&D”

This is a fantastic expansion that adds to an already fantastic game.

While the Defenders Base Game is one of the most re-playable games for my gaming group, the Dragon Expansion brings it to a fantastic new level. Being primarily a D&D group, finally being able to go up against 4 Dread Dragons and their assorted minions makes it feel like a classic D&D quest — one in which no one has to sit on the sidelines or DM the match.

The co-operative spirit is especially fantastic, and the heavy incorporation of games theme make each play-through instantly unique and memorable. Anecdotally, we once had a player Solo Hemlock (the Green Dragon) with the Eagle Rider. The Eagle Rider defeated the Dragon, but perished in the process. When that player chose a new character, he also drew the “Friend of the Eagle Rider” legend card, and began to enact vengeance across the land for his fallen friend!

It’s instances and stories like this that have made the game such a fantastic play for us, and will forever remain at the top of my gaming shelf.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 7 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
Go to the Sushi Go! (Second Edition) page
7
Cat Hair Day {Avid Gamer} May 27th, 2015
“A Sushi Go Review by Cat Hair Day www.cathairday.com”

Visit http://www.cathairday.com for our full review of Sushi Go! Below is a breakdown of our score! :)

Fun Factor: 3/5 (two players w/ dummy); 4/5 (three – five players)

-fairly easy to predict opponent’s strategy and work against each other in two-player game
-much less predictable and more strategic with 3 – 5 players

Learning Challenge: 2/5

-very easy to learn
-kid friendly
-involves strategy and probability

Cost: $$$$$

-around $11 at a local game store or online

Artwork: 5/5

-one of the cutest games we have ever seen
-creative sushi themed artwork

Originality: 5/5 (Amy); 4/5 (Nat)

-sushi theme is super cute and original
-game mechanics are similar to other games (trading card hands among players)

Replay Value: 4/5

-players’ strategies depend on particular card hands in each round
-good game for playing as a starter game or in between longer games

Luck vs Skill: 2/5

-winning is highly dependent on what cards are dealt each round and whether or not you gain the cards needed to score points
-skill involves predicting other players’ strategies, prioritizing which cards to take first, and anticipating the probability of gaining card sets needed to score points
-not necessarily a game one could master due to the level of luck involved in which cards are dealt each round

Two-Player Friendly: 2/5 (without dummy); 3/5 (with two-player variant)

-we recommend the two-player variant; it makes a two-player game more fun, less predictable, and more challenging

Overall Feeling: 5/5

-overall, Sushi Go! is a blast to play
-it takes a very short amount of time to play a full game and is easy to explain to someone who has never played before, making it a great starter game or filler in between longer, more intense games
-however, it is not a game we would play every day due to the high level of luck involved and low level of skill needed

Overall Rating: 3.7/5

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
5 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
1
Go to the Caverna: The Cave Farmers page
 
Braden May 27th, 2015
“Top Five All-Time Board Game!”

Not often does a game skyrocket as quickly to the top 5 of my all-time favorite games as did Caverna after playing it a grand total of…one time! I’ve since played many times, and I am in love.

Caverna has the perfect amount of variations to win. Do you focus heavily on planting and harvesting crops along with breeding animals out in the open? Do you concentrate your valuable (and limited) actions to dig deep underground, creating caverns, ore mines, and even a rare ruby mine? Do you invest heavily in weaponry to reap the awesome loot that comes from high-level weapons? Do you horde rubies to instantly turn them into valuable goods? Or do you plan a coordinated, balanced strategy to maximize your return on investment? I’ve seen every one of those tactics win.

Here are a few random and fun small-scale things that I love about Caverna that will be particularly intriguing to those who have played Agricola: the dogs can “watch” sheep in open meadows without a fenced-in pasture; you can store a single donkey in each underground, unfurnished cavern; there is some randomness embedded with the harvest (you don’t always know if there will be a harvest or not); you can store a single boar in a forest space with a stable; lastly, you can convert animals and harvested grain/vegetables into consumable food immediately! There are many other reasons why I prefer Caverna to Agricola, but these are just a few.

