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4
Reviewed My First Game
Go to the Legendary Encounters: An ALIEN Deckbuilding Game page
9
“We’re on an express elevator to hell, going down!”

Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game is a new title from Upper Deck. It plays up to five players in a fully cooperative game experience and includes scenarios for each of the four Alien movies.

The base game comes with a handy player mat that includes spaces for all the game play cards. The game includes a location and objectives based on the particular movie that you have selected to play.

What do we like about this game?

The ability to play all four Alien movies is a lot of fun. It’s all here. The way the Hive decks are stacked to go along with the movies provides you with a close association with the movie narrative. You definitely work together to survive the Alien onslaught. You can coordinate attacks and resources between players – you have to help each other to win.

The play mat is laid out well, has a non-skip backing, and rolls up nicely for storage in the game box. Having this is great to keep the many different category of cards in their proper stacks.

What don’t we like about this game?

Blank cards. This initially confused us as we thought we had misprints or missing cards. It ended with us counting and sorting all the cards a couple of times to make sure we had the complete decks. Not the way you want to start out playing a game. The game also has differing art styles for each scenario. This might be a little bit of annoyance, but doesn’t take away from the gameplay.

And finally, the text on each card is also really small and at times very hard to read. This makes building the Hive decks and Barrack decks very interesting for people without perfect vision.

Video Review

This game is dripping with theme acid. The suspense that the hive deck provides moving through the complex has to be experienced. And, start popping the corn and melting the butter, because once you complete the game, you’ll want to dig out your copy of the movie “Alien” and settle in for the night.

Check our our video review of this game: Gettin’ Higgy with Legendary Encounters: Alien

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2 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
3
USA
Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
6
burgerchief {Casual Gamer} Jan 30th, 2015
“It's more like you are experiencing a story than you are playing a game”

All in all this is a fun game, and I would recommend it.

My group played it quite a bit when we first got it, and it has slowly fallen out of rotation. I think it is because of how random it feels. Sometimes it just seems like you are moving from room to room with bad stuff happening to you, which can be frustrating. I wish there was one more element of the game that the players could control. It’s less like you are playing a game and more like you are experiencing a story. I think
if you have this expectation going in, it will be a much better experience.

Pros:
-I love the atmosphere of the game. It feels like you are exploring an old mansion.
-Easy to learn how to play.
-It’s got a good mix of cooperation and independence. The before the haunting is a very different experience from after the haunting so just when one parts seems to be dragging, the next part takes effect and makes the game more fun.
-The haunting can be a lot of fun. Figuring out what the opponent is trying to do, working with your teammates to try to create a plan, working with the limitations of your characters, it can be great.
-I love most of the haunting scenarios. You never know when or what will happen in a given haunting, and who will be haunted.

Cons:
-Almost too random. Sometimes the haunting happens too early and the end game for one of the opponents is close to impossible. Once or twice we played it, the haunted character didn’t even have a turn to combat the rest of the group.
-Some hauntings are just better than others, some are a little too straightforward and boring, and others are really crazy and fun.
-My group thought certain characters were way better than others. We maybe should have done a random distribution.
-Character cards and the dials that go along with them don’t fit. But we use some folded up paper behind the clip and they worked fine.

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3 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
2
Gamer - Level 2
Go to the Forbidden Island page
7
Moshibashu {Casual Gamer} Jan 30th, 2015
“Great, simple, cooperative game!”

Do you love Pandemic? But you feel like it might be a little to “meaty” for your group of friends? Then try Forbidden Island!

Forbidden Island is a cooperative game where the goal is to grab the four treasures and get out of Dodge before the island sinks completely! The game is made-up of different (nicely illustrated) island tiles with a normal side and a blue “flooded” side) Each turn you get four actions, move, “shore up” (turning a tile over from it’s “flooded” state back to it’s normal state) give a treasure card, and capture one of the treasures by turning in four matching cards of the same tile. After each persons turn you draw more flood cards which flood more tiles. Each player also has unique abilities that will help you on your expedition.

The game is pretty exciting as you battle the forces of nature to buy yourself enough time to grab the treasure. As the game goes on the island sinks faster and faster, hopefully you don’t get stranded on a floating island! The game is very simple to learn so it is great for families, and the cooperative aspect is always fun for a casual game night.

The game pieces and tiles are all very sleek and look great, but things get a little confusing because many of the tiles have a “sister” tile that has a similar look and name. Also, the theme of exploring an island for treasure really appeals to me, but the game is a little simple and it’s not the easiest to immerse yourself in the island. Not a whole lot of exploring goes not, mostly running around fighting off the flood. It really is very similar to Pandemic, just a little less going on, and you’re not fighting deadly diseases.