Another awesome aspect is the furnishing of caverns. Don’t overlook them! Once you build a cavern, you can “customize” it to suite your particular strategy and reap many benefits immediately, over several rounds, or at the end of the game. For example, one furnishing gives you one coin per two sheep at the end of the game. Another gives you one ruby for each of the next several rounds. Another gives you discounts on subsequent furnishings or pastures. There are many combinations of furnishings that can provide powerful enhancements to your gameplay.

Set-up and take-down are a bit of a beast. There are, as I count it, 43 different types of playing pieces, tiles, boards, cards, and tokens for a grand total of 851 individual items (not including the cards) in a 9-pound box . But don’t let that deter you! It is well worth it. The gameplay itself moves along at a good pace, and after a couple of games, you can keep the time under the estimated 30 minutes per player.

Overall, I give this game a resounding 9.5 out of 10. I’ve never given a full 10 before (I’m saving it for that one special game!), but this is as close as I’ve come!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
6 out of 6 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
7
Master Grader
The Gold Heart
Book Lover
Movie Lover
Go to the Pandemic: The Cure page
8
Tom {Casual Gamer} May 27th, 2015
“Pandemic: The Cure - The Dice Are Nice!”

I am an unabashed Pandemic devotee. It is, by a narrow margin, my current favorite game. I have yet to play any of the expansions or Pandemic: Contagion, but I recently acquired a copy of Pandemic: The Cure (P:TC). I don’t think it will ever replace the original, nor do I think it strives to do so. P:TC is a fine standalone, and it functions quite well.

The most striking feature of P:TC is the dice. There are 85 of them! How many games can make that claim? Quarriors by comparison, has 130, and Roll For The Galaxy 111. The custom dice that make up the bulk of the components to P:TC are lovely to behold in their 11 distinct colors. The 48 Infection dice appear to be standard six sided die, but they are far from it. Each has only a couple values of pips, and a medical “cross” symbol appears on one side of every one of them. The players have seven different role cards from which to choose (or select randomly). Each role card has a color coordinated pawn and matching set of unique dice.

Player dice have a variety of symbols that represent the actions a player may take on his or her turn. Like most cooperative games, each of the roles has special abilities that makes them useful in different situations. All the die results are positive except the “biohazard” symbol, which causes the infection rate to increase. That, in turn increases the number of infection dice put in play during the infection phase of the game. Players can reroll any result other than the biohazard, so the press your luck element is evident in P:TC.

The infection rate and number of outbreaks are cleverly tracked with a brightly colored peg and hole ring made of sturdy plastic. The center of the ring serves as the “treatment center” for disease die treated from any of the six “regions” that encircle the multi function plastic ring. Players must keep tabs on outbreaks and the infection rate as well as the number of infection dice in the draw bag (which is made from sturdy fabric). If the draw bag is ever emptied, or eight outbreaks occur, the game is lost. Players win by finding cures (rolling “13” or greater with a number of treated and collected dice) for each of the four diseases.

Another element of P:TC is the use of “Event” cards which give players certain advantages. Event cards are purchased using dice from the CDC tile (those dice that resulted in the medical cross symbol). The rules are clearly detailed in a well written instruction booklet, and a new player can learn the basics in minutes. The game supports 2-5 players, and most games last less than 30 minutes.

P:TC is a fun game. Regardless of one’s familiarity (or lack of) with Pandemic, P:TC works. Other reviewers have cited the lack of a game board and how it detracts from the overall experience. I tend to agree. The map on Pandemic’s board gives it coherence and clarity that P:TC lacks with its modular setup. P:TC doesn’t give me the sense of impending doom I get late in a game of Pandemic. Die rolls mean randomness, and some may shy away from the game because of the luck factor. But P:TC is a fast paced, fun game. It is lighter but more abstract than Pandemic. I enjoy P:TC despite it feeling more like rolling dice than curing diseases. It is an attractive and welcome edition to my collection.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
7 out of 7 gamers thought this review was helpful

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