Overall my friends and I enjoy playing it, however it needs a little more strategy to keep me going. Perhaps I should try Forbidden Desert!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
3 out of 3 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
2
Gamer - Level 2
Go to the Betrayal at House on the Hill page
7
Moshibashu {Casual Gamer} Jan 30th, 2015
“Despite some confusion, a fun roleplaying experience!”

Betrayal has elements of co-op, exploration, and 1 vs many all wrapped up in a horror themed package. Game starts with characters exploring a house and discovering rooms where they will find items (useful through the entire game) experience events (often times more harm than good!) and find omens (mixed bag of good and bad.) Eventually once enough omens are found, the haunt starts, usually with a traitor being selected among the players. Once the haunt starts the players will have end-game objectives and spend the rest of the game achieving those. However you don’t know the traitors objectives. This is a cool aspect but depending on the haunt can sometimes run into confusion and disagreements on rules. That’s about it.

My friends and I bought Betrayal and have played quite a few rounds. I believe we were playing one of the older editions, so maybe some things have been corrected in newer editions. We have found that setting the mood and doing a little roleplaying helps the game a lot. While it may be a “horror” theme you can’t help but laugh at some of the situations you end up.

There are 50 different haunts which give great replay value. Many are very creative (one has a bird pick-up the house and everyone fights for parachutes) but they’re not all equal. Some of them are relatively straight forward in their objectives, others are very confusing. Some we even found to be kind of broken where either the traitor is overpowered or the survivors.

Before the haunt you spend your time getting power-ups…. or taking tons of damage. Your characters are relatively weak so it’s not uncommon for a few people to be low on health and others stats once the haunt starts. It’s also not uncommon for the traitor to be almost dead, resulting in a disappointing haunt.

Overall, I think this would be a great game for everyone to try if you like a roleplaying, horror themed game. There’s a lot of freedom and good replay value, however not all the scenarios are equal. Sometimes, depending on the situation, they contradict with the rules. However, despite some confusion I enjoyed the games we played. Especially our most recent in which I found myself as a Vampire Lord. After slaughtering many the sun was about to rise. I found myself in an elevator with the last survivor, just as he was escaping through the open doors I pounced in him, killing him and winning the game. Quite thematic!

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9 out of 11 gamers thought this review was helpful
Player Avatar
3
Ireland
Go to the Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game page
9
HarryCallaghan79 {Avid Gamer} Jan 30th, 2015
“A Time to Build”

I got this game for christmas from my wife as she knows I used to be obsessed by the video game. She picked this from a wishlist I have at home and what a choice!

First thing I will say is, this can look a little daunting. You pick up the box and, when you feel the weight of it, you know you are going to have a challenge with this one. But, at least you know you have gotten value for your money, this is not a few measly pieces thrown together, this is an epic game that is designed to got through ancient medieval and modern times as you play.

We have only played this a few times so far in my little league we have going but we can all see that this is going to be a contender for top game. There is just so much depth. Every individual gets a civilization and then modifies their play style to suit that civilization. With four ways to win, Economic, Science, Culture and Military, there are options to change tactics on the fly and move towards other areas. The game has been fine tuned and balanced so that everyone is not far from the lead in winning in their own areas and can see how far along the others are.

I will definitely be picking up the expansions for this as I have heard there is even more balancing and civilizations to use, one expansion even adds a fifth player!

Replay Value: Everybody looks forward to the next game, even though we only get one in a night at the moment. Every turn, there is so much going on that you watch to see what everyone is doing, while thinking of your next step and then someone might add something, a technology or unit to their army, and you have to scupper your plan and change your tactic, it’s great.

Components: Good quality, everything is thought of, nice pictures etc. my only gripe is that I would prefer a few little models, of cities, and people etc. I understand why there aren’t any, the box is packed to bursting point. Maybe they will bring out a deluxe and fix this but I am not too worried, everything works as it should.

Easy to Learn: No. Anyone who looks at the game in action will run, as it looks a crazy mess. The manual is not very clear and overly wordy, even adding complications to the rules when it could have been explained in simple bullet points. A Catan-like almanac would have really helped. I myself watch how to play it on Youtube and there are still points I am unsure of. Once you are a few gos in it runs smoothly but expect to play for 5 – 6 hours on your first game. Time will reduce massively per game afterwards. There is just so many questions at the start, but hey, it’s a big game and any time given to it will be returned tenfold.

Great Game that makes you itchy to play it again.

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12 out of 12 gamers thought this review was helpful

